July 27, 2015
I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of July! I typically do not look forward to the end of the summer but this year, the end of the summer means a return to full energy for me so I am excited 🙂
This week, we:
Finished cleaning up the brick path and the perennial beds around the brick path. I’m impressed, personally. It was HARD.WORK.We started tackling the new garden area that was overtaken by weeds this spring and by the end of the week, we finished – weeded, covered with newspaper, and mulch.Thick weeds on right. Holes where bermuda grass was ripped out, ready to be covered with newspaper and mulch. Dark mulch – finished product. Hills in the forefront – more holes where bermuda grass was ripped up, ready to be filled!
Finally, I planted more fall cabbage and broccoli and covered the seedlings with shade cloth.We also pulled bermuda grass that is creeping into our walking path.
Next week, we need to:
- plant the next succession of beans and fall carrots, kale, and peas.
- harvest the rest of the potatoes (they rot if we leave them in the soil longer than July), cure, and store
- harvest and dry onions
This week, we harvested zucchini, patty pan squash, tomatoes, green (and purple) beans, strawberries, and potatoes. (oops! I waited a bit too long 🙂 That made 2.5 zucchini quiches! Yum!) Now that the weather has cooled out of the 100s, we are getting strawberries again! (they are caged in to keep critters out) We’re getting a few tomatoes 😉 We are freezing them to make marinara in the winter – basically, I cut them in half, roast them with herbs, onions, and garlic, then blend them (skins and all) in the Vitamix to make a thick, yummy sauce!
Unfortunately, every day, we find more cantaloupe and watermelon eaten. Fortunately, none of the ones we put cages over have been messed with.We were able to harvest our first melon this week! I saw a cantaloupe that looked yellow/orange. I went to check it out and saw it had already started to separate itself from the vine. I am so excited to eat it this week!The racoons tore apart what little corn we had this year 😦 Maybe next week, if time allows, I’ll clean up the corn patches since we won’t be harvesting any corn. There are drying beans growing up them so we’ll have to pull and dry those as we rip up the corn. The sunflowers look great but I don’t think the seeds are quite ready to harvest so we’ll leave those up a bit longer. We harvested them around the end of August last year.
This is the first year I have had REAL problems with critters. We will have to figure something out for next year. I was thinking about putting up netting/fencing around (AND ABOVE) the whole garden (sounds extreme but if people were stealing your food, how extreme would you get?) BUT the cat needs to get in because she keeps moles/voles out of the garden so I don’t know yet. But something needs to be done. We are losing our most expensive crops (as far as how much it would cost to buy them at the store – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, tomatoes) so something needs to be done. If only one of my kids would show interest in dog training…
What are you harvesting? Do you have any tried and true ways to combat critters? Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions.
Holly cow on that motherload of tomatoes! And love the rest of the harvest. Big kudos on melons and hope you’ll be able to save it from critters.
I like your treatment of roasting the tomatoes for sauce. I do something similar and it’s also good on pizza as well as pasta. We had to fence around our main garden area or else we would get nothing. But critters still get a few things, like blackberries for instance. I blame that on the deer, since they are the only thing tall enough to get the blackberries!
I’m glad at least you got a huge amount of tomatoes. Critters are such a pain. I don’t think I’d have a garden at all without my fence. It would all be gone.
Wow to the tomatoes & that is a gorgeous melon! So did the raccoons take down your corn before the cobs developed? I’ve been unsure about what has been attacking my corn as most people seem to concur that they usually only go after the cobs, but whatever is getting at my corn (which has no cobs on it yet) is chewing up the stalks.
Every year, when they are ripe, the racoons attack. This year, they got to them before the cobs were formed and then took down every.single.one. last week as the rest (only a handful) were ripening.
Nice harvest, with lots of tomatoes. Sorry about the critters. You are lucky that the wire cages on the melons are working. I tried covering melons with plastic milk crates weighted down with a large rock and they were just tossed aside.
I do my tomatoes almost the same way. I love the roasted flavor! But after I mix them in the vitamix, I go ahead and can it for the winter. I have a question about the potatoes. I haven’t harvested mine yet because I had read that I could leave them in the ground until frost. I have dug up a couple plants as needed, but haven’t done the major harvest because it’s been a little wet here and well, you know I’ve been tired lol. Do you think I should dig them up? Yours rot if you don’t get them up in July? Is it really hot or wet by you? Maybe I should schedule a potato day this week? TIA, Molly
I don’t can anything. I freeze everything in jars 🙂
Last year, I dug potatoes as needed throughout the summer. When I started digging in August, I noticed many were rotting so I wrote in my gardening journal to harvest by the end of July. We had a dry June (NO RAIN) but are pretty rainy normally…hot, humid, afternoon showers is typical. We’ll see when we dig everything up tomorrow but I *think* I am seeing that specific types of potatoes rot more quickly than other types. My yukon gold and red norland potatoes rot even if i harvest them in June. Some others I ordered this year did not rot at all when I harvested them earlier so…we’ll see. I’ll have a better report next week. It may be type. If that’s the case, that would be great – an easy fix! 🙂