Monday, June 27, 2011

Harvest Monday 6.27.11

Today is Monday. Time to get up, and join the fun over at Daphne's Dandelions to link in and see what everyone is harvesting and what they are doing with their harvests!

This weeks harvest is not so interesting. Mostly I spent the week pulling dead plants. But here is a nice (non bulbed) red onion I pulled. Don't let the fact that it is not bulbed deceive you. This hunk of purple madness weighed 1lb 4oz like this. Can you imagine what it weighed with it's greens? The greens actually stood up taller than my 4 year old! WOW!
I also harvested a cucumber, 6.2oz tomatillo 1lb 6oz tomatoes and 2lbs 2oz of grapefruit. Yum.
*(Yes only one cucumber, the rest had pickleworms that didn't want to share)*

This week I was feeling especially 'Martha Stewarty' and I took my frustrations from the garden out on the kitchen. There was a rather large batch of Salsa Verde made. And Gumbo, and Zucchini bread, and I didn't stop there. 

I even made S'mores and that my friends you may think had nothing to do with the garden, except to drown my sorrows. It did work temporarily at least. I couldn't help but smile ear to ear as I watched my (little) kids go all OCD on me and quit eating theirs because it made such a mess. :-D Wait until they figure out how to eat them without it getting all drippy. Little do they know that because they walked away from theirs I got to indulge more, and they were perfectly cooled off and no longer drippy by then. *snicker* This is something I'm not quite ready to let them in on yet. I'll let them continue to think that it has to be messy for another year or so. Then I'll let them in on it. Not to mention the fact that you can eat the ingredients separately. Shhhhh.... Don't tell on me!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The carnage

One week 'Post Accident' and the carnage is thus....

Anything that was already weakened, is now dead as a doornail. Even if the plant right next to it is still doing pretty well. This squash had aphids, but it's neighbor did not.
It also had a case of powdery mildew. It now has a case of the get me outta heres. The rest of the pot? The 2 newly planted cucumbers are toasty. They were seedlings. Diva cucumbers. One still in it's cotyledon leaves, the other was in it's third set of true leaves and nearing a first set of buds. Pooh. A 40 day set back. But, certainly one that can be overcome. I still have a vine of Sweet success hanging in there from March - and 3 other vines that seem to have made it past the 'uh-oh' phase of this madness. But, I have 3 more that are turning white and I'm very unsure of what to expect. It's still touch and go with them. Those 3 are also in the 3rd set of leaves, but are located outside and it will take all 3 of them to bring in one cuke a week without a pickleworm in it! HAHA!

The poor bell peppers, corn and sunflowers are well.... not so hot.
This sunflower fell over, and the leaves are brown and gross. A lot of clean up to be down the next week or so. *sigh*

This is how my entire strawberry bed looks. I'll be pulling anything green out of it, and putting it into a pot on the screen porch for some extra attention for the rest of the summer. Hopefully I'll have enough to pull through for next years winter crop. If not I guess I'll be buying for the first time.... that I can remember in years and years.

The blackberry and blueberries were both hit pretty hard.
The blueberries had just flushed so this was a pretty major set back. I'm going to wait a couple weeks and then fertilize the heck out of them. There is still green leaves, just not much.

Probably the most devastating of all is the yard itself. Just look at that mess! The peach trees are definitely hurting, but I think they will be OK. I THINK they will make it. They are not happy by any means. I just hope they hang in there and still bear next year.

My personal favorite is this one. I took great painstaking care with this baby. I dug it up in Alabama and brought it all the way home with me. I paid close attention to it. Watered it thoroughly. Even brought home some clay to keep it happy (to help it adjust better) I'm holding my breath. There are about 10 green leaves left. It's only 4.5' tall and this year I NEED it to bloom. Not for ITS fruit, but to cross pollinate another tree in the yard. For nectarines.....The tree just refuses to flower at the same time as the peaches do, and this little plum tree flowers a couple weeks later, right on que. IF (of course) it is alive.

So far the destruction is mostly minimal. With the exception of the lawn. *cringe* And it's too hot to do anything about that until Fall or Spring. It just looks weird for now. The trellis is empty on one side and that is odd in and of itself and I don't usually pull out so much at once. If it was spring I could just put seed in a VIOLA! Have new plants but it's in the high 90's each day so it's not likely I'll replant much. Guess I just start working on the stuff for the Fall garden and make any changes I'm wanted to do now while I can.

Wish me luck!

'Till next time!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Harvest Monday 6.20.11

Joining Daphne and the gang at Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday. Thanks Daphne for being a wonderful host and allowing us to gather at your place to share our stories and pictures of our harvests from all over the world!

This week the rush is on to harvest all things possible. See we had a bit of a problem this week. My husband is lucky to be alive. Since he is still alive he is lucky he is not maimed or seriously injured in some way. *AHEM*  More in a minute - but here are my harvest pictures and totals this week -

Hot peppers 1.7oz     Tomatoes 7lb 9oz

Cucumbers 3lb 7.5oz       Zucchini 2oz         Lakota (Winter) Squash 15lb 14oz     Tomatillo 3lb 11oz


Oh- My Husband you ask? HE USED MY GARDEN SPRAYER FOR WEED KILLER> That's right. The garden sprayer that I used to spray EVERY. SINGLE. PLANT. with copper. Every plant in the garden. Every tree. Every bush. Every houseplant.... even. the. lawn.

Remember the dead and dying bell peppers? The dying tomatoes? The strawberries that suddenly went from production to withering? The Lakota squash plants that were big and beautiful and now are moldy and rotting? the Cucumbers that were doing so well? Yeah well the cucumbers on the back side of the trellis are still alive. The ones that wouldn't be hit by the spray.
My avocado trees? Look like they have fire blight -but I know better. It's the toxins working their magic. I am absolutely sick to my stomach constantly. I'm watering like heck just trying to get SOME of the things to pull through. Even if I can only get the mature trees to pull out of it.... YEARS of work could very well be going down the drain. Years waiting for apples, pomegranate and grapes, and kiwi to produce. Things I may never see come to fruition. I quite literally sat straight up in a cold sweat from a nightmare this morning only to realize that my nightmare was my own reality. :-(

This could quite possibly mean not only years of work but thousands of dollars as well. Not to mention the heartbreak.(and stomachache - and back ache of the work) So I contemplated just shutting the blog down while I worked out what was going to happen. What would live, what would die. But, this is still all just part of gardening right? Mistakes happen. This is probably the biggest mistake that could happen and MAYBE it won't be that bad. I DID rinse out the sprayer. I always do. It's a cardinal rule of mine. I am careful that way in case by some strange turn of events something contaminates my sprayer. But we all know how strong those chemicals are.

So while I contemplate how on God's green Earth I even COULD replace all the living things in my home and yard I'm going to go vomit and I hope that you are having a better week than I am.

'Till next time.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

A summers surprise!

Guess what is my side dish for dinner tonight?
Oh yeah baby! Whodathunk?! Broccoli from my Florida garden in the middle of June. It was a long experiment and it took 5 plants but this is one delicious treat. Probably not worth repeating due to the small amount of gardening space available, but it was a great lesson and th plants are still healthy!


Its a bit warm.
Mid June....
Rice peas and basil.....
Tomatillos the Lima bed the ever climbing (7' now) pole beans that offered up 2 wonderful beans, then quit all together. Now I must decide if I want to baby them for 2-3 months or replant. Oh, wait! I can't replant unless I buy seed. *grumble*
And some beautiful cukes still chugging along with 3-4 a week. Perfect for our family right now.

 The tomatoes are still hanging in there - well some of them are. It's a losing battle but there are still SOME on the vine....
Now for the ugly side of things. The finale of the Armenian cukes. I wish I could find the seed. I really wanted more of these plants out by now. I have NO IDEA what happened to the seed. Really. And the vine these final 2 are on? Well it needs to go. I'm not sure there is even enough energy for it to finish growing the smaller of the 2. It's quite sad really. I'll plant out the seed, from this cuke, but it is misshapen so I don't hold much hope for it. Ho-hum.  I have other varieties to try I just REALLY like this one.
As for the tomatoes, THIS is what I found for a large portion of them. Talk about not happy. WHAT the heck is eating them? That isn't typical caterpillar damage. Yes, that is a baby stink bug. No, I am definitely not giving up. I threw away at least 25 of these yesterday while going through the vines. If I hadn't found at least that many more healthy tomatoes to save all of them would have been ripped out I was so mad. I also threw out about 50 teeny tiny baby maters on accident. It was a train wreck. I just couldn't stop myself. The tomato patch had to be cleaned up in order to save the fully formed fruit already on the vine. (see picture above) Disease AND bugs are torturing these plants and I am trying to help them as best I can. I feel like a bad 'mater momma. 

 Speaking of bad mommas, check out what I did to my bell pepper plant. *cringe* Not ONE plant, but I did it to three! Now I only have 2 left. OK I have 3 but one of the others isn't looking so hot either. Good golly I should know better.

June in a nutshell. Now it's time to go back and look at last year. I feel behind.

'Till next time!


Beagle Bugle....

This little beagle needs a home.

One that doesn't have a man with a mean voice. One that might have children, but definately has a woman that needs a dog of her own. One that won't ever cut her ears and one that will take the time to teach her to go on a leash.

She is the perfect dog, with 2 exceptions.
1.)She can NOT be crate trained. She was abused when she was little (obviously look at her ears) and she will eat her way out of any cage. Including a bathroom door. However, she is just fine hanging out in the living room while you are gone. She is not destructive when she is not confined.
2.)She also doesn't know how to walk on a leash- and therefore how to go potty on a leash. When you are home during the day to let her go potty outside she does. She either needs to be an outdoor dog (she does not dig nor jump even the 4' fence!) or simply taken the time with to be trained.

My parents took this dog form the Beagle rescue society but they failed to mention that she is deathly afraid of gruff voices. My Dad's voice is very low and even when he is tlaking nicely she is shy from him. :-( It is so sad.

She does tricks. She knows how to sit, and shake and stay... well she has springs in her butt but she does stay. She is still somewhat playful, but not overtly destructive and most of all she is the sweetest dog.  I am so sad that I have to find her a home. But, we are gone 12 hours a day and there is no way to housetrain a dog under those conditions. No way that is humane anyway. Not only that, but circumstances what they are we really can't afford a thousand dollars a year for vet care, flea meds, heartworm meds, shots, food, toys and lets face it accessories. :-) I would love to adopt her. I would do it in a heartbeat if I were home more. But 12 hours away from home isn't fair to her. If this were 4 years from now or we were able to move closer to work where I could skip home on my lunch break to take her out... that would be a different story.

So if you know someone with a fenced in outdoor area that needs a dog, or someone with a big heart and a place for a dog. Someone that has time to spend actually taking a dog for a walk, who doesn't mind a cold wet nose looking for love. This little doggy sure would love a home, and I sure would love to know she's got a good one. My kids are so attached to her it's not even funny. This just breaks my heart, and she's only been around for a few months. *sigh*
Her name is Audrey. Audie for short. Did I mention she craves attention, but is just as happy sleeping at your feet? I sure will miss this girl.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Harvest Monday 6.13.11

Once again I am joining in with Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday. Stop on by her spot and see what everyone is harvesting!!!
It's the middle of June and the star of the show? Why the tomatoes, of course!

But, not for long I am afraid! It looks like this weekend I will be trimming back the tomato plants to try to salvage the baby maters that are left on the plants. The stink bugs have gotten so bad, and the heat and humidity are taking their toll. It's not likely that any more of the blooms will set fruit. :-( So with a heavy heart the plants will be pruned to only what is left with fruit set. Then new plants will be started. I think I'm going to look into more determinate varieties for the fall and for next year. I've got 18 plants and still not getting as many tomatoes as I should be getting. That is just not right, and I am not happy about it. I should have enough of them to make several batches of sauce already, not just one. *pout*

Other harvest this week include my first ever pole beans! (Thanks Daphne!) It's a whopper of a harvest, too. 2 beans. Yup. Count 'em again. 2 beans. :-D Ah, well. It IS over 90 each day now so I don't know if they will set in this heat or not. But, I tried anyway. I got 2 beans so not a complete and utter failure, right? Besides, I absolutely *love* watching them climbing the poles and the corn stalks in the garden. I hope that next year the pole beans will go in earlier and have a permanent place in both my spring and fall rotations.
1lb 5.8oz cucumbers 6.4oz zucchini and 8 cayenne peppers for .7oz round out this weeks tally. With the heat the garden is pulling back. It's time for things to start changing up again but meanwhile a lot of the harvest will fall off. I'm just hoping to limp by for a couple weeks here until the next wave of harvest pick up. I know that the limas will bloom soon, and the tomatillos skin will split and be ready for harvest. Meanwhile it's hot and humid so I'm staying busy inside!

'Till next time!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Some ideas for fall projects.

While browsing the web today I fell upon the following things that I am looking forward to implementing in my spring garden. Yes, that is right. I am already looking ahead to my next spring garden. I could actually use some of these ideas in my fall garden - except I know better than to think that I would be out in this heat and humidity doing these projects. I mean, really? I love working outside but not for these big projects until it cools off some.
So, by posting these here not only will it serve as a reminder for me, and possibly be a little inspiration for you it also gives me a bit of accountability. Not to mention it gives me a place to look back at the ideas so they don't just get lost in this head of mine.
First up - Ideas for squash vines. If I had two of these dojiggys I could have two types of vines, they would be less likely to get the dreaded PM and the air circulation would be better.
And that little dojiggy? Well it turns into this with just 3 butternut squash planted on it:
Isn't it beautiful? A squash teepee! Due to stupid HOA rules the tee pee would have to be no more than 5' tall so that it would not show when the squash hadn't grown up it. But, that would be the least of my worries. I could see the tee pee getting overgrown by the end of a real growing season but here this far South in Florida our squash plants are usually squash just short of any true production anyhow so this should work just fine.  

Next up the fence trellis...
And other things to do with cattle panels as well....
Wouldn't these be perfect for 'bush' cukes?

And thus begins the project planning for next year when I have not completed the projects for this year yet. I mean HELLO!? I still have blueberry bushes in pots that are not very happy with me. It's far too hot for them to be baking like that. They need some respite. I was actually thinking a long, low (well 5.5' low) arch over the blueberries and growing melons and beans over them as I understand they do quite well in shade and they would get sun in the winter months before blooming in spring. It may work. Once they had bloomed and the fruit was set the beans and melons would be replanted and by the time the berries came off the bushes would be shaded for the hottest part of the summer again. Anyone with experience trying something like this?  I've got 13 blueberry bushes so I'll have 3  8' sections planted out with them. That is a lot of garden space to lose entirely after all I have only got 120' of space now. With the new beds (if they ever get built) I'll have 250 but I would be giving up 100 of it for the bb bushes.

Hopefully someone can shed some light (pun intended) on the shaded blueberries for me.

'Till next time!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Darn Blogosphere! & Bloom pics!

I just had to put it out there for the record.

Last night I went home and made:

Rice Krispy Treats (thanks Granny)
Zucchini Brownies (thanks Ribbit!)
Tomato Sauce because i had a shelf full of tomatoes again...
Pork chops and Hawaiian rolls...(tasty travels went home recently)

You guys have me wanting a little of everything! I couldn't stand it, so I whipped up a lot of dishes and ate my heart out!

Wanna know what's blooming in my little world?
Lillies, and Iris and cannas - sunflowers galore....



Hibiscus and marigolds joined the crew, too/.
 And a poor confused apple tree.... Ah well at least it bloomed this year! Maybe next year I'll finally get some fruit!

 Coriander is so wispy and beautiful

The painted sunflowers are seed shared from Mary.  Amazing, aren't they? Several varieties and coloration's came each has their own characteristics.  I think that last multi-headed one is my favorite. Think of the bouquet I could have with that one stalk!

'Till next time!