pooflady wrote:gwp, where's your garden pictures? You should be harvesting by now.
No, we're still a month away from tomato harvest, 2 months til corn, and longer for squash and cukes. This is one of the latest zones on the map I think.
I am thoroughly bummed regarding the garden ... It's a long and sordid tale, so I'll try to cover the major categories of catastrophe:
- A mama deer has eaten anything taller than 18" on all of the pepper plants, anything that she could reach of the cukes (I planted them in big cages this year), and has nibbled on most of the peas.
- I am reeling from a chickweed invasion of massive proportions. In the space of a week (twice so far), the entire garden from border to border becomes a solid mass of weed, 2 feet tall. Yesterday, I pulled out 6 heaping wheelbarrow loads of weeds from the aisles that used to have watermelon plants. They never had a chance. I found one watermelon plant out of 2 dozen that was still recognizable. It'll never make it either as it is now very weak.
The weeds had choked the butternut and acorn squash as well. Those aisles revealed 3 acorn and four butternut plants that survived. The deer had already wounded any others that were in there. She seems to like the blossoms.
- Lettuce and cauliflower are all total losses. Between the deer and the chickweed, it's all gone.
- I have no idea what happened to the radishes. The first few pickings (a week before they should have been ready) were delicious and crisp. A week later, they were all mutated and woody. I pulled the remaining ones yesterday and they were hideous. Either this was bad seed, or I have something in my soil that is just wreaking havoc. I've never seen radishes do this before. Horror-movie-hideous they were. Not overgrown necessarily either. Bizarre.
Makes me want to plant grass seed across the garden this fall and give it up to the lawn...
On a more positive note -- the peppers that are below the reach of the deer are doing well. I picked two green chili's yesterday morning and chopped them with a couple of garlic cloves into my eggs. Mmmm ... waarrrrm! They are going to be great dried or pureed into hotsauce.
There seem to be a lot of yellow banana peppers as well. I see no Bell peppers on the plants, nor jalepenos though.
Lots of green tomatoes on the vines, all still pretty small. I'll be patient.
Picked some fresh dill yesterday. I think it's time to pick all of it plus the parsley before Something Bad happens to any of it.
Pumpkins are blossoming. No signs of fruit yet. Then again, last year they all flowered like crazy but never produced anything.
Sunflowers are only 2 feet tall. I don't remember them growing so slowly before.
Corn seems to be healthy and untouched by the deer. There are no ears showing, but it's early still.
I wondered how she was getting in there, as the whole garden is surrounded by 7 foot tall poles topped with a wooden rail, and with 4 feet of chain-link fencing at the bottom. One day right after dawn, I watched her walking around in the garden, and when she heard me she lept out again, over the fence and under the rail, effortlessly, like a gazelle. I've since gone around the whole garden and woven wire back and forth between the upper rail and the top of the chainlink, and hung streamers all over. This will only help if she can't or doesn't want to leap 7 feet high. Somehow, I think she can.