Friday, August 15, 2008

State of the Garden...15 August 2008

Not many pictures to post yet, but I'll get out amongst the swarms of mosquitoes to get more today or tomorrow. And that brings me to my first update! The mosquitoes are a nightmare right now. The combination of good soil, occasional really hard rains that leave just enough puddlling and my naturalized part of the yard mean it is an ideal breeding ground. And to top it off, I'm a magnet for the little blood suckers! At this point, unless it is the hottest part of the day when they are not active, I wear long sleeves and jeans even in 100+ degree weather while working out there. But it is so worth it!

Just look at one afternoon's worth of pick up. That doesn't include the beans and grape tomatoes either. Just the big ones. For lots of gardeners, this doesn't represent much, but to me this is heaven. All organically grown using a new gardening technique and with having made a few pretty dire mistakes in where I placed a few of the raised beds so I'm happy.

Below is a snap of my butternut squash. While fruit are setting and looking pretty fantastic, there are spots on the leaves that have me confused. What is that? Is that just the effects of having my stucco re-done around the bottom of my house, which created clouds of dust that had to be hosed off every day? Is that a disease? Is it the effect of having placed my squash bed in a place that wound up getting a little less light than they really need?

Right now my tomatoes are going strong on their second flush of fruit, most of them gaining good sizes quickly and leaving me breathlessly waiting for the ripening. I'm particularly excited because the ones fruiting now are my heirlooms, which I had begun to despair of ever setting fruit. My eggplants are loaded and gaining size daily. And the second flush of peppers are set and growing, but too slowly for me. I inspect them like the avid fan I am every single day. See my previous entry if you want to know the two types that have me over the moon this year.

Planting for fall crops is on the schedule for this weekend. Carrots, parsnips and the like are going in as seeds while I'm going to re-start the seeds for the things like cauliflower, cabbage and brussell sprouts. Something I can't identify has nipped off the tender young growth of my previous starts so I'm on the lookout for the brave thief who'll do that right on my own deck! Pole beans are coming as are the bush beans. I think from now on I might stick with pole beans. Not only because of the taste, but because I simply don't see the ripe beans in the bush beans until they get oversized. It is much easier with pole beans.

Squash is still so-so and it is directly related to their position, I'm sure. I'll be moving the squash bed this winter too so they can get more sun during the best of summer. My bad. Which is ironic, I think. Most people have luck with those crops if nothing else and have so much they feed it to chickens. But me, I need hundreds of pounds of the combined crops for making dog food over the winter and can get only enough for fresh eating.

And here I am. Just a snap for my mother...

And for all those breathless Boscoe fans, here is the big man! His leg looks fantastic doesn't it? The hair is growing back and while I do miss his little naked old man butt, I'm sure he is happier with his right cheek well covered. I don't think the scar will be evident at all once it is fully regrown. He is doing exceptionally well and he is chafing at the bit at the enforced rest now. Once he gets moving and warmed up, he has only the slightest of limps, something most wouldn't even recognize as a limp. That is far better than when he came home from my sister's in early June so the surgery looks like a success at this point. He has gone on a short walk to the water this past week because he was so stir crazy and enjoyed himself immensely, marking every tree on the route with glee. But, we do have to be careful. The surgeon made sure I understood that most surgery failures happen from 3 to 8 weeks post surgery because owner's give in to the dog's desire for more activity. So I'm holding steady and giving only minimal surrender to his pleas. Isn't he adorable with his head cocked to the side?

1 comment:

Ja-Co said...

I love the photo of Boscoe. Our butternut squash had similar marks on it from a hail storm. The fruit wasn't affected, but the leaves all had those marks on them. Is it possible your patch may have been hit by hail? I'm also a novice so I really have no idea, just thought I'd share my personal experience.