Harvest Monday

July 29, 2013

We had an unusually long Spring and cool Summer this year in North Carolina. Because of this, we were able to enjoy many Spring veggies we normally have to go without. Typically, we are in the consistent 100s and high 90s in July and August. This year, we finally hit the mid 90s consistently in July.

I noticed, once it was in the mid 90s consistently, anything that was not a heat-loving plant stalled in its production. The tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and corn are loving the mid 90s but the lettuce, carrots, and kale are not. That is not surprising. What is interesting is that the snaps are not producing as consistently either in the hot, hot weather. Good thing we planted pole beans as well so we are still eating beans nightly 🙂

I did not do a good job of taking pictures this week. I harvested the last of the potatoes this week, as well as blueberries, kale, and beans (snap & pole) but no pics.

Blueberries are officially over 😦 Adieu until next year! Hopefully, I froze enough to not have to buy any until next July. We’ll see – we sure do eat a lot of blueberries in our oatmeal, cereal, scones, muffins, and jam…

We harvested our first cucumber, our one red pepper, more snaps and kale. A deer ate into one of our corn ears 😦 I think it was a deer – all the teeth marks looked ‘flat’.

deer corn(deer teeth marks?)

corn & pepperThat was the whole reason we got the dog back! – to keep the critters out of the garden! I harvested some corn for supper last night but left the rest to get plump. This morning, I walked out to this:

full image(stalks fallen left & right) fallen stalk rippedcorn(corn shredded and eaten)

From what I’ve seen on the Internet, it is a raccoon. They say they will climb the stalks, making it break, and will shuck the husk, shredding it. This is exactly what happened. I have also read they do not like to climb stalks with bean vines on them and the corn with beans were not touched.

So, how do you train a dog to do her job at night, keeping the critters at bay? Would a cat do this (keep critters away at night)? I’m just not sure how to grow enough food for all 7 of us AND keep all the critters out. I thought a dog was the answer…Please someone tell me you’ve bdtd and have some wonderful advice for me!!!

Check out all of the wonderful harvests over at Daphne’s Dandelions today 🙂


10 thoughts on “Harvest Monday

  1. citygirlcountrybloke

    I had no idea about the raccoons. What horrible little creatures! And make the dog sleep outside in a good ole fashion dog house. Put it near the garden so it can hear the animals. I have no idea if it’ll work but that’s what I would do!

  2. newbiegardengirl Post author

    the dog sleeps outside (on our porch). We could put her crate whereever (right now it is beside the house) but she always ends up on the porch. I really do think all of our problems with her are because she is a puppy but i’m not sure we (or she) will make it to adulthood! she is driving us crazy! 😛

  3. Nancy Davis

    Sorry you are having so many problems with critters. We have a fenced in yard so the only critter I have a problem is my dog! I love her too much to get rid of her thought. The corn I bought at Aldi’s I didn’t think very tasty today so hope you can figure out something. Looks like you are doing quite well providing for your family but I can only try to imagine providing for 7 people. Are ;you near the floods I saw on TV in NC? Nancy

  4. marysveggiegarden

    I don’t see a fence in your picture. Do you have one? My husband calls my plot the garden gulag, I have 7′ high deer netting plus chicken wire around the bottom outside against woodchucks and rabbits. I’ve also buried concrete blocks in some areas and a heavy wire fence in other areas to prevent woodchucks from digging under.

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      i guess i’m just so incredibly naive. i thought about fencing…but i thought it would be cheaper to get a dog/cat to protect from predators. too bad our dog is useless 😛 someone said that cats are better for keeping small critters out but keep the dog to keep foxes away (we have chickens). i was told this two days ago. today, a fox came & carried away a chicken…10 feet away from my SLEEPING dog. USELESS! ugh! a fence may need to be where our $$ goes…thx for the advice 🙂

  5. Jenny

    We have the same problem with critters this year – bunnies, groundhog, deer and racoons having all you can eat buffet at my garden. Too bad we don’t have a dog but maybe in the future we’ll get one.

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      the dog’s smell has done its job in keeping critters away to a point but the dog herself? not so much 😛 my MIL has MANY cats and i am going to ask to ‘borrow’ one to see if it will do a better job keeping small critters away…

  6. Patsy

    Oh I am sorry about your corn! Raccoons can do so much damage, that is why I don’t grow corn because I don’t want to attract them to my garden and the small amount of corn I eat I can pick up at the farmer’s markets. We live in woodland so the critters can be a challenge for sure. A garden fence helps a lot, but if they really want to get in they often manage to anyway! Sounds like your harvest this week was very good despite that nasty raccoon!

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      One thing I read about keeping raccoons away from your corn was to do the 3 sister’s planting (corn, climbing beans, and winter squash). They say raccoons don’t like the feel of the vines so won’t climb the stalks. I think this is true. I tried to do a 3-sister’s garden but waited too long to plant the beans in one bed – the corn was so high, the beans didn’t have enough sun to really thrive. Those stalks were stripped bare (the raccoons came back the other night). However, I planted beans at the ‘correct’ time for another corn patch and those (that have vines going all the way up) were untouched by racoons. I will make sure I do it the right way next year!


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