Sunday, July 21, 2013

a garden update--where to start

So I worked outside a lot this weekend and took a bunch of pictures tonight before i came in the house and now the question is how to pull it together into a post that makes sense.   One of the reasons I write about the garden is to create a garden journal of sorts.  My photos are more to document than decorate.  Maybe someday I will take pictures that are just beautiful.

So where to start?  Maybe with the lawn.  We had some rain and then we had some hot weather and the lawn grew like crazy.  It was hard to keep up. I didn't keep up.  So, part of it had to be mowed twice, once with the deck up and then again with the deck down.  There was all those grass clippings to pick up.  So I have been using the lawn sweeper to collect the clippings and I am using them as mulch to keep down the weeds in the garden and it has been working so I decided that with the abundance of clippings that I could use them a few more places.

Here is the blueberry bed after I weeded it, added a soil amendment to help acidify the soil, threw on some old pine needles to also acidify the soil, watered it well and then covered the soil with a nice thick layer of grass clippings.
And here is a picture of my few berries just starting to turn blue.
And here is a shot of my black raspberries.  They turn red before they turn black and I have been checking them every day or two.  They have not started to turn black yet but there are many that are missing so i think the birds are not waiting for them to get ripe.  I am going to have to come up with a way to cover them with bird net next year.
red berries
no more berries
I have been pleased with how they are doing and I think that there will be more berries next year.  We still have lots of volunteer canes around the yard so I think i am going to start another row in the cornfield.

Here is my apple project that I worked on Saturday.  I noticed that when I mow I cannot get close enough with the mower so I dug up the sod to make the circle larger and mulched with grass clippings to help keep the weeds down.

Can you see the apples?  They are getting bigger!
 And here is the other apple tree.  It is next in line for a bigger mulched circle.  These apples are getting bigger as well.
And as long as we are talking about fruit, here is a shot of the developing grape crop.  We have four grapevines and here are pictures of the fruit of two of them.  One of these will turn dark purple when ripe.  They are a small grape with seeds, not easy to eat like a table grape but great for jelly.  This year I think it might be fun to try making a few bottles of wine.  I think a little research is needed.

Here is the Johnny corn.  The tallest stalks are as tall as me or taller. 
And they are getting tassels.
No ears started yet.  Here is the other variety we planted, the Perry corn.  It was planted several weeks later and is half as tall but the stand seems to be more consistent probably because the weather conditions were better--warmer and drier soil.
Here is Cody standing between the yellow squash plant and the Perry corn.  As usual she is trying to hide from the camera but it gives an idea of the height of the corn.

While I have been mowing I have not been weeding so you will see a few (I wish it was only a few) weeds in these pictures.  Here is our dill.
Here is a yellow squash plant...
And a peek at a yellow squash...

These are acorn squashes...flowering but no fruits yet.

And butternut squashes in the front and pumpkins in the back...
Zucchini on the right...
cantaloupes and yellow watermelon...
gourds on the left and a double row of bush beans on the right...

The vine crops are starting to move so it is time to begin evaluating the spacing of the plants for next year and to consider which would benefit from trellising of some sort to grow vertically.  At this point in time the zucchini and yellow squashes are just starting to set fruit, the butternuts, acorns and pumpkins are flowering and the melons are not flowering yet.  The melon plants are also smaller, lower to the ground with smaller leaves.

This is the row of cucumbers green ones on the left side of the fence and lemon cukes on the right side of the fence. 
This is looking like it could be a challenge.  The cucumbers are all over the place, I will need to look at plant spacing and better trellising.  The plants are planted in a double row and the plants are only 5-6 inches apart in the row.  The trellis is looking like it is not going to be up to the task.

Pole beans climbing the fence...

Next post--tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, potager


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