Tag Archives: watermelons

Happy!…and Sad :(

August 13, 2015

This week has been pretty crazy! Some good things happened and some bad things. First the good:

#1 It RAINED! 😀

Gardening with a cover means this is not as important to me as other farmers/gardeners in the area but it was still nice! It cooled us down from high 90s to 80s all this week. And everything’s so pretty after it rains 🙂

#2 We got more mulch!

We had gotten down to our last two mounds of woodchips and were wondering what we were going to do when that was gone. I decided, since I don’t have many more woodchips, I would start covering my garden each fall with chicken compost, like Paul does.

Right about that time, our neighbors decided to cut down about a dozen pine trees so we got 8 or so loads of woodchips! I think (as long as the chickens make enough compost) we will still cover our garden area as Paul does and save the woodchips for garden expansion but what a blessing!!!Nieto Photography 2015#3 Our last broody hen of the year hatched out all of the eggs we gave her to sit on! That has yet to happen. Our young roosters are finally getting efficient 😉 The chicks hatched 3 days earlier than they were supposed to so one got away from the mother and was pecked in the head by another chicken – she did not make it. 😦 But we moved the mama and the four other chicks into the little coop for safety and they seem to be doing well.Nieto Photography 2015

That makes 16 chicks we hatched out this summer that survived. We are waiting for the older chicks to lay any day now. They are 20 weeks but their combs are not very red. All we can do is wait.

Now to the disheartening (hint: they all have to do with unwelcome animals):

#1 Racoons

We caged in our fruit to keep them safe from the groundhogs. That is not hard to do. However, the racoons decided they wanted the fruit. They can climb over fencing, move fencing out of their way that is not staked down, and even pull up stakes! Every day we go out and more and more watermelon and cantaloupes are eaten. I am so disheartened. My husband is off to find electric fencing.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(they lifted up the stake, dug, and got into one of our cages!)

#2 Deer

The deer have found our sweet potato patch (and all of our beans on the edges of the garden). They have not eaten it down to the nub YET but they are working hard! 😦 Last year we harvested enough sweet potatoes to last us until May. This year, I know that will not happen but I hope we are able to harvest some! Nieto Photography 2015I had issues with moles/voles (whichever eats veggies) and bunnies our first year gardening but as soon as we got a cat, that was taken care of. Other than that, we have never had any animal issues. This year…they found me! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WE NEED A (well-trained) DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays for ideas and commiseration. 😉


Harvest Monday

September 8, 2014

I have not been very good about taking pictures of harvests this week.

We harvested about 15 unpictured cucumbers, a couple of unpictured peppers, and a number of unpictured tomatoes 😉

Here is what we DID take a picture of:DSC_5383Our second, and last, butternut squash, one cucumber, and a number of tomatoes.

I went ahead and harvested all of our watermelons from the watermelon patch and cleaned it up. DSC_5430(This area was COVERED in watermelon vines previously)

In all, we harvested 10 watermelons. I’m not sure the few little ones are completely ripe but everything was dying so…

All of these watermelons were from ONE volunteer plant! Quite a pleasant surprise 🙂DSC_5406The raspberries are still trickling in…DSC_5413I have a question for raspberry growers. Most of the raspberries look like this on one side… DSC_5414It’s like they didn’t pollinate everywhere? Any suggestions?

What are you harvesting? Check out what other gardeners are doing at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂

Garden in September, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

September 4, 2014

Eastern NC, Zone 7b.

Overview pics of the garden and a short description of changes from the previous month…

Garden at the beginning of June (Potatoes are coming up nicely, tomatoes are planted, corn is coming up, blueberries are ripening, peas are being harvested.) _DSF9171-EditGarden at the beginning of July (More potatoes sprouted, blueberry bushes are much larger, tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers are thriving, and sweet potatoes are coming along nicely.)

DSC_4679-EditGarden at the beginning of August (Potatoes have all but died back, watermelon is sprawling, sunflowers have bloomed, corn is down.)

Untitled_Paaanorama1-2Garden at the beginning of September (Potatoes are gone, new patch is made and covered, sweet potatoes are thriving, sunflowers are gone, tomatoes are looking bare.)Untitled_Panorama1Per usual, I’ll start from the bottom of the photo and work my way up to the top:

The kale, cabbage, and celery under the shade cloth is doing really well.Nieto Family - August 16 14 - 0028 Nieto Family - August 16 14 - 0027Nieto Family - August 16 14 - 0026 DSC_5372I am planning on transplanting most of these tomorrow into the chicken tractor so they can get more sun. The potato patch is covered with chicken compost for the winter. I am thinking it will be the corn patch next year. It is partially shaded most of the day but the potatoes did fine with this so I am thinking the corn may as well?

Next to this year’s potato patch is a new section of garden where I think I will plant potatoes next year.DSC_5373

Next to that is the tomato/pepper/watermelon patch. The watermelons are finally ready for harvest. They have all been incredibly tasty so far. DSC_5379The pepper plants, per usual, are healthy-looking but do not produce an incredible amount of peppers. I don’t know what I can do to remedy that situation…other than plant more plants every year, which I plan to do.

The tomatoes actually seem to be bouncing back from all of their issues. I was going to rip them out and plant a bunch of brassicas in place of them; but now that they’re bouncing back, I am waiting on that…DSC_5378(still very heavily pruned but the new growth does not seem to be succumbing to any fungus)

The sweet potato patch looks great! We’ll see how they turn out in October, when it’s time to harvest.DSC_5380(top of photo: expanded the skinny strawberry patch)

If you remember, the corn patch was turned into a pea/carrot patch. The plan was to have pea border the patch (2′ border) with roots in the middle. I would harvest and rip out the peas before I had to do anything with the roots. I thought it was a good plan 😉

Only problem? Most of the carrots did not sprout and those that did have died off already. I assume it was just too hot. I am hoping to get the whole thing reseeded by the end of the week. We’ll see.DSC_5381(the peas are coming up nicely — bare spots are where cucumber & butternut squash plants were previously)

Up next is more sweet potato patch (seen in top right of the previous photo) and at the end my three oldest planted carrots and onions. They are partially shaded so they are doing better than my plantings of root veggies so far.

In the blueberry patch is our growing raspberry patch. Excuse the photo — storm was coming & I was holding a baby so this was as good as the pic was going to get. Look closely though, you can see quite a few raspberries ripening:)DSC_5382

The sunflowers were harvested and I ripped up the spent cucumber vines. Next on the list is to plant more brassicas, lettuce, and spinach in this area. (top of the photo is yet another sweet potato patch)DSC_5384Past the sunflower boxes is a box in which I have spinach sprouting (the box with the screen on it).DSC_5385 I also planted spinach in the potato patch but I had to remove the shade cloth (didn’t have enough) so all of it died 😦 I hope to plant more by mid-September.

To the left of this section are strawberry patches and to the right (bottom to top) are carrots, the last succession planting of beans, yet another sweet potato patch, volunteer tomatoes, and the chicken tractor, where broccoli and cabbage are planted.DSC_5388Past that is where we expanded the garden with cardboard and mulch a couple of weeks ago.

Welp, that’s it! Summer crops are finishing up and I am trying my hardest to get all of the fall crops planted so we can continue harvesting throughout the fall and winter. Most gardens (and gardeners) are SPENT by August. Because my garden is covered in mulch, my garden is still looking great (no weeds)! Praise the Lord for the Back to Eden Film! 🙂

I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday to see what other gardeners are up to 🙂