Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Garden Survival
The garden at Terra Nova Gardens is in survival mode.  The extreme 100 plus temperatures for consecutive days have given me the challenge to keep things alive.  Two 55 gallon drums of water hauled to the garden and gravity fed through a 70 foot hose has been the method of plant rescue.  We are getting a break from the hot temperatures for a couple days then once again the creep into the 90s begins.  The lack of rain has farmers on edge as well as the folks that like pristine lawns.  My lawn is overgrown and ragged at the moment but I'm hoping it will help getting though the hot dry time we are having.  I don't like watering much but may have to water the lawn just to keep it alive.  It's starting to look pretty bad so I suppose I'll have to raise up the lawn mower as high as it will go and just top off the tall grass and um other stuff growing in the yard.
                               Pumpkins are growing
At first glance, I thought these pumpkins were black but they are dark green which is normal for pumpkins in this stage of growth.  I discovered when trying to sign up for the Airforce that I was partially color blind.  The colors I can't see well are green and brown.  If they are bright and bold, I see them fine but the light shades kind look like gray to me.  Some folks might wonder about how I can see green traffic lights.  Well, I never knew that I couldn't really see the green light well, I just subconsciously knew that red and yellow could be seen real well.  The green light looks the same color as street lights at night.  I can tell if the green light is on the same as I can tell a street light is on.  It is interesting that I drove for a number of years before the Airforce told me I was color blind to greens and browns and didn't really know it.  It really hasn't been much of a problem through out my life.  Well, folks would look at little strangely at what I wore to work at times.  Colors that look good on me just happen to be green and brown but green and brown don't really look good together. :0)

Pumpkins going wild
The pumpkins are really doing well.  I've had to snip the little tentacles around the watermelons or the pumpkins would have smothered them.  The neighbor that planted them says they are nothing special that he knows.  He just bought the seeds from Wally World.  The combination of soil and weather must be just right for growing pumpkins here.

The potatoes on the right can barely be seen.  They are finished blooming and are starting to dry up.  I'm not a potato expert but I think that means they are just about ready to harvest.

I've been watching a couple large tomatoes.  They look like they are starting to blush so the tomatoes are going to start coming in soon.  The bell peppers are a bust this year.  I'm not sure if we will get any at all.  The plants just sat in the ground looking all wilted.  All my friends said the same thing about their bell peppers as well.  I'm not sure what's up with that.

My other friend that planted one bean plant has been harvesting beans.  The one plant is loaded with beans and he just picks them are munches them down.  His egg plants are looking good as well.  They are about two inches in diameter so far and are increasing is size daily.  The first planting of corn is tasseling but the second planting is a total loss.  The turkeys have acquired a taste for seeds and one inch corn shoots. What they don't scratch out of the ground and eat, they gobble up when the shoots break through the ground.  When I'm certain rain will come I have a spot ready to plant with a bird net cover.  Maybe it will keep the curious little creatures away from the corn.  After it gets to a height of about two feet they leave it alone.  So I might get one more planting of corn before the summer is over.
Fenced in garden area
The fenced in garden area finally got weed free in the pathways.  I spent the better part of one whole day cleaning up the weeds in the paths.  They are already regrouping and starting the next assault wave. 

It's been a great summer so far and the gardening really is looking great.

How about your garden?  I'd love to hear about your successes or your failures.


  1. Wow, David, the gardens have really come a long way. Though they could use a good rain (or three), you've done well.
    Ma Nature always seems to fine SOME critter that loves to eat what we grow. Deer, turkey, groundhogs--it's a constant battle. We must REALLY love what we do.......

  2. Hi Dave, you made me smile again. My Dad was colour blind - he was a nightmare to take strawberry picking - he'd come back with a few little white ones because they were the only ones he could see!

    As for weather - here in England it's so wet we're flooded out. It's not particularly cold but not warm like it should be. The grass sure is green here. Shame I can't send you the rain and you send me some sun.

  3. Ana, I wish you could send some rain too. I picked the first tomato this morning. I feel a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich coming on. Is that popular in England?

  4. Hi Dave. Yes, BLT is popular but I suspect we stole the idea from your side of the pond. I am nowhere near picking any tomatoes from my greenhouse but am eyeing the blackcurrants which are ripening slowly.

    Weather report - we had a little bit of lovely sunshine this morning but this afternoon the rain came in and it's chucking it down now!

  5. Hoping for rain for all of us dry gardeners this year. I'm envious of your pumpkins. Mine dried up in the big heat wave and the wind beat them to death. I need to not plant certain plants near the alley. The wind whips down it too much and kills most things I plant in that spot. I have pepper plants but no peppers except for some jalepenos I spotted last night. All the pepper plants are short this year. Enjoy that tomato!

  6. We planted our garden late this year so still waiting to get something to pick. Our peach tree is loaded with peaches but most of them are really small. I think the spring weather did something to them. I have seen peach trees around the neigborhood with the same problem. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. a BLT sounds great !!

  7. Fred, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. The weird weather patterns have really been confusing the trees and plants this year.

    Have a great day in the garden.

  8. Hi Dave,
    I hope we get some relief soon from this heat. It was nice to get a break, but it was not long enough. I had to laugh about your story about being color blind to green and brown.

    You asked how often we water. Since I have new plants in, we have been running the underground sprinkler system daily when it's above 100, and every 2 to 3 days when it's in the 90s. It is set to come on twice a week at 4 a.m. for a 12, then an 8 minute cycle, but I have broken down and run it in the evenings a few times. I have been watering the vegetable garden 3 to 6 times a week, depending on the temperature. One of these days, I hope to get a ground level system.

    I hope you get some corn that the turkeys can't get to. If it's not one critter, it's another. When I was in my 20s, I had a nice stand of corn that the squirrels ate every ear of.

  9. Hey Dave, its an advantage to have your own garden. You have the access for all the vegetables and crops any time you need it, At the same time its fresh and organic.