Dear Dee and Mary Ann and gardening friends everywhere,
Greetings from my back patio where I’m enjoying a beautiful evening listening to birds chirping in the trees and watching the antics of a couple of yellow finches out in the garden. There’s a nice breeze and the high temperatures in the 90’s that we had most of last week are gone now, at least for awhile.
Out in the garden, I finally pulled out the pea vines and the bolted lettuce and weeded and hoed all the beds this morning. Now my garden is officially a summer garden as I wait for the summer crops to ripen. It’s all about green beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and corn from here on out.
And I am waiting. For some reason, I have a lot of little squash on the “Eight Ball’ and ‘One Ball’ plants but they don’t seem to be getting bigger. I’m not too happy with the plants in general -- I think they should be larger than they are. It’s definitely a soil fertility issue and not a variety issue because all the squash plants are smaller this year. The beds I planted them in are back along the fence, and I don’t recall adding compost to them earlier this spring. I’ll have to remedy that with a dose of liquid organic fertilizer.
But the green beans look great, and it is just a matter of time before I’m picking them. Honestly, I’ve never had such vigorous plants or seen so many blooms on each plant. I’m really expecting a bumper crop this year.
The peppers are so-so. I’ve had better but given how small the plants were when I planted them out, I’m not going to complain. Plus, as I’ve said before, I don’t really care for peppers, unless they are chopped up small and added to something like salsa, so most of what I grow I give away.
I’m watching the corn closely right now because I’ve got an early variety from Botanical Interests called ‘Spring Treat’ that is tasseling already and I can see the little silks of the ears just forming. The packet of seeds had enough seeds for only two four foot long rows, so I hope that is enough to get good pollination of the ears. The other corn looks good, too, but isn’t as far along. I am growing a spaghetti squash in with the corn, hoping that keeps any raccoons out. I’ll let you know how that goes.
You know how I was worried earlier about my tomato plants being so small? Well, they’ve caught up with and surpassed the one tomato plant I did buy. After all these years of growing vegetables, I should remember how fast tomato plants, and really all the vegetables grow with sun, rain, and good soil. The picture above is of a cluster of ‘Red Currant’ tomatoes starting to ripen. Mary Ann, that’s a hint about this year’s tomato contest, but that is the only hint you get.
Dee, the only reason I was able to sit out on the patio in the evening to write this letter was because I was using the Herbal Insect Repellant from Burt’s Bees that you told me about. Otherwise, I would have had all the blood sucked out of me by voracious mosquitoes by the time I finished this letter. They seem pretty bad this year.
And with that, I think I will finish this letter with wishes for you, and everyone, for a bountiful summer garden.
Flowers and veggies for all,
P.S. Here are a few pictures of the garden, taken when it was quite sunny, around 5:00 pm.
This is from the usual spot where I stand to take a weekly picture.The sunflowers are finally tall enough to block the view.
So I went to the other end of the garden and tried to take a picture from there.The corn is blocking that view.
Finally, I got out a ladder and climbed it to get a good aerial view.And that's the garden this week! How's your garden growing?