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.
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.
Today I showed a picture of my strange round zucchini to a elderly friend. She pulled out her seed catalog so we could look for a variety that looked like my squash. We found a squash called Eight Ball Zucchini. Here’s a pic from the web.
Here’s some info at the Burpee website. BTW, Burpee also created a squash called Roly Poly.
I bought last yrs Regular long zucchini as starter plants. These just came up from last years zucchini that was tilled up in the garden. I am greatful to Kelly at Birds Blooms and Bugs for her comment about my strange zucchini being from a Hybrid.
“Your volunteer seed was possibly from a hybrid zucchini. The seed from hybrids won’t produce a zucchini like its parent, but like one of its “grandparents.” So you may have some type of heirloom throwback. Very likely good to eat though!”
Here is some info from Specialty Produce.
Eight ball squash are a hybrid zucchini variety, with a round shape reminiscent of a billiard ball.
The eight ball squash is similar in color and taste to the longer, Italian zucchini. The squash have a shiny, speckled, green skin, and creamy, white flesh. They are firm and very mild-tasting.
Eight ball squash may be substituted for zucchini in most recipes. The size and shape of this summer squash variety are ideal for stuffing; slice off the top stem end, scoop out some of the interior and fill with meats, cheeses or nuts and grains. Eight ball quash may also be steamed, baked, roasted or grilled as you would other summer squash. Dice and stir-fry or saute with garlic, onions, fresh herbs and spices. Slice thinly, layer with other sliced summer vegetables and bake. Keep dry and refrigerate until ready to use.
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?
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.
I finally tilled the garden this evening. We’ve been having chances of rain for the past couple of days and all we got here were sprinkles. The temps have gone down for this week to the mid 70s. I am loving it! The garden is flourishing and as I was tilling I saw I had a sweet banana pepper on one plant. I pulled up a few radishes yesterday. I really need to plant more. The volunteer squash plants continue to bloom, but no squash yet.
I mentioned potato bugs in my last post and today I worked on getting rid of them. Instead of opting for pesticides I went plant by plant looking for eggs and bugs. I used my scissors to cut the adult bugs in half and I trimmed the leaves off with the babies & eggs on them; placing them in a bucket. I took the bucket and dumped it in the woods AWAY from the house. I’m sure I didn’t get them all so I’ll have to keep an eye on the plants. I would still love any suggestions on removing them other than picking them off.
Here’s a pic. of the bug whos babies were eating the leaves off my potato plants.
COLORADO POTATO BEETLE
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.
In a previous post “Work and Gardening don’t mix sometimes” I mentioned the plastic pickle bucket rings we put around our tomato plants.
“To make plastic circles you cut a plastic pickle bucket in half and cut out the bottom; giving you 2 circles. You place one circle around each plant pushing it into the dirt. This plastic circle allows water to gather around the plant watering the roots instead of just draining away. These come in handy during the summer months when you have to water your plants. At the end of the season save the circles and use them next year. ”
Anyway..Here’s the picture I promised to post.
Here is just the coolest idea from Kara at Kalio Chic.
“I also wanted up give a little recap and update on my celery plant growth and sweet potato slip growing. First for the celery, the plant has been in ground for a little over two weeks and is growing great. See below for the two week growth photo. The baby celery stalks are emerging quite nicely. I have had several questions regarding planting your own celery, so I just wanted to recap for some of you what I did. I brought my celery home from the store and cut the tops off leaving about 2-3 inches from the base. Then I took the base outside and planted it in my garden. I just planted it about an inch deep in the soil, but I think that you can plant the entire base and leave the top level with the soil. The prefered temperature for prime celery growth is 65-75 degree’s F. It can tolerate full to partial sun and they like lots of water. In a few months you should have your new celery stalks ready to cut and eat. You can also just cut of the stalks of the celery as you need them leaving the rest of the stalks to continue growing.”
Check out the whole article and learn how to re-use other vegies and see a picture of the celery.
4-18-12 Here’s a picture of mine in the kitchen window three days after I put it in water. The center has grown considerably. I swear it’s taller than it was this morning.