After a fabulous week at the beach with my family I’ve been busy playing catch-up here at home. The garden harvest is beginning to pick up the pace and I’m start kick my dehydrator and canner into high gear. So far I’ve been dealing mainly with cucumbers, zucchini, and herbs, but Lord willing, my tomatoes and beans will soon be throwing everything into overdrive.
From this vantage point my garden looks healthy and really pretty darn lush. However, there are a few problems with bugs and disease lurking. Yet, I was really happy to see all the new growth when we returned from our vacation. We installed a soaker hose watering system right before we left, but didn’t have time to test it to make sure it was watering everything sufficiently. I must admit I felt much like a mamma leaving her babies with a sitter for first time all the while we were away. I kept wanting to phone home and check on all my precious little ones. Nurturing an itty, bitty little seed from sprout into a mature, fruit bearing plant has a way of making one a little sappy and protective. I was so afraid I would return only to find many of my plants had keeled over due to lack of care.
I think we’re all a little shocked that the trellis is actually holding up to the weight of this pumpkin. Granted it’s just one, but it is pretty darn cool! Unfortunately, this plant is looking pretty sickly. I think it’s suffering from powdery mildew. I need to do a bit more research, but unfortunately if I am right I think the plant might need to be uprooted and destroyed. This particular bed is home to pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, corn, sunflower and beans. I think I went a little overboard when I planted this bed and it’s suffering due to overcrowding and inadequate air circulation.
Here’s a shot of the overcrowded bed. It’s no wonder I have probably have a mildew problem.
This beautiful sunflower is a crowning jewel in our garden! We’ve never grown such a tall growing variety and it is truly a sight to behold. I planted the sunflowers in the center of my garden plot and it (albeit accidentally) has become the centerpiece of our garden.
Here’s one of my gianormous cucumbers! We have been blessed by an abundance of long, slender cucumbers many of which are in excess of 12-15 inches! I’ve used these for salads, pickling and relishes though I am not sure they are known as a pickling variety.
Amazingly, after a couple terrible storms knocked our corn almost flat they righted themselves and are actually producing lots of ears! So far they are all on the smallish side and I really have no idea if they will continue to get bigger since we have no prior experience with corn. But we are hopeful that we’ll soon be munching some of our own delicious, home grown sweet corn!
I can just never seem to resist snapping a couple photos of the nasturtium whenever I take the camera with me to the garden. Its vibrant flowers get me every time.
And finally, my cosmos blooms are just beginning to appear. I wanted our garden to not only be functional and productive, but beautiful as well so I interspersed flower seeds throughout the beds.
Now, if you look very closely at the cosmos photo you’ll see one of my greatest garden nemesis just under the big blossom: a dratted cucumber beetle! We were doing a pretty good job of keeping up with these little buggers before we left on our vacation, but I am currently facing a virtual infestation! I’ve been so busy playing catch-up and recovering from a nasty virus that I haven’t had the time to keep up with picking and drowning the nasty little critters. I am planning to spend some time this week fertilizing and investigating some organic methods for pest control. I’ve also noticed some earwigs and caterpillars and a few other bad bugs, so the cucumber beetles aren’t the only pests I am dealing with. DH sprayed everything with BT last week, but I think I’ll try some Diatomaceous earth as I read that it is a great organic pest control. Our edamame and cucumber leaves are starting to look like swiss cheese! Fortunately, the plants are still producing and, from the looks of it, we’ll soon be harvesting a boatload of edamame.