June 5, 2018 at 9:37 pm #12593
My husband planted our garden a couple of weeks ago. He made it narrow and long (but not too long) and put a 5-foot wire fence around it, then chicken wire around the bottom. He puts old screens from the windows on top. He left one end open, but he closes it off at night. The narrow and long and higher fence is to deter deer, which do not like to jump into a space they will have trouble exiting. The chicken wire around the bottom is to deter the rabbits, and perhaps the squirrels and chipmunks.
Unfortunately, we had hotter weather than usual in May, so the spinach and lettuce may not make it. The carrots may recover. The green beans are coming up nicely. The bell pepper plant and the two tomato plants went in a couple of days ago. At least the weather has cooled down to what is more in line with June temperatures.June 5, 2018 at 10:06 pm #12595
I held off doing much, but I did buy a few tomato plants at the Farmer’s market on Sunday, some Amish Paste, some Celebrity and some Better Boy. I’m hoping to have them in the ground tomorrow.June 6, 2018 at 3:28 pm #12603
I’ve just returned last night from a week in Maine, and am so far behind with gardening chores. No seeds in yet, but I hope to get those in tomorrow afternoon. I did get all my purchased seedlings in – 6 each of Celebrity tomatoes, New Ace bell peppers, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. I put up a deer fence that is 18 x 18, made of metal fence posts with fishing line wrapped around them at about 2, 3, and 5 foot levels. The deer can’t see it, and get scared and confused when they run into it. You just have to put it up early, so they never get a taste of the salad buffet and so hungry for more of it that they will jump the fishing line. I put their favorite foods, lettuces, spinach, kale, beans, beets, carrots, etc inside the fence. I plant the tomatoes and peppers, which they don’t like the smell of, close to the outside edge of the fence as another layer of fencing. Then the squashes, cukes and zukes which have prickly vines and leaves around that. Onions usually go close to the fishing line fence, but I’m not growing any this year. So far, the deer have not gone into the enclosed part of the garden. We have been eating asparagus for a month, the blackberries are in full blossom, the blueberries just beginning now.June 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm #12608
We only have room for a small garden. I envy your large one, Chocomouse! Does the fishing line also work for the young deer?
My husband has some land in the Indiana classified forest program, and the deer are often destructive of his trees–and also of some rare plant life (like eating endangered orchids). In our yard, they also have chewed on non-garden plants that we are trying to keep. It seems to help with those if we scatter coffee grounds around those plants. The deer do not seem to like the smell.June 6, 2018 at 11:01 pm #12611
I did get my 10 tomato plants in tonight. 2 Amish Paste, 4 Celebrity, 4 Better Boy.
That should provide more than enough eating tomatoes, possibly even enough to process, though my wife will probably be able to get some big tubs of tomatoes from the test gardens at UNL in late summer like she did last year.
I’m going to try a different way of processing them. Last year I put them through the food mill cold, and they separated when I cooked them. Next year I’m going to try putting them in boiling water for a couple of minutes before putting them through the food mill, that’s supposed to keep them from separating so much. (There’s some enzyme involved here, heating disables it.)June 7, 2018 at 7:14 am #12614
When I used fresh tomatoes to make a tomato sauce, I put them in boiling water (maybe a minute or two), then into ice water so that the skins would come off easily. Now that you mention it, I think that they did hold together.June 7, 2018 at 7:09 pm #12617
Baker Aunt, my garden is not so big, not any more, as I have been down sizing it. Thirty-two years ago when we moved here, I made it 50 x 100 feet. This summer, we are down to about 35 x 50. And I’m thinking about plans for doing it all in planters on the deck – in a few years. No deer, big or small (in Vermont, they are all “small”, white-tail deer, 110-125 pounds is probably pretty average) have gotten through the fence. I start about 2 feet up off the ground, and the last row is about 5 feet up. They will jump a 12 foot fence easily, if they feel they have enough landing space. We also have 50 feet each of asparagus, blueberries, and blackberries, plus 150 feet of raspberries, and 3 apple trees. I don’t envy you trying to cut back to one freezer/refrigerator!! I couldn’t do that!
I also process my tomatoes by putting them in boiling water briefly, and then into cold water, and then slipping the skins off. I don’t use a food mill, etc, I just squish them with my hands, add celery, onions, peppers and simmer til they have boiled down to sauce consistency.June 10, 2018 at 1:31 pm #12633
I used to do a substantial garden. But over the years I have shrunk it. And in more recent years the area that I used to garden in floods too easily, which wipes out everything. So for about the last 5 years or so, I have been using “self watering” tomato planters. It’s a plastic tub that has a plastic divider that separates the soil from the water reservoir, which is designed to soak up the water from the reservoir into the soil. The tub can hold 1 to 2 tomato plants, although it does get crowded with two. I have 2 tubs and do 4 tomatoes and a couple of parsley. The system works pretty good as long as I give frequent fertilizer and some calcium supplement.
This year I planter one each of Burpee Fourth of July, Mountain Magic, Burpee Big Boy Hybrid and a Health Kick. I planted them 2 weeks ago and they are progressing very nicely.June 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm #12637
Having been gone for ten days, most gardening is “in progress.” I did plant three tomato plants in pots on the deck and they all have tomatoes. My tiny “kitchen garden” will be planted this week after it warms up from 34 degrees at night! The rhubarb is growing outrageously, and a crisp waits to be baked!June 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm #12643
The Methodist Church here in town, always has little messages posted on their out door glass showcase, and I always look forward to reading them as I pass by. This weeks message…’God created rain, so gardener’s have to clean their house’s”.June 12, 2018 at 7:01 am #12647
We’ve had almost no rain for the past 3-4 weeks. Just sayin’June 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm #12651
I have been having rain and more rain! Its so much rain that I haven’t trimmed the bushes. My “garden” is a small plot near the house with Chinese Chives and Rosemary and weeds.
A couple of months ago I pulled up the old weeds, and dried leaves and flower stalks, and covered parts of the garden — the parts that were generally unplantable, like the part that used to grow mint until the mint died out, with newspaper and mulch. The newspaper was to keep the weeds down and the mulch was to keep the newspaper from blowing away. I planted the remaining parts with Chinese Chives and told myself that the weeds were mainly beaten and I could pull out any weeds that showed up.
Hah. I found that my grassy weeds were something called Quackgrass that grows from roots and spreads from runners and were perennials so while I had pulled up all the old dried grass, more grass came up from the roots, even the roots that had been torn up and reburied. They also went sideways under the newspaper and came up through the mulch. Three weeks after I declared victory I realized the grass and the wild chrysantheums were winning. Last week I put down another layer of newspaper and mulch over the existing part and put more newspaper and mulch down between the rows of chives.
I am waiting to see how long before the weeds conquer this layer of mulch.June 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm #12652
We’ve been fortunate to have a milder June with most upper temperatures in the low 70s. That is welcomed after the 90F days in May. Rain comes in periodically, and the spinach we thought was lost (some kind of bug likes it in hot weather) has started to come back nicely. My bell pepper plant has two little peppers on it.
I would be remiss not to mention my lime tree which wintered over in the bedroom of the garage apartment, with the temperature set at 47 and a sunny window. It is now outside, and there are lots of limes forming on it. I don’t know how many will be viable.June 12, 2018 at 3:41 pm #12653
Skeptic, for years we’ve mulched our vegetable garden with a layer of 3-4 sheets of newspaper topped with 3-4 inches of grass clippings. We replenish the grass clippings as needed throughout the summer. That does a great job of keeping the weeds down between the rows and any areas that are not planted.
My mantra is we need about an inch of rain every week to get a good crop of fruits and veggies. Today is our first uncomfortably warm day this season, at 83*. It has been a lovely blue skies, slight breeze, and low 70s most of this month.
June 23, 2018 at 6:51 am #12757
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by chocomouse.
Our black raspberries on the terrace are ripening, but not enough at one time to have enough for jam, unless my husband can locate some in his woodlands. Maybe I should combine them with any more strawberries I can find at the farmers market.
Our Blue Lake Bush Beans are looking suspiciously like Pole beans. As our garden area is very small, that is not so great for the row planted next to them. The bean plants are flowering.
June 23, 2018 at 7:53 am #12759
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by BakerAunt.
Baker Aunt, that happened with my green beans a few years ago too! They were pole beans in a seed package labeled Blue Lake bush beans — long, stringy vines that just overran several other rows. A mess to walk through, and we didn’t get a good crop of beans. My garden looks awful, way behind compared to previous years. That’s partly because I planted late and partly because we’ve had no rain, although I have watered a little. I do have blossoms on a couple of tomatoes and some peppers. Of course, you know that weeds don’t need water to grow, right?
I have taken good care of my flowerbeds this year and they look wonderful. We are predicted to get some rain today and tomorrow, slow, steady rain not just passing storms; I hope the forecasters are right.June 24, 2018 at 11:35 am #12765
It’s been such a strange spring, I’m not sure we’re going to have any black raspberries at all this year. One patch looks like they didn’t set fruit, the other patch was still green the last time I looked at it.July 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm #12847
We harvested and ate some of the first green beans from our garden this evening. My husband tells me to expect plenty more, as he tries to keep those “not bush beans” from overrunning our small garden. Our tomato plants have developed blossoms. The bell pepper plant still has just the one large green pepper. I’m waiting for it to turn red, but I wonder if that will keep the plant from developing any other peppers.July 8, 2018 at 12:52 pm #12887
Yesterday we saw the start of two tiny tomatoes. Here’s hoping more will follow.July 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm #12888
The tomato vines are growing nicely here, but I haven’t seen much in the way of blooms. I suspect until we get a break in the weather, we won’t see much fruit set. Usually we get such a break in mid-summer and that means late summer for tomatoes. But several booths at the farmer’s market had some good looking tomatoes today.July 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm #12895
What a crazy gardening season! I have had blossoms on the bell peppers for a month, but they are not setting fruit, because of the heat. I must have, on my 6 Celebrities, about 40 tomatoes, each over 2″ in diameter, some 4″, but green of course. And plenty more coming. I have several heads of broccoli almost big enough to eat. Yet, we ate our first lettuces tonight. None of the spinach, kale, scallions germinated, and almost none of the beets.July 15, 2018 at 11:28 am #12957
My tomato plants are getting pretty big. Lots of little fruits on them.July 15, 2018 at 3:20 pm #12961
Those tomato plants are looking good, Len!
We now have 15-20 small green tomatoes among our four plants.
The bush/pole beans have been producing like crazy. My husband thinks we have perhaps another week or so of harvesting beans from these plants. His intention is then to work the spent plants into the soil and plant some of the seed from last year that did produce the lower bush beans.
I may have to go ahead and harvest that large green pepper. I prefer them red, but we don’t think the plant will try to produce any additional fruit with it hogging all the nutrients.
The blackberries on the terrace are ripening at only a few a day. The ones in the woods are still red. I don’t know if I will have enough to get the 3-1/2 cups of seeded puree I need for jam. (My husband is not keen on the seeds.)
We’ve had no measurable rain for nearly five weeks. There’s plenty of humidity, but the rain keeps missing our area.July 15, 2018 at 6:56 pm #12963
Nice tomato plants! Do you have other plants in there too? or just one tomato plant in each?
Yesterday I discovered something had eaten 4 of my 6 broccoli plants and all 6 of my cauliflowers. I broke off one of the remaining broccoli heads, but could not get the last one because I didn’t have a knife with me. This morning, I found that last one mostly eaten. Woodchuck. So now I have a critter camera hooked up to both my computer and my iPhone. It rings an alarm when it detects motion, and sends me a one minute video. We keep a rifle on the back porch.
And, we’ve had only one rain storm since June 23, although we do water veggies.
On a brighter note – the blueberries are ripening. They’re blue, but still very tart and little flavor. I hope to be picking in another week or so. And severe thunderstorms with heavy rain is forecast for all day and into the night on Tuesday. Farmers are really hurting. All the storms have been going just south or north of us, and the farmers do not use irrigation around here like we see in the mid- west.July 15, 2018 at 8:58 pm #12965
Thank you BakerAunt.
Chocomouse, I have 2 tomatoes in each planter although it probably would be better with just one. In the planter on the right, I also have one mint in the front. And I have one parsley in each container but they are not shown.
A problem I have had with this arrangement is blossom end rot which I believe is a calcium deficiency. So I use a liquid calcium magnesium supplement and also give it a steady diet of Miracle Grow.
I picked my first ripe tomato today, just a small one.
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