The weather has finally been cooperative! Beautiful 77degree day, clear sky, great day to weed the garden and start preparing for the latter half of the summer. I repotted the Lemon tree, and I pulled my Rosemary and Sage and put them in pots to bring inside for the winter. I do hope they survive!
I harvested the carrots and the beets from my indoor greenhouse. Pretty disappointing overall! I have heard of MicroGreens, but I have produced Micro Carrots! Actually, they weren’t all this size, but they were tiny, smaller than “baby carrots”. My beets had NO beets at all! just greens…which were pretty tasty, but, like the carrots a disappointment.
My project for the greenhouse is: 1) to figure out why the root vegetables were such a failure. 2) to figure out why things take so long to mature when I have heat, light, and humidity. The soil is dense, maybe it should be lighter? more vermiculite?
Bees/wasps/ and other flying things have started to populate the Mason bee house. Happy to see life in it since I moved it from a different part of the garden. Bees have been more prevalent in the garden later in the season, although my roses did not bloom quite the way they did last season, there was a lot of activity.
So there still is much to do, weeding, mulching and marking the locations of plants so next spring there is less mystery is what is coming up.
With all the rain we have had this past week, the bad news is the crabgrass took over. The good news is today, with all the rain we have had this past week, weeding was very productive! The ground was soft, the tools worked just right, and buckets of crabgrass was added to my forest floor! We mulched the outline of the newly expanded areas I was able to plant a few more perrenials in between rain drops.
What I added: to the front garden I planted two Minuet Mountain Laurels and to the “crabapple cascade” area in the back I added two sweetfern (Comptonia Peregrina) three cardinal plants, and a “turtlehead” plant. My trusty companion Toulouse is always around when I garden, he is always sniffing his way through the underbrush to check out what has been visiting in the night.
Pumpkins are taking over their alloted patch. Seems like miles of vine and lots of flowers…I think there are a few pumpkins coming in, but they are well hidden, as are the summer squash. The Cherry tomatoes are coming in fast and furiously. Every time I go out to the garden I can easily harvest 50-75 cherry tomatoes. I have given away many, and I have already dehydrated my first batch! The tomatoes in the raised beds are doing just OK. Most of the leaves have already died back, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. This particular batch I raised from seed, the others that were Nursery purchased have been splitting due to too much water, so we have been bringing them in sooner before they start splitting, to ripen off the vine.
We also picked our first 4 peaches. They were a bit deformed, and kinda buggy, but there was enough good area left to actually eat! it is puzzling to me why the season was so delayed. Peach season is usually June, maybe in our zone peaches ripen in August. A few more on the tree ripening. I would consider that a successful harvest for the first year in the ground! Apples….meh those are another story all together, but next year we can spray organic stuff on them so we may have a better chance at getting fruit that matures.
We would like to get out in the Kayacks, but the weather is too unpredictable. Unlike hiking where a little bit of rain is not an issue, I do not want to find myself on a lake, in the rain. Water from the top, water underneath doesn’t make me a happy paddler.
Just an update from my previous post. My Swallowtail caterpillar has grown at an amazing rate, it looks pretty different from the last post (middle picture). I am hoping I will be able to see it mature. right now it is still pretty unnoticeable, but when it gets to full size It may get picked off by birds
Sadly this year, the buzz of bees in my garden has just not been there. I did have the opportunity to shoot mama (or daddy?) wren (?) bringing home a lacewing dinner. If you look closely you can see clear down that little baby’s throat!
I also found an infestation of small caterpillars on my dill and parsley. Doing a bit of image research I found out this will mature to a black swallowtail butterfly (pictured above). It amazes me that I have not seen any butterflies of this type this year, yet these little caterpillars are all over the place! I can’t even see any eggs, but like magic, they show up almost overnight.
I am hoping that as the season progresses the grand-central like activity at my rose garden will build, right now though, it very sad. I have only seen a few bumble bees around the clover and the bee balm