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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

rain, rain, where is the rain?

This is usually our rainy season, through most of the summer, notwithstanding hurricane season. We have not had much rain at all this month, maybe 2 days worth which is very unusual. This can create many problems.

  1. We need rain for our garden. (duh)
  2. The rain helps to cool the outside temperature. It has been in the 90's, with the heat index of 100's lately. we need the rain for cooling purposes. 
  3. The rain helps to stave off brush fires. If we don't get some rain soon, there is a threat of fires. We had a big run in with this about 10 years ago. We didn't get any rain through all of July, and not until August sometime. It caused quite a bit of problems. 
Now needless to say, we don't want so much rain that it floods, or that we get rain from hurricanes, but some rain would be nice. I am hoping the rain gods are listening. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Full Moon planting

I've known for some time that the moon affects the earth as well as our bodies. Since we've just had a full moon, I thought I'd check out what this is all about. I found 2 books that have all sorts of information on the moon phases and what they mean as far as when to plant. 
I've never heard of this one, but it includes all kinds of information on gardening, the weather, and moon phases. The almanac for all seasons, they say. The website is very simple, and there's no way to order online. We have to go old school and send a check! I wonder if I still have some....
The Farmers Almanac I remember from back in the day. My dad had a copy of this every year. There's information on astronomy, astrology, gardening, husbandry (no, not that kind), even sports. To think, they were talking about astronomy and astrology back in 1792! I think that's kind of cool. We're all connected you know, and the more we know, the better off we will all be. I think I'll get one of each almanac for Nate. Well, for both of us really. I always liked reading the farmers almanac. Such interesting stuff!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

sorry looking corn

I don't know what happened to the corn, but it looks pretty sorry. I'm not sure if it's the heat, the soil, or bugs, or a combination of all 3, but they didn't even come close. Nate is sorely disappointed. He was looking forward to corn, as he likes it so much. I take consolation in the fact that we got so many tomatoes.

I keep telling him it's our first garden, and we really did plant too late in the season, so we should be happy with what we got. I'm excited about the fall vegetables! I'm not used to having a garden in the fall. In Ohio, by now, the plants have gone through their life cycle and we are preparing to till up the garden to put it to bed for the winter.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

staving off the rain....

So far we have staved off the rain today. I was hoping for some, for the plants sake, but I was also doing laundry and hanging it outside, and I didn't want to do the clothes grab if it started to rain suddenly.

Today I finished the last of my homework for my degree. It feels good to be done, but it still hasn't totally hit me yet that I have a degree. It'll take some time. I have been enjoying the 'weekend off' of homework, so to speak. I got up early today and rode my bike to yoga class. It helps keep me centered, and it so good for the body. The ride home was good too, as it was overcast and there was just enough breeze to make it easy to ride home, and a pleasure to have the breeze.

The tomatoes are still producing and we have a few for salad for dinner tonight. The heat has taken a toll on most of the rest of the plants, not to mention us and the animals as well. We're all very tired. Tomorrow we sleep in!

Tomorrow is do-nothing-stay-in-my-pajamas-and-don't-leave-the-house-until-I-need-to-take-Scotty-to-the-park day. I'm very much looking forward to it. Of course, I'll check on the vegetables when I get up, as it's still kind of cool then. Tolerable, I should say.

I found this flower on one of our plants, and for the life of me, I can't remember which one. That's what I get for hesitating in storing these photos. All I can say is, it's pretty.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the FINAL final

I took my Major Field Test in Business this evening. I printed out the results. Come to find out...

I'm average.

My delusions of grandeur are officially squashed.

I'll sleep better tonight without the pressure.

rose bush

We were given this rose bush by a dear friend, and honestly, I don't know much about roses except that they are thorny, have some pretty looking and smelling flowers, and there are lots of different varieties. Needless to say, like most plants in my yard, I plant it, prune it some, give it some food every now and then, and just let them grow. I am not big on maintenance on the yard. I don't have the time, nor inclination, to work out in the yard every day, or every weekend (not withstanding the garden, of course). It is too damn hot here most of the time to do so, and I have xeriscaped my yard so that I don't have to do a lot of maintenance. Don't get me wrong, I like working in my yard. It is calming, soothing, and I like to see the progress of my plants. So when we were given this rose bush, I didn't know what to expect. It kind of got crazy and wild with the growing, so I cut it back FAR about 2 weeks ago. It was nothing but sticks, but still growing. There were a few branches that had died that needed to be cut away. I go to look at it yesterday and it is growing some very pretty leaves! I am not used to red leaves, and there was a very small, not quite full, flowering bud on a lower branch. 

I think it looks pretty good. It survived the trimming and I obviously didn't kill it. I think I'll keep it cut back so it's not so huge. It's kinda difficult to mow around. Those damn thorns catch on your clothes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

we have a watermelon!

I could hardly believe it when Nate showed it to me! The weather has been unbearably HOT (feels like 102F today) and most things are withering brown and dying. I was wondering how a watermelon would grow on a vine, but it is! I am so ecstatic! I am hoping this one comes to fruition so we can have some for later this year. Watermelons take a LONG time to grow, and this is a baby one. We'll keep an eye on it to see how it progresses. 

Our tomatoes are growing really well. Almost everyday we have at least a few yellow pear tomatoes and one big red tomato.

even the hanging tomato planter is producing! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

bad news...

the corn looks terrible and all eaten up, one of the watermelon plants is shriveling, and the pepper plants are only producing small peppers. I think we started too late on some things, and it's too hot now to save them. Next year we'll start earlier. In September we'll try the cooler weather plants.

On a brighter note, we have LOTS and LOTS of yellow pear tomatoes! yay!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

bounty from the garden

I'm thrilled to report we have A LOT of yellow pear tomatoes! and some red big boy tomatoes too! Look!

A couple of the red tomatoes looked ready to burst, but they still looked good. I've had a few of the yellow ones for lunch. It's great to be able to go in the backyard and pick some food for lunch. 
Scotty was guarding the yard for me while I was picking...
and the watermelons are starting to take over the yard...
I can't wait to see how they turn out! The red of the tomatoes looks beautiful against the green of the plants...
I'm having some of these with my salad for dinner. Can't wait!

The passion vines are in full bloom too. These are so pretty. I've cut some flowers on the vine and set them on top of the water in the fish pond. They last for a few days like that and look very pretty.
I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July holiday and are well rested and still have all their limbs, fingers, and toes. Happy gardening!

Monday, July 5, 2010

the day after 4th of July

You'd think that after having a long weekend, one wouldn't need an extra day to recover, but we do. So today is catch up day. Time to relax, get some housework, and yardwork, done, spend some quality time with the dog and cats, and work on some homework. Only 2 more weeks and I am a graduate! YES! Which leaves me more time to work on the garden. I am ready to go!

If you are lucky enough to get one, enjoy your extra day off!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Have a great day! Don't set yourself on fire and don't hold a lighted firework in your hand. Very important to stay out of all emergency rooms today. Go eat some more potato salad instead and take a nap.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

queen of the dirt

queen of the dirt

This is a photo from our last visit to the landfill for compost. Since Nate has an extended cab on his truck, the bed was shorter. We both shoveled and I got on top of the pile of dirt and packed it down. It's very loose dirt otherwise and would have blown all over on our drive back home. Plus this way we brought back a lot more dirt than if we had just shoveled. This free compost has turned out to be great for our garden, and saves us quite a few bucks too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

here's what we started with...

We started the day after Earth Day this year with just 2 garden boxes. I thought that was all we were going to start with and try, since this is our first time growing a garden. Our local landfill has free compost, so we shoveled a bunch in the back of Nate's truck and used it for garden soil. So far, it has proven to be very good. Nate added some vermiculite to it, which seems to help also. I've used the free compost for years in my yard in starting new plants. Can't beat free! The cats were very curious as to what we were doing, and Scotty helped dig up some of the weeds. Actually, he made himself a nice, soft, cool dirt spot to lay in while were were getting rid of weeds and grass to make room for the boxes. I like to say he helped, as he did dig out some weeds. I just don't think he knew what was going on.

Next to the 2 boxes is our compost bin. We have since moved it to make room for the other boxes. We have another rotating compost bin that we are in the process of putting together. The one we currently have is ok. I guess it's just not composting as fast as I would like it. We do have quite a lot of worms in the current compost box, which I am happy about. They are some pretty big suckers too! Nate says we should grow worms and sell them. That's another idea for another day. We'll get around to it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

orange cat in the garden

This is Moses. He's our special needs child. He has 3 legs. He's missing his back right leg. Oh no, don't feel sorry for him! He is a fast and fierce little guy! He has caught so many lizards and he's been eye balling a lot of squirrels around here. I am waiting for him to bring us one someday. It's only a matter of time. At least I know our yard is lizard free and under critter control with him around. We have yet to have any problems with rodents, thanks to the cats. I know people say that it's dangerous, or can be anyway, to have your cats outside since there are so many other dangers that they can run into, but I don't like it that any animal is inside all the time, even humans. We are not meant to be inside all the time breathing recycled air. We all need to be outside enjoying the outdoors, breathing fresh air, (as fresh as it can be depending upon where you are sorry to say), and moving our bodies and getting exercise. These cats are so busy playing in the yard, exercising their bodies and brains, keeping active, and they are healthy because of it. We are too. And they are earning their keep around here and feeling useful. We all want to feel useful. They are great company too. And we have our own natural critter control. No harmful chemicals, pesticides, or traps.

cat tail in the garden

These are the green peppers. Notice the ever present cat tail in the garden, and I'm not talking the plant kind. These kids are so funny. Fierce jungle cats they are.