I’ve been training the cucumber up the trellis netting, but somehow missed one big cucumber that was lying right on the ground. I’m glad I spotted it this morning. Not much longer before it would have started to be over mature. Which would be okay if I were wanting to save seeds, but I won’t be for these.
With last night’s rain and an incredibly humid morning, things were still soaking wet outside, and my glasses were fogging up! The squash are loving it, though, and I’m seeing increased growth. Even the one Zucca melon that’s trying to survive had a noticeably growth spurt.
The sweet corn and the popcorn are both sending up tassels! The popcorn is still really small, but has had a growth spurt, too. They only reach about 2 ft high to begin with, so there is hope for a crop, yet!
There are squash blooming all over. Whenever possible, I am hand pollinating. There has not been a lot of opportunity to do that. Still, if we have a long, mild fall like last year, it will help ensure we have fruiting plants that can take advantage of it. We shall see!
There were very few yellow beans to pick this morning. The bush beans seem to be winding down. There were more of the green pole beans to pick, though – and our first purple beans!
There are still a few peas on the first planting, while the second planting of peas are getting into their prime. I found more cucumbers than expected. Enough to make a decent size cucumber salad.
I finally picked the one Sophie’s Choice tomato that was looking like it could have been picked a while ago. It didn’t seem to be getting any redder, so I went ahead and grabbed it. I also grabbed the reddest Cup of Moldova tomatoes. The one that fell off while I tried to get the clip loose has ripened indoors, so there are two of them for my husband and the girls to taste test later on.
I picked what seemed to be the largest of the turnips to taste test as well. They are not a large variety and golf ball size is supposed to be when they have the best flavour. I also pulled a couple of the largest looking beets, to see how they are, and… they’re not doing well at all.
But we have something. And something is better than nothing!
I had done some recordings to make another garden tour video in the morning, but after going over them, I went back out to re-record most of them in the early evening. The final video will have a mix of both. I have this terrible habit of using the wrong words for things and not even noticing. Like saying “purple corn” when I meant to say “purple peas”. That sort of thing. I might have time to work on editing it this evening, but I’m not sure just yet. It depends on how things go after I get back from my mother’s, this afternoon.
It’s coming up on noon, and we’ve already reached out high of 27C/81F, with the humidex at 29C/84F. Usually, we don’t reach our high until about 5pm! They’re also predicting rain, though, so hopefully that includes our area, and things will cool down a bit.
Some things seem to like the heat, though.
That one giant pumpkin is noticeably bigger, every day!
I put our very first tomato that I just picked, and a Magda squash, down for perspective.
Those ants were all over the tomato, immediately!
I have since placed an ant trap at the hill. The main part of the hill is next to the other giant pumpkin plant, and it’s looking like the ants are finally starting to damage it. I put traps next to two other ant hills as well. Usually, I prefer to leave them since ants are pollinators, too, but these ones have to go. There are plenty of other hills in the area, so it’s not like we’re making much of a dent in the population by doing this.
Here we have this morning’s harvest. Our very first tomato – Sophie’s Choice. I will leave the family to taste test it, since I can’t do raw tomatoes. They make me gag. Which, I’ve learned, is a thing, similar to how cilantro tastes like soap to some people, but not others!
Those pea pods are the first peas from our second planting. Remarkably, the first planting of peas is still green and trying to produce.
I didn’t pick any yellow beans tomorrow. There should be a good amount to gather tomorrow, though.
On another note, I got to pick up and pet the black and white kitten with the black splotch by its nose. I was happy to see it, since I did not see it at all, yesterday. It did not run away when I came by, and had no issues with being picked up and cuddled.
This morning was our date with the vet, to get Potato Beetle, Big Rig and Tissue spayed and neutered, as arranged by the Cat Lady.
I had a chance to text with her last night, as she reminded me to have them fasting. She herself was going back to the hospital today. The poor thing has been in and out of hospital all summer, and yet she still manages to help with cats. She just brought home a couple more because they were sick, and no one else was willing/able to take care of them. She is so awesome!
She did warn me that there is a shortage of vets, and there was a possibility of cancellation. So when my phone started ringing while I was driving with the three cats, I had a sinking feeling. Of course, I couldn’t answer while driving. It started ringing again, then I suddenly started getting notification noises, one after another. *sigh*
The calls were from one of the staff from the clinic – but she was calling from home! When she couldn’t get through to me, she called the Cat Lady, and both of them were trying to text me at the same time, letting me know that the vet wasn’t coming in today. All surgeries were being cancelled.
I got all these when I parked in front of the clinic.
After responding to both of them, the lady from the clinic said she would call me when she got into the office to reschedule, then I headed home.
The cats were not happy with all this. I was concerned about Potato Beetle. He’s already been stuck in the sun room for over a week. Yes, he has cool places to lie down, and we make sure there’s a frozen water bottle in his water bowl, the ceiling fan is going, and the small box fan I found the the garage is set up. Still, it gets quite warm in there and, as much as we try to go over and pay attention to him, he’s mostly all on his own.
Thankfully, the clinic was able to reschedule us for this Friday, so tomorrow night, we do the fasting again.
Since we no longer to dash to and from town to deal with the cats, I took advantage of the change in plans and decided to do our Costco trip today, instead of next week.
But first, I had to do my morning rounds, switch out the memory cards in the trail cams, and check the garden beds.
The Carminat pole beans finally have pods forming!
The one giant pumpkin is growing so fast!
I looked around and finally saw another pumpkin forming. Just to be on the safe side, I hand pollinated it. The vines of the two plants are overlapping each other, but as far as I can tell, this one, plus another female flower I found that is still just a bud, is on the same plant as the pumpkin that’s growing so big. The second plant has lots of male flowers, but I can’t see any female flowers on it.
I’ll keep checking and, as I find them, I’ll hand pollinated them, just to be on the same side.
Which I am also doing with the Red Kuri (Little Gem) squash, in the south yard. These are doing really, really well here. I have hand pollinated several female flowers already, and I can see more budding. I’m happy that these are doing so well, because these may be the only winter squash we get this year!
The cherry tree by the house is doing well, too. This is the most we’ve seen on this tree since moving here. The other trees at the edge of the spruce grove have nothing. Being close to the house seems to be providing the microclimate it needs. I don’t know the name of this variety; only that the original tree was from Poland, which has a longer growing season than we do.
The cherries at the very top look ripe, or close to it. We’ll have to bring over the step ladder and start picking them!
Speaking of picking things…
This is this morning’s harvest. Along with the bush beans, there was a single pea pod from the row that was planted first. That row is almost done, but the ones that were planted later have quite a few pods that should be ready to pick in a few more days.
I also picked our very first two cucumbers! I picked this variety as it is supposed to be good for both fresh eating and pickling. Whether or not we’ll have enough to make pickles, I’m not sure yet, but we at least have these ones to taste test now!
There was also a few raspberries to pick. Maybe 3/4’s of a cup in total.
It’s not much, but it’s enough to enjoy with a meal. Certainly better than nothing at all!
That done, I was off to the city to do the last of our monthly stocking up, but that will get it’s own post. 😊
My daughters were sweethearts and took care of feeding the cats outside for me, as I’m still feeling pretty unstable, so the cats weren’t out and about by the time I headed outside. I did get to briefly pet a kitten, though! 😀
While checking out the garden, there was some new progress – and a bit of deer damage – to find.
The Carminat beans are reaching the top of the trellis, and you can see their flower buds. At my fingers, however, you can see the stem of a missing leaf! There was a vertical row of missing leaves, a few feet along the trellis. Right about deer height! Time to find more noise makers and flashy things to set up.
On this side of the trellis are the Seychelles beans, which are starting to get pretty tall, too. None of them show deer damage, which is good, since less of them germinated. In the foreground are the self seeded (or should I say, bird-seeded) sunflowers that I left to grow. The beans can climb them, too! With the flooding this spring, we did not plant any of the Hopi black dye or Mongolian Giant sunflower seeds we’d collected from last year, so I don’t mind letting these one grow. These would be the black oil seed that we put out for the birds in the summer. We’re finding them all over the place, thanks to being spread by birds!
The first sowing of shelling peas may be about half the size they should be, but they are loaded with pods. At least on the north end of the pea trellis. Towards the south end, the sugar snap peas are barely surviving, and the shelling peas on the other side of the trellis are much weaker, too. The entire trellis gets an equal amount of sunlight, so this would be a reflection of soil conditions.
This should be the last year we use this spot for growing vegetables. Next year, they’ll be moved closer to the house, and this area will be made available for planting fruit or nut trees. We haven’t decided what to get next, yet.
The cucumber row is a mixed bag of plants that are growing nice and big, and filled with little cucumbers, and others that are barely bigger than when they were first transplanted!
I had an adorable find at the big trellis.
We have a first Tennessee Dancing gourd developing! It is so cute!
The beans on the same side as the dancing gourds are the red noodle beans. The plants are pretty large, but they are still not at the point of climbing. The shelling beans on the other side, however…
The are much smaller, but have tendrils climbing the trellis, and have even started to bloom!
The most adorable little pollinator showed up just as I was taking the picture.
I startled a bee when checking out this HUGE pumpkin flower.
Yes, it’s on a giant pumpkin plant. 😁
I’d seen some female flowers previously, but now I can’t find them, so there are no pumpkins starting to form, yet. While we are not shooting for super big pumpkins, and won’t be pruning them down to just one pumpkin per plant, it feels like it’s too late in the season for any giant pumpkins to mature. We’re near the end of July already, and none have formed, yet!
In the south yard, we finally have Chocolate cherry tomatoes! Just this one plant, yet. Of the 4 varieties we planted this year, the Chocolate cherry have been the most behind – and they are planted where tomatoes had done so well, last year. The plants themselves are getting nice and tall, and we’ve been adding supports and pruning them as needed, but there are much fewer flowers blooming, and only today do we finally have tomatoes forming. Thankfully, the other varieties are much further along.
I also spotted some ground cherry fruit forming! These plants are doing remarkably well, given how much water they had to deal with this spring. It took a while, but not they are quite robust plants, and I’m happy to see them setting fruit!
Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before we start getting actual food from the garden. Everything is so, so behind, I am extra happy to see progress like this.
Today was forecast to be a hot one, and getting even hotter tomorrow, so my morning rounds including watering the garden beds. The nice thing was being able to use a nice, full rain barrel to water the old kitchen and south garden beds, while the soaker hose was going under the big tomato bed in the main garden area. There was even enough water in the barrel out by the trellises that I could use to start watering there.
Once the hose was available again, though, I watered them some more. Especially the pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers.
A few of the cucumbers are getting bigger, though most seem to be stagnating. I took a picture of one that is blooming, but didn’t see the baby cucumbers until I uploaded the photo to my computer! There are not a lot of flowers, so I don’t know if there are any male flowers around to pollinate them. The Baby Pam pumpkin that I found never did, and fell off the vine this morning. I spotted two other female flowers, and the little pumpkins under them were already yellow. It seems very odd for female flowers to develop first, like that. At least to me. I have never grown cucumbers before, and none of the Baby Pam we tried to grow last year germinated.
By the time I came in, at about half past noon, it was 24C/75F out there, with a “real feel” of 29C/84F. At least according to the app on my phone. The thermometer outside my husband’s window was at 25C/77F. That window was just getting out of the morning shade.
While I was watering, however…
Yeah. The bean tunnel thermometer was reading 41C/105F already!
That’s quite a discrepancy!
The tunnel gets no shade this time of year. Thankfully, the pea trellis at least gets morning shade. The other two trellises also get morning shade, but not as long, and the silver buffalo berry were still mostly shaded when I headed in. The beans and gourds planted at the tunnel, plus the hulless pumpkins planted near it, would be just baking in the sun! The pumpkins have a nice deep mulch around them, but the beans are large enough that we should start adding more than just the wood shavings and stove pellet sawdust they were planted in.
Where we live is certainly an area of extremes. Long cold winters and short hot summers. It would be nice if we could have something in between! Ah, well. Such is life on the Canadian prairies! We’ll deal. 😉
It was a hot and sunny day, and so many trees and bushes are blooming right now.
The regular and double lilacs are just starting to open. The sour cherries are in full bloom. The Saskatoons and chokecherries are pretty much finished blooming, but the different crab apple trees are in various stages of exploding into flowers. There are also three other types of lilacs that are starting to bud, each blooming at a different time. It’s awesome!
My first priority of the day was to prep the beds at the trellises and get them ready for planting.
What a big job that turned out to be.
It didn’t take long before I found myself pulling this bugger out. Normally, I wouldn’t have tried to take out something so big, but it was close enough to the surface that it would inhibit root growth. I’m sure I hit others bigger than this, judging by my inability to work the garden fork around them, but they were deep enough that I just left them. We may get one more year out of these trellises, but most likely, next year, we’ll be building trellises closer to the house.
This trellis was so full of roots – including tree roots! – that this one bed took me about 4 hours to do.
Thankfully, the other one didn’t take anywhere near as long!
After we’ve planted into them, each upright post is going to get it’s own pair of A frame netting supports for things to climb.
At this trellis, on the right hand side, my daughter planted all the cucumbers. On the left hand side, in the foreground, is at least two, possibly four, luffa gourds. I was using labels made out of sour cream containers, and Sharpie’s fade from those! So much for “permanent” markers!
The gourds took up only a quarter of the row. We ended up planting the last of our Lincoln Homesteader pod peas in the rest of that side.
This trellis got the remaining two varieties of pole beans. On the right are Carminat, a purple type of bean. On the left are Seychelles, a type of green bean that Veseys doesn’t seem to carry anymore.
There was some space left at the bean tunnel that got filled with 4 Tennessee Dancing Gourd and 2 luffa.
The girls, meanwhile, got the last low raised bed weeded and ready for planting.
This bed is now all summer squash. The front half has 8 Sunburst patty pan squash. The back half is split between Madga squash and Golden zucchini.
While one daughter transplanted all of those, my other daughter was digging.
We were going to make more beds, but we just don’t have the materials, so we’re winging it. My daughter dug a grid of 7×7 holes roughly 3 feet apart. Before I headed in, I used the jet setting on the hose to drill water into each hole, to help soften the soil. We’ll be transplanting winter squash, gourds and pumpkins into here, with added garden soil and straw mulch. We need to go over it with the weed trimmer to cut the grass and weeds back as much as possible, before the mulch is added.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to get this done tomorrow, but I won’t be much help with that until evening. My husband and I have our doctor’s appointments in the afternoon.
For summer squash, we do still have the green zucchini, plus the G-star patty pan squash.
I have no idea where we will be transplanting those. I also don’t know where we’ll be transplanting the ground cherries. There’s the corn to direct sow, too, if we’re not already too late for those. We have the space. What we don’t have is any sort of prepared beds left.
I’d really hoped to get everything in today, but everything just took so much time.
It was a bit cooler and overcast this morning, but still pleasant enough to get the plants outside for a couple of hours.
I am really happy with the newest seedlings. This tray has the cucumbers in the left half, with the Teddy and Red Kuri winter squash on the right. It took so long for the winter squash to germinate, I wasn’t sure they’d make it, but we have 100% gemination!
The purple peas in this tray are getting nice and big. The summer squash in the other cells took a long time to germinate, too, but they seemed to get a boost after I put the warming mat under them. It’s hard to see, but even the green zucchini is finally germinating, next to the peas. I thought the Magda squash had started to germinate, but not quite yet. We had less success with those the last 2 years we planted them, too. Our first year, we had only 2 surviving plants. Last year, there was just the one. Magda squash just seems to have a harder time of it.
So far, only 2 of the yellow zucchini have germinated. Last year, we had some germinate, but when they started producing fruit, they were green, and we no yellow zucchini at all. I’m hoping that won’t happen again, this year!
The transplants seem to be quite liking their time outdoors, and even the newest little tomatoes in the foreground are looking generally robust.
We have 3 Crespo squash – and they are budding! Would you look at that!
I considered pinching them off, but these first flowers would be all male flowers. The next batch of buds should be both male and female. So I’m thinking to just leave them? I don’t know. There is very little information out there on how to grow Crespo squash. They do seem to be very enthusiastic growers!
While moving the blooming Wonderberry in and out of the sun room, we have been brushing the 3 plants against each other, in hopes to pollinate them, just in case. I don’t know how if they are self pollinating or not. Nowhere I’ve looked about them even mentions pollinating.
The transplants were left out for 2 hours today, which gave me time to work on our very first direct sowing – and transplanting – in the high raised bed.
The first thing to do was dig trenches through the wood chip mulch, so that things could be seeded/planted into the soil beneath. We have three varieties of spinach seeds from last year, and for this bed, I chose Lakeside, which is the fastest maturing variety of the three. The tray of onions I grabbed are the red onions, Tropeana Lunga, which should look like this when they mature…
By planting the onions around the spinach, they should help with keeping away harmful insects, and maybe even keep hungry critters away. The high raised bed is buffet height for deer, though, so we will be covering them later.
There is space to do a second planting of spinach in two weeks, which will also finish off the seeds we’ve got left of this variety.
The largest Tropeana Lunga seedlings filled the two outside rows, but there were still a few tiny seedlings left. The size that would be considered not worth planting. I hate to just toss seedlings, though, so I ended up sticking them in the soil at the base of the raised bed on the north end. When this was a low raised bed, it was quite a bit longer, so the soil is softer on that end. If they take, great. If not, that’s okay, too. We don’t have a lot of this variety, so I’m hoping to be able to overwinter a couple of bulbs to go to seed next year.
I was left with nice, soft potting soil in the tray the onions seedlings were growing in, so I used that to gently top the spinach seeds, and put just a little around each onion plant, more to keep the wood chips from falling onto them than anything else.
I have to say, I LOVE the high raised bed to plant in! It was completely pain free, with no strain on my joints. Well. I suppose that doesn’t include my arthritic fingers, but I didn’t even notice pain in my hands, either. It took me less than half an hour to plant into this bed
I didn’t bother watering these, since it was already starting to rain by the time I was finishing up. It’s been raining off an on, ever since. My daughter and I got a bit damp when we headed out later on, to figure out exactly where to plant our tree order when it comes in. With 30 silver bison berry to plant, those were the ones we need to figure out the most. They should be planted 3-4 ft apart. Since we are doing these as a privacy hedge, we will planting them 3 feet apart, with most of them along the east end of the garden area, leaving a lane just wide enough to drive through, if necessary, between them and the fence line. Taking into account where the phone line is buried, we’ll be able to plant two staggered rows of 10, though as we get closer to the spruce grove, we many need to jump the rows closer to the fence itself, to keep that driving lane open. There is a branch pile that will be in the way of any lane we leave open, but we’ll still be able to plant around it.
We’ve got 5 sea buckthorn that will be planted nearer the north fence line, to close a gap in the lilac hedge. Any remaining bison berry can also be planted along the lilac hedge, and still keep the lane over the telephone wire clear. This will leave a gap in the privacy hedge, once they’ve grown to full size, that will need fencing or a gate to close it off from deer.
The Korean pine are a whole other issue. Originally, I wanted to plant them in the space between the north side of the spruce grove, and the crab apple trees. These, however, have an 18 foot spread. At their mature size, they would completely fill that space, and we need at least some of it to be kept open to drive through. The alternative was along the north side, which would make an excellent wind break, but with that 18 foot spread and the lilac hedge, we’d be planting them on top of the phone line. Not going to happen.
Which means we’ll have to plant them in the outer yard.
Just past the fence on west side, which has a gate that leads into the garden, there is a space where we can plant 2 of them. Then there is the gate to the secondary driveway – our “emergency exit”, if you will. It was through here that one of our truck loads of garden soil was delivered.
The remaining 7 seedlings will need to be planted on the other side of that back gate, along where there is already a couple of rows of spruces, with some willows at the south end. If we plant them 18 feet apart (we might go with 16 feet), we will have a row of seedlings matching the length of the existing shelter belt trees.
The only problem with this is that the south end is currently under water.
Still, knowing that this is a low spot will help. We can make sure to basically build things up a bit, so that the seedlings will stay above water during spring melt.
Then we’ll have to make sure to put something over them to protect them from being eaten. I don’t know that deer would eat Korean pine, but they could certainly damage them, just by walking over them.
We have not yet received a shipping notice for the trees, but with so many holes to dig, the earlier we get started, the better. Hopefully, by the time they do arrive, we’ll be ready and can plant them right away.
Oh, I just double checked my order! We’re not getting 9 Korean pine. We’re getting 6.
Which means we won’t be digging holes in water, after all. 😀
It’s going to feel weird getting our little 2 yr old plugs and planting them so far apart. Especially since they will grow very slowly for the next 3 years. Which is exactly how my mother ended up planting so many trees way too close together! 😀
Oh, my goodness. I just checked the short range weather forecast, and it’s changed yet again. We’re supposed to get more rain over the next couple of days, then for the two days after that, we’re supposed to get a mix of rain and snow!
What I planted in the high raised bed should be cold hardy enough to handle that, but we might cover it anywhere, just in case, at least for the night.
Last year, May was a very warm month. On this exact day last year, we had a new record high of 30C/86F. The record low for today, -4C/24F, was set in 2002.
After a long, cold winter, it seems we’re getting a wet cold spring.
Still, there are things we can plant. I just hope things warm up decently in June, so we can get the warm weather transplants in!
It’s been a beautifully warm day. At 19C/66F, even the relatively high winds aren’t cooling things down much. The standing water in and around the yard has reduced significantly since this morning.
I decided to take the walk over to where the road is washed out to the south of us, and see what the status was – this time without Rolando Moon following me!
The waters have gone down a LOT, but the two washed out areas are not in good shape. The flow of water going across is very fast, aided by the wind coming from the northwest.
The wider, shallower area has eroded across even more. Where you can see a darker line is a ridge of clay that hasn’t been washed out yet; everything to the left of that would be very soft. As you can see by the rut on the far left, it’s not going to support the weight of a vehicle much. Still, if we had to, I think we could drive through this part.
The other part, however…
I wasn’t wearing my rubber boots, so I wasn’t going to cross to take a closer look. That further area looks quite a bit deeper than the last time I checked it out. This is where the road was already washed out down to the foundation rocks. There is no why our van can handle driving over that.
I haven’t checked out any of the other washed out areas. If this is still flowing as fast as it is, the others wouldn’t be much different.
Which means we still aren’t going anywhere for a while.
While I was out, I checked a few other areas, including the tulip patch. I swear, they great at least 2 inches since I saw them this morning.
Something new that wasn’t there this morning, though, were these…
The very first cucumbers are sprouting! Seeing these, I took the “dome” off the tray. The transplants we’ve got in the sun room are doing quite well. Even the tomato that was broken at the stem, which got buried back into the pot, looks like it’s recovering.
I think that tomorrow will be the day to move the mini-greenhouse into the sun room, along with most, if not all, the seedlings still in the living room. The Chocolate Cherry and Yellow Pear tomatoes are still tiny, but they can be divided and potted up before being moved to the sun room. The Yakteen gourd have not sprouted yet, but at this point, the sun room is warmer than the living room. Even with them being on the warming mat now, they would probably do better in the sun room. Everything will do better in than in the enclosed spaces they are in right now, I think. We’ll also be able to move the second LED shop light and set it up in the sun room, too, if necessary.
It’ll be good to not have to worry about the cats getting at the seedlings anymore!
I’ve just come back from adding a second layer of Plasti Dip to the picnic table legs and rain barrel, before starting on cooking. Then I realized I completely forgot to share a couple of things in my gardening post!
This is one of them; a friend among the cucamelons!
When watering the garden beds, we have been seeing a LOT of little frogs all over – more than I’ve ever seen before – but we do not see these green little tree frogs often.
We need to fill in those openings along the outside of the chimney blocks we’re using as planters. The tree frog will get out easily enough, but I had one of the other frogs end up in one, and it couldn’t get out. I ended up putting a stick in the hole for it to climb.
My mother also had a “gift” for me, yesterday.
A whole bunch of cucumbers! One of the local Hutterite colonies is quite involved with places like were my mother lives. Every year they host a dinner for widows and widowers, they regularly provide entertainment, and so on. Every now and then, they drop off produce in the lobby for anyone who wants! This time, it was a whole bunch of cucumbers. My mother took a lot (I really hope she didn’t take more than her fair share. 😦 ) and gave me about half of what she had. I haven’t decided what to do with them, yet, but she plans to do quick pickles.
I’ve haven’t done pickles since I was a kid helping my mother! We might just make cucumber salads with them.