Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Busy Gardening Week!

Wow! Where does the time go? It seems like I have spent time in the garden every day, and yet, it isn't finished! Here is where it stands:

The corn came up! It is covered with netting so little chipmunks won't dig up and eat the seed. As soon as it is able to stand on it's own (meaning the seeds are no longer there) I can take the netting off.

I planted the peanuts as well. They are covered with netting too. I had a horrible time with this chipmunk eating the peanut seeds last year and then later, at harvest time, eating what little crop I had! (With all the rain we had, last year was a bad year for peanuts.) I am determined that this chipmunk won't ruin my crop again! Once the peanuts are established, the netting can come off. I will replace it with a chicken wire fence (and netting on top) to keep the critter out of bed while the peanuts are developing. That chore doesn't need to happen until August.

Notice the mouse trap? My husband baited it with peanut butter (bought from the store) in case the chipmunk chews through the netting. I am hoping he will stay away.

I got one of the two grape vines planted. These are Concord Grapes. The purple ones. I hope they are happy here! They should be able to handle the heat and humidity better then the Thompson Seedless Grapes did.

My hand pollinating the apples worked! I now have baby apples!

Hand pollinating is so easy to do. For any crop! With the right grow lights, it really would be possible to grow all vegetables indoors. All you need to do is spend a few minutes with a small paint brush hand pollinating the vegetables that require help (not all of them do.) You can see how easy it is to hand pollinate here.

I have finished planting 3 of my 6 tomato plants. I have so many quarts of tomato sauce canned over the last three years that I really didn't need to plant tomatoes at all. I decided to put in a few plants to have fresh tomatoes available to eat. I like a slice on hamburgers cooked on the grill.

If you didn't know, tomatoes grow really well in pots! They require regular feedings (about every two weeks) along with a few pieces of Tums for the calcium. Do that, you won't have any problems with your plants! They don't even need full sun. A minimum of 6 hours a day is all they require.

Now that the peanuts are in, I can turn my attention to green beans and squash. The problem is, the space required for them is currently occupied. Since the spring has been a bit cooler than normal (low 80's vs the normal high 80's), I still have the carrots and peas growing. The peas are now flowering.

This is the same bed that was completely eaten down to the dirt by some unknown critter in March. These peas were re-planted on March 28th - normally much too late to get a crop in the South. I think I am going to try to keep them for a few weeks more. A lot will depend on the weather. Until that space is available, I will plant half my green bean crop here.

I planted quite a few miniature roses last year and they are doing nicely! 

I am going to harvest these petals soon for potpourri I will make in the fall. (Life would be very dull if everything was about food crops!)

Up next is to plant the second grape vine and turn my attention to the herbs. They are getting too big for their little pots!


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