Monday, July 19, 2010

18 July Garden Update

The hot weather interspersed with rain have made the gardens go crazy and its completely overwhelmed us in trying to preserve it all through canning or freezing (but we are trying). We currently have squash, peas, tomatoes, onions, peas, cucumbers, peppers and various herbs being harvested. Soon to come are corn, pole beans, black eyed peas, pumpkin, more peas, sunflowers, beats, watermellon and cantelope.

Todays tomato harvest..of varying types...tomorrow more canning

For our Alaskan friends yes that is really me and yes I have lost a lot of weight....retirement is hard work. Now for the corn, we planted this about 70 days ago and its in the middle of tasseling and producing cobs.

We were told we couldnt grow corn like this and now we have had people ask us for some sounds kind of lame to say "well we plowed up some dirt with a small tractor, threw in some compost, made the rows and planted by hand and then hoped for the best" but thats where we are so what can you say.

The front 4 rows are the first planting and the second 4 rows were planted a couple of weeks later and were the rows that were mostly blown down during the storm in a previous post. A little sun, a little rain, and some crossed fingers and they popped right back up.

When the corn tassles it produces the pollen (large rice sized and shaped things dangling from the tassels) which falls down onto the silk of the cob husk and pollinates itself.

We have many many cobs and if this keeps up we are looking at about 3 or 4 cobs per stalk

You can see the pollen in the silk on this cob...tomorrow we put mineral oil on the silks to prevent corn borers but if we get some borers we will just cut off the end of the cob when we eat them. We arent truly organic but we are trying to have low impact and we have a bunch of the good lady bugs we dont want to harm.

That is not a tatto..its a butterfly on Holly ...we are still in awe of the natural beauty here and our frequent interaction with it.

This is a test plot of Sorghum, I was late by ..oh 4 MONTHS in getting it planted but we will see where it goes. It grows up into a sugar cane like plant that can be pressed to make molasses thoug we will probably just use it for silage this year if it grows enough.

Our first planting of giant sunflowers are..say 9 feet or so tall and are just now showing signs of flowering.

Behind Holly you can see the second planting of Sunflowers that are only about 4 feet tall...all of these were started from seed like you but at the store to munch on..a couple of months ago.

The blackeyed peas are loaded with pods.

We have decided to leave them in the pods to dry on the vine but we have to make sure we harvest them before they burst and spill on the ground. Dry is easier to store and personally I like the flavor better.

We still have many tomato plants in production scattered all over the place but the heat is starting to stress them.

Our beets are doing great and we have eaten some of them already. We are just letting them get bigger and then we will harvest them and can them.

We literally have 40 or 50 pumpkins growing and some of them are getting huge....we learned a few things for next year but if your family I hope you dont mind pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter, salted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pudding.....

Lots of pole beans...luckily we like beans because we will have a bunch...this is one of two patches

The grape vines are almost touching on the hog panel arbor, it should completely cover the arbor in the next month or so.

Judy planted these elephant ears 3 months ago from a small bulb

And despite the storm damage the Hibiscus have rebouded nicely and are in full bloom.

And finally, this picture has nothing to do with gardening but its my blog and I like this picture of my partner...ha!

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