Tuesday, 17 August 2010


My 6 cucumber vines that are on the fence behind the greenhouse are succuming to squash bugs and stink bugs. I picked 3 off of it today, and expect maybe a dozen or so more. However! The vines I planted back in June are just now ripening! I picked 6 today! And should be getting a good harvest of them regularly until the frost. I would say probably cucumbers have been the most consistant thing for me to get out of the garden, and an over abundance, I have had to 'compost' several dozen! We can't eat them fast enough, and sometimes I'm too busy to pickle them.

My pole beans I planted the same time as the cucumbers are just starting to produce, full of flowers! The stinkin' deer came by last night and took several dozen leaves off of them! Thankfully, because they are pole beans it is not as easy to get at, and the cucumbers are on the other side. While squash can be tricky to grow because of the insects or disease, nothing likes them. I mean, I guess the deer did eat the small watermelon, and likes melon leaves, but as far as cucumbers/squash with the prickly vines, deer don't generally eat them, and neither do most critters. The only time I have known a deer to eat squash was last year, in September, I had a pumpkin vine growing by the strawberries. The deer came along and ate ALL the leaves off one of the vines! I guess it was pretty hungry, because I have not had them eat any squash vines so far. I'm actually trying to locate where the deer are coming through. I don't think it is from behind the greenhouse, and I don't know if they come around to the front. At one point I thought they were coming up from the creek by the black raspberries and trellis with tomatoes. I am not sure where they are coming from though because most of the foot prints have them leading south to south east out of the garden.

I am planning for next year. Setting more priorities, and then if I have room going with more specialty. I want to do at least a full bed of potatoes (100sq ft), maybe more. Will Sutherland recommends your first garden be mostly potatoes, and then big seeds, like squash and stuff that don't need much weeding. And then by the 3rd or 4th year have it pretty good so that you can do small seeded stuff. I want to do 50sq ft of carrots, the same amount for parsnips. I would like to do 50 square feet of onions and then 25-50 sq ft of shallots and leeks. I want to do 100 sq ft of beans, about the same for peas, at least. Cucumbers, cabbage, sweet potatoes. And of course squash. And I would like to try to do some melons (cantaloupe and muskmelon).

Speaking of melons, my cantaloupe vines by the onions are growing REALLY fast now, something like 4-6 inches per day. I actually have expectations of maybe a melon before the frost (might need to protect it with plastic if it isn't quite ripe?). Speaking of onions, I pulled up the last 3 that were growing, raked it out, found 3 more. Then I forked it over and smoothed the soil with hoe and rake. I then planted rye and hairy vetch (I should have gotten 2lb of hairy vetch).

Once we get some walnuts I am going to harvest most of my basil and make a big batch of pesto (or several). It then should resprout and continue getting basil until the frost. In which case, I plan on potting it up and putting it inside the greenhouse for a week or two or bringing it inside our house.

My peppers are finally producing. I have several banana peppers, and several sweet bell peppers. Several more eggplants on the way. And lots of green tomatoes. A lot of the brassica is coming up, kale, brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage.

The wheat in amongst the sweet potatoes is doing well. The sweet potatoe vine is doing pretty good, growing pretty prolific. I might get a small tuber before the frost.

While my cousin was here we went down to the creek and found some BIG elderberry bushes, and picked quite a bit, enough to make half a pint of jam, and a few cups of elderberry tea. I now know where to go for flowers or berries next year as well.

By the looks of it I should get a fair amount of asparagus next year. Most of it is at least 4-5 feet tall.

Well, I'd better go. I've been up for 2 hours, but most of my family has only been up for 30 minutes...

English Vintner