Our 2021 garden: morning rain, and solution found

For the past while, we have been pretty much constantly checking the weather radar. Yesterday evening, it was getting discouraging, and the predicted overnight rain kept getting pushed back and the weather system passed us by to the south. This morning, however, I was thrilled to see a system pushing rain right over is. Granted, based on the radar images, we should have been raining right at that moment, but at least we weren’t going to be missed entirely.

We did get at least some rain last night, as the ground was still damp when I came out to do my morning rounds. It even started raining while I was out there! A very light rain; the sort of rain that, had I not been outside being rained on, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was happening, but still, it was rain!

While checking the furthest garden beds, I was accompanied by Creamsicle Baby, who has finally started to allow us to pet him again. Frustratingly, when the cats follow us around those beds, they have a terrible habit of going into the pea trellises. This morning, I had to chase Creamsicle off the pea plants he was rolling on, only to have him come right back and start playing with the trellis twice, pulling their pegs out of the ground and getting tangled in them!

Even as I checked the garden cam this morning, I saw Butterscotch going through the pea beds, all four kittens following along, and every one of them went through the pea trellises, running, bouncing and rolling around.

Those poor peas just can’t seem to catch a break!

Other things, however, are doing quite well.

I’m really impressed by how well these Hope Black Dye sunflower transplants are doing. These are from the ones we tried starting indoors, but never germinated until well after we’d direct sown the other half of the seeds outdoors. The seedlings have pretty much quadrupled in size since they got transplanted. I don’t expect them to have a chance to reach maturity, given how late in the season they got transplanted, but part of the reason we grow sunflowers is as a privacy screen and wind break, and these might still accomplish that. Assuming they don’t get eaten. This morning, I saw deer tracks in the soil at the very ends of two bean beds, but no signs of anything new critter damage, so here’s hoping!

Every time we go out to these garden beds, we can’t help but check on the melons. They are getting so big!! This variety isn’t supposed to get as large as, say, the cantaloupes we see in the grocery store, but they are still supposed to produce lots of 4-5 pound fruit. The Pixies are supposed to reach about 1 1/2 pounds in size. I’m really, really excited about these. Melons are among my favourite foods, but we rarely buy them, as they are a treat, rather than an essential.

One of the challenges we’ve been having as been with the potatoes. Since discovering some critter damage, we unrolled the feed bags we’re growing them in to full height. If these had been indeterminate potatoes, we would eventually have done that by continually adding more soil, but these turned out to all be determinate potatoes, so there is no advantage to doing that.

Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing to support the bags, and the plants kept flopping over. Especially while being watered. If we had mulch, we could have added that to help fill the space and keep them from flopping over, but we don’t have anything right now. At least it’s been working to keep critters out, but some of the bags were flopping over to the point that I was concerned the stems would all break, and they’re still in their blooming stage.

Last night, I think I found a solution.

This is how they looked this morning, so it seems to have worked!

What I’d done is cut small holes near the tops of the bags, then tied them together with twine. The double row was tied together in groups of four, while the bags in the front were tied in groups of three. Then, just in case, extra twine was run around the front, tying them to the chain link fence. So now, the bags are holding each other up, while also protecting the plants from critters. It’s just insects we’ll still need to keep an eye on.

Hmm. One down side of finally getting some rain. There are some storms passing to the south of us, which means we’ve lost internet. The WordPress editor’s autosave has been spinning for a while, and once that starts, it doesn’t recover even once the connection is back. Which means that I can’t save my draft, and once our connection is up again, I’ll have to open whatever draft was last autosaved, then copy and paste whatever got missed into it, before I can publish it, and close this window.

Oh, the internet seems to be back again! Let’s see if I can publish this!

The Re-Farmer

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