With the beans either done, or being left to dry – and the red noodle beans still don’t even have pods yet! – and the cucumbers and peas finished, there isn’t a lot to harvest on a regular basis. The carrots, turnips and beets are being left to get as big as they can before we pick them. Same with the potatoes. The peppers and eggplant could use quite a bit more time to mature. The sweet corn still isn’t ripe enough to pick. The Yellow Pear tomatoes have huge amounts of still green tomatoes on them, and are also ripening the fastest. The other tomatoes are ripening much more slowly. There are quite a few green patty pans growing, but not so much among the rest of the summer squash. The winter squash, of course, need to stay on the vines for as long as possible. What we have of it, anyhow!
These cucumber leaves show one of the reasons we want to focus on barrier hedges as we plant trees and bushes. This is all dust from the gravel road. Thank goodness my mother’s lilac hedge is there, or it would be so much worse!
The green zucchini is still having issues with the male and female flowers not blooming in sync, so pollination isn’t happening. The developing squash soon turn yellow and die off. This one has been chewed on by a mouse or some other small rodent. I suppose it’s good that the squash still feeds something!
We had a super light rain this morning, which is supposed to continue off and on throughout the day. Then we’re supposed to warm up again over the next few days. It should be interesting to see how much more things manage to ripen during our mild grace period!
I am so enjoying today’s cooler temperatures! Yesterday, we reached at least 31C/88F, though I’m sure we got hotter than that. I headed out to top up the kitty kibble and was actually feeling nauseous from the heat by the time I got back inside. Of course, the upstairs is much hotter, and it really hit one of my daughters hard, and she was quite ill for a few hours.
Today’s high is supposed to be only 19C/66F or 21C/36F, depending on the source. Quite enjoyable! By the time I got out this morning (having been kept up most of the night by a naughty Nosencrantz constantly making noise and getting into things!), it was only about 18C/64F. Which is about perfect, as far as I’m concerned! 😁
The current conditions are keeping things going in the garden quite nicely. I got a decent harvest of green and purple pole beans. The Red Noodle beans are still not even blooming, but the shelling beans… well, take a look.
They are still so very small and delicate – but they are LOADED with pods, and starting to dry out. I suspect they are smaller than they should be, but I do hope the beans we get will still be tasty.
I was surprised by how many ground cherries I found on the ground this morning, though some greener ones fell off while I was trying to reach to pick them up. They are related to tomatoes, so I’m hoping if we just leave them, they’ll continue to ripen.
I picked our first G-Star patty pan squash! One of the plants seems to have suddenly become limp, though. Odd.
I don’t usually let the sunburst squash get that big before picking them, but they seemed to have quite the overnight growth spurt!
I’m quite happy to have a nice little variety to harvest.
Well, the vet clinic hasn’t called back yet, but I need to get outside and take advantage of today’s lovely temperatures, since we’re supposed to heat up again over the next week. I’ll just have to let the answering machine take it. I’m sure if there were any problems with Leyendecker, we would have heard from them earlier, so no news is good news. 😊
Thanks to my daughters taking care of feeding the yard cats for me, I got to sleep in a bit, after a late night of getting the hard crab apple cider started. I’ve been pretty good about getting to bed at around midnight of late, so I’m not as used to being up past 2am anymore. 😄
I am really enjoying checking the garden while doing my morning rounds. The Red Kuri squash are ripening nicely, and the chocolate cherry tomatoes are slowing turning colour.
I’m a bit surprised these are taking so much longer, considering they get more sunlight than the Yellow Pear tomatoes, which we’ve been able to harvest for a little while now. My older daughter, for whom I bought this variety for, is really looking forward to trying them.
I remembered to get a picture of the newly supported kulli corn and Yellow Pear tomatoes. You can see some of the corn is still leaning way over. Those stalks are from the middle of the bed, and I wasn’t able to do much to add support in there. The tomatoes had all been leaning into the pathway, too, but I managed to straighten them up and add more support to their tops, and now the pathway can be walked in again!
I just love the look of these Ozark Nest Egg gourds! They are doing so well. I was even able to hand pollinate a couple more this morning.
While seeing what else could be pollinated, I was happy to see the G-Star squash I’d hand pollinated seems to have taken. I was able to hand pollinate another Boston Marrow and a couple Lady Godiva hulless pumpkins, too.
I was able to collect a far larger harvest this morning than I expected. The larger colander I use for harvesting was not available. Usually, that’s not an issue, as the smaller one is quite enough – but I didn’t expect to be picking more tomatoes this morning! I ended up having to use my pockets, too. 😄
There were more pole beans to pick than last time – and from the looks of some of them, a few got missed before! I was happy to pick more Magda squash, and to have one green zucchini ready to pick.
The tomatoes are all Cup of Moldova, and they went into the freezer with the rest. We still had some Sophie’s Choice that I picked yesterday, and they are now sliced and dehydrating in the oven.
Today is the last business day of the month: payday. Normally, I’d be in the city right now, doing more of our monthly stock up shopping. We are still good from the trip I did on the weekend, and we need to process the tomatoes in the freezer to free up space, so the trip can wait a bit longer.
I think, however, I might still make a jaunt into town. My husband’s birthday is coming up, and he wants a pizza night for his birthday. 😊
Here is the pile of grass clippings my daughters hauled over last night.
This is actually just what they raked up along the driveway, where it was thickest. There were other parts of the outer yard they hadn’t done, where the clippings were much thinner.
I didn’t even try using the bag on the lawn mower. I would have been stopping to empty it way too often. It is more efficient to just rake it up after.
It was enough to FINALLY finish mulching the squash patch! Just on the cardboard around the plants themselves, though. As I’m able, I will continue to mulch the paths in between, to keep the grass and weeds down.
There was enough left over to mulch all but one end of the summer squash bed. Since I had continued to mow around the main garden area yesterday evening, I didn’t have to go far to rake up more clippings to finish mulching the bed.
I was also able to thoroughly mulch around the Styrian hulless pumpkins, out by the trellises.
At this point, any other mulching that gets done is bonus. The Lady Godiva hulless pumpkins could use more mulch to fill in the spaces between the plants, and I also want to mulch more around the sweet corn and green beans, as well as the popcorn, if I can. I still have more scything to do, so I should have enough to get all of that done, too.
It has been a very rough year for most of the squash. They are a fraction of the size they should be. Finally getting them all mulched should help them at least a little bit! Whether or not there is enough growing season left for them – especially the winter squash – it still in the air. Some varieties should still have time but with others, I don’t expect anything at all anymore.
That’s not going to stop me from trying to help them along, though!
Well, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep myself from doing at least something productive outside! So I went out to top up the kibble trays (no sign of the little kittens; I’m hoping the mama hasn’t moved them again) and picking up things blown around by the wind – though I don’t think it was the wind that knocked over the water tray for the little kittens! I suspect something more like a groundhog did that.
Of course, I checked all the garden beds and decided the two Magda squash could be harvested today.
I probably shouldn’t have put them in my pocket while I went on to water the garden! They are looking a little beat up for the experience. 😉
Most of the stuff in the garden that has been struggling are slowly perking up. This includes all the different squash, though they are still so far behind where they should be for this time of year. The beans at the trellises are looking all right. The two varieties at the A frame trellis are both climbing now. The ones at the tunnel are finally progressing. I was starting to second guess myself that these were vining types at all. The shelling peas, though smaller, have finally starts to sent up vines and climb the trellis. The red noodle beans are bigger plants, but still look like bush beans, and aren’t at a climbing stage at all.
The beans that are doing the best, however, are the yellow bush beans that were interplanted with the kulli corn. That bed is looking pretty lush! I’m starting to think ahead to when we’ll have to change how the netting is set up. Right now, it goes over the whole thing, but kulli corn can reach up to 8 ft tall. The net is, at its highest, about 6 1/2 ft. The bush beans are huge, with big, glossy leaves and flowers all over the place. No signs of pods yet, but I’m not looking very hard at this point.
The netting has helped a lot in protecting the plants from critters, but they do make it very inconvenient to weed.
Hard to believe we are heading towards the end of July. We should be picking a lot more than just two little summer squash right now! Ah, well. I’m still holding out for a long, mild fall, like we had last year.
Since we weren’t going to get any cooler, I headed out before I lost light, to see what I could do with the small batch of cardboard I got today. There wasn’t much, so I decided to use it here…
To the right of the sweet corn are five Lady Godiva hulless pumpkins, barely visible in the grass and weeds coming up through the straw.
Once the cardboard was down, you could see that the plants are actually fairly large! Smaller than they should be for this time of year, but still larger than most of the squash. In fact, all the hulless pumpkins seem to be doing better than most of the other squash.
After laying down the cardboard, I gave it a soak, then tromped on them to flatten them a bit. I would have stomped the grass down before the cardboard was laid down, but I didn’t want to risk accidentally stepping on a pumpkin plant. As we get more cardboard, the Boston Marrow and the G-star patty pan squash will be done first, then any spaces in between will be covered, including beside the rows of corn.
We need lots more cardboard for this.
Once this was done, I went to check the other garden beds and found a wonderful surprise.
Our first summer squash! There’s a second, smaller one on another plant. I’m really happy, not just to finally see some vegetables, but because this is a Madga squash. The first time we grew them, only 2 plants made it, and last year we had only one. They did not produce as much as the other summer squash, either. This year, we’ve got 4 surviving plants, and they’re the first to produce fruit!
We also got a second harvest this evening.
The garlic bed that is so far behind the one in the main garden has scapes ready to harvest! This is almost all of them. There’s just a very few left that aren’t ready to pick yet.
It may be late in the season, but at least we’re getting something from the garden!
Today is working out to be slightly cooler than yesterday; it’s coming up on 6pm as I start this, and we’ve been at 28C/82F for some hours. We’re not expected to start cooling down for at least another hour. Longer, if today is at all like yesterday.
It was getting pretty late last night before I finally headed outside, fogging myself in mosquito repellant, and started on the squash patch.
I did remember to take a before picture. Every pair of sticks shows where there is a summer or winter squash, a pumpkin or a gourd. The straw mulch we laid down may help keep the soil cool and moist, but it isn’t thick enough to choke out the weeds. It also makes weeding – or even using the weed trimmer – impossible.
One of the apple gourds is relatively robust. The hulless pumpkins, Baby Pam pumpkins and Crespo squash plants are also doing comparatively well. The green zucchini, Teddy, Georgia Candy Roaster and Winter Sweet winter squash, however, are all very tiny. They should all be much, much larger for this time of year.
I am hoping that using the cardboard to smother the crab grass and weeds around the squash plants will help. I did things a bit differently this time. Previously, when preparing an area with cardboard to be covered with a straw mulch, I laid down flattened boxes in overlapping layers, making everything at least 2 layers thick. The overlaps were 4 layers thick or even 6 layers, depending on how they ended up overlapping.
Obviously, I couldn’t do that, here.
Most of the boxes were roughly the same dimensions; there were a lot of banana boxes in the pile! When flattened, they made long rectangles. I cut each in half, so that I could lay each piece down as a single layer, positioning 4 such pieces at right angles around each plant. That meant two boxes for each plant – mostly. I barely had enough cardboard to finish the job, but some of the boxes were large enough that I could cut them down further, and use just one box around a plant. I got them all done, with no cardboard to spare at all.
It was a brutal job.
For all that I used mosquito repellant, I was still being swarmed. Any spot that didn’t get sprayed was attacked. It’s one thing to find myself being bitten in the butt because my shirt shifted as I bent over. It’s quite another when they would fly under the lenses of my glasses and go for my eye lids. Yes, I actually got mosquito bights on my eye lids! On top of that, because of the heat, it wasn’t long before I sweated off the repellant. At which point, I was just a mosquito buffet! By the time I was putting down the last pieces of cardboard, I was spending more time flapping my arms and doing the mosquito dance than anything else!
By the time I was done, it was quite dark, so an after photo had to wait until the morning. We did have a small thunderstorm during the night. As usual, the bulk of the system blew right by us.
None of the cardboard blew away, however! That was my big concern. Interlocking the pieces of cardboard seemed to have done the trick.
As we get more cardboard, I do want to fill in the spaces in between, but the squash and corn patch needs to be done, first. For now, this should help. I’ve picked up a slow release, granular fertilizer that will be applied soon. I just don’t want to be feeding the crab grass as well as the squash!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to get another van load of cardboard, soon. I did manage to get a few boxes today, when I stopped at the post office/general store. Possibly enough to do one row in the squash and corn patch. We shall see.
Another thunderstorm is being predicted for tonight. I do hope it actually happens, and gets swept northward. Not only to help cool things down here, but there are some major fires to the north of us. At least one of the reserves had to be evacuated yesterday. Rain would certainly help get those under control. For all the flooding we had this year, most of it affected the south of our province. The further north you go, the less affected it was, which means those areas will still be prone to fires.
Just out of curiosity, I checked our 30 year temperature records for today. We’re still at 28C/82F as I write this. Our average for today is 26C/79F. The record high was 33C/91F, set in 2011, while our record low was only 6C/43F, set in 2000. So we’re pretty normal for this time of year. If our spring hadn’t been so awful, this would have been a very productive gardening year.
It’s hitting the girls in their upstairs “apartment” the worst. My younger daughter just cut all her hair off, to help keep cooler. Their switching to sleeping during the day and being active during the night hasn’t been working that well this year; the nights are simply not cooling down much. As a surprise for them, I made a trip to a Canadian Tire this morning, and got one of those Arctic Air cooling fans. I’d much rather have picked up a portable AC unit for them, but not only are they ridiculously expensive, there aren’t any in stock in most places right now. The window AC units are much more affordable, but there is only one window it could possibly be installed in, and it won’t fit with the way that window opens. In fact, that’s true of all our windows. Best bet would be to actually have one installed through a wall, not in a window. Since we don’t actually own the house, that’s not something we’re going to start doing!
My morning rounds are taking longer, as I am able to do more in the various garden beds as I go along.
I harvested the largest of the chive blossoms, before they go to seed. While I continued with my morning rounds, one of my daughters washed and de-bugged them, then laid them out on a cooling rack in a baking tray to dry. They are in the oven, with no heat at all, to protect them from the cats. Once the wash water is dried off, we’ll stick as much of them in a jar as we can, with olive oil. Any extras will go in the freezer. Or maybe I should split them into two jars and use them all. There are more chive blossoms to harvest later on, so we’ll have plenty to infuse in vinegar, too.
Speaking of drying things, during the night that cats did manage to get at the stacked screens of drying mint leaves. We’ve lost about 2 screen’s worth of mint leaves to the floor. 😦
When I moved on from the old kitchen garden to check on the squash patch, I noticed one of the giant pumpkins was no longer upright. I thought it might be because it had grown large enough to start leaning over, but I was wrong.
The stem is broken, right at ground level. Possibly from the high winds we’ve been having. Or…
Possibly weakened by the ant hill that has formed on that side of the pumpkin mound!
I built soil up around to support the stem again, in the off chance that it will survive, but with a break that large, I don’t expect it to. We are likely down to just one giant pumpkin plant.
Everything else in the squash patch seems to be surviving so far, and I’m seeing new growth in most. The squash that were started at 4 weeks are so very small, though. I kinda feel like maybe we should have started them at 6 weeks.
I had a very pleasant surprise in the tomato patch nearby, though!
Of course, the camera on my phone didn’t focus where I wanted it to. 😀
We have our first tomatoes forming!
These are on the Sophie’s Choice tomato plants. We got these seeds as a freebie with my order from Heritage Harvest, which was a very pleasant surprise. They have a much shorter growing season, and were started indoors at around 10 weeks or something (it’s a good thing I am using the blog as a gardening journal to record the details, because I’m already forgetting!). So I am not surprised that these are the first to start forming fruit.
We did get some rain last night, but it was light enough that much of the water in the garden was able to get absorbed by the soil, and the paths are just really wet, instead of big puddles of water. That meant I could finally do some much needed weeding in the summer squash bed, then pruning of tomatoes.
I took some of the strongest, healthiest looking branches that I pruned off the Sophie’s Choice tomatoes and transplanted them in the open spaces between the summer squash. I don’t know if I’m breaching any companion planting rules here (do tomatoes and squash go well together?), but whatever. If they take, great. If not, that’s okay, too. I specifically wanted to propagate more Sophie’s Choice tomatoes, as they are listed as extremely rare, so if I can save seed and help keep the variety going, that would be a good thing. Because they start producing so much faster than the other varieties we have, I’m not as concerned about cross pollination.
While I was weeding and tending different parts of the garden, I had Rolando Moon hanging out and keeping me company. Not wanting attention. Just being nearby.
I had to chase her out of one of the sweet potato bags, as she decided to start rolling in it! Then she jumped up into the high raised bed and lay down on some onions. THEN, she moved into the squash and corn patch, and sat on some corn seedlings!
That cat seems determined to be destructive!
The tomatoes are not the only things blooming. Two of the Styrian hulless pumpkins have suddenly burst into bloom, and they are all covered with buds again. Their first buds had been pruned away when they were transplanted. They look to still be all male flowers. I’m debating whether these flowers should be pruned away, too, so more energy can go to the plants establishing themselves more. It hasn’t been that long since they were transplanted, after all.
Anyone out there know if it would be helpful to prune the flowers off now or not?
The beans and peas at the trellises and bean tunnel are looking quite good. The cucumbers seem more touch and go. The first peas that were planted are getting quite large, and the snap peas are already large enough that some have latched onto the vertical trellis strings already. The snap peas are growing noticeably faster than the pod peas.
There is a single, out of place pea plant that showed up, right near the upright post at the start of the row. It seems to be a pea from last year that finally germinated! It germinated quite a bit earlier than the others, and I’m trying to train it up the support post, since it’s too far from the vertical lines to climb. Last year, we planted the King Tut purple peas here, so that’s what this one would be. It’s even almost as large as the purple peas we started indoors from saved seed, and transplanted against the chain link fence to climb. They are all tall enough that they’ve attached themselves to the fence and are making their way upwards, even though they are still looking kinda spindly.
The Wonderberries have been ripening, though the plants haven’t really gotten any bigger, and have what looks like weather damage. I’ve been able to taste them. They are lightly sweet, but don’t have any predominant flavour. This may be something we just leave for the birds. I’ll have to get the girls to try them, too, and see if they like them. I don’t mind them self seeding in this location, as I’d rather have the berry bushes that produce food, either for us or for the birds, than the invasive flowers.
In other things, my plans for the day have had to change. My sister never made it out to my mother’s yesterday, because my mother told her it was “too soon” to start packing and bagging things in preparation for her apartment being sprayed for bed bugs. She has a shift today, so that’s out. My brother, meanwhile, is out of town for a funeral that had been delayed until now by the lockdowns. So it looks like I’ll likely have to go to my mother’s to help out. I’ll phone her, first, once I’m sure she is back from church. My sister will be able to come out tomorrow morning, and I hope to come out in the early afternoon for the last of the packing and bagging, and moving of larger items. Then she’s back the next morning to bring our mother to her place for the night. I’ll head over in the early evening to check on the place and make sure it’s locked up while my mother is gone.
On Tuesday, I should be heading into the city for the first half of our monthly shopping, too. I will time it so I can check her place on my way home.
Which means I’ll be getting very little accomplished at home over the next few days!
The squash bed prepared by my daughter has been filled!
Some things went in some odd configurations. It’s going to take some doing to remember everything, even with the labels.
In my previous post, I’d stopped for a break after getting the Kakai hulless pumpkins, and the Crespo squash, started in the squash bed. As expected, the rest went much faster.
I’m so tired right now, I’m not sure I’m going to remember everything I planted in here at all! 😀
At this corner, the four Endeavor green zucchini got transplanted, running parallel to the low raised bed. This way, they will be easily accessible for harvesting throughout the summer.
There was a bit of space at the end of the row the green zucchini was planted in, so a couple of Teddy winter squash were planted there, and the remaining 6 were planted in a block in the next couple of rows. The Teddy squash has a growing habit similar to zucchini, so I wanted to make sure they were near the path, so we shouldn’t have too much trouble getting by while tending the low raised bed, or the green zucchini.
Next to the Kakai hulless pumpkin, I planted the Baby Pam pumpkins. There was six of them, planted in a 3 x 2 block. These are a smaller pumpkin that are supposed to be excellent for pies.
The poles are with the Apple gourds. I can’t remember if they’re climbers or not, but they are the only gourds in this bed, so I wanted to make them easy to spot.
I know we had some Ozark Nest Egg gourd seedlings, but as I planted them, I got a closer look and it does seem the are all Apple gourds. I don’t remember the Ozark seedlings dying off; if I had noticed, I would have tried planting more! I have no idea what happened to them.
Fit into the remaining spaces are the Georgia Candy Roaster and Winter Sweet.
Of the 7 x 7 grid my daughter dug, I did not plant anything in the south row, as it was too far into the shade. So this squash bed has been planted in a 7 x 6 grid.
The next step will be to mulch this area with straw. There had been thunderstorms forecasted, but now they’re just saying showers – those storm predictions keep going away! Still, we want to make sure the mulch is down as soon as possible.
If I can, though, I’ll see if I can get in with the weed trimmer first. It’ll be more difficult, now that the seedlings are planted, but it will make a big difference later in the season.
There were still seedlings to be transplanted, however. Which means a whole new section needed to be claimed. We were hitting 25C/77F, though, so I went back inside to take a hydration break, though I ended up making a dash to the store to pick up more bug spray. I’d just bought some, and we were already running out. They didn’t have a lot of options – normally we get something that will repel ticks, too, but there was none available. Still, with how fast we’ve been going through them, I got two.
For the rest of the transplants, I decided to start transplanting here.
In this area next to the potatoes, the grass I’d cut was growing back faster that the squash bed I’d just finished planting in, so I couldn’t make do without using the weed trimmer.
I worked in sections, starting out with an area large enough to include walking paths.
I had a couple of bins of transplants already at the garden, so I started on those, first.
These are the G-Star, green patty pan squash. The plants will be more compact compared to the winter squash, and they will be more easily accessed from the path between them and the potato and melon bed. I started by digging the row of holes then, using the jet setting on the hose, drilled into the soil and into the divots to blast as much soil back into the holes as I could, while leaving the roots and rocks behind. Then each hole got a spade full of sifted garden soil, and finally the squash were transplanted.
That process was then repeated for the next row, for the Boston Marrow. There were three pots, but so many of them germinated, I was able to plant eight. Which is probably quite crowded, even though I spaced them out more, as I think these will sprawl quite a bit as they grow.
Once those were in, I went to get more transplants – and found the only squash left were both hulless pumpkins!
Oops. I’d intended to plant them further apart. I would have put the Boston Marrow in between them, if I’d thought ahead. Ah, well.
I chose to plant the Lady Godiva variety here, because there was 5 seedlings, to the other variety’s four.
The last four, the Styrian hulless pumpkins, went next to the bean tunnel. I wasn’t able to use the weed trimmer here, though. I had to add another length of extension cord, but for some reason, it just wouldn’t run. I think there’s an issue with one of the extension cord plugs.
Oh, I almost forgot!
While watering the beds out here earlier, I noticed that we now have peas sprouting! The ones my daughter planted at the finished trellis. There are 2 varieties, and both have broken ground. 🙂
So here we have it! That last of the squash, gourds and pumpkins are now transplanted! As with the others, these will also need a straw mulch.
We might end up finishing off the bale, soon!
As of tonight, the only things left to transplant are the ground cherries and the Yakteen gourds. The Yakteen gourds will be filling in some gaps in other places. After talking about it with my daughter, she suggested a place for the ground cherries that I hadn’t thought of. Next to the compost ring, there’s a spot where we’ve got grass clippings sitting on top of a sheet of metal. That metal has been there for about a year now, so it should be just fine to plant into. We’ll just have to find ways to use up the grass clippings that are there! 🙂
I am so glad to finally have the transplanting done! Where we’re planting them is far from ideal, but they should be fine, I think.
We still have corn to direct seed. We’ll check the days to maturity and see if we still can, or if the seeds will just have to wait until next year. There are other seeds I’d hoped to plant this year, but they will have to wait until next year. They should have been sown back when everything was flooding. There is no longer enough of a growing season left for them.
While I was working on all this, my younger daughter took care of some other jobs, including doing a burn. We haven’t been able to get the burn barrel going for a while, and it was over full of the cat litter sawdust. That meant she had to stay and tend the fire for several hours.
She had just reached the point where she could put the cover on and finally let it smolder away on its own, when I came by to the pile of garden soil for one last wheel barrow load. Previously, I’d been sifting soil from the remains of the pile near the squash bed, but what’s left of that is so full of roots, it’s not worth the effort anymore. Later in the season, we’ll break up what’s left of it and use it to level off that area which, like so many other spots around the old garden area, is really rough, making it difficult to mow.
While sifting soil into the wheel barrow from the other pile – which went so much faster, as I was able to work from an area that hadn’t been taken over by weeds, yet – my daughter and I both heard a strange sound.
Coming from the branch pile.
A teeny, tiny mewing sound!
There are still kittens in there! Well. At least one. I’ve seen the mamas taking their kittens out of there, so this may be different litter? I have no idea. It’s going to still be a while before we start seeing the moms bringing their babies to the kibble house.
We’ll have to keep our eyes out for them. 🙂
So, there we are. The squash transplants are finally done!
Looking at the 14 day forecast, we’re looking at highs hovering around 20C/68F during the day, and the lows hovering around 15C/59F, which fairly regular showers throughout. Which should be just excellent for the garden! It would be so good to finally have a good growing year.
As for me, I am wiped out. A daughter has been kind enough to take care of my laundry for me, I’ve taken my pain killers, and am more than ready to go to bed!
During the winter, we tried a winter sowing experiment. We sowed seeds in 4 different styles of containers to see which would do better come springtime.
The answer is…
… none of them.
Not a single thing has germinated.
I think they froze. Our extended winter was probably a bit too much for them. People in some of my zone 3 gardening groups have had good success with their winter sowing, so I know the technique works. It just didn’t work for us, this year!
Will be try again next year?
Maybe. We’ll decide in the fall, I think.
When bringing the transplants in last night, I took the time to go through them all, organize them and get labels ready for today.
This morning, while taking them back outside, I gave them another once over, trying to figure out how I wanted to get them in. This is what we’ve got left to transplant.
This year, we have 3 surviving Crespo squash – and one of them was thinned out from another pot. These guys REALLY want to go into flower!
We did all right with the Styrian hulless pumpkins, with 4 surviving transplants.
The Lady Godiva hulless pumpkins did even better. There are 5 pots in there, but some of them have two or three plants – seeds started germinating later, after we started hardening off the plants!
The Kakai hulless pumpkin did not fare as well. There are only 2 of those.
The Baby Pam pumpkin did amazing. We’ve got 6 of them – a 100% germination rate! These are last year’s seeds, and last year, none of them germinated!
In the other bin are the two Little Finger eggplants I found among the squash and pumpkins, plus the two giant pumpkins started from free seeds given out at the grocery store near my mother’s place. We won’t be doing any of the pruning or special care to grow a competition sized pumpkin, but it should still be interesting to see how big they do get!
Here we have 3 pots each of winter squash, but some of the pots have 2 or 3 seedlings in them! We’ll decide what to do with them, as we are ready to transplant. I don’t like to “waste” strong, healthy seedlings, so they might all get transplanted. We shall see.
We’ve got 2 Apple gourds, for sure – these were from a second start, due to the Great Cat Crush. There are two others that are either more Apple gourds, or Ozark nest egg gourds. The writing faded on the labels.
We have quite a lot of ground cherries, and still have no idea where we are going to plant them!
Here are the last of the seedlings that were started at 4 weeks before last frost date. There are 4 green zucchini (the yellow zucchini and the Magda have already been planted), and 8 of the G-star patty pans, which we got through a happy mistake. The Teddy squash are from last year’s seeds, and these ones grow in a bush habit, rather than vining.
Then there are the three pots that have Yakteen gourds planted in them, but only one pot has seedlings – and a new one germinating again! That was one of the pots that got re-planted, because none germinated. The other round pot that has a label stuck in it was also replanted, but nothing has germinated. The middle round pot had Kakai pumpkins sown in it, which did not germinate, so I used the same pot for more Yakteen gourd seeds. Nothing. Very strange!
When it’s time to plant these, we’ll be trying to work them in groups or clusters, placing like away from like, as much as possible. At the same time, we want the summer squash to be easily accessible, which means not letting them get crowded by the sprawling winter squash! We’ll see how many we can fit into the area my daughter dug a grid of holes into.
It’s a littler over a weeks since our last average frost date, so hopefully, it’s not too late to be transplanting these. As you can tell by the yellowing leaves, they really need to be out of those pots and into the ground!