Tag Archives: watermelon

Harvest Monday

October 12, 2015

First, some pics from last week. Here is the damage to the coop. I will not show you the damage to our flock (you’re welcome).Ā Nieto Photography 2015Raccoons ripped the door clean off!

On a lighter note, we had a more varied harvest this week. We had our normal tomatoes, raspberries, and green beans. We also harvested some carrots, celery, our first peas, and cucumbers this week!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015This week, we boarded up the coop to keep the raccoons out. Since the chickens did not have a chicken door to go in and out of the run, we opened the big door and let them free range a couple of days. They ate into a watermelon a bit so we went ahead and harvested it. Thankfully, it was very sweet šŸ™‚ It’s nice to get a late watermelon (we aren’t as excited in September when we are eating them every day)!Nieto Photography 2015My husband put up a new wall on the side of the coop and an overhang. For some reason, that side of the coop alone has been rotting over the past three years. Raccoons had already ripped a hole into another part of it previously but were (thankfully) unsuccessful at gaining access.

I put the shingles on the overhang this past week (quite the feat for this 24week pregnant old lady!) and painted the first coat of paint. I am going to paint the second coat on the wall this upcoming week.

I also need to re-cover my brassicas (uncovered because of high winds of Joaquin), plant some more greens and root veggies, harvest, and spread compost this week. I am having the hardest time getting everything done now that we’re doing school again. The kids concentrate better in the morning so that is when we do school but most of my energy is gone by 1pm, when we’re done with school, so gardening as gone by the wayside. šŸ˜¦

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Our Happy Acres šŸ™‚

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Garden in October, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

October 1, 2015

Beginning of SeptemberNieto Photography 2015Beginning of OctoberNieto Photography 2015At first glance, the garden at the beginning of September and the beginning of October looks pretty much the same. I have cleared out a few patches, and we now have hoops up but other than that, nothing looks like it has changed much. Until you glance to the left side… the weeds are trying to creep into the garden and take over! We’ll have to take care of that this month!!!

I am still growing brassicas to transplant, though time is running out to do so. The covered seedlings are doing better than the uncovered ones (surprise, surprise).

Nieto Photography 2015Our late-season butternut squash are getting bigger. I am skeptical they will have enough time to size up fully though. Our first fall frost is in middle/late October. At the very least, I’ll let them grow as big as possible so the chickens can have a treat. Nieto Photography 2015Walking through the garden, you can see how pitiful our tomato plants look. We are still harvesting about 1/2 a gallon each day but my OCD self can’t stand the ugly so I am clearing out the tomato patches whenever I get a chance.Nieto Photography 2015Under our covers, we have broccoli that is growing well. I know there will be no fall harvest but if I can keep them alive throughout the winter, maybe an early spring harvest is possible. I am playing with ideas on how to have a fall harvest of cabbage and broccoli (since I am unable to start them indoors).Nieto Photography 2015And cabbage…Nieto Photography 2015Next to the covered brassicas, we have our fall beans that are producing like MAD.Nieto Photography 2015And our fall peas. The kids said they saw some that were ready to harvest. I’ll have to go check it out. We look forward to fresh peas each spring and fall!Nieto Photography 2015As far as fruit goes, we are harvesting about 3 cups or so of raspberries every other day. Nieto Photography 2015A few strawberries here and there…Nieto Photography 2015And we have a few late-season watermelons. I am not sure how they are going to do but if we can keep the critters out, we’ll see šŸ™‚ Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015We also have some celery we have been growing all summer. The plan was to have them shaded by the tomato plants growing all around them. It seems to have worked! I am going to harvest most of the celery this week but it will grow back. These are celery plants I transplanted from a stump of store-bought celery. Nieto Photography 2015 Oh! And the sweet potatoes! They have bounced back from the deer attacks. They are looking great! We just finished the last of our garden potatoes and are looking forward to harvesting our sweet potatoes this month!Nieto Photography 2015Chickens

The chickens are right in the middle of moulting so we are only getting an egg every other day or so. We are eating a lot of oatmeal as we patiently wait for their feathers to grow back. This month, we harvested 58 eggs, our lowest number for the whole year. January was our previous low, with only 61 eggs. I am glad we have kept up with our egg harvests this year. It has been very interesting to see the fluctuations and the reasons behind them. Seeing it on paper helps me be more determined to eat with the seasons and not just buy eggs when we feel like it.

Our TO DO list for October includes:

  • Harvesting beans, peas, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, and maybe some watermelon
  • Clearing out the tomatoes
  • Planting more leafy greens and root veggies to eat throughout the winter and early spring
  • Spreading more compost over the whole garden
  • Cutting down old raspberry canes
  • Transplanting new raspberry canes

What does your garden look like at the beginning of October? Are you attempting a fall/winter garden? Any tips for me?

Coming Back After A Break…

September 14, 2015

It rained quite a bit while we were gone on vacation this past week. It is always interesting to see the garden come alive after a good soaking.

Here’s what I came home to…

The tomato plants are terribly ugly at the bottom. Last year, I pruned the plants, trying to keep them healthy longer. This year, I did not have the time or energy to prune. They are still producing just as much, they just have a lot of ugly, black leaves at the bottom. The tops are beautiful though, and we are still harvesting tomatoes!Nieto Photography 2015 All of the potatoes we missed are sprouting. We’ll have to dig those up this week.

The uncovered brassicas are basically dead but will likely bounce back if I cover them soon. Nieto Photography 2015Right next to them, the covered brassicas are flourishing and need to be planted this.week. Now to figure out where…

Nieto Photography 2015

We have one stinkin’ chicken that gets out no matter how many times we put her back in the run. So…she has dug up all of the greens IĀ  planted last week and most of the carrots and beets šŸ˜¦ I am so sick of that bird! šŸ˜›

The raspberries, as the tomatoes, are producing really well, though the plants are ugly-looking. We need to harvest strawberries as well.Nieto Photography 2015

The fall beans and peas are sizing up well. The bugs are leaving the beans alone for the most part and the peas are starting to flower šŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015The sweet potatoes have bounced back for the most part. Hopefully, they will have another month or so to bulk up before we harvest them.Nieto Photography 2015

Another part of the garden that enjoyed all of the wonderful rain – the weed seeds. We’ll have to take care of that this week.Nieto Photography 2015

SOOOOO, what was it we need to do this week?

  1. WEED
  2. Harvest potatoes (that have sprouted), strawberries, raspberries, beans, and tomatoes
  3. Plant all of the brassicas
  4. Cover the uncovered brassicas
  5. Replant all of the greens
  6. Oh, and the kids are bugging me to start school with them this week. šŸ˜› Welcome back from vacation – now, hit the ground RUNNING!!!!

Two other random pics I wanted to share: we have a moon and stars watermelon sizing up.Nieto Photography 2015We have yet to harvest one of these because of the critters. I saw something scratched at this one so I put a fence loosely around it. It is also right next to the electric fence.

The other pic is of a baby butternut squash. I have a bear of a time each year with squash bugs so we do not harvest many squashes (summer or winter) at all. It is always exciting to see this šŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015What are you harvesting? What are you planting for the fall? Check out what other gardeners are doing at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday

August 24, 2015

What even happened this week? It has been crazy!

Issues:

We put up the electric fence.

Something got in anyway and tore into all but 4 of our melons. The crows have set up residence this year in the garden so it is possible it is them and our fencing is working.

We put up fishing wire to keep the deer out. They broke through (the bottom one so I think it was a fawn) and ate all of my sweet potato vines down to the nub!

What we did about said issues:

  1. We cut all the grass around the electric fencing to keep the current strong.
  2. I went ahead and ripped out all of the watermelons and harvested what we could.
  3. We found the groundhog hole and put gum in and around it.
  4. I re-strung the fishing wire. I am thinking I will need to get thicker wire (I just used what we had on hand) OR possibly put another line of electric wire where it was broken to deter the fawns. I hear if the deer get through it is because #1 you used fishing wire that was too thin, #2 they were running through (no fishing wire will stop them), or #3 baby deer found how to get through and the adults followed suit. I also want to borrow our neighbor’s camera to see if/how they do it again.

So, other than harvesting, I spread some more compost in the garden and planted some more fall crops. Next week, I will continue to spread compost, continue to harvest, and continue to plant fall crops!

As the squash bugs were taking out my zucchini plants earlier this summer šŸ˜¦ the melon plants were starting to produce. So as I ripped out one section of melons, we noticed there were a lot of squash bugs left over. Since the whole area was fenced in anyway, we put 6 chickens in there to clean it up. They did WONDERFULLY. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015As they ate all of the bugs, we harvested the rest of the potatoes and fixed the fencing. When we noticed they were not eating or scratching, just looking around, we put them back in the run. If only every section in the garden could be cleaned up so nicely! I’ll have to think about putting something like that in place…

Other than melons, we harvested beans, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 4yo has been lining up and organizing everything lately. very interesting…) Nieto Photography 2015(A couple of watermelon grew inside the fence. They had to be cut out.)

What are you harvesting? What are you planting for the fall? Any advice on the deer or groundhogs or raccoons? Check out what other gardeners are up to this time of year at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday

August 17, 2015

We harvested a few raspberries and strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, our first watermelons, beans, sunflowers, cilantro seed, and some late-planted carrots and beets this week. Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 4yo’s job every day is to collect tomatoes)

I freeze about 4-5 gallons of tomatoes each week. Not to mention all of the tomatoes I give away! I think we’re going to be good with soup, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce this winter!

If you have been keeping up, we have harvested 2 watermelon and 3 cantaloupe this year. The groundhogs ate about 20 and the raccoons have eaten the last 10 or 15. We have now bought electric wire and are playing with it, getting it just right before we test it out. I want the charge to be HIGH! I am fighting back!

We have been cleaning up a lot these past few weeks as well as planting for the fall/winter garden.

  • The remaining potato plants that were all beautiful and green? Yeah, I found those a couple of days later COVERED in potato bugs. I covered them in DE and they have recovered pretty well.
  • I tied up the tomatoes (they had outgrown their previous tyings).
  • I planted another round of brassicas for the fall/winter garden and covered them.
  • I chased the groundhog out of the garden a few times (still can’t find its hole).
  • Remember the raspberries about to ripen? A deer (or something tall) ate those so we fenced in the raspberry area (which has watermelons and cantaloupes so the fence does double duty).
  • We continued to try to outsmart the raccoons with fencing…
  • I collected some compost from our soil manufacturers and spread it around 1/2 of the garden.

Last week, we:

  • Planted another round of beans, and planted more beets, carrots, kale, and peas for the fall garden.
  • Cleaned up all of the spent bean plants (most of which had been eaten down by deer).
  • Harvested the dried beans and sunflowers.
  • Spread more chicken compost on the newly-cleaned up areas.
  • Started fencing in the garden with electric wire low (raccoons and groundhogs) and fishing wire high (deer). The plan is to, next year, shoot a crow and hang it up in the middle of the garden, like Paul does. They have gotten WAY too comfortable walking around in the garden!

Unfortunately, our cat hasn’t figured out the electric fencing either and she has gotten shocked šŸ˜¦ Not what I wanted but…what can I say? I want FRUIT next year!!!

This next week, we will spread some more compost, plant some more fall/winter seeds, and finish up the fencing.

What are you harvesting? What gardening chores are you doing this time of year? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today to see what others are harvesting around the world šŸ™‚