Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's a squash takeover!

Look at this monstrous plant! This is just one winter squash plant that I decided to allow to roam through the garden instead of up the trellis. It was supposed to be a 3 sisters thing. But the corn is only a few inches high (or not growing at all) and the bean, well I had to add a tiki torch for it to climb because there was no corn to hold onto (note to self, plant the corn earlier next time). I planted this squash on August 1st I think. I saw one female flower on it, but it turned yellow and shriveled before the flower even opened.

I must have killed about 100 worms on my summer squash yesterday. Squish, squish, squish. My fingers were pretty green LOL, but I have no coordination with gloves on. I'm going to try to bag the fruit the moment I see the flower open (i'll help pollinate to be sure). We'll see how that works.

The other 2 winter squash are doing well growing up their trellis. They are reaching out to grab anything they can. My peppers are doing well. I have 3 more growing - yay! I'm going to start seedlings for more this week because it is almost the official time for peppers here. I think I'll keep the shade curtains up for a while because last year even in Sept I had problems with the flowers dropping.

And look at this beauty who dropped by this morning. I'm not sure what it is. I'm Googling it right now. Oh, it's a polka dot wasp moth. We have chrysallis' all over the front of the house of them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Corn, corn, corn

That's what I planted yesterday. A whole box of corn. The original box I had planned for the corn has been taken over by squash. I still planted some seeds in that box, but I couldn't count on it to come up under those huge, humongous, gigantic squash leaves. So I had to rearrange the whole fall planting schedule to use a different box. The birds started making all sorts of racket as soon as I poured the corn into my hand and started planting. There were alot of "caw caw" sounds and I think the crows were hiding back in the woods and telling the news that corn was being planted. I covered the box with trellis pieces so they wouldn't steal what I'd planted LOL.

I also replanted the herb garden where not one herb came up in the two weeks since it was planted. Third time's a charm?? I hope so. And I harvested my green pepper before the raccoons could steal it. So it was only 2 oz, but at least I got it and not them! Pfft. I also stuck a tiki torch into the squash/corn bed for the poor bean to climb. It was stretching out just trying to find something to hang on to LOL.

And, here's a pic that Jake took of a butterfly on our bottlebrush tree. I can't believe how good the photo turned out. It is currently my desktop background.

Today we're getting a ton of rain. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ugh, Titles!

Couldn't think of a title today :)

So the garden is doing well. Or is it good? Either way, things are growing. Except that corn is being so stubborn. My corn window here is very short. I have to get it going. And the squash that I planted "with" it. Well it is taking over everywhere! It was supposed to sprawl around through the corn with the beans and do that 3 sisters thing. Well 2 sisters showed up, but the corn is a late arrival. My poor bean has nothing to climb. The squash is shading half of the corn squares. And that is the only box for corn so I guess I'd better do something about it and stop griping.

The winter squash in the other box is insane! It has climbed up almost to the top of the trellis already. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it besides run it back down and up and down that thing. The summer squash in the other box is doing okay. The wormy things really like that box. Fine, let them play there and at least leave the other ones alone. Then it is only one box to deal with worms. There are a few bush beans growing there too - although the squash seem to be trying to elbow them out.

And who knew a lima bean bush would take over a whole 3x3 box? Not me!

Jake has 9 watermelon, oops, that's 8 watermelon growing. I think a squirrel got to one. It definitely wasn't a raccoon with those tiny bites taken out of it. Not sure what I'll do except maybe cover the top of the box again. I'm tired of being shut out of my boxes to keep the other things out. It is a pain!

I did some home-y stuff yesterday and today. Made butter, canned 4 jars of that Annie's Salsa from Granny's blog, 3 more loaves of bread, 12 cinnamon rolls from scratch and corn chips that didn't turn out. I'm tired! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rainy day in the garden

I didn't get out there until this evening because it was rainy and dreary today. I only saw 2 worm/caterpillar thingies on my squash tonight - yay! Either the rain or I've been keeping up with them good. When I went out yesterday evening I found a bunch. I wonder if they hatch in the evenings then eat all night? They were miniscule when I came across them yesterday.

Since it was so dreary out we spent the day baking. Jake made blondies, all by himself. They were good! I made 3 loaves of regular bread and 2 loaves of cinnamon raisin braids. Take a look!

Here's a little guy who was resting on a leaf of my pepper plant. Hopefully he's working hard keeping the bad stuff away.

And, my spider finally learned his lesson! He left his anchoring strand of his web where I put it and hasn't flung it out to my barrier in the past 3 days. Good spider!
I was going to blog earlier and complain about how none of my bush beans are coming up and when I went out this evening I found 6 sprouts LOL. Guess I shouldn't be thinking of complaining. :) Maybe if I think about complaining tomorrow about all of my herbs.....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The squash pest

Here's some pics of the caterpillar thing that is on my squash. I had pickleworms earlier this year, but these just don't look exactly the same as those. Everytime I google squash pests all they show me is squash bugs and vine borers. These aren't interested in the vine/stalk at all. They just like the leaves.

And you can see the overall damage that they do here.

And on a happier note... No one got at my peppers last night. I did harvest one of them to make sure that I got one from the batch LOL. But here's one that is still growing!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Squash Pests!

Something is munching on my squash. They are tiny bright green caterpillars or worms. Sometimes they are only like a mm or two long - incredibly tiny! Others that escape notice get a little bit bigger before I find them. They seem to build a little weblike cocoon to hide under at times. I've been killing them every day. Any thoughts? I will get a pic of them if there are more tomorrow. Right now the pic would be of little caterpillar corpses & guts on the edge of the raised bed LOL.
And, someone stole a pepper from me last night! I thought I had secured the area, but apparently not. I'll have to work on that today. And maybe harvest one of my "larger" peppers just so I can have it before it gets stolen.
Other news - the corn doesn't seem to be growing. I've planted two weekends in a row and nothing! The purple pole beans are doing well. The one that I interplanted with the corn...well it has nothing to hold onto! It was supposed to have corn to climb LOL. I'll have to get it a little post for now until the corn comes in. Which it better do soon! Also planted a bunch of herbs 2 weeks ago and am not seeing much action. Sigh.
Oh well, I will be happy with my beans and squash for now :) .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sprouts - new beginnings!

I love seeing the sprouts coming up through the soil. They are new beginnings for another season of life. I took a few pics today of what's coming up in the garden.

I told this guy to stop building his web connected to my flimsy garden cages. Everyday when I lean over them I end up breaking his connector string. I try to put it somewhere else but he puts it right back every single day! He's one of those pretty flourescent green and orange ones. or maybe a she)

Got a squash here. It is going to be allowed to just roam wherever it wants. Oh, and my pretty whitefly trap LOL. I have corn in the squares next to it. But where is it? It should be coming up soon.

There's a purple pole bean sprout coming up! And some ground cover coming in over the box edges!

AND... PEPPERS!!!!! Gosh I'm excited about these. I LOVE peppers. The two things I started a garden for - peppers and corn.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back from the Beach! Planting; Neglect or Horse Manure?

I'm back from a week at the beach. It was GREAT! I would love to live at the beach :) . Since this is the garden blog though we won't talk about the gorgeous weather, warm water, tons of good food, and the dolphins, manatees, rays, etc. :)

When I got back I went out in the dark to look at the garden. It looked like the transplants survived a week without me. The next morning I went out for a better look and found that most of them made it. I lost 2 bush beans and 1 zucc plant and some broc sprouts. No biggie. 5 of the various squash survived.
But the REAL surprise was my pepper plant. I planted this bell pepper back in the winter planting season. During its prime time it yielded one small pepper. It isn't even supposed to be alive right now because of the heat. I put some sheers over the box to keep it alive, even though it wouldn't produce fruit. Well I checked that baby out and would you believe it... 5 peppers are growing! So, is it the neglect or the horse manure? LOL. I'm very pleased that I bought all of that compost. It seems to be working great. I've tried 3 seasons to plant peppers and only had one or two grow on each plant. Now I have 5 and possibly more on the way.

I planted 4 squares of corn. I'm going with 3/sq this year. First time I did 4 and they didn't grow well (corn borers and not enough nutrients). Last time I did 2 and they still didn't grow well (corn borers) and even if they had it wasn't enough. So I'm going with 3 this time and see how it goes. I'll succession plant the next few rows each week. I also planted some pole beans and some bush beans. Last year I did 1 little plant per square. I must have read something wrong on that LOL. I have 8 per square going this year. Let's see, what else went in?? Oh, broc, more zucc, and tons of herbs. All of my herbs have died off, except the thyme which I pulled and am going to dry this week.

I'm not sure how I feel about the leaf mulch there. Maybe because it is just 2 squares worth? I have the whole strawberry bed done with it and like it. I'm waiting for more sprouts to come up before I finish mulching. I'm using live oak leaves (well, dead live oak leaves) and they are nice and small. They break nice and don't seem to mat together. This bed is mostly planted except for 2 squares. I'm going heavy on the companion planting this year in attempt to help out as much as possible to keep the bad bugs away.

I also spread some of the compost on the yard to help fertilize, remade the herb bed by the back door, and fed the worms and filled the compost tumblers. A nice finish to a great week.

My fresh new herb bed ready to grow!

I know, I know. How dreadfully exciting... a squarish shape filled with dirt and pvc pipe grids, and no plants! They are in there!!!