Friday, 16 July 2010

I have worked Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and now I get a day off. I needed the work though, so it was good. $200 will help pay for the corks I bought, and for the motor too. Speaking of which, I would have thought it had shipped by now, I payed the next day after getting the highest bid.

I took a 3 hour nap yesterday (could have slept for probably 5) so I could get up at 6am this morning. Getting up at 6am during the summer is my favorite thing to do, I have some time to go down to the garden while it is still cool, while the dew is still wet (and maybe prevent some mishaps from happening?).

Speaking of the garden, I went down today and found something had been up to know good. It was not a deer this time. My guess is squirrels or raccoon. See, I had indian corn which I had been thinking of planting, but I had it in a box with gourds and it was tipped over. I had thrown some of the cobs around the garden (I threw them as far as I could over the fence, behind the greenhouse etc.), but had saved a few. Well this morning I found a few of them all gnawed off. I then found shallots that had been dug up. Four or five of them at least, and more had been trampled (crushed to the ground). Do raccoons like shallots/onions? What about squirrels? Well, my best guess is that one or more squirrels decided to plant some corn, along with eat it, and also decided to pull some shallots. I replanted them, they were only about the diameter of a quarter. Not too much damage done, but still annoying.

It looks like the deer may have come back and eaten some more bean leaves, hard to tell though. I sprayed everything with blood meal water. I have to say I hope the deer stay away. The smell of it is AWFUL! I can hardly stand it. I was opening up my sprayer because the hose and sucked up too many granules of blood meal to spray, and it had a lot of pressure in it, and it blew me right in the face with the blood meal! Yuck! If I don't like it, will the deer? I took some of the water and poured it all along the fence, and where I was growing the watermelons. Then I sprayed all my grape vines with a weaker solution of it. I also sprayed most of the plants in my garden. Not only does blood meal work as deer deterent (supposedly, I guess we will see eh?), it works as a foliar feeder. Foliar feeders (I think I am getting the name right) are liquid fertilizers that you spray on the plants to get quick absorption of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Liquid sea weed extract is the most popular. It is mainly used for plants that are under stress, that have been attacked and could use a 'shot of caffeine' you might say.

My squash plants are going WILD! I can probably harvest round zucchini any day now, I have two ready. My lufa vines are going mad, and my winter squash vines are doing real well. Most of the vines that we planted in the spring don't seem to be doing too well. Probably part deer, part lack of water, care, food. I have one squash vine that looks like it has about 6 butternut squash on it.

My onions are doing pretty well, the bulbs are forming pretty fast right now. I am hoping for no animals to eat them, though I don't think onions are normally a favorite thing of most animals, since garlic is pretty offensive.

I have pulled up all the zucchini that I orginally planted. The vines were looking so bad, under a lot of attack from stink bugs (I forget the correct name), they were not SVBs thankfully. I got a lot of zucchini from them. I would like to do even more zucchini next year. I think I will get a few more from the other plants that we planted later. Though they are under some severe attack as well.

My peppers haven't done much at all. No flowers, I wonder if I will even get a couple before a frost. They were getting attacked by some bug. I think I might get a few egg plants from my eggplant. It is flowering and doing quite well.

My corn is doing well. Though, I can guarantee you, once it is ripe, either the deer will get it, or the raccoons. And at that point I will have a couple of options. Some how fence the corn, maybe put paper bags over each head, or sleep out in the garden.

I got another tomato this morning. A Thomas Jefferson. It had a bad spot in it, and wasn't quite ripe, I ate a slice out of it, BOY is it good! No wonder it is an heirloom tomato! Very sweet, even when it wasn't fully ripe!

Cabbage is doing well, it has heads the size of my fist. And the worms seem to be gone again (for what, a week or two?) that were eating it.

I need to pull the bush beans and plant brassica in it. My hands still smell of blood meal. Think of rotten meat kinda smell. :) Yeah, not a very nice smell at all.

I am getting a few ideas for how to keep the deer out of my garden. They say you need a 10+ foot fence to keep deer out of your garden. What if you had a bed, 6ft wide, 20ft long. And had that fenced with 5-6ft chicken wire? Could a deer jump into it and still get out? It seems it would be like getting real close to a wall, and then jumping up and over it, if you catch what I'm saying. If it took a running jump to get in, wouldn't it nearly jump right over the other side? Some ideas I've been thinking up. The cost of the chicken wire might be expensive. But it might be worth it.

I need to work on some cold frames. A couple months back I picked up a bunch of 2x" stuff. Some of it 4" wide, some of it 6" wide. So, I have free wood for it. And I have a couple glass windows and some doors I can use. I might need to buy some screws though.

I made some yogurt last night. Cannot wait to try it. Wednesday I made some peach chutney with all the peaches we got. It is pretty good, though a little on the spicy side. I need to make some more freezer pickles.

Some friends from church want to buy at least a couple hundred corks, so that is good. The guy asking about 500+ corks hasn't replied back, yet. Isn't human nature, your interested in something, you ask the person about it, he tells you about it, and then, for some reason you decide you don't want it. And the guy asks you a few times if you are still interested, but you are to afraid to reply and tell him you don't want it? I know I've done it a few times. And, on the one hand you feel bad for the person for not replying, but on the other hand you'd rather not tell him you don't want them.

Well, I'd better go. I hope to do some math today, some gardening, and some cooking/preserving. Have fun! God bless!

English Vintner