Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Garden Update

 

After planting the new trees, we all did quite a bit of hand weeding our disaster of a garden this year. But despite the excess weeds (oats sprouting from our mulch), we are still having some successes along with some failures. We planted three batches of beans at the first of the year and this is the only batch that grew. The first batch never even sprouted, preferring to rot in the cold, wet mud. The second batch a week later sprouted a few but not worth growing so I mowed them off the prior week. The final batch we planted grew and are pretty healthy. They are starting to put on beans and we picked a mess of them.

Our various squash/pumpkins have had a hard go of it thus far but are starting to perk up now that the soil isn't wet anymore and the summer heat has arrived. But this is now the start of our dry season and they aren't nearly as far developed as they normally would be at this point so I'm not sure what if anything we will get from them. They are starting to set a few fruits. We may have to water these to get them to maturity.



Above is a picture of our sweetcorn and dad's popcorn. It is a weedy mess due to the mulch and we just haven't yet made it through that part of the garden to weed it. The sweetcorn will be over soon and I can just mow the weeds there once the stalks are removed. I'm still hoping to do some weeding of the popcorn yet when we get caught up. 

We probably won't harvest any sweetcorn as the coons have found it by either scaling our wire panel fence or crawling under it somewhere. I saw signs of a few nibbled ears that are still in the growing stage. It's too late at this point to do anything about it but perhaps next year. I personally am not sure if it is worth raising as we usually just eat it when we can get it fresh and there are always lots of people selling fresh sweetcorn locally when in season.


Above is the start of our berry patch with two black raspberry, two golden raspberry and two blackberry plants planted a month or so ago. We ordered them last fall but didn't get them until really late this year and not in very good shape at that. The two golden raspberry canes look like they were dead from the get go but the black raspberries and blackberries are showing a little life though are hard to see in this picture.


A picture showing one solitary grape vine my wife found somewhere and brought home. With nothing planned we stuck it in the ground next to the other berries and it is still surviving though getting eaten up by some bugs. Right now we are just letting nature taking its course but someday we would like to grow a few grapes on the farm so I will need to figure out what is eating them and put a stop to that.


Along with the berries we ordered from a catalog last fall, we ordered some strawberries. When we ordered, the catalog said they would ship them when they became available in the spring. Spring came and went and we didn't receive them until late June when others were already harvesting strawberries. Not only that, they looked horrible and despite immediately planting them the next day, perhaps only one plant in both strawberry beds survived enough to put on a few leaves. My wife has plans to get a refund of our money back on them. Since my wife's father raised strawberries before he died when my wife was 10 years old, these strawberry beds have meant a lot to my wife and so have been a bitter pill to swallow. Next year we hope to just buy them locally when they become available. 


Our various pepper plants are still around though very stunted after our cold wet spring. On a good year, our pepper plants generally don't start producing until the last couple months before frost hits. With these stunted things, I'm not sure we will get any peppers before then or not but I'm hoping for a few.


Out tomato and tomatillo plants have been going to town however and are looking good. Above is a picture after we picked them for ripe tomatoes and tomatillos. 

Not pictures is the trellised area where my wife and MIL are growing some sort of vining Filipino veggies. As expected, they didn't do well with the cold wet start and aren't much to look at yet. I was too tired anyway to take a picture by that point but will try to get one the next time.

19 comments:

  1. Next year when you plant your beans, try Asparagus Beans. Those beans get 18 inches long, which is mind boggling.

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    1. My brother planted some "yard long" beans this year but due to their weather, only got about 18 inches long. I usually try to plant for taste though before size.

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  2. "The first batch never even sprouted, preferring to rot in the cold, wet mud." It often feels like they are plotting this, no?

    I am jealous of your corn stand, even if you do not get much. I have had abysmal luck all my years here. This year may be the best to date, and still embarrassing.

    I think the issues caused by shipping and unavailability of plants impacted a lot of people's plans.

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    1. Don't be too jealous as raccoons have been able to climb our fencing and are having their way with it as I write this. I doubt we get anything from it. Next year, we will probably have to do something different.

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  3. I am only used to small properties, so this all looks so overwhelming and daunting to me.

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    1. Definitely an advantage of growing up on a farm. Lots of room for gardens.

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  4. What's all that about growing popcorn? Everybody knows that you buy popcorn in bags or buckets at the cinema. I prefer the sweet and salted version. Let's hope that you have a bit more success with your gardening next year.

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    1. My parents have always been big popcorn eaters and have always just raised their own. They cook it with a little bit of oil in a pressure cooker that has seen better days, (i.e. no longer used as a pressure cooker). It doesn't get bathed in butter afterwards so it much healthier to eat.

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  5. I'm having a lousy garden year too! The only tomatoes doing a good job for us are the cherry tomatoes. I bring in a pint or more every day, and they are delicious. My two first plantings of corn did great, with only about 4 ears nibbled on by raccoons. The main planting is very tall and nice, but with no rain, I doubt the ears will fill out. I'm not interested in using the soaker hose on corn. As you say, it's for sale everywhere. We've had green beans from the garden several times. I am, of necessity, watering the strawberry plants because I want them to live. So far I've only lost one plant. I set out 20, and that's far more than I needed. It's supposed to get up around 100° the next two days, so we'll see how well they handle that.

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    1. With the hot dry weather of the last few weeks, we've been watering the necessities once a week as well.

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  6. Well it looks like it's not a total bust and you'll still get some good stuff. A shame about the strawberries, though. You deserve a refund.

    We only had one coon up the pear trees this year (that we saw), but each evening we watch the deer, crows, squirrels, and bunnies gather under the trees. It's so hot and humid, the dogs don't even bother to interfere.

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    1. We just received store credit for the strawberries which should cover our seed supply for several years.

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  7. The process and the challenges can be part of the adventure, but it is disappointing when the crops don't work out. (or critters enjoy them instead of us) I miss growing tomatoes but most of the other stuff I can easily get from other places or people.

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    1. That may be part of our sweet corn strategy in coming years. I grew up on sweet corn and had it regularly but my wife just likes it fresh so we are contemplating just buying it local when fresh and skip the growing of it if it means creating an Alcatraz system to keep the coons out.

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  8. I just bought some cilantro, arugula and a "cinnamon" basil from Home Depot yesterday. Sometimes they do well in my planter boxes, sometimes they don't. Gardening is an ever challenging hobby but I love it!

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    1. We have a large planter box on our urban home deck and we grow a variety of spices that we use throughout the summer. You can't beat fresh pesto on your pasta!

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  9. Weather and weeds sometimes get the better of gardens. Looks like you will get a number of tomatoes!

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  10. I shall keep my fingers crossed for your strawberries.

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