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!!!!


14 comments:

  1. I can't seem to grow melons here, maybe one day. I would wipe those bugs out just for the pleasure of it at this point. The stuff I use for things like that is made by Bayer, I can look it up tomorrow if you need it. I haven't had pumpkins in several years but it looks like I might have some this year. I don't grow orange ones just the white and green ones for cooking.

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    1. Sf - I could likely wipe them out but I really am trying to use only that which I can find naturally available locally. I am hoping if I start a rotation system it may cut em down some. Plus I am thinking even if they kill off my plants this year it is early enough they may have to go elsewhere to finish their last cycle and will over Winter some where else.

      A man can dream I guess.

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  2. I have had really bad luck with beans this year - none of mine took. My black eyed peas and okra, on the other hand, are doing great. Potatoes are growing but I have no idea how they are doing. Cucumbers are not well but I got some. Peppers and onions are great, Corn is the great unknown at this point. I wish the beans had taken - I love dried beans! More garden next year, apparently - learning to grow in a new location is always such an "adventure"...

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    1. TB - The only thing that didn't grow so well was my corn from too much water early but it mostly has bounced back. Everything else has been pest related except the Pumpkins and well I knew going in if we didn't get rain they would die.

      I recommend pole beans. Theya re the best for getting the dried beans from.

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  3. I harvested seeds from a canteloupe we cut up last weekend. Hoping to plant them next spring.
    Melons look good, even if that is all you might get. Melons here have been ginourmous...so big I should take some pics and do a blog post.
    I love the bean trellis as well, functional for all climbing veggies.

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    1. JuGM - Cantaloupe are fun to grow. I got a bunch in but none have ripened yet and the bugs are working on them now pretty heavily. I started planting the muskmelons two years ago and have been satisfied with their production.

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  4. Looks like you are staying busy. Damn bugs, another group of illegals. LOL.

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    1. Rob - I am hoping their food dies out and kills them off soon so they won't have much of an over Wintering population.

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  5. I miss melons. We've had no luck here with them. I wish our beans looked like yours too. Potatoes are doing well.

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    1. MV - We are on our third planting of Potatoes and they have done great this year. I even have a bed of Sweet Potatoes going good too.

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  6. I do miss "snacking" from my mom's garden, which was sometimes nearly a quarter-acre in size. Those melons look delicious.

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    1. RP - I just hope I got em picked at the right time. I have not yet mastered the art of telling a ripe Melon from a not quite ripe one.

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  7. PP,

    Nice looking garden!!!!
    Great looking melon harvest, mine are the size of 1/2 dollars.

    Will you or your sweet wife be canning the beans?

    Those little orange tomatoes make for a great snack while working in the garden. Like you, I'm the only one that eats them.

    Paw Paw looks like it like it's new home. I'm pretty sure you'll have a full size tree with fruit before you die :-)

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    1. Sandy - I am thinking another run at Water Melon Jelly is in order :)

      We don't can beans. In fact these days we don't can much of anythign anymore. We used to but the Wife has kinda lost interest in it and I am too busy. If we need to we can always go back and start again but these days we mostly either freeze stuff or I let the beans dry and store them that way.

      I am worried the rabbits may get the Paw Paw this Winter. I hadn't thought about it until today I was sitting thinking it is awfully small and those damned rabbits love to chew off the sapling in Winter.

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