Been a while

I’ve been slammed with work and school, but I wanted to make a quick update while I was thinking about it.

I finally culled the corn down to one stalk per hole. It’s been shooting up like crazy; some are a little taller than my knees! Now they’ll have the room to grow and not have to fight over nutrients.

I’ve started watering in the mornings as well as late afternoons to counter the heat. It appears to be having a positive effect on the tomatoes, though. There are still a few wilted plants, but some of them have recovered and a few that were doing well are now flourishing. The Big Beef has half a dozen fruits, one of which is almost fist-sized. Still, it’s a waiting game to see how they turn out.

I harvested my first couple of jalapenos. Roasted them on the grill and made them into burger toppings. Both jalapeno plants look to be fruitful. Still waiting for some flowering on the habaneros.

Seeing more bell peppers starting to show. Waiting for the explosion.

The crookneck and zucchini squashes are flowering like crazy. The blossoms open in the morning and are a gorgeous yellow/orange.

The herbs are unchanged. Oregano is barely holding on, basil is almost out of controls, and the parsley is good.

So far, I’ve definitely learned a couple of lessons for next year.

1) Plan out the plot for maximum sunlight.

2) Till and re-till several times.

3) Mix in some fertilizer and/or compost.

4) Don’t plant the cucumbers in a flood zone.

5) Plant earlier, if possible.

Well, that’s all for now.

 

Unexpected rain

According to the news on Wednesday, it wasn’t supposed to rain until the beginning of this week. It rained three times in the region, twice in my area, and two of the rainstorms (one at my house) were pretty freaking heavy. So I didn’t have to water the plants yesterday (although I watered them prior to the downpour on Friday, unknowingly). Today is hot and the ground is getting drier, so I get to water them and do the MiracleGro spraying I was originally planning for yesterday.

The rain seemed to promote some major growth in everything except the cucumbers. The vines are located in an area that flooded a little during the heaviest storm and they appear to have wilted a bit. I’m hoping they’ll recover.

The herbs are continuing to do the same. Oregano is struggling, parsley is improving, and basil is flourishing like nobody’s business.

I’ve seen two non-cherry tomato plants showing fruit: one Early Girl and the Big Beef. The cherry tomatoes are continuing to grow and ripen. I’ve gotten a total of 6 cherry tomatoes so far, all off of the Husky Cherry Red plants, though the Black Cherry is showing multiple fruits.

The hot peppers haven’t changed much. Peppers growing on both jalapenos and the habaneros are continuing to bush out.

The bell peppers are unchanged. Just one major pepper showing, but flowers on most of them.

Finally, the Crookneck Squash is growing well, but the zucchini is not only up to palm-sized leaves, but is showing /4/ blossoms! Squee!

Watering versus rain

Rather than waiting until I washed my car, the rain decided to hit last night right after I watered the plants. Then this morning before leaving for work, I noticed the strangest thing: the plants seem to have grown more than I would have expected in a single overnight period.

This lead me to wondering what caused it. Was it the additional water? Was it the way rain soaks in versus the way water from the hose does? Was it the less mineral-heavy water from the rain versus the mineral-rich tap water at my home?

I wish I had the time and energy to experiment to find out what, exactly, the details were. But corn always seems to look bigger after a good rain.

Forgot the herbs

I forgot to mention how the herbs are doing.

The two parsley plants are hanging in there. Neither is thriving, but they’re not doing badly, either. The oregano, unfortunately, looks like it’s struggling. But the basil…it looks like it’s jealous of the bushes on the side of the house and is trying to catch up. It should go nicely with the tomatoes.

Frog!

One of the garden frogs.

The slow period

I hate the slow period between the excitement of planting and the excitement of harvesting. But it’s a fact of life.

Haven’t had much to update and I’ve been busy, but there have been enough small things to warrant an omnibus post.

Corn is continuing to sprout. Average stalk is about 3-3.5 inches tall, now. Need to start pulling duplicates in the same hole, soon. May try to transplant them.

No obvious changes on the watermelons. The leaves are continuing to grow and I’m seeing the¬†crystalline-looking, spiky growth along the vines that I think indicates that it’s pollinated so I’m not worried. Just impatient.

The squash and zucchini are both looking more lush, but no blossoms as of yet.

The cucumbers continue to get bigger. One set has blossoms, the other has little tendrils. Looks like the partial shade isn’t a problem.

The jalapenos are blossoming and I think I see the start of a couple of itty-bitty peppers on one of them. The habaneros ¬†aren’t doing much, but one is getting bushier.

Lots of bell peppers are showing blossoms and a couple (including the Big Bertha) have tiny peppers showing.

With the tomatoes, there are still a very that are under-performing (like Mr. Stripy), but most of those without blossoms are showing the same sort of crystalline spikiness along their stems that the watermelons are, so I have hopes. The Black Cherry is showing 3 or 4 fruits, now, and all of the Husky Cherry Red are showing more fruit (though they all started with some at planting). And one of the tomatoes was ripe today! Another is close, but one was ripe enough to pick. Leigh and I split it. Was very yummy.

The guardian frogs are hopping around in force. They seem to like the shower setting on the hose.

Anyway…that’s enough for tonight.

Continued growth

Adding a quick update, mostly to keep myself in the habit of doing so. But there is a little news.

I’ve been watering every day (despite getting eaten alive by mosquitoes…) and discovered what this year’s garden protectors are. Last year, it was praying mantises. This year…frogs. I keep watering them by accident, which they seem to be annoyed by. However, I’ve seen them in both the big plot and the small one next to the house.

The plants seem to be doing well so far. Most of the tomatoes have started to flower/flower more and a few have begun showing the first signs of fruiting (except for the Husky Cherry Reds, which were fruiting before they were even in the ground). A couple are still lagging behind, but I’m giving them encouragement as I water them. And if they don’t turn it around, their cousins will.

The watermelons seem to have strengthened. Not seeing much in the way of vine growth lengthwise as of yet, but the vines seem to be a little fuller and they are definitely well rooted.

The Crookneck Squash and Zucchini Squash have both perked up and are definitely showing signs of growth. I’m hoping for some blossoms, soon.

All of the peppers are doing well. One of the Habaneros is shooting up. Both Mammoth jalapenos are starting to flower. And many of the bell varieties are flowering, too.

One of the cucumber plants has shown the most astounding growth. It’s flowering a lot (had 1 this morning, then 3 this afternoon) and is getting significantly longer. I was a little concerned since they’re in a shadier area, but that doesn’t seem to be bothering them.

Finally, the corn. I uncovered one of the seeds the other day while watering and saw that it had definitely germinated and its main root was growing, but there hadn’t been any sprouting through the soil. Until this afternoon. While watering this afternoon, I saw about a dozen spouts. Squee!

Now I’ve just got to decide if I want to feed them again this weekend or wait for next weekend. Until then, signing off.