Way back in during the summer I took a break from this here blog. I figured I’d step away for a week or two since I was up to here in the garden (can you see my hand up above my head?) and it was also prime playing out in the yard time for the kids. Those few weeks have turned into several months now. I made one lone post on Grayson’s birthday and every time I come back to write on here I feel the need to write about everything that has happened and then I get frustrated and turn on the television and watch “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” or “Pawn Stars”.
Eff that. We’ll just say that the garden was great until it got hot and everything got cooked (minus the peppers) and the nut grass took over and is out of control. Zoe turned 4 and her mouth doesn’t stop moving. Grayson turned 1 and has found that his legs can get himself into trouble. We went on vacation to Port Aransas, TX. A few weeks back we went to Ruidoso, NM on yet another vacation.
I might do a write up on that stuff. I might not.
These days? Both the kids are sick. Doctor appointment in the morning. Zoe started preschool last week and is loving it. Apparently her teachers are amazed at her vocabulary. Grayson loves putting the dog food kibble inside of the dog’s water dish, or just shoving it in his mouth. Whichever he can get done quicker without getting caught.
I’ve started doing the major cleanup of the garden. Going inch by inch trying to eradicate the Nut Grass and the rhizomes below. Trying to get some stuff in for winter. I planted multiplier onions probably a month ago and a few have already split. The lettuce is doing pretty good too. I stated carrots and beets the last week of August, but nothing came up. I’ll plant some more this week and see what happens. Took the five heads of garlic and planted the individual cloves this evening. I like to do it on the Autumnal Equinox or the week before, so today seems as good a day as any. Assuming things go right I should had 56 garlic bulbs comes May. This is the first year I actually set aside a few to plant again and didn’t purchase new. Persian Star and Lorz Italian are the two varieties that I’m growing. Best to keep it simple and not grow too many different types. This two types did well last year and both have great flavor with the Lorz Italian having a bit more bite.
The great thing at the big box stores? The gotta move out the old stuff to bring in the seasonal stuff. I picked up six plants in gallon sized pots for $6 today. Two Turk’s Cap, two Plumbago, and two Hot Lip’s Salvia. What’s great about this? They are all perennial and will come back next year. If I were to go to Marshall Grain I could find the same thing there but at full price. Why? Because they know they can still make a profit next year if it doesn’t sell and they don’t have to make room for fall and Christmas seasonal items.
Remember the android tablet I acquired from the wife several months ago? Well Zoe decided to let it fall off the hotel bed on our way back from Ruidoso and the screen cracked. Luckily we had purchased an extended warranty for it. Took it back to Best Buy and was able to get a new one for an even swap. Though, since the iPad 2 is now the same price as the android tablet we were able to just swap for that instead. I’m still getting used to it. I am liking the photo stream portion I can finally take advantage off. Take pictures on my iPhone and they end up on the iPad.
That is all.
I came home from work a few days ago and did what I usually do. I walked out back to fiddle around in the garden. Watering the pumpkin and watermelon seedlings I spotted this damage done to a Moon and Stars melon plant.
“Crap,” I muttered under my breath. The cucumber beetle was back, or more importantly, it never left. A few weeks ago I witnessed the destruction of three other watermelon seedlings. They died off completely. This time, though, I spotted a would-be culprit and tried to take it’s mugshot but it wouldn’t sit still long enough. So, I squished it. If you want to know what one looks like just Google it.
Hopefully, this little plant will recover and grow up to make some juicy melons!
I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t have anything to write about the last several weeks. I have. I’ve had lots and lots of things to write about. It was finding the time to put pencil to paper, which there has been lots of. You know, at midnight, way after the kids have gone to bed and I have unwound from that days work load or garden activities or baseball games; or during lunch at work while I’m catching up on facebook and twitter. It’s just that when that time came I really didn’t care if I wrote anything. Everyone that I care to share most of my thoughts and ideas with live under the same roof I do.
The month of May flew by pretty quick and June isn’t slowing down.
The blackberries peaked last Thursday, right on schedule, and are just about done. There are a few left on the canes and soon it will be time to cut them back to the ground. The new canes are already 2 and 3 feet tall.
The Roma tomatoes are in the middle of their peak. Being a determinate type of tomato, they shouldn’t fruit anymore. If they do, it would be a miracle as most the vines are dying left and right. Since this is happening, its leaving a lot of the unripe fruit exposed to the summer sun, and thus cooking them on the vine. I’m not going to complain much though, as I have never grown as many tomatoes as I have this year. So much so, Stephanie and I took to canning them just so they wouldn’t go bad. 15 pints and 2 quarts. Should get another 10-15 pints. I couldn’t be happier.
The tomatoes that are in the big bed I planted this last spring haven’t really recovered from the crappy dirt I put them in even after doing some soil amending. They have fruit on them, but nothing to shake a stick at. I’ll give them to the end of this month and I’m pulling them. When I do, cotton burr compost is going down, and buckwheat is getting planted.
I have four of the normal bed growing buckwheat now. I’ve learned my lesson and if I don’t amend the soil properly, the growing conditions are just going to get worse. I honestly don’t know how the Roma’s have done so well.
Speaking of the end of the month. I cannot wait for the 29th to get here. VACATION!! We haven’t taken an extended, get out of town, true family vacation since we went to the Grand Canyon in 2009 when Zoe had just turned a year old. With Ashleigh being born in 2010 and Grayson in 2011, we spend the bulk of our vacation days for that. I’m almost too excited for this. A six+ hour road trip for 8 days in Port Aransas. Beaches, deep sea fishing, riding the waves, seafood, fishing in the bay, looking for shells with Zoe, Crab-N, crossing the ferry. Bring it!
I picked a strawberry yesterday. That was a bit odd. There haven’t been strawberries for at least a month. Zoe ate it. She said it was delicious. I’ll just have to trust her.
I couldn’t come up with a name for this. Just something I put together. Hope you like it.
Music credit: The Head and the Heart.
The bluebonnets have been hanging around for about the last three weeks without any color. They were beginning to become unsightly. The seed pods were plump enough that it was time to do some cleanup around the mailbox.
I cut the tops off most the plants to hang and let the seeds pods dry.
Unfortunately, during cleanup I discovered where all the butterflies were coming from. It turns out, I ripped up the hiding place where the caterpillars were making their cocoons. I left this one and another one. I didn’t bother looking through the pile of pulled plants to look for more as I was saddened enough.
Everyday when I come home from work I am mesmerized by the amount of butterflies fluttering around in the front yard. I could sit out there all evening and watch them sit and bask in the evening sun. I was able to get these four on camera. The others are more camera shy.
When I see the sunflower leaves all chewed up, I just remember that soon I’ll be able to enjoy that pesky caterpillars true beauty.
Sitting out there I think of the Bread and Butterflies from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. If you just sit still for a few moments in a small area, there are amazing things going on right under your nose. Sometimes I’ll get down on their level and try to see the world from their perspective. It is amazing.
Ive been wanting to dig at the potato beds for about a week now, just to see what was going on under the soil. I must say, I was impressed. I started with just one box and potatoes buried at the very bottom. As the plants grew I added dirt and another box, eventually stopping at three boxes stacked. Digging around, I reached barely to the bottom of the top box and hit gold. Most were a decent size but nowhere close to being ready. I anxious to know whats beneath them. I’ll give them another month or so until I harvest. I’m excited.