Friday, July 9, 2021

It's time for a garden update

 It's been about a month since I talked about what's happening in the garden, so I thought I should bring y'all an update. 

The watermelons and Sakata's sweet melon have really taken off, and they're filling the garden bed.  There are also lots of flowers on the plants, but I don't think there are any actual melons yet, or even female flowers.  Of course, I didn't really look closely, so maybe they're there.  It's been so hot this summer, which is perfect for melons, so I'm hopeful that we'll actually get a harvest this year.

The grape tomato plant is huge.  I started the season pruning off the suckers, but then I decided to just let it go.  The cage fell over repeatedly, so I added a heavy pole to counteract the plant's weight.  So far, it's holding.  There are lots of fruits on the plant, and even more flowers.  Hopefully we'll be eating these right off the plant in a few weeks.  Fresh cherry tomatoes right off the vine are a sublime experience.

The sunflowers are huge compared to a month ago.  I think they were maybe an inch tall in my last garden post, and now they're a solid 4 feet.  I am so looking forward to seeing their sunny faces.

The zinnias are also a lot taller--around 2 feet, and I think all of them have buds.  They have some Asian beetle damage--every time I see them, I pick the beetles off and feed them to the chickens.  The marigolds are also doing well, but I haven't seen any buds yet.

The sugar snap peas have been a disappointment.  I mentioned last time that I had reseeded due to poor germination, and one of those came up.  One.  Ugh.  Plus, since these are a bush type instead of a vining type, they will produce fewer per plant.  The plants I do have are flowering, and this one even has some set fruit.  I was hoping for more, though.  I still have plenty of seed, so I think I will plant this variety again next year, but I will start them indoors so the squirrels or birds or whoever stole my seeds won't get a chance to do so again.

I've thinned the cabbage plants down to three per pot, which is still too many per pot.  But y'all!  It gets harder and harder to bring myself to thin plants as they get bigger.  This is definitely something good to know--next year all the plants need to be thinned by the time they half an inch tall.  An inch max.  I thought I would wait to thin them down to 1-2 per pot until they were bigger and leave the strongest ones, but I have not been able to pull out anymore since the last thinning.  Fortunately, there's plenty of room in the pea bed if I want to transplant the extras instead of just feeding them to the chickens.  I was noticing quite a few cabbage moth larvae a few weeks ago, but after about a week of diligent picking, I haven't seen any since.

Yes, that is a radish flower--your eyes are not deceiving you.  I decided to let this one plant bolt to try to see if I can catch the seed pods when they're delicious and tender, rather than tender and bland or delicious and tough.  This one was from the first planting, and it never bulbed, so we weren't going to eat it anyway.

And here's one of my beets.  I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be sticking out of the ground and I'm also pretty sure that it's supposed to be round rather than long and skinny, but this is the farthest I've ever gotten with beets (in all the two years that I've attempted beets), so I'm still hoping for the best for these.

That's all I got for ya.  There are some disappointments and some encouraging signs.  I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

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