Seed Swaps

Mid Season Observations

29 Jul 2010
29°C / 85°F
  • Gophers have set up shop in the corner garden. We have mounds primarily in the tomatoes, near the asparagus, and in the hot peppers. It is difficult to place a trap in the tomato area without disturbing roots; I’ve planned on hopefully getting the offending rodent in one of the nearby mounds. I placed one of the newer black plastic traps today near the western cukes.
  • One of the serrano plants is looking especially unhappy. There is a gopher mound about 2 feet away. I watered the plant and later today when the ground is drier, I will attempt another trap.
  • Ariel caught a vole this morning — about the size of a medium hamster and had a short tail.
  • The corn is a little taller than knee-height.

*The horse fence we use to stake the tomatoes (the plants grow up through spaced layers of the fencing) is working reasonably well for the indeterminate tomatoes. The openings however (2″ × 3″) are just not big enough for the bunches of romas and others of the determinate varieties. Field fence or a clipped cattle panel would work better. We also have some determinate tomaotes growing in another area. These are a little behind the others and we didn’t have enough fencing to create the staking system, so we are using some obelisks that I got on clearance from Lowes last fall. We stretched wire between four obelisks placed at corners of a rectangle. There are six plants (possibly 8) here. It will be interesting to see how if this works well.

  • The radishes are finished as is the lettuce. (No suprise there.)
  • Some of the chard still looks okay.
  • The improvised floating row covers (pvc and tulle) worked reasonably well for the cauliflower and broccoli, but the brussels spouts are just too tall. We pulled the tulle today, put a ring of hardware cloth (wire) around the plants and put the tulle around the outside of the cloth and across the top of the plants. Veggie Care sells the floating row cover fabric — this may be the solution next year.
  • We had one extra tomato plant of each type that I attempted to squeeze into the end of the rows orthogonal to the fence of vining squash and melons. We are paying for my error in judgement big time.
  • There is one little Black Beauty Zucchini coming on and a bunch of blossoms.
  • The vining cukes are producing well along the western fence. We haven’t encountered a bitter one yet.
  • The Fortex beans are growing tall — some of the vines are close to 5 feet. There are some flowers, but no beans yet.
  • Blackberries — are we ever going to have blackberries! I need to get whatever equipment we will need (how do you strain out the seeds?) for the preserves.
  • The first 4 eggplants didn’t make it — I never did determine what went wrong. I put two more in the ground and they are doing much better.
  • The sweet peppers are looking good — no fruit yet.
  • The Candy Onions are looking very good (now I wish I had sought out Walla Wallas) and seem to like the sandy area of the garden, Many are between the size of a baseball and softball.
  • The trumpen vine is blooming.
  • The beefsteak tomatoes have been delish! So have the little orange cherry tomatoes.
  • The grape vines which are new this year have grapes coming on.
  • The Gala apple nearest the vegetable garden is still struggling — I think the voles are messing with its roots.




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