Thursday, June 17, 2010

Too Hot for Creativity-Garden Update

With temperatures for the last 8-10 days above 90 degrees and no end in site I struggled for a creative title for today's garden update.  Just stepping out to take a few photos just now I find myself drowning in the sweat that is a hot, humid, June Atlanta day.  I suppose I should remind myself of these days when we have under 32 for 10 days in a row like we did last winter.
And now back to your regularly scheduled garden update:
As you can see the green beans have completely taken over the growing poles and lines I built for them.  In fact I am slightly concerned that within another week or so they will pull down the whole structure.  I am hoping not and glad I used thick electrical type wire for the horizontals.  In hindsight (which is often the case with anything garden related) I should have thinned out the green beans a little more.  When it says "thin to one plant per 6" for future reference I will.  In the areas where the plants are super thick I am actually getting less bean production due to the plants choking each other out for space.   This photo also shows the okra which is about knee tall for the most part and I found my first okra flower this morning:
Okra frying will commence in just a short time (this is not on the diet plan, but there really is no better way to fix okra in the first place right?)  Oh back to the first photo you will notice that this morning my sprinkler set-up failed and fell down.  Luckily I think it only smashed one plant, didn't break the actual sprinkler, and I managed to catch it within a few minutes of when it fell.  I will have to bang it into the ground a little harder next time.
From this angle you have another view of the green beans, okra and the zucchini plants (which are getting quite big.)  Once again when things like squash, cucumbers and zucchini plants say on the seed packet to "thin to 3 per hill", I think probably in the future I should actually do this.  Again thinking about how hard it is to pull living plants out of the ground but they are already all over each other and it is only mid-June.  Next up the peppers:
Also mostly looking good and healthy.  A couple of them are fairly small but 80% of them look good and have peppers on the plant.  Another tip for next year (again one of those darn hindsight things) I need to mark which peppers I am planting where.  I don't leave the little plastic markers in the ground (they tend to get lost) and didn't write down where I stuck which plants.  Now I have 16 peppers in 8 varieties and I'm not sure which is which.  The ones like jalapenos are easy to identify (like the above plant.)  But I have 3 colors of bell peppers (all of which start as green.)  Since I don't know which is which I don't know which ones to pick as "green" and which ones to leave for "yellow and red" which take a good bit of time to change to their proper color.
Finally my tomatoes-sigh.  These yellow cherry tomatoes are looking decent, but the plants of all the tomatoes are thin and stalky and still seem to be suffering from a multitude of problems.  The plants still are infected with a fungus of some kind that is causing leaf damage and also I am starting to suspect that the cypress mulch possibly stunted the growth of the plants.  After adding some additional fertilizer a couple weeks ago they have grown taller and a bit healthier and more able to ward off the fungus.  I am very pleased in general with the mulch/newspaper for weed control as well as moisture retention as a whole but next year I think I need to fertilize sooner in the growing season to compensate for possible nitrogen robbing by the mulch.  My larger plants have a decent number of small tomatoes but they are a bit smaller than I would like.
One last note, it seems the japanese beetles are enjoying munching on my green beans plants.
Not so much that I am overly concerned, but something to keep an eye on.  Oh and I'm taking pictures each time I pick from the garden so at the end of the growing season I can check out my total yield.  I thought too late about weighing the items (as some items have been consumed already!)
Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for the beetles problem. But otherwise, your garden looks absolutely fantastic!! Way to go!