Friday, June 27, 2008

Two Weeks' Worth

Jonathan Eller's vegetable garden June 26, 2008Things are still growing like mad in the garden this week. I spent several hours on Tuesday and Wednesday raking rocks out of the garden and hoeing weeds. I know that I raked at least twice as many rocks up as I removed when we first started working in the garden back in May. Now I have to get the blamed things up. I'll try to get a picture of it before I do. It looks like a little stone wall around the periphery of the garden. Unfortunately, the battery to the camera died before I could take any more pictures.

Not to complain, but these jobs are a WHOLE LOT like work. When I was finished, though, the garden looked incredible. Thanks to the raking it had the manicured look of a baseball diamond!

In fact, by the time I had gotten 1/3 of the way done my OCD tendencies started to kick in, and I had to go back and erase any footprints! I know it is sad, but it just looked so awesome that way!

Immature cantaloupeMuch to my surprise I have discovered that I already have a cantaloupe on the vine. It is already the size of a baseball. Hopefully, it will have many friends to join it soon! There are tons of blossoms and the honeybees are working it diligently.

The purplehull peas are full of bloom. I haven't looked closely enough to see if there is fruit yet. The okra is beginning to shoot up. I expect to see some blossoms on them soon.

Tomatoes are really putting fruit on. The vines look a little puny, though. I attribute some of this to suckering. It also seems that they aren't getting quite enough water. They probably also need another round of Calcinit Tropicote®. It will have to wait until it dries out a little bit. We watered them well yesterday, and I don't want to mire up to my waist.

There are several peppers on my plants. They are tiny. I'm sure they will get much bigger.

As you saw from the earlier post the lima beans are blooming as are the green peas. And it looks like I should have fresh squash by the end of next week.

As for the corn, in the most fertile parts of the garden it is taller than me. This isn't saying a whole lot - I'm somewhere between 5' 8" and 5' 10" (depends on how bulletproof I'm feeling on any given day...). However, it is doing very well. I noticed that some of it is beginning to tassel. Corn's a'comin'! According to the seed packet for the Ruby Queen corn we should have some by the end of July.

I've got to say that I am thoroughly enjoying my gardening experience this year, and have been trying to figure out how I can add some green beans, zucchini, and cucumbers next year even though that most assuredly means more wrestling with rocks.

The poison ivy that got sprayed is looking pretty dead. Unfortunately some of it got missed. We'll have to make up another batch. I'll give it a little bit longer and mow the dead stuff.

Next week's chores will include getting up the rocks (probably), fertilizing the tomatoes, tying the tomatoes, spraying, and hopefully picking our first squash. As for what will have to be done after that I have no idea, but there is always something. We may have to make some adjustments to the irrigation system too.

I think that we are getting ready to hit the really labor intensive part. Once the produce starts coming in there will be something to do every day. The cool thing about that is that I can sit over at my parents' and watch the Braves playing while we are shelling and otherwise putting up the fruits of our labors. I have already started trying to plan how I want to put it up. I'm looking forward to learning how to do that part. I never was really involved in the processing after the picking and shelling were done. I'll learn how to can and freeze stuff this year!

I'm hoping that the dry spell that we are in won't linger. There was a nice thunderstorm in the county today, but it didn't get everyone wet. I really hope that we don't have another terrible drought like last year, and I am praying about that even now.

One thing that seems evident now, though, is that the Lord has blessed this endeavor: from the rains falling at just the right time, to the fertility of all the seed that I planted, to the growth of the plants. I have truly witnessed one miracle after another with this garden, and it certainly re-affirms that God is good. Of course that fact never changes, but it is nice to see His favor in action on my behalf.

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