105 DEGREES DOES NOT STOP OUR GARDEN!

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 07-07-2012

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LOOKING NORTH

LOOKING NORTH ACROSS MAIN GARDEN ENCLOSURE

 

IT DID ROAST MANY OF OUR TOMATOES ON THE VINES BUT MANY WERE UNDER THE LEAF SHADE AND HAVE SURVIVED.  WE ARE HARVESTING THEM AS FAST AS THEY START TO COLOR (ANY COLOR) AND LETTING THEM RIPEN IN THE HOUSE.  THEY TASTE VERY GOOD AND BETTER THAN THE ROASTED VARIETY.

WHERE TO BEGIN.  WHILE I WAS ON VACATION, CHRIS WAS THE OFFICIAL WATERING PARTNER.  SHE WATERED OVERHEAD THREE HOURS EVERY DAY.  THE 105+ MIDDAY TEMPERATURES REQUIRED A LOT OF WATER.  THIS WAS DONE IN THE EVENINGS AFTER THE SUN HAD MOVED OUT OF THE CENTER OF THE SKY TO AVOID BURNING THE PLANTS.  IT WAS WARM ENOUGH TO DRY THE PLANTS IN THE EVENING BEFORE THE SUN WENT DOWN.

DESPITE THE HEAT STRESS, THE GARDEN CONTINUED TO GROW AND MAKE PRODUCE.  THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.  USUALLY THE SUMMER HEAT KILLS THE GARDEN IN A WEEK.  WAS IT THE DAILY WATERING OR THE IMPROVED SOIL OR THE MULCHES?  MIGHT BE ALL THREE BUT WHATEVER IT WAS, I WAS REALLY SURPRISED TO SEE THINGS DOING WELL WHEN I RETURNED FROM MY 11 DAY ABSENCE.  WITH THREE MEMBERS ON VACATION AND ONLY THREE LEFT TO HARVEST, IT BECAME DIFFICULT FOR THOSE HERE TO CONSUME WHAT WAS DEVELOPING.

THE BLACK BERRIES AND BLUE BERRIES HAVE FINISHED.  BIRDS GOT MOST OF THE BLUE BERRIES BUT WE GOT THE BLACK BERRIES.  SEVERAL GALLONS AND MORE TO COME ON LARGER CANES NEXT YEAR.  WE WILL HAVE TO DESIGN A BETTER BIRD NET FOR THE BLUE BERRIES THIS WINTER.

THE FIGS ARE COMING IN NOW AND CHRIS IS PICKING AS FAST AS SHE CAN IN A HEAD TO HEAD RACE WITH TWO RACCOONS THAT VISIT THE TREE EACH EVENING.  THE PEAR TREE IS UNDER FULL ATTACK FROM A GROUP OF SQUIRRELS TRAINED IN GORILLA  WARFARE.  THEY ARRIVE AT PREDAWN AND TRY TO TAKE ONE BITE OUT OF EVERY PEAR BEFORE DROPPING IT TO THE GROUND.  I AM REDUCED TO SCAVENGING THE DROPPED FRUIT AND CUTTING THE GOOD PARTS OUT FOR MY COOKED PEARS AU CINNAMON.  I ALSO MAKE A PEAR BUTTER SIMILAR TO APPLE BUTTER BUT I HAVE A COUPLE DOZEN JARS LEFT FROM LAST YEAR SO IT IS NOT ON THE SCHEDULE THIS YEAR.  ONIONS TOPS HAVE FALLEN AND THE ONIONS NEED TO BE HARVESTED.  WE HAVE 500 SET SO IT’S GOOD TO KNOW THAT ONIONS ARE REALLY GOOD FOR US.  WE HAVE BEEN PICKING ONE OR TWO A DAY BUT WE NOW NEED TO GET SERIOUS AND DO THE JOB RIGHT.

WE HAVE A MYSTERY THAT I NEED TO INVESTIGATE FURTHER.  YOU MAY REMEMBER THE WONDERFUL HARVEST OF JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES WE GREW LAST YEAR.  THEY ARE A LOW-GLYCEMIC  ALTERNATIVE TO POTATOES AND I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO A BOUNTIFUL CROP THIS YEAR.  MAYBE AS MUCH AS 100 LBS JUDGING FROM LAST YEARS HARVEST.  NOTHING CAME UP.  NOT ONE PLANT SPROUTED FROM THE 30 LBS OF TUBERS THAT WERE PLANTED.  I RECENTLY DUG FOR THEM TO TRY TO DETERMINE THE PROBLEM AND FOUND NOTHING.  COULD WE HAVE A GOFER?  IF SO, WE NEED TO BE LOOKING FOR A RATHER LARGE FAT GOFER THAT PASSES A LOT OF GAS (THE ONLY NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTIC OF SOMEONE EATING JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES).

 

LOOKING SOUTH

LOOKING SOUTH ACROSS MAIN GARDEN ENCLOSURE

 

WE HAVE BEEN INVADED BY THE NEWLY INTRODUCED KUDZU BUG (MEGACOPTA CRIBRARIA).  IT IS NATIVE TO CHINA AND INDIA AND ARRIVED HERE (ATLANTA, GA) IN 1999.

KUDZU BUG

 

IT ATTACKED OUR GARDEN OF EDEN POLE BEANS IN GREAT NUMBERS BUT LEFT EVERYTHING ELSE ALONE (KNOCK ON WOOD).  EVEN THE OTHER BEANS.  I HAD TO SPRAY A POISON (YUCK) THREE TIMES TO CLEAR THEM OFF AND THEY STILL TRY TO RE-INFEST.  THE GARDEN OF EDEN POLE BEAN – MY FAVORITE BEAN – CONTINUES TO BLOOM AND TRY TO LEAF BACK OUT.  THE KUDZU BUG SUCKS SAP FROM THE STEMS AND LEAVES MOST OF THE LEAVES ALONE BUT THE PLANTS DROP THE LEAVES WHEN UNDER ATTACK.  I PICKED TWO GALLONS OF BEANS (THE 4TH PICKING) FROM A 40 FOOT BED TONIGHT.  IT IS INCREDIBLE THAT THEY ARE STILL PRODUCING.

 

POLE BEAN HARVEST

TODAY'S HARVEST OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN POLE BEAN

 

OUR TWO BEE HIVES ARE DOING VERY WELL.  I CONTINUE TO FEED THEM SUGAR WATER AND A POLLEN SUBSTITUTE WHILE THEY ARE ESTABLISHING THEMSELVES.  THEY ARE BOTH DEVELOPING A STRONG FLIGHT PATTERN AND GOING SOMEWHERE TO GATHER NECTAR AND POLLEN.  I KEEP EXPECTING TO SEE THEM IN THE PALMETTO BLOOM BUT HAVE NOT LOCATED ANY YET.  MY GOAL IS TO HAVE TWO DOUBLE BROOD BOX HIVES WITH A ROSS SUPER ON EACH FOR COMB HONEY PRODUCTION BY FALL.  I’M CROSSING MY FINGERS THAT THE HIVE BEETLE LETS ME GET THERE.

 

OUR GARDEN TODAY LOOKS LIKE THIS:

BANANA PEPERS

BANANA PEPPERS

BASEL

BASEL

 

ARTICHOKE

ARTICHOKE TWO FOOT ACROSS

 

BUTTERBEANS AND ARTICHOKE

BUTTER BEANS (CENTER), ARTICHOKE (RIGHT)

 

CROWDER PEAS

CROWDER PEAS

 

 

DMYERS LEMON

MYERS LEMONS GETTING READY FOR THE FALL

 

MINT

MINT

 

THIS IS A PHOTOGRAPH OF AN “ODD MAN OUT” PLANT FROM THE COLLARD SEEDS I PUT IN IN THE SPRING.  IT SEEMS THAT EACH PLANTING INCLUDES ONE OF THIS VARIETY.  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT IT IS?  I WOULD LIKE TO PLANT THIS VARIETY SPECIFICALLY AS IT DOES NOT BOLT WHEN THE WEATHER GETS HOT AND PRODUCES A WONDERFUL LEAF THAT COOKS WELL.  I PLAN TO SAVE THE SEED FROM THIS PLANT AND GO FROM THERE.  THIS COULD BE MY FAVORITE COLLARD VARIETY BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO KNOW WHICH ONE IT IS.

COLLARD

FRILLY LEAFED "ODD MAN OUT" COLLARD

 

I AM INCLUDING TWO PHOTOS OF MY EGG PLANTS.  ONE IS OF 6 PLANTS GROWN ON REGULAR GARDEN SOIL AND THE OTHER IS A SINGLE PLANT GROWN IN A DOUBLE DUG BED.  THE SINGLE PLANT IS 8 TIMES AS LARGE AS THOSE IN THE GROUPING OF 6 PLANTS.   IT PRODUCED EGG PLANTS A FULL MONTH BEFORE THE FIRST ONE APPEARED ON THE SMALLER PLANTS.  DOUBLE DIGGING IS THE WAY TO GO.

LARGE EGG PLANT

SINGLE EGG PLANT IN DOUBLE DUG BED

SIX EGG PLANTS

SIX EGG PLANTS

 

LOOKING WEST

LOOKING WEST ACROSS TOMATO BED TO MAIN GARDEN

 

THIS IS A VERY GREEN BLOG WHICH IS WHAT A SUCCESSFUL GARDEN IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE BUT SINCE I JUST RETURNED FROM A BEAUTIFUL TRIP THROUGH THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, I WILL ATTACH A FEW OF MY IMAGES TO ADD SOME COLOR TO THIS PAGE.   HOPE YOU ENJOY.

BASKET

BASKET

 

BROOMS

BROOMS

 

SHEEP

LAST YEARS LAMBS

 

MAYBERRY MILL

MAYBERRY MILL (MOST PHOTOGRAPHED IMAGE ON THE BRP)

 

BLACKSMITH

BLACKSMITH

 

DEER

BUCK AT CADES COVE

 

I’VE GOT LOTS MORE BUT I WILL STOP HERE .  THIS IS A GARDEN BLOG.  BUT IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE GO TO MY PRINT WEBSITE AT WWW.SEAISLANDPRINTS.COM.

 

GORDON

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