Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garden updates and struggles.

i haven't posted a lot of garden photo this summer, so i thought i'd post a few and give a bit of update. My gardens have really been struggling this year, with pests and lack of rain. We finally got a really good soaking rain and things are definitely starting to fill in a bit.

i have so many sunflowers this year. i counted over 40 flowering heads blooming, and tons more that have yet to open. The funny thing about the sunflowers is that i didn't actually plant any this year. These were volunteers from last years sunflowers, or planted by the birds.

Another sunflower volunteer that came up in the main garden. You can see some tomatoes behind it. My tomaotes in this garden are doing really well. i piled our compost around each plant and then mulched them in old hay from the goat shed. i'm seeing a little bit of blight on the bottom leaves, but not a bad as the tomatoes in my front bed. i've been adding compost and pruning those in attempt to battle the inevitable blight that we get every year.

Another big problem i've had this year is cucumber beetles. i had to pull several of my squash and cucumbers because they were so badly damaged by them. The problem with cucumber beetles isn't even the obvious signs that are visible. The larva of the Cucumber beetles destroy the roots and weaken the plants and the adults carry the bacteria that causes a disease, bacterial wilt of cucurbits. i'm still researching ways to deal with these. At this point i pick them off by hand, apply soapy water to the plants and rotate my crops.

My tiered beds are always hard to photograph. They are just beginning to fill in.

i planted around 30 sweet potatoes again this year. They are just starting to spread.

In my main garden, i decided to experiment with my pole bean trellis. i'm hoping it will look really neat once it's completely filled in. i planted scarlet runner beans at the base of each pole. The poles are arranged in tee-pees with twines wrapping around them. i planted cucumbers on each side of the tee-pee, so it will climb the twine. Then i created a fan shape of twne connecting the tee-pees, and i planted purple pole beans at the base of each fan.

My pole beans are just beginning to flower and climb.

Scarlet runners are also blooming.

Remember those dwarf grey peas i talked about before? They are still flowering and producing. During our dry spell, they because fibrous and too tough to eat. However, after the soaking rain, we started to get more that were tender and crunchy.

Potatoes started off doing well this year. This is one of three different potatoes beds i planted this year. These are planted away from the house, so i don't check them often.

i really surprised when i walked down to look at them this week and found them completely infested in potato bugs. This is a picture of the larva, they are really nasty looking and do a ton of damage. They can usually be controlled by picking them off by hand, but it it very time intensive and you have to check them daily. This is first time we've had them in about 5 years, and so far i only have them on this one potato bed.

Right now we are still harvesting kale, swiss chard, asparagus, some lettuce, peas, new potatoes, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries. onions, garlic, purslane, daylily buds and tomatoes. Should be picking squash very soon, and cucumbers in a week or so. Will post more pictures as things fill in a bit more.

1 comment:

  1. So THAT'S what those bugs are! I may just have to pull my affected plants then, sigh, because getting to my garden every single day is just a dream this summer.