Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer Gardening

9:58 AM 7/19/2015
Wow, two months since my last blog entry.  This year has been extreme in many ways.  Rain continued through all of June and into July.  Then suddenly it turned to 100+ heat indexes.  The rain brought wonderful garden growth but along with it out of control weed growth.  I've been fighting the weeds continually and loosing ground at Terra Nova Gardens.  Now that the heat has arrived maybe I can get a grip on the land once again.
 Yeah, well as you can see some parts of Terra Nova Gardens has gotten out of control.  It's even worse now but the battle rages on with tall weed control.  I found that a hand weed wacker works wonders on these types of weeds.  It was one of the many tools given to me by a disgruntled gardener.  Many new gardeners glamorize gardening and under estimate the amount of time and work it takes to have one.  They plant way too much and by the middle of July .... well, it looks like this.  The struggle is way too much for them and they give up.  Eventually, they give the garden tools away.  I have a shed full of tools and many other donations as well.  
The old carpet from apartment tear outs is free and really helps with weed control .  Here you see what's under the carpet after just two months of laying on the ground.  Total weed suppression.  But Almost immediately on removal the little buggers with big potential begin to sprout and grow.  The green stuff just above the the bare soil is the solution to the weed growth at this point.  Well, it's my solution.  Yes, that's lawn grass.  I intentionally have not put commercial fertilizer or weed killer on my lawn to be able to use it for this.  The yard bag that the grass was in is ripped down the side and laid out flat. Then the grass mulch is spread out over the yard waste bag.  This fall a grass/leaf mix will be spread over the top of this. 
This is the beginning of the raised bed borders.  Until now there were no borders only raised hump beds.  I'm in process of making 1/4 of the enclosed garden raised beds with borders.  On the right is the strawberry bed that was raided by deer.  Thirteen out of 30 plants have survived the nibbling.  Nothing else seems to be bothered even though I see fresh deer tracks in the garden every time I go there.  I can see where they have tried to nibble on the cucumbers but just haven't taken a liking to the fuzzy leaves.  
 Yup, first ripe tomato goes to Early girl.  July 5th and probably could have been harvested on the 4th of July had I looked.  Second runner up was Celebrity with Mortgage lifter third and last was Rutgers.  These are my early basement bucket experimental tomatoes.  I don't think they are going to produce a large amount of tomatoes but it's keeping me and the neighbor next door supplied in tomatoes.  The main load of tomatoes will come from Terra Nova Gardens.   I thought I was going to have a blight problem as the leaves in both location had leaves showing the signs of blight.  I just kept breaking off the yellow drying up leaves and it seems like I have circumvented it.  After a couple rounds of being brutal about taking off leaves that looked infected, I haven't seen any thing for at least a couple weeks.  I kept them watered good so maybe that helped too.

If you would like to see more Terra Nova Gardening and what's happening in Old Gardener Dave's life you can go to my GRIT magazine blog and read more.

Nebraska Dave
Urban Farmer
Omaha Nebraska
GRIT Magazine Blogger