Garden update July

Where has the time gone?  Already July and I am just getting to a garden update.  June was super busy with the end of the school year and kids activities.  After all of that a bit of R&R was in order.  This past Independence Day weekend was the first time I felt like I had a moment.

Garden_longview

So here is my garden update.  I have never had a garden look this good.  Not. Ever.  The extreme heat, coupled with measured irrigation has allowed everything to grow so well.  It has been wonderful for the tomatoes and peppers.

Lush_peppers

The tomatoes are loaded with blossoms.

Blossoming_tomatoesthe leaves on the okra are huge!

Okra_Huge_leavesThe Zucchini plants look amazing and have 4″ long fruits on them.  the eggplant, tomatillos and ground cherries also look extremely healthy.

Growing_ZuchinnisI harvested the last of my snap peas and took a cutting of broccoli.  when the broccoli is all done we will till in the foliage and prep our fall crops in that area.  We have to be careful because we have at least a dozen “volunteer” tomatoes that are looking beautiful.

Everything looks a bit short this year.  Like the plants can’t afford to get too tall. The only problem that I can report are some unwanted visitors.

Japanese_beetle_visitors

That being said, I feel for the farmers though.  As I drive around town, I see them irrigating their fields, something they don’t normally need to do.  Irrigating is not, to my knowledge, even a standard practice for most Western New York farms.

How about you, how does your garden grow?

 

Making the fall garden snuggly

Our fall has been beautiful and unseasonably warm at times, so we have been fortunate to enjoy an extended harvest of many garden treats.  We are supposed to get snow this weekend along with 2 nights of hard frost.  I mentioned the hoop house we were going to try in the fall garden.  Now is the time to add the plastic.  Checkout those crazy tall sunflowers in the background.

hoop house for fall crops

We are also taking some precautions with our green bean plants.  They were put in a bit late and are just starting to produce.  In order to spare them from the damage of a frost we used the extra plastic and made another quick  hoop house.

quick hoop house addition

Fingers crossed.  Temperatures are supposed to go back up all next week again, so I am hoping we can make it through this weekend without too much damage.  Yesterday we picked all of the mature peppers that were left in the garden as well as a couple eggplants and zucchini.  Here is only about two thirds of the peppers.

final pepper harvest

 

We had to do all this harvesting and hoop housing in stages though.  The crazy and changeable weather already started.  Here are some squash and pumpkins that I had out curing on our deck.

squash with hail

Hail storm, sunny break, hail storm, cloudy, super cold rain, then full on sun again.  We were chased into the house two times during the process.  A lot of hail came down and stuck around for quite a while on the ground.  It was difficult to get a picture of it, but you can see how much collected on the deck.

 

Piles of apples

This will be it for the apples that have been keeping me so busy for the last month or so.  We have crates of them stacked in the garage, both crispers in the fridge filled and bowls of them in the kitchen.  Time to get baking and maybe one more batch of dried chips…

 

Garden update and bargain perennials – woo hoo!

I have been on the prowl for some more perennials in my garden, bargain perennials, especially.  I am seriously lacking summer color.

sale_plant_real_dream_shasta_daisy

Daisies and Lillies were some of the plants on my want list, so when I spotted these on the garden center sale rack, I had to take them home.

sale plant group

Marked down to $3/ pot (with an original price of $11.98) they were like four for the price of one.

sale_plant_big_time_happy_lily

Total. steal.

sale plant group

They just needed some love and to get into the ground.

sale_plant-tag _Real_nest_daisy

I have been watering them every other day and so far they are looking better.

The days around here have been very busy.  The harvests are bountiful.  We have been preserving food like crazy, eating largely vegetarian meals and giving away produce to friends, family and coworkers.

a_day's_harvest

Our vine crops at our remote garden are looking good – we have some nice mature squash and pumpkins that are ready to fully mature soon.

Acorn_squashThis guy is mostly orange already.

Orange_pumpkin

check out some of my baby pictures…

Butternut_squash_baby…and there are more…

 

tiny_butternut_squash…plus pumpkins

tiny_orange_pumpkinA lovely little fall berry crop is slowly coming in too.

Fall_berry_crops

Just when I thin that I have canned, frozen and dehydrated all of it…

another_day's_harvest

I have also been working on some decorating and remodeling projects (mostly that is Hubs) and I am taking pics.  I want to share, but it is just too crazy in this good weather I have to deal with garden and produce as a priority.