Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fall planting contemplation..

Watermelon, cucumber, sugar pumpkins, squash.. these are all on my list for fall planting. I'm also considering leeks, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and yes.. I haven't given up on some more tomatoes.
I'm also thinking of spreading out my veggies, and what I mean by that is utilizing the eastern side of the house, and determining if I'll have more luck there.
I'm also having an issue with my cat. Now my cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. I've been successful at keeping her out of my garden via a bird net, but literally you have to circumnavigate the piles of carefully scraped together gravel/leaves/mesquite residue to reach it. I'm a bit concerned that by cultivating the eastern side I'll be inviting her to infiltrate the non-cat contaminated sections of my yard. I wish there was a beneficial usable reason for cat excrament. I know that sounds crazy, but for crying out loud how could that much "crap" for lack of a better word come out of such a small creature?
Peta will hate me for this, but thank goodness she's halfway thru her life cycle. I'm foreseeing only barn cats in my distant future. ha ha.
I also read about watering your space down, and covering it with plastic for 6 weeks to kill any pests that may hinder future growing seasons. I haven't heard about this before so I thought I'd solicit any tips about this particular method. According to what I read it will make temperatures under the plastic heat up to 140 degrees chasing off nemotodes, and killing weed seeds.
Is 6 weeks to long to put off planting for fall??

Friday, July 1, 2011

Disaster Strikes..

They say bad things come in three's, and I can't say I disagree. After threatening possible future damage to my roof from the mesquite tree in the common area, my HOA decided to approve the bid to get it trimmed. And trim they did, I have to say I think this may be the tallest mesquite tree I have ever seen in my life!

During the process of trimming said tree, my garden took quite a beating. It is now fairly pathetic looking, not to mention how it took the HOA 3 weeks to approve the bid, therefore it went from being 80 degrees outside to 113 degrees. Now it's just me, but taking a garden that is constantly in the shade, to full sun for at least 4 hours in 113 degrees seems like a surefire killer to me.

All in all, I've lost the above Zucchini, and a Squash. My tomatoes were on their way out anyway, so I'm not including those in the tally. Next year I'm taking a different strategy with the tomatoes and starting them on the east side of the house where they will get full morning sun, and shade in the afternoon. I also think it will be a better watering schedule for them as they won't be lumped in with the rest of my garden. I only got 4 tomatoes total. Very disappointing! As far as the herbs go, my garden basil never got anywhere because of the shade situation, my mint is hardy and ok, and my oregano is eeking by, literally. The bright spot in all this is my eggplant, and my survivor basil.

These two little guys have beat the odds. The one two the left is the basil that was eaten up by bugs and was looking pretty bad. I decided not to put it in my garden because of the poor shape. Who knew that this would be my master performer. I like to think of it as my "comeback kid"!! The little guy to the right is also a survivor, it sprung up when I was harvesting seeds from my other durable reliable plant.

With these two small victories, I have hope that someday soon, I will find sucess with this process. Now I need to figure out when and what to start planting for fall. I know it's hot, but I'm trying to start thinking ahead. To recap: the first challenge I faced was the transition from shade to full sun and heat; the second was the beating from the landscapers, and the third happened the very same day.
I came home from work to discover that the irrigation was on and had been for quite some time.
I immediately turned my control box to off hoping that would fix the problem. It didn't, and for the next hour I wracked my brain on what to do, searched the internet frantically for a solution, and impatiently waited until my neighbors husband got home from work so he could help me.
Needless to say, the garden got flooded, which aided to the demise of my squash, zucchini, and sent any life that might have been left in my tomatoes to the grave.
LOL.. like I said there is so much emotion in having a garden that I liken it to having children. Hopefully all will turn out ok, but you just never know.
In summation, I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Chef Stephanie Petersen for my beautiful new porch ornament that has my blog name on it! I love it!!!