Pictureless Garden Update

8 08 2012

I made my first batch of compost tea.  It was AWESOME but I didn’t take pictures of that process so I will catch you up on that later.

First location? You can see the water jug half buried, hidden deep in that melon vine right?  I put the jug in there when I put the transplant in the garden (one of only 3 transplants that survived).  There are three pin  holes burnt into the side of it vertically.  You can pour water (or, in this instance, compost tea) into the jug and it goes almost directly right to the roots.  Apparently, I CANNOT recommend this method enough when growing a melon.  It’s the largest and healthiest plant in the garden, though I admittedly, used a bit more of the organic fertilizer  than in other corners.  But man, the plant….. the plant! It is lush green with not a single discolouration on it!  And by gum, it’s already huge.  I can only imagine what the compost tea will do.

I have two other fairly sickly lookin’ squash plants that got a little drink of the good stuff.  The leaves were a bit yell and had grey/brown spots and I am concerned they may be gettin’ a mildew.  I did put some mulch around one of the plants so we’ll see if that helps at all.  I mistakenly poured some onto the bean patch.  As if those crazy plants need any help.  I have a perverse number of plants

All around the garden, things are looking so much better this year.  A corkscrew shaped tomato support and two stout branches are sufficiently keeping a beautiful tomato plant vertical and straw underneath as a mulch seems to be doing something to protect the leaves though I expect a pruning of bottom branches should occur post haste.  We have another tomato plant on our deck (a “determinate” variety.  i.e. “bush” tomato) in a pot with about 3 inches of much.  Doing that may have made a HUGE different in keeping the soil more moist for longer.

A long planter with pea plants was meant to cascade over the rail of the deck but it didn’t get long enough and does not seem to be growing much further (having already got peas) Thyme and basil round out the potted plants on the corner of the deck.

The four broccoli are actually looking really solid.  I’m happy about that considering how frequently brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc…) have trouble with garden pests.

The onions have fallen over.  Victims of retreating dirt levels…and the hasty and injurious dirt additions on my part.  Most seem to be getting bigger so they’re staying in the ground for now.  The empty space above the onions will be filled with “Florence Fennel” (the big, anise flavoured bulbs).  They seem to be a really pretty looking plant when they’re huge and healthy; tall and wispy; a bit like dill.  The space beside the onions was meant to house some diakon radishes but alas, no seeds can be found in time.  So, off to find something for that spot.  Maybe just a cabbage.

The pea tee-pee (growing primarily for the name), was a bit of a disappointment this year.  The little one had no interest in going in there to sit…even when a nice soft mulch of dry new straw was underneath.  Eventually, I think the thistles turned her off.  HUGE gaps in the planting and unimpressive taste in the peas.  I think we’re going to plant some snow peas for the rest of the season.

Our herb garden is a thing of Be-You-Tea this year.  from clockwise starting beside the TERRIBLY tall sunflowers, sage, thyme, oregano, purple basil.  The short purple bush with long stocks of tiny blooms is a “salvia” and the taller purple flowered plant is a delphium.  To round this bed out, there is a second sage plant as well as a squash in the far corner of the bed that will be winding in between plants for the rest of the summer.

Corn.  Well, that was a HUGE disappointment.  But at least now I can see how useful this back bed is for vegetables (not very).  The gigantor pine in the back casts a bit shadow on a chunk of the afternoon and that clearly affects growth as there is a noticeable difference in size of my corn plants.  I did put a lovage plant in that back corner since they appear to be okay with shade.  Those reportedly get to be about six feet in size after five years growing in the same place (and dying back every winter).  I’ve not been holding out hope for this little guy as I’ve already moved him from his original spot and he wasn’t yet wee but 2 months there.  Just recently he seems to have perked up and thickened up a bit in the new spot by the bbq.  Otherwise, most of this bed is basically a toss away.  Though I must say that the potato patch is going pretty nice (though it’s now a bit too small for my liking…).

Lovely.  These plants are really starting to take off.  I could have been pruning most of these berries off up until now but it got to a point where I was okay with just lettin’ ‘er be.  And low and behold, we’re getting a couple strawberries every day already.  They are wonderful and make me resent store bought berries now.  My haskup berry bushes have taken a bit of a beating from some kinda bug that is munching at the leaves.  For a while, we had “spittle bugs” (looks like someone hawked a loogi under your leaf and a little white bug is hidden in there).  But I’m simply not convinced they were causing the problem.  The leaves look, for the most part, I nice dark green.  I didn’t expect berries this year but I CERTAINLY do next year.  Any guesses anyone?

Within the next week, I’m going to make an insecticidal spray that will deter virtually ANY bugs on ANY leaves ANY where in the garden.  Stay posted!

The lawn continues to irritate me.  I don’t even want to talk about it now….

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