Sunday, July 06, 2014

My garden: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Cliff watched the weather on TV just before he came to bed last night.  There would be no rain storms in Kansas City, they said.  At 2 AM I awoke to a downpour, and a dog barking.  Cliff's sister left Angel here while she vacationed.  Angel barks at thunder.  It poured and thundered for over two hours.  Even Cliff, as deaf as he is, was awakened, and finally put her out on the back porch and then promptly went back to sleep.  As for me, once I'm awakened at that time of the morning, the chances are slight that I will go to sleep again, so I'm draggy and grumpy today.  
Thanks to Facebook friends, I found out that the rain really was very spotty.  We received over 2 1/2 inches.  Spring Hill, Kansas, got no rain at all, even though that's usually in the direction from whence our storms come.  Harrisonville, Missouri, got three inches, while a friend in Independence only had a few drops in her rain gauge.  She's about twenty miles to the west of us.  Perhaps that forecast for Kansas City was correct!  

My garden is not much to brag about this year.  For some reason I can't get beets and carrots to germinate; I've planted both three or four times, and except for the first planting, which was very small, I'm getting nothing except an occasional beet or carrot here and there.  The potatoes got sickly early on, from blight.  I need to make a mental note to plant Kennebecs next year; they aren't so susceptible to blight.

There have been triumphs:  So far my cucumbers, butternut squash, and zucchini have survived the attack of squash bugs, although I fought them diligently at first.  Cucumbers are on this end, then the butternut squash, then the zucchini, which received quite a battering in the wind last night.  I just prepared a batch of cucumbers and onion in vinegar and sugar for our future meals.  

  That's the early corn.  I learned a valuable thing about corn:  For years I would plant it, only to have the moles eat it as soon as it was in the ground.  This year I put the seeds between layers of paper towels, soaked it all, put it in a plastic sandwich bag and sealed it, and about a week later, planted the germinated corn.  Apparently moles don't like their seeds germinated, because every single seed came up, all three plantings.  

The tomato plants are loaded and doing well since Cliff put up electric fence to keep out the varmints who were using green tomatoes for bowling balls.  I've always told people that if everything in my garden fails except for the tomatoes, it's a successful year:  Tomatoes are the queen of my garden.  No blight to speak of except on one old-variety plant, Steakhouse Hybrid.  I need to leave the heritage varieties alone.  They never do well for me.    

On the right is the okra, and on the left is my second planting of corn.  The wind blew it over last night, but it will be standing up tomorrow.  In the background is my other row of tomatoes.  For some reason I planted a row at either end of the garden, which makes no sense at all.  Just on the other side of the corn you can see my sickly potato vines.  At the other end of the two corn rows are my second-planting green beans.  My aim is to have plenty to eat fresh, and none to can.  I still have canned green beans from last year.  

We'll be eating stuffed peppers before you know it.  

Here are the flowers along my sidewalk.  The Asiatic lilies are long-since done, and the day lilies will soon be through.  The Hibiscus plants have buds, but no flowers so far.  The cone flowers in the distance are doing well.  I love cone flowers:  They perform well in all kinds of weather and require little care.  

I will leave you with a picture of what used to be our bedroom in the old two-story house:
That's looking into the kitchen.  It doesn't look like that now, though.  They have stripped off the plaster; it's down to wood, just like this room.  I'm rather excited with some of the grandson's ideas.  He's moving the stairs in order to have a bigger kitchen.  And this, which was my bedroom, is going to be a dining room.  They will sleep upstairs.  


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

All and all I'd say your garden is doing pretty good. Looks like you are going to be blessed with loads of tomatoes. Your grandson is really shaking things up at the old house. Wow! Can't wait to see the after pictures!

Margaret said...

For someone who wasn't going to do a garden, this is incredible! Love okra!There is nothing better than a garden tomato though. I have early girl, Roma and sweet 100s.:-)

Back Porch Writer said...

Glad the garden is going well enough. Ours is very little but we are getting some squash and zucchini and cherry tomatoes and romas and lots of herbs planted here and there. Looks like you will be eating well. Those bell peppers were looking wonderful and tomatoes will be so nice! Exciting what is going on with the house updates.


I love zucchini and cucumbers and peppers. Yours look divine. It is nice your grandson has the vision to make changes in the older house. Will be wonderful when they're done, I'm sure. Moving a staircase is quite ambitious though.