Garden finds, mystery squash, and pretty things

Heading out to do my morning rounds, it was already getting really hot. As I write this, we’ve reached 28C/82F, and we’re still about 5 hours away from when the hottest part of the day usually hits. We’ve got forecasts for possible thundershowers this afternoon. I hope we at least get some rain, but I doubt it.

The spinach we set out to dry in the sun room was… wimpy. 😀 I set them up outside, covered with mosquito netting, to dry in the sun and wind. We’ll see how it works. Meanwhile, once the oven is available, after making a spinach frittata, I plan to set some up to dry in there.

I had a very pleasant surprise while checking the garden.

The bigger Crespo squash plant has flower buds! Quite a few of them. It looks like it’s all male flowers for now, just like with the other squash.

Speaking of squash, we have some mystery squash!

These have popped up in the old compost pile. I’m not sure what they are. When we cleaned up the squash beds last fall, we used the old compost pile instead of dragging everything across the yard, but I didn’t think anything went in there that had mature seeds. The only think I can think of is the pumpkin. They were planted very late, and the few pumpkins were quite small and green when the first frost hit and killed them off.

It would be cool if they were pumpkins! Whatever they are, I’ve been watering them, too. 😀

Then we have these, near the pink rose bush in the old kitchen garden.

I had spotted them last night, when they were just little bumps breaking through the ground. They tripled in size, overnight.

In setting up the old kitchen garden beds this spring, one of the things I made sure to do was make paths that allowed us to enter and exit the garden in several places. The straw covered path that runs across the far end of the garden, near the beets against the retaining wall, continues around one of the rhubarbs and out the middle.

It now has a “gate.”

An asparagus gate!

It always amazed me that these are still coming up at all. There were more of them, when I was a kid. My mother had asked about them, not that long ago, and she mentioned that these were here before my parents bought the property. Which means they’ve been growing here for at least 60 years. I’ve never seen spears suitable for harvesting, but that’s okay. I love the ferns!

Now, they make a lovely gate across the path. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning Mysteries

While doing my morning rounds, I made sure to check the tulips. Nothing has been showing up on the tulip cam, trying to get at them again. There are files of cats passing in front of the camera, and one of a skunk running along the lilac hedge, as if something had startled it, but that’s it. Nothing has been going after the tulips.

And yet, I found this.

It was on the ground, next to one of the tulips that got its flower bud chomped off, but not the leaves. The only signs of digging in the area were the old ones from before, which was likely a skunk digging for grubs in the leaf mulch. With how deep the girls had buried the bulbs, there should have been a fairly large hole if it had been freshly dug up. The bulb doesn’t even have dirt on it, or in its roots.

As far as I know, it wasn’t there before, though it’s possible it was covered in leaf mulch that got blown off, but… I don’t think so. When I’d seen that something was digging in the leaf mulch, I checked to see if the tulips were damaged, so I’d looked right in that spot. I expect I would have seen it then, if it had been somehow dug up then.

So I brought it inside, and it will be planted, once we’re sure of where we want to put it. The girls and I were thinking to put it in one of the blocks in the retaining wall that has nothing in it right now. That area is going to be draped in mosquito netting to protect it, once the netting comes in, so if it’s planted there, it will get protection from being eaten or dug up.

Still, I have no idea where this came from!

I’ve also been finding another mystery in the mornings.

For the past several mornings, I’ve been finding the rocks at one end of the path we made along the house, scattered like this. I put them back, and the next morning, they’re scattered again. Something has been digging among them. I suspect it has something to do with this being the only section of rocks that had some soil put over them, before I changed my mind about doing that the whole way down. My guess is that it’s the skunk, but there’s really nothing to show, one way or the other, what is doing it.

On the one hand, I’m glad whatever it is, is digging here and not in the garden beds nearby! On the other hand, those rocks are there because I found the concrete pad under the sun room was as thick as I thought it was, and they’re keeping the soil under the concrete from eroding out. The last thing I want is for a critter to start digging under there! The sun room is shifting enough, as it is. :-/

I did see the skunk again, this evening. I was just putting things away before going inside, when I heard a cat get startled out of the kibble house. When I looked, the skunk was in the kibble house, munching away. I made noise to scare it away, and it did start to leave, but it must have been very hungry, because it turned around and started heading quickly towards me, then jumped back into the kibble house to eat. I suspect we have a hungry mama skunk. Kibble is not good for them, though. Ah, well. It seems to have a peaceful relationship with the cats, at least. We need to get one more, smaller, hose to keep hooked up to the tap on that side of the house. Much safer to chase it away by spraying water than walking towards it, making noise!

The Re-Farmer

First sunflower!

No, none of our giant sunflowers are blooming, yet. In fact, we didn’t even plant these ones.

Bird seed and deer feed we’ve been leaving at one end of a flower garden have been sprouting. Much of it is in the grass and gets mowed, but right under the platform feeder, we’re letting them grow.

I was surprised to see a sunflower blooming this morning. They are all really quite small plants! From the seeds I’ve seen in the mixes, I expected them to grow much larger.

Another sunflower will be blooming soon! The oats beside it are from the deer feed.

Then there’s whatever this is. Millet, maybe? I don’t know.

There are some other plants that I find myself looking at and wondering; is that from the bird seed? Or is it a weed? 😀

For now, I’m leaving them. We’ll find out soon enough!

The Re-Farmer

Not what I was looking for

Last summer, while going around the property with my older brother, we had gone into an area filled with rocks and blocks of concrete and all sorts of bushes growing among them. My brother remembered that there were hazelnut bushes there. We didn’t find any, but I decided to check it out again, in case something managed to grow this year.

I didn’t find any hazelnuts.

I did find other things, though!

Continue reading

Growing things

While doing my significantly more limited rounds this morning, I had to pause and get a photo of the ground by the feeding station. With the rain we’ve finally been having, things have really greened up again, and started to grow.

Including bird seed and deer feed!

This picture if of the area on the far side of the bird feeder, from the window – where we put the bulk of the deer feed in the winter. There is a smaller area on the side closer to the house that also has a patch like this.

The only thing I recognize in there is oats! We haven’t bought mixed bird seed, sticking to the black oil seed, since fall and we tried several different types, so I have no idea what all might be growing here. It’s going to get mowed, anyhow, but it’s neat to see!

While switching out the memory card on the trail cam, I got a picture of one of the asparagus growing wild by the fence.

None of the asparagus by the house is showing signs of berries, which makes these the only female plants around. This makes me extra curious about how they ended up growing here. It’s still possible that the seeds were spread by birds, but there are no other female asparagus plants nearby that could have been the source. The nearest garden to us is my brother’s, about a quarter mile away, and as far as I know they don’t have any.

I’m looking forward to when they turn that beautiful bright red again. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Things that are, and are not

It’s been quite interesting, as I work around the yard, in areas I worked on last year, and seeing the differences.

One of the differences is, I am seeing all sorts of things popping up, in areas that used to be choked with years of dead grass, fallen branches and garbage, or hidden away by low hanging branches.

While mowing past the north side of the spruce grove, where I am now able to mow right up to the tree line, I was observing some of the wild roses I’d pruned down, but didn’t pull their roots, coming back up. For the most part, I will be leaving those. I also passed what looked for all the world like carrots, growing in the moss!

This is the largest of several I could see. I came back later and poked around the base, just to be sure.

No, they are not carrots.

Continue reading