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Garden Update . . . they really are pumpkins!

Posted August 9th, 2006 by Mike

Back in May I posted the bare dirt version of my garden. Here's what it looks like today. We've got Early Girl tomatoes, Supersweet 100 cherry tomatoes, Greek Oregeno, Catnip, Walla-Walla Sweet onions, Anaheim peppers, Golden Harvest Pumpkins, older varieties of raspberries, a couple of strawberries, Kiwis (in the starter flat rack), Hardy Fuchias, Jasmine,

. . . and popcorn.

Jolly Time brand, I believe. Hey - a garden is supposed to be fun, right? Here's hoping the racoons don't like popcorn.

Now for a close-up tour - on the left, one of several Fuchia cuttings off my great, great, great grandfather's hardy Fuchia - near everybody in the family's got one. In the middle, a cutting off our Jasmine bush, and on the right, popcorn! (but no ears or tassles yet).

I got the Golden Harvest pumpkins as starter plants, three of them each about 4 inches tall. The pumpkins started out a pale yellow, not green as pumpkins normally do. Everyone said they got the wrong label on the pots, and that I had squash - 'till they started to turn orange. The maturity time is only 60 days, so the first pumpkin is already sitting on the front porch! Here's one still on the vine.

Last year I started catnip, and it survived the winter. It's now over 5 feet tall, and it is a total bee-magnet. Bumble-bees, honey-bees, and several other types I don't recognize. It's also a cat magnet, but that's another story. The purple flowers add a little color to the garden. Here's a shot of the catnip on the right, and below is our first Early Girl tomatoe of the season.

Last but not least, the Kiwis (all the broad-leafed plants in pots in the foreground). They're actually a couple of years old, but I don't dare stick them in the ground 'till I get permanent spot for them, as they grow about 40 feet a year, and require an arbor about twice as strong as a grape arbor to support the heavy fruit.

Well, that's it for now. Tune back in for another thrilling episode of Mike's garden. Maybe we'll have some popcorn. Then again, we might just have the remains of popcorn. Who knows if marauding racoons will take a liking to it.

. . . it's Garden Time . .

Posted May 26, 2006 by Mike

Well, it's time to plant again. Last year we had an infestation of Horsetail weed (Equisetum arvense) from the neighbors. I call it Joint Grass 'cause every single joint of the weed will grow. The stuff is near impossible to kill, and the only chemicals which do it in make it impossible to plant veggies afterwards . . . sooooo, it was down on hands and knees to pull it all out by hand, then shovel up all the dirt and filter through it looking for Horsetail roots. Finally finished today - the garden is six feet by 17 feet (plus the raspberry section) Here's what it looked like before planting . . .

Off in the left rear corner is a bush of Greek Oregano, and on the right against the fence is a patch of Catnip (and yes, every cat in the neighborhood knows it's there). To the right of the catnip are the raspberries.

.... and an hour after that picture was taken, we've already got tomatoes in. A couple of Early Girl tomatoes in front, and a couple of Supersweet Cherry tomatoes in back, closer to the fence.

Yet to come are peppers, onions, strawberries, popcorn (if I can get it going in time), and maybe a zuchini. And possibly a little pumpkin.

An occasional watering, a weeding walk-through every other day, and all I have to do is stand back and watch it go!

. . . typical . . . . .
. . . come-on . . . just a couple of bees? Puleeeazze?

Posted March 22, 2005 by Michael A. Morrow

Well, it's a typical spring around here. The fruit trees are in full and gorgeous bloom, and it's still ten degrees too cold for the bees to come out and do their thing.

It always seems to do this (although last year was an exception). Winter is so mild, the trees think it's spring, so they bloom. But it's not warm enough for the bees yet, so the blossoms don't get fully pollinated, and we get a half a crop of fruit.

If the weather follows true to form, there'll be a big rain storm that'll knock off all the blossoms before it warms up.

Here's hoping some of the other pollinating critters are making their rounds.

Oh well. I guess I'll dig up the garden and get it ready for planting.

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Copyright Michael A. Morrow - March 21, 2004.