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.