Our 2021 garden: morning harvest

Oh, my goodness, what a difference a single day of good rain makes! No amount of watering with the hose can compete.

While we have been able to pick a Spoon tomato or two, every few days (there were three ripe ones yesterday, that my brother and his wife to go try. πŸ™‚ ), the Mosaic Medley tomatoes still have a ways to go. Two plants have tomatoes that are starting to ripen, though, with this one being the furthest along.

Though pickings are slim right now, I can see that we will have lots ripening, all at once, soon! They are all indeterminate varieties, and with the Spoon tomatoes alone, we’re probably going to be picking lots, daily.

The Little Gem winter squash, in particular, got noticeably bigger overnight! There is easily several inches of new growth on the vines.

The Teddy winter squash has pretty much doubled in size since I checked it, yesterday morning.

Even the pea sprouts, among the sweet corn, are visibly bigger and stronger – and their stems are barely two inches high right now! πŸ˜€ As short as they are, the sweet corn is starting to develop their tassels, too.

There were a few zucchini we were keeping an eye on and leaving to get bigger, but by this morning, some of them were almost getting too big!

Plus, I picked our VERY FIRST beans!!!! Just a few yellow and green beans. No purple beans were even close to being ready to pick, yet. I’m pretty thrilled with just the handful we have now, and seeing how many I could see developing on the plants. πŸ™‚

This morning, I uncovered the beet bed near the garlic. This was the first bed that got major damage, almost wiped out by a deer. After several attempts to cover it, we ended up putting on mosquito netting as a floating row cover, though I had to keep adding more weights around the edges to keep the woodchucks from slipping under and nibbling on them some more. Once the floating row cover was on, it basically remained untouched until this morning. We kept watering it, but that’s it.

It got a thorough weeding this morning, and I picked a few young beets as well. My daughters really enjoy baby beets and their greens. πŸ™‚ The bed is covered again and will probably get ignored for awhile, other than watering. The other beet beds are also covered with mosquito netting as floating row covers, and they’re going to need some tending as well. That’s one down side of covering them like this. It’s a pain in the butt to move all the things we scavenged to weigh down the edges, so they are just being left alone.

In looking back at our gardening posts from last year (this blog is my gardening journal, too! πŸ˜€ ), there were posts about the heat waves we got last July. It wasn’t as severe as this year, but it was the most severe we’d seen since our move at the time. By this time our sunflowers – which we’d lost half of to deer and replanted with other giant varieties – were growing their heads and some were even starting to bloom. This year’s sunflowers are nowhere near that stage! We had also been able to do quite a lot of clean up and fix up jobs that were out of the question in this year’s heat. The drought and heat waves have set us back quite a bit, as far as getting things accomplished. We were also harvesting carrots and sunburst squash, regularly, by the end of last July. It’s hard not to be disappointed with how things are turning out this year, but there isn’t much we can do about the weather, and very hungry animals that have lost their usual summer food and water sources.

Speaking of animals…

I had finished up at the furthest garden beds and was making my way to the main beds closer to the house, when I realized I was being stared at by a little furry face on the gravel over what used to be a den! A woodchuck, the littlest of them, was just sitting there, watching me come closer. I started to shoo it away, and it would run a few feet, then stop and look at me, run a few feet, stop and look at me… on it went until I finally got it to run through the north fence and off the property. By then, I was standing next to the purple corn, at the opposite end of the garden area. Since I was there anyhow, I decided to check on the purple corn, turned around and…

… discovered I was standing next to another woodchuck! It had just frozen in place until it realized I could see it, then ran off. I chased that one past the north fence, too!

Thankfully, there was no sign of critter damage in the gardens this morning, but my goodness they are cheeky little buggers!

After their visit yesterday, and seeing some of the issues we’ve been dealing with, my brother messaged me this morning with some photos. There’s a store they were at that had electric fence started kits. The one he showed me uses D cell batteries, but he knew of another store that has solar powered versions. The basic kit he sent me a picture of covers 50×50 feet, at a very reasonable price. It wouldn’t be enough to cover our farthest garden beds, but we could easily pick up the parts and pieces to cover more area. We’d need a second kit to cover the other end of the garden area.

Something to keep in mind. Particularly when we start building our permanent garden beds. We’d still need to find ways to stop the woodchucks, but it would be a good start, and cheaper than building tall fences!

The Re-Farmer

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