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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Exciting Summer In The Garden

It was the best of times - it was the worst of times. This spring/summer garden season that is. Here in Jackson, TN we had a rather cool & very wet spring. Unusually so for our Zone #7 of the planting guidelines. That delayed the setting out of my vegetables starter plants and of course any seeds I would sow in directly. Which of course set back my usual first harvesting of tomatoes in mid-June. I did get 1-tomato in the third week of June, small of course at that time.
The rains were really needed as last year we experienced some drought conditions and we needed the water table build up for this season.

But here we are now at the last week of July and with a few weeks of early high 90's in late June and early July the veggies are making up for lost time. I have a chain link fence around my back yard which back up into the alley way behind my house. For the past 3-summers I have used the back portion of the fence to plant my cucumbers against the outside and then train them to run up the fence, keeping the cukes off the ground and clean as a whistle and mostly bug and bird free. This year I used left over seeds from last season and wanting to get rid of them all and thinking some might not germinate anyway I planted them all. Well, needless to say that today I have 35 cucumber vines that have literally taken over the entire fence and anything else that will stand still. There is a young 15ft curly willow tree I rooted from a single stem cutting 3 years ago that has been covered like a tree on the highway covered with kudzu. I am producing about 25-30 cukes every 3-5 days and of course my neighbors are loving the fresh vegetables like milk delivered to your door every week.

The 18 crooked neck summer squash plants (1-pkt) are producing around 30 fruits per week at this time and now the 37 tomato plants are just now starting to really come in heavily, producing about 75 fruit per week just now. I had planted some field peas, 48-hills, and 36-hills of bush beans. They came up and were just beautiful. Then they started to bloom and the peas were above my knees. I went out to check the garden one morning early and it looked like "crop circles" were cut in them. Even though I have erected a tempory chain link fence surrounding the garden I realize it is not raccoon-proof or opossum-proof and I think that they played all night in the pea and bush bean patch. They can climb remember.
So today is the first of what I hope will be a fun and exciting time with your Garden Daddy. I am enrolled in the University of Tennessee Master Gardener program for the fall of 2009 starting on Sept. 3rd and running till Dec. 2009. After that I need to do some 40-hours of volunteer work in my community in gardening situations to maintain the certification. Then one must complete another 8-hours per year of training to retain the certification. I hope to do most of my volunteering out at the UT Research Center here in Jackson. I will have some photos coming later of the UTRC as available. Photos are coming of the 2009 garden as well as my newly constructed 3-bay compost bin I just built last weekend. I am proud of that project. I still plan to add the compost available through my local water treatment plant, where they take the pasturized "humanure", mix it with the leaf waste picked up from the yards in town, add sawdust, some sand and then "cook it off" and re-pasturize it where it reaches temps allowable to use in food consumption vegetables and then recycle to the public for around $20/truck load.
Have a good day today friends in your garden and know that every time you dig a hole or plant a seed you are touching the very life you have been given and are making a difference as every leaf will add back to your life in the way of oxygen and purification of your own air and your own body. Not to mention the food you eat and the beauty of the flowers you grow. And remember as well....give some to your makes for good feelings and lasting friendships and brings you and your neighborhood closer together and TALKING to each other!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! This is really a refreshing addition to the blogging world. Congratulations and please, please keep it up! S&K