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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Early August Garden Update (Black Thumb of Death Gardening)

Edit: I have imported this from my The Black Thumb of Death Gardening Blog to my regular blog...  

Things are going well in the garden. The corn is doing much better this year in the new area on the edges around the raised beds. I had to take down the fishing-line barrier that kept the deer away, (it spooked them when they bumped it), because the hummingbirds were getting "clothes-lined". I want to plant a living barrier, tall bushes, around it. For now- blood meal and Himself "squirting around the outside of the area. Yes, male urine works well.

I am taking better notes on what does well where in a bed. It is weird how they react on one side of a bed compared to the other, in the same area. The artichoke plants are still tiny. Same for the watermelons. They are healthy, just not growing. Oh well...

Note: Mullein stunts the growth of tobacco, corn and beans. Once pulled, the plants shot up nicely. Below are photos from last month. I will try to take more this month. I am doing my floors, (see my other blog), and burning the candle at both ends. I hope I can get the kitchen floor done before too many items will need to be canned. I think I will, but I try to never assume.

This is the dry and green bean area. It has a row on peas. I harvested some before they started dying. It looks like we have a vole. (grumble) The dry beans are cranberry beans and black beans. You get a whole new appreciation for the low cost of dried beans when you grown your own. That said, home-grown has the best flavor- ever.

This is the outer garden, greatly expanded. It is surrounded on two sides with tobacco plants. Corn is just on the inside. I planted 4 varieties- 2 are eating corn, 1 is popcorn and 1 is flint corn, for grinding into meal. Each corner has pickles growing. The 2 long rows have the same plants/veggies mirrored, though I different winter squash varieties on the ends.

In the middle is the potatoes in the narrow boxes. I planted Yukon golds and blue potatoes.

The radishes are already pulled. Most were enjoyed. The rest were dehydrated and ground. They make excellent seasoning on salads when there is not any fresh ones around. I have already been harvesting the kale. I dehydrate the larger leaves, eat the smaller ones in salads. Dehydrated, you can add them to anything. There will be a post on this on the other blog next week.

This area is by our driveway. It has potatoes zig-zagging down the middle with cabbages, collards, kales, carrots, onions and beets surrounding them. I will plant garlic and leeks in the fall for next year in this area. Oh, there is two varieties of lettuce. We enjoyed salads for a bit, then a heat wave hit. I cut it 1" from the soil. It is now coming back nicely. Earwigs love to hide in lettuces. I am going to try the rolled newspaper again.

The herb garden was just starting to grow here. It will take a year before it becomes as happy as the other gardens area. I planted cooking and "medicinal" herbs. Gotta' be careful with that latter term these days. I also planted various herbs and flowers in the other beds as companion plants. some sort of skinny, iridescent black beetle loves calendula. It will go more for the calendula than squashes. It also attracts squash bugs. It is easy to"give these bugs the pinch of death when you find them on the flowers.

This garden is outside of our great room (including the kitchen). Here, I have more squashes, pickles, beets, onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes. The spinach already came and went. I have artichokes on the far end boxes, but will move them next year when or if they decide to grow. We are having the 3 giant ponderosa pines removed after the garden is done for the season. That means no more ghetto wire on the top. The slope will then be weeded out and filled in with peppermint, borage and berry bushes.

Our first pickle! We have more than are getting ready to pick and be processed.

The strawberry area is already on its second batch. The first ended up becoming jam. I got 10 pints out of them.

That is it for now. It looks like we may be feeding and supplementing the kids and ourselves again this year. Cool...

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