Saturday, July 23, 2016

July Garden Update and a Surprise

Garden season is in full swing, so i'm pretty much neglecting everything else. i'll get back to making dolls, and others crafts later this fall. Right now i am very much enjoying keeping my focus on the garden.

Eary this spring we had our soil tested at the local extension office, and then added the amendments that were needed. My gardens were very low on potassium and phosphorus, and the ph was also a bit off.  We purchased our amendments locally from Seven Spring Farm. We added alfalfa meal to supplement the potassium and rock phosphate for the phosphorus. i also got a liquid kelp fertilizer to use through the season. i wanted to stay away from chemical and animal based (bone meal) fertilizers.

So far the amendments seem to be working. Especially in my lower garden that was really messed last year. Almost everything we planted just turned brown and died, i knew there was a ph problem or a deficiency, but wasn't sure what it was. i've since learned that it was extremely deficient in Potassium, and i know the signs to watch for now and know how to treat it. 

This photo was taken around the second week of July (12th). Beans were really starting to produce, i was getting lots of cucumbers, just starting to get some tomatoes and still getting a few sugar snap peas. The cucumber with the brown skin is called a Sikkim cucumber. This is my first time growing them.

This photo is from the 14th. i have new lettuce coming in, a few peppers ripe and a couple cauliflower that were really taking their time. They were planted the same time as the broccoli. so i'm not sure why they waited until July to form a crown.  i also planted the purple cauliflower and fractal broccoli this year, and none of them formed crowns. i've had any luck with the fractal broccoli, but i plant it every year in hopes that it will produce.

July 17th.  i am picking this amount beans almost daily. i've been freezing them, and plan to can some this week as well. My cucumbers actually did well this year, although almost overnight the plants have all started to die back. Not sure if it's wilt from the cucumber beetles or something else.  Summer squash is just starting to produce. Still getting sugar snaps and snow peas.

i planted a bunch of beets this year, and for the first time ever they are doing really well! My root veggies typically have a tough time and end up bolting, but the beets are doing great this year. My carrots however, didn't do well at all. i had planted a pretty purple/black carrot from Baker creek and it was a bad batch of seeds. They sent out a new pack of seeds and later i was given store credit for a few other seeds that didn't produce true to type. Anyhow, i ended up with a bunch of pale yellow, white and orange carrots (i'd planted mostly red, purple and black) lol. The carrot green started dying back from carrot blight, so i ended up pulling many of them early. i have more carrots planted, so i'm hoping the next crop does better.  i also have several cabbage ready to pick.

Surprise!!! More baby chicks!! Holy cow, i think we've hatched out over 50 this spring and summer!  We've given away around 20 so far, and have someone that is planning to take another 9.  i still have a ton of cockerals that need to be rehomed. :/  This was a total surprise. i didn't even realize this hen was missing. Sage was out picking blackberries and came running in to tell me she heard peeping in the blackberry patch. We peeked inside and found this hen still setting on eggs. It was a couple days before she ventured out of the backberries, and we were able to get a look at the new chicks. 

Looks like she has 12. Wow.  My daughter said this must be the year of the chickens. Hopefully we'll be able to find a home for them all together. Makes it easier when folks will take them all and not just the girls. 

This summer has been busy, but fun. Last weekend we took a trip to WV for a family reunion, and Kenan and Sage are spending a week in Michigan. My boy has band camp, so that's a week of driving back and forth to Floyd. we have a trip to Williamsburg and Lego Brick Fair planned before heading back to school, which starts up the second week of August. i'm also so sad at how quickly the summer goes. Doesn't really help that this year i was sick most of June.

i've been busy with the garden and having fun testing/reviewing products for Amazon. :)   Looking forward to working on dolls again, and i bought a pattern to make myself a new dress. i've been trying to find the perfect fabric, but just haven't found it yet. It's the sweetest pattern though, so i'll be sure to post about it when i get it made.   This is a bit of rambling blog post, but it feels like it's been a while since i updated.  Summertime just never seems long enough.