Behind on my blogging

I have some really cute photos from over the weekend of T in the garden. He has been going out there every day. “Anything new in the garden?” he asks.

Today at preschool he even spent extra time in the garden — voluntarily! Wow.

I haven’t been able to pick my strawberries every night and they are getting so much pest damage. As far as I can tell, it’s mostly a new generation of sow bugs (those pill bugs) and tiny slugs. There are some other newer pests and I think there still might be some stink bugs around.

Today I finished putting out compost, perhaps too thickly, along with oyster shell lime, for another pea bed. Z set up drip on that bed tonight! I also put the oyster shell out on what I hope will be a new greens bed. Z put more compost out there with the tractor this weekend. I didn’t realize that it still needs a lot of smoothing out — and perhaps more compost. I really need to water the piles of purchased compost- that stuff is SO dusty!

I tried raking the recently-mowed grass out of the old garlic and onion bed today to see what would be left. There is still 4 hours’ worth of hoeing to do. There are healthy dock plants every 8 inches – they should be dug out, but I believe the ground is way too hard for that.

Z did a lot of mowing over the weekend- he did most of the broccoli bed, leaving the flowers (he ran the mower up at least a foot in the air :/) and the stuff at the head of the bed, which we actually ate from last night :). he mowed the 1/3 of the south side that had our cover crops and most of our pigweed, as well as the 5th bed of pumpkins. There’s still the one healthiest-looking plant there, but it’s not getting water anymore. And he also mowed the bed next to the strawberries, but the weeds are growing back very quickly.

Here are some photos I took at the National Heirloom Exposition today. Hopefully I will be able to write a report tomorrow.

Blackberry harvest has begun!

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Himalayan blackberries

Today while we were walking past the Himalayan blackberries along the driveway (with a septic guy), I checked to see if there were ripe berries. Just in time, since there are tons of ripe berries! I went out and picked maybe a basket’s worth or so with T. He ate and ate and ate them! I hadn’t realized that they were that far along. They are delicious. My inlaws had made it sound like they’d only gotten a half a basket on Tuesday. Now there are a lot more than that, and the photo shows a small portion of the closest patch to the house.

Sad broccoli plants. Bad gophers!
Broccoli plants damaged by gophers.

The wildlife is really starting to impact the garden- 4 broccolis have been affected by gophers in the last 2 days. One or two are still holding on, if sideways. I put the others into the compost. To work on for the future: bigger heads.

Small hole where animals dug into the soil to eat pumpkin seeds, eat bugs, or find out what the fish smell was from (fertilizer)
Spot where raccoons or skunks dug up pumpkin seeds

The raccoons dug up approximately 5 of the 8 little “mounds” where I planted pumpkin seeds the other night. Boo. 😦 Fortunately I have another packet. Z thinks I should wait another few days to replant, since the animals tend to dig on more than one night. Possible reasons for the digging: use of fish/kelp meal right as I was planting (so it wasn’t watered in for a period of time before I planted), and use of compost on the surface. There’s another gopher mound along where I planted the pole beans the other night. May need to replant that section.

Z got so much done today! He chiseled 11 beds (8 pictured) and then after I took this picture he got them most of the way raked. I am not happy about the “dust” that was blowing around. He was working while it was too windy. And yes, the soil was too dry.

Today I harvested: blackberries, kale, broccoli, basil, purslane, strawberries (ate in the field), and beans (three huge handfuls). T was excited to carry two of those handfuls of beans into the house! They sure get big quickly.

Z has an interesting idea: we could grow a bunch of things that local plant breeder Luther Burbank grew. Maybe some spineless cactus, Shasta daisies (need those for the strawberries!!), etc.

At least I fertilized!

Raccoon heading towards fence in garden
Raccoon sneaking out of the garden…

I didn’t hit all the areas I wanted to apply Biomin 153 to last week, so I felt it was important to get out there with the fish/kelp mix today. Last week I ran out of time to clean out the sprayer, and I paid for that this week. I started to spray and a little bit came out nicely, and then stopped. I’ve twirled knobs and pressed levers, and I can’t get it to work! So I ended up pouring like 3/4 gallons at a time into a bucket (with a handle) and using it to apply the stuff. I refilled with some water here and there, and I think I still only got to 1 side of the okra.

Need to get on the corn-harvesting thing. And pick strawberries. And beans. And plant things!!! I also need to mow the old cover crops so we can get ready to plant strawberries and stuff in them.

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Sorghum-sudangrass

Some of the sorghum-sudangrass is heading out, so that’s interesting. We’re wondering if either our mowers can handle the sections that are 5 feet tall… Also, those spots tend to correspond with leaks in the drip system.

We found one whole row that has sunn hemp in it. I scattered it along with other seeds in some of the other beds, but it definitely was not able to compete with those other cover crops.

There's definitely pigweed mixed in with that sunn hemp!
There’s definitely pigweed mixed in with that sunn hemp!

This is sunn hemp, right?