Category Archives: Garden Tips

Corn Harvest and Tomato Shade

6-27-12
     The temps here have been in the 100s this week.  I’ve been watering the garden every evening hoping to keep it from burning up from the sun.  Today I discovered that the sweet banana pepper and bell pepper plants had scrubed to the heat.  The peppers on each plant had sun burn spots on them so I decided I’d gotten my share and decided not to water them anymore.
     I picked the corn today.  Sad harvest.  The ears had 1 worm each and some had ants and/or some kind of long thin black bug.  The bugs had eaten anywhere from a quarter to half of each ear.    I only picked 25 ears and out of that I was able to only put 6 away, in the deep freezer, for corn on the cob.                  I cut the rest of the corn off the cobs to make some Corn Relish.  I didn’t have any garlic so I waited till Sat. to make the relish. (Friday shopping)  A couple of years ago I made a Zucchini and Corn Relish that you could pour over your pan fried chicken breasts.  I wanted to make something similar, so I invented a recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  See the July 1 post for the recipe.

 6-28-12 
With the sun blaring down on my tomatoes I was concerned about them getting burned up.  I was thinking, during the day, about how I could shade them a little.  My Dad used to put 6 fence posts up, two on each end of the row of tomatoes and two in the middle.  When the days started to get too hot he would then lay a piece of rebarb, he had laying around, on top of the tomatoes. (Hog fencing would work also.)  He would use wire to tie the rebarb to the fence posts.  Once this was done he would take the old corn stalks and lay them on top to shade the tomatoes.  He always had beautiful bushy tomato plants that grew up through the rebarb and then they ended up shading themselves.
Anyway back to shading my tomatoes…Having the corn stalks in mind I decided that I would lean some of the corn stalks against the West side of my tomato plants.

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06-05-12 and 06-08-12

Black-eyed Susan

06-05-12
It’s been a few days since I’ve had time to get up into the garden.  We’ve had lots of rain for the past few days.  Monday mornings’ storm whipped some of the potato plants to the ground.  The corn and tomatoes made it through just fine.  The corn is starting to get those seed things coming out of the top. (I don’t know what they’re called.)  The tomatoes are getting bigger and so are the plants.  I placed some more twine around the plants this morning to hold up the vines.  My roma tomato plant looks kind of green & brown; not sure if it’s gonna make it.

Crab grass is going to seed around the green beans.  I pulled up a row and a half of it this morning; 3 1/2 rows to go. I’ll be going to work late in the morning on Thursday so the plan is to pull up more then.  I sure hope Sears calls about my tiller soon.

I picked 12 more Sweet Banana Peppers this morning.  I don’t understand why the insides of the peppers are not thick like the pickled ones at the stores and resturants.  Perhaps it’s the variety?  I think next year I’ll buy my peppers from a different nursery. 

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06-09-12

In went up into the garden yesterday evening.  The green bean plants have little green beans on them.  I can’t wait to ‘can’ them, but I think I would love to forego the picking part.  No pain, no gain.

Among the 6 cantalope plants I found 5 tiny cantalopes.  The plants are full of flowers and have been for a few weeks. It’s so exciting to see your plants start producing!

The corn is starting to get tassles so I need to get busy and put some mineral oil on them. (It helps keep the worms out of the corn cobs and makes the worm eggs slide away.)  My Dad put mineral oil on our corn last year and it kept the worms at bay.

I have got to dig up the onions in the morning.  The tops have been dry for a week.  Here’s hopeing that I get some nice onions. *fingers crossed :O)

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May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.

It RAINED!

It Rained and it’s gonna rain again tonight!  I dug down into the dirt in the garden this evening and it was moist down over 2″.   I don’t know how much rain we got last night, but the lightning show was terrific.

I am proud to finally say that the Blue Lake Green Beans are blooming.

I am so looking forward to canning some green beans this year.  Three years ago I canned 52 pints.  The past 2 years I’ve grown Purple Hull Peas along with the Green Beans.  The Peas produced like crazy and the Green Beans hardly produced at all.  My guess is that the insects that pollinate the Beans were too busy pollinating the Purple Hull Peas;  they must be sweeter or something.  Last year the bees, bumble bees, wasps, hornets, dirt dobbers,..well anything with wings, were all over the Purple Hull Peas but not the beans.  This year there are NO peas in the garden.

Here’s a couple of fruitful plant pictures.

Beautiful Sunday

How nice it is to get out at 7 a.m. and see the beginning of the day when you don’t have to go to work.  I saw a huge red headed woodpecker in front of the house; he sure makes a loud noise.  In the garden, a ruby throated hummingbird flew within a 2 feet of me looking for flowers.  The two little birds who have been eating the dewberries were out to greet me.  I was reading a post by a fellow Blogger about his morning yesterday and was inspired to write that this morning.

This morning I was out early to place the metal fence posts between the tomato plants.  I use these because they’re sturdy; no falling over.  My Dad made a “post slammer” out of a long piece of metal pipe (about 4 feet long) and welded the end with lots iron.  You place this over the end of the post and slam it into the ground. Such fun. UGH!  Now that that is done I have to find enough baleing twine to tie up the tomato plants.

It is looking like RAIN.  Could we be so lucky?

Garden Update and Tip

  The garden is all planted and we’re in the “waiting while it grows” stage.  The green beans and corn are getting taller. I expect any day now to see blooms on the green beans. (Wishful thinking)
   I am still having problems with potato bugs even after the hand picking and all.  I dusted the plants with Sevin Dust this morning.  I can’t get over how tall the potato plants are this year; over 2 feet!   I noticed that the dirt was cracking around some of the plants so I mounded the dirt up against them this morning.
   I’ve seen a worm on one of the tomato plants; killed him/her and sprinkled a bit of Sevin Dust on all of them.  I will be getting some marigold plants and setting them around the tomatoes; they are great for keeping worms off your tomatoes.
   My orange bell pepper plants are looking really good.  I’ve never had good luck with bell peppers.  I plan on paying close attention to them this year.  Does any one have a tip or two that has worked for them?

     On another note I love to take pictures with my digital camera.  Since I live out in the country, a mile off the county road, I’ve been taking pictures of wild flowers.  I’ve amassed quite a collection of pictures and I am in the planning stage of putting them in a scrapbook.  I have a book titled Wildflowers of Arkansas by Carl G. Hunter that I use for identification.  I highly recommend this book if you’re into wildflowers.
Here is a picture of White-Flowered Milkweed that I took a few days ago.  I saw this plant up on a incline surrounded by poison ivy, but I just had to trudge up there and take a look; I’m glad I did.

COLORADO POTATO BEETLE

Yesterday I posted a picture of the tater bug invading my potato plants. Today I looked him up and found out he’s called a Colorado Potato Beetle.
Here is an excellent link about them with info on how to get rid of them..

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef312.asp

How to Deter Deer From the Garden

WARNING THIS MAY BE DISCUSTING TO SOME,
but I had to share

An elderly friend told me today how the husband of a friend of her’s would deter deer from eating his watermelons and cantalopes.
He would use his urinal and take it and pour the urine around the edge of his garden. 
I was told that the male unine would stop the deer from crossing into the garden and that female urine would not work.
The man has done this for years and says it works.

     I’m not saying I’m going to do this or rather ask my Dad to. lol  I just wanted to pass along one more way to keep your garden safe.
     I personally think the best organic and safe way to deter deer, rabbits, squirrels or any varmint is a dog.