- Garden Design
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There has been alot going on, even though it has rained a majority of the last two weeks. If it didn't rain in the morning it would later in the day. The temps have been great though, not over 85 and even had one afternoon that was down to 72 because of the storm passing through. Of course I couldn't take advantage of these nice temps too much because of the rain and soggy ground. The grass had gotten so tall it was kind of rediculous. Everytime I though I was going to be able to take out the mower.....I would go and check the radar on the comp. and there was a big green and yellow spot comin' right at me. So I just waited. Tall grass for awhile doesn't hurt anything. Just isn't that comfy to walk in, especially when wet. I haven't had to water the garden....obviously, very nice.
Some of the tomatoes have been doing great. The cherrys and the Brandywine especially. We have been harvesting beautiful tomatoes everyday off of the cherry and every couple of days off of the Brandywine. The Burpee Beefsteak has succumbed to some kind of wilt....it was supposed to be resistant! Oh well, just won't grow that kind again. I also plan to cover that area of soil with plastic so it can cook over the rest of the hot summer. Hopefully that will help keep it from spreading if it had the notion. The Rutgers would be doing great if it wasn't for the beefsteak next to them. Some of the leaves on the Rutger that is closest to where the beefsteak was have started to show signs of the wilt as well. They are so far along though I don't think it will have a drastic effect on the harvest though. I just harvested the first tomato off of the Rutger. ALL LARGE TOMATOES MUST BE HARVESTED BEFORE FULLY RIPE. The birds have decided that they are going to snack on them at breakfast if I let them ripen completely on the plants. Almost penny size holes!!! So I am just beating them to the tomatoes.
In the center area where I had the Giant Pumpkin.....The watermelon has completely taken over. There aren't even hardly any weeds popping up because the vines are so thick. I have some of the baby watermelons getting some good size on them. They seem to just jump in size overnight. I am encouraged that the melons themselves are getting bigger. Being that they were seeds saved from an unknown cultivar I had no idea what they would do. Here is a picture of one of the bigger watermelons.
The fig tree has about 40 little figs on it and has started to sprout some new growth as well. It also has some tiny red dots on some of the leaves. I need to put some more fertilizer stakes around it. I am hoping to train it as a bush and keep it about 6ft. tall. If I have to trim it after that I want to try to sprout the pieces I trim to grow more.
The eggplant have continued to do good. There are a good amount of baby eggplants on most of the plants, and I have harvested a few more. I don't know what is a GREAT crop for an eggplant but I am happy with what is there. Three of the kinds that I started from seed stay on the smaller size, like a large orange. The ones that I tasted have been delicious. Now there are some of the Black Beauty ones swelling in size, here is a picture of them. Very shiny and dark purple.
The way my compost pile is set up, is just not working. Its not cooking very fast. I don't have it covered, its in the shade and I don't stir it. LOL, It will get there maybe by this fall. We cleaned out the chicken house yesterday and added all of the waste and old hay to it. I also sprinkled over the rest of a bag of "compost maker" that I had left. It doesn't seem like that stuff works very fast though. Maybe I haven't added enough of it. Yesterday at church I was talking to a farmer that said someone told him that RidX works great on a compost pile. I have no idea whats in that...don't know if it would be considered organic or not. I am going to make sure it is all piled up really good and then cover it with a black tarp that I have, maybe that will help it along as well. I don't think letting the rain just wash through it the last couple of weeks has helped either. I am hoping that by this fall it will be broken down enough to use on the perennial beds. Don't want to use it on the veggie garden because I add grass clippings from the back yard, which is where the doggies have their outhouse. ;)
The asparagus is doing better than I expected. It is still sending up shoots, very surprised about that. It also has put on seed pods on a few ferns. They are still green though. I accidently broke the tip off of a new shoot awhile back....so I had to taste it, it was very yummy. Now I can't wait until next spring. The only thing bad that has happed has been puppy damage. Before I sold 3 of them they got into one of the beds and were running around. They broke off a few of the ferns. Aggravating!!! Only one puppy left to sell!!! Thank God she is calmer now that the others are gone. I think that I need to make some kind of support frame to go around the ferns though. They are really leaning in some places. That can be a project for early winter. Next spring the ferns should be thicker too which should help as well. Here are a couple of pics. #1 is ferns on the Jersey variety and #2 is new shoot coming up on the Purple Passion variety.