Update on the Garden: Hope Abounds

Good morning!  It has been a while since a garden update has been given.  I have been struggling, yet again, with this garden.  Having seen the evidence that straw gardens do work, I am convinced the conditions of the soil in the surrounding yard have contributed to the demise of my garden plot.  If we are still living in this location next year, I will put a barrier down before placing my bales, with the hopes of keeping the unwanted predators to a minimum.  I still see signs of devastation, but I also see signs of hope, and begin a stubborn, country-born, gardening enthusiast, I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!

Now to share what I have:

DSCN8586 I will start with my bell pepper.  This little baby has been growing for about three weeks.  It is finally large enough to see.  It is about 1/2 inch in size, right now.  Very slow growing.  I have added fertilizer.  Sad to think what it might have been like without it, but growth is growth and that is hope!!

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Just behind the pepper plant, along the fence trellis, is my patch of cucumbers.  They are nice, hearty plants full of blooms.  That’s about it!  The blooms grow nice and pretty and suddenly die back and fall off, or get cut off by a visitor to the garden, as seen by the evidence in the picture above.

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Out of 16 vines, I have this little cucumber! It,too, is about half an inch in length.  One glimmer of hope!

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To the front of the cucumbers and pepper plant is my watermelon.  Again, nice blooms and then they die back and fall off.  In this photo, a couple of blooms can be seen and to the right of those, remnants of yesterday’s dying bloom is still on the vine.  I did have a nice surprise.  A smaller vine, growing beside this one had a little, teeny watermelon!

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Another sweet bit of hope!

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This is my green bean patch!  I had about 20 plants when I started.  What is left, has decided to start blooming, again.  This is the entire patch.

Here is the thickest part of the blooms.  The leaves on the bean plants (green and pintos) are beginning to be covered with little white and yellow spots.  I am guessing this is from the heat wave we have had recently.

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My pinto beans are still producing nicely.  I think they have been my greatest success, and they are not going to be enough for two servings.

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Again, the condition of the leaves can be seen in these photos.

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The tomatoes are beginning to have nice blooms, again.

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I think part of their new found freedom to bloom is due, in part to this little busy fella!  Look at the size of his (or her) catch! I am thankful for any help from God’s creation, I can get!

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My squash has struggled with the “bloom rot,” too, so I am happy to see these two little squash, continuing to grow.  On the plant next to this one, the blooms actually close and within a couple of hours have a black fuzzy covering.  I did have one little squash begin to grow and within a week, it too, was covered with the black fuzz and died.

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The potato plants have died back, except for this one.  I am giving it just a few more days and will open the bale to see what my potato harvest yield is.  I had 7 plants and they appeared to be healthy throughout the growing period.

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My potted plants seem to be fairing much better than my garden.  This is a pot of begonias I started last year. I moved the pot into the house over the winter.  I had a few pieces of Swedish Ivy that had fallen off and I just stuck them in this pot to keep them growing.  As you can see, that has been quite successful!  The ivy is growing on the right side of this photo.  The begonias are beginning to be covered with beautiful blooms.

My next post will be in a few days, when we cut open the potato bale and see what we can uncover.  Will it be a successful yield or will we see remnants of the Irish Potato Famine?

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2 Responses to Update on the Garden: Hope Abounds

  1. Lori I commend you for trying so hard. Did you do any fertilizing at all. I know mamma use to plant marigolds and iris around the garden to keep insects away from the garden plants. I think the marigolds did better for that purpose. Keep going you will finally succeed. Love ya!

    • Aunt Rita, I did, and still am, fertilizing. The straw bales have to be fertilized very strongly, for 10-12 days before planting in them. I have also used a slow release fertilizer since then. I am doing everything I have always done in my gardens. Even with the struggles, this year’s garden has been the most successful since living here. Other people in the area have told me they have had some of the same struggles. Love you!

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