Thursday, July 24, 2014
Around the Garden - First Melon Harvest
I had to go cut the lawn at the house in town this morning and then the rest of the day was spent trying to catch the garden back up to some state of order. It's amazing how much can go wrong when you spend two or more days away from taking care of it.
As I predicted the Squash Bugs have migrated into the Melons and Cucumbers. I doubt if those plants will survive more than another week or so tops. Amazingly though the Squash bugs appear to be staying well clear of the Lemon Cucumbers. Perhaps those will be the last to fall this year. I have already used gallons of the organic spray on them and killed literally thousands. I made a dent because they are not as numerous as they were but they just keep coming and I am losing plants so fast I have declared the war lost at this point.
Anyway at least I held the vampiric Squash bugs at bay long enough to get at least one good picking off the Water Melons. I have already given two away this afternoon and fed two that had bad spots on em to the rams. The rams gave them their full approval and asked for more. I'm afraid they are going to be sorely disappointed with the rest of the offerings this season. My guess is what you see in the above picture is about all the Melons I am gonna get this year.
The last two times rain has been predicted for us it has petered out or went around us, we are now back in drought conditions as far as I am concerned and more to the point as far as the Pumpkin experiment is concerned. I went down there today and they are all pretty much wilted away to nothing. I doubt I see even one Pumpkin out of the two acres I planted to be honest. Such is the breaks I guess.
Lunch today consisted of handfuls of these little Cherry Tomatoes. No one seems to like Cherry Tomatoes except me around here and I bought this plant thinking it was a regular sized orange Tomato but turns out I should have read the tag closer. Anyway no big deal I just went over and picked handfuls and ate em all afternoon while I worked. They are really tasty. One thing I have noticed is that the Cherry Tomato plants always manage to reseed themselves the next year. I am still getting some little Pear shaped Cherry Tomatoes every year from a plant I grew over five years ago. So I am sure this one is here to stay now.
Here is my little Paw Paw Tree. I tilled up a huge area for it and then dug down almost 12 inches inside the area covered by the bed I made for it. I then scored the edges of the hard clay so the roots would take easier (Thanks Dan!!!!) and filled it in completely with dirt from my compost bin. I haven't used any of my composted soil this year at all because I was saving it expressly for this little tree. I will cover the ground with a light layer of woodchips this year and make a cage to go around it then slowly fill the entire bed with woodchips as the tree grows. Paw Paw trees send out suckers and will eventually make a kinda big bush which is fine but it means I cannot plant it in the small orchard area as controlling the suckers would be impossible. This way I can kinda contain them in this small bed. I now need to find at least one other tree to plant the same way about 30 foot or so off so they can cross pollinate each other.
I will have Paw Paw fruit before I die damnit. I will....
Growth-wise it's really been a pretty good year for everything except the corn, and the corn kinda bounced back after the strong winds stopped too. Pests have done more than their fair damage this year and the coolness has really slowed the Tomatoes down as far as ripening is concerned. All that being said though it has been one of the best years for beans I have seen in a while.
I picked another 3 gallons of bush beans today and my mom picked another 2 gallons herself and there are still more beans on the plants. I don't know what to do with all of them and I can't keep up, which is fine because if they get too big I will just leave em for seed or let em dry and use em as dried beans.
Here's some I missed from the first couple of pickings and they got too large. They are almost dry enough to keep as seeds for next year now.
This is the view inside the Bean Trellis that has now become the Bean Tunnel I guess. I am seeing a lot of ham and beans and chili hanging there. I love this Bean trellis, it works good for Cucumbers too as the fruit just hangs down and all you have to do is walk under there and pick away. I can even drive the garden tractor in there and sit in the seat while picking most of the beans if I decide to be lazy.
They took the rain for this weekend out of the forecast now so looks like I will be watering tomorrow. I hope we start getting some rain soon or I am going to have more problems than just a ruined Pumpkin crop let me tell you.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!