Wednesday, June 29, 2016

July in the Garden

Summer is the time of year where I start making plans for next year's gardening. I get to see what's working and what's not. What needs to be moved or removed. What to add. What to never-grow-again. What to try over or even try for the first time.

Zucchini has become one of those things I don't think I will grow ever again. This year, I was determined to grow a crap-load of zucchini, but the bugs have won out - AGAIN. Even though I put up these very clever row covers, the squash bugs and eventually the squash vine borers found their way in.



The zuchs are very happy and healthy, but the row covers prevent really good pollination from happening. I tried hand pollinating, but between that and removing squash bug eggs, and otherwise babying these things, it's just not worth it. So far, I've gotten exactly 2 huge zuchs and I'm not sure if I'll have any more that are worth the effort. Supposedly, legend has it that just one zuch plant should be enough to feed a family of four - HMPH!

However, the summer squash in the background under the other cover are doing great! Somehow, they are more resistant to the squash bugs and SVBs. Still, I am spraying the vines with BT every 7 days in hopes of killing any hatching SVB larva.

Moving on...

The tomatoes have finally caught up and again I have too many tom plants (27 plants). These things are now taller than me since I took these photos. I have a ton of parsley, as I suspected, so I think I am going to dry a lot in my dehydrator for dried parsley.



Some exciting news....it finally looks like I "might" have figs from my fig plants this year! I bought these 2 fig plants at 6" tall three years ago and they are FINALLY growing little figlets. #figwatch

I almost gave up on them producing anything, but I've heard that it can take several years for them to grow figs. The fig plants are "Negronne" and "Olympian". At the end of the season, I am going to move them to bigger pots. If I had this to do over again, I would have bought mature plants from the get-go.



Outside the veggie garden, the perennial bed by the porch is in full bloom. It's still in evolution, so it's a bit messy IMO. I love the gladiolas, but they look out of place when they are growing willy-nilly here-and-there. I think I'm going to move them all together in clumps this fall.


From the other direction, you can see we have a huge, ugly eyesore. Hubby and I removed two large juniper bushes from this spot (I think junipers smell like cat pee!) and now we have to figure out what we want to replace them with.

For now, I have a "Little Kim" lilac planted there and have plans to put a really big planter with a Japanese Maple in it towards the front by the liriope. Hubby and I also have plans to rescreen the porch this fall/winter and add wood lattice under the porch to make it less of an eyesore.

I have a Baptista (false nettle) plant that I want to move behind the lilac and some smaller perennials to put in front of it.


Out back near the drain field, my hosta and shade garden is looking nice. I've had to grow everything out here in protective "chain mail" to keep the voles out, but something else has been out here causing havoc as well.

The other day, two of these plants were completely pulled up out of their holes by their "chain mail" root ball protectors. I know voles can't do this for bigger plants, so I'm suspecting either a raccoon, opossum, or skunk.

I've since purchased a 2 lb. bag of cayenne powder and circled each one of these plants like I was protecting them from some sort of voodoo curse. Hey, whatever it takes and it's working!


Lastly, I will leave you with a pretty close-up of a borage flower. Such detail! Happy summer to you all!


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