I’m still having issues with the phone line/DSL and I’ve been on vacation, so more random garden notes for now…
There were many early successes and now some dramatic hits – the early tomatoes came down with late blight and the late came down with the early – at least I think that’s what happened.
Squash vine borer took out the zucchini just when I figured out what was happening (there weren’t any obvious early telltale signs)…
and to some degree at an okay time – we were getting tired of it and my most hated garden pest – squash bugs – hatched.
Despite squishing their eggs every morning, I still missed a bunch.
(And the dog will miss eating portions of the missed monster zukes daily.)
Now we’re worried about the butternut squash, but we’ve already got a few near maturity, so if they get hit, it won’t be a total loss.
The cucumber beetles (both spotted and three-lined now) continue to be a massive plague and introduced their bacterial diseases again which the plants have mostly powered through – I squished these daily as well and used sticky traps, but neither made much difference…
The dried beans will only amount to a meal or two – totally not worth the effort, but I could have been a bit more attentive to them and thinned them out a bit better for better air circulation – but – their close-togetherness keep them happy during the heat so either way it was certain doom for them this year.
On a happy note, we’ve been back to salads with some nice lettuces again and the bush and pole beans are doing fine.
And despite the tomato plants taking the huge blighty hit, we canned and froze at least 100 pounds and probably ate the same… Most are still hanging in there after aggressive pruning and organic fungicide, but we’ll have to be far more proactive next year – I was too cocky about not getting hit with blight before. We’ve thankfully got enough beds to rotate everything well, but the southern ones are getting the least amount of sun starting in mid-July, so they aren’t a great place for them.
The yard didn’t get the attention I said it would have this year – we’ve got a couple large (maybe expensive) projects that I feel should be done before I spend time doing other things that might have to be undone, so hopefully we’ll figure that out soon, but in the meantime, the deer have been parading their babies through the yard.
And the dog continues to be an asshole to them and other beasts, but we’re still trying hard – many dollars of behaviorists and prescription drugs later… (he’s kinda making me feel like I’m the one in need of prescriptions) and the issue of fencing for him is one of the yard holdups – he’s a jumper, the town has height limits, the back yard is pretty big, and the front the perfect size but probably wouldn’t work after all… and so it goes.
I’d hoped to start a few plants indoors for a fall crop, but we’ve yet to set up the grow station – it will happen for spring though – but I’ll be trying for some more root veg and greens – perhaps attempt keeping kale and whatnot through the first frosts – it’s been to hot to put in anything yet and I’ve still got to clean up a few beds first.
And nature has helped a bit too – we’ve got the resident praying mantis or two back, perhaps some assassin bugs (one baby snuck in on some veg), and birds that I’m also keeping my eye on – good now, but once we get blueberries I’ll likely be raging at them with a broom…
I let some volunteer watermelons do their thing as well as some more butternuts – we’ll see how well the mostly ignored, unwatered volunteers do vs. the painstakingly tended intentionally planted ones (squash that is, I didn’t plant watermelon this year).
And there have been a few interesting surprises as well.
The swallowtail butterflys (I’m pretty sure this is black swallowtail) are snugging up to the garden again – this oddball preferred nothing natural to make her home:
And the damp weather brought out the mushrooms.
I know very little on the mycology front and only trust myself to pick morels in the wild, but I’m becoming slightly more interested – enough to try making spore prints next time I find some – and these in the bean patch are likely boletes of some sort, but I can’t quite determine which one…
But the best has been a stinkhorn that popped up in the tomatoes – unfortunately we left the day after so I didn’t get to watch, or rather smell, its life cycle.
The hot and humid weather finally broke a couple of days ago, but is likely headed back soon, so I’ll be busy in the meantime…