We have been in the most wonderful and all consuming baby haze for the past two months. Everything else has been on hold, because a) I just want to stare at our baby all day, and b) I am too tired to do anything but stare at the baby.
The haze lifted in ernest this last weekend. Bolt had his regular Friday off, so I handed him a baby and promptly spent all day doing projects. While there is nothing finished or ready to report, it was really great to be productive again.
It also gave me the opportunity to spend some time in the garden. Unfortunately, in addition to the baby related neglect, the garden has been taking a beating from the weather and pests. This past July saw torrential rain followed promptly by searing heat. This was compounded by some human error as well. All in all, our garden hasn’t been as successful as we could have hoped, but we do have a lot to learn from. Here are some of the mid-season take aways:
- Spread out the tomato plants: We planted our tomato plants far to dense for their liking. Next year I think we should aim for about half as many plants in the given space. I also want to do some more research about tomato production. We’re getting a few paste tomatoes and some (albeit small) cherry tomatoes, but no Brandywines at all.
- Attack pests early and often: This is highly related to the first issue. We struggled with aphids on the tomatoes and Squash Bore on the zucchini. In both cases we were slow to start treating the problem with the Neem Oil. Early and often should be our mantra in the future! Also, we need to make sure we’re pruning to help ensure healthy plants to resist the pest naturally. There is a good video here to walk through tomato pruning.
- Okra!: We planted 9 okra plants this year. They’re now fully in their productive stage and we’re getting a pretty perfect amount of okra pods to really do something with.
- Beans have a heavy water requirement: Water the beans, a lot. They get yucky and woody if you don’t. They are, however, bouncing back with a little love.
- Spread out the carrots too: We just broadcast seeded the carrots this year. As a result, they are really crowded and vying for soil space. As a related note, we need to figure out something to do with all those carrot tops.
- Don’t always trust the landscapers: the bee balm that was planted in our rain garden apparently doesn’t like rain. Well, at least it doesn’t like as much rain as we got this month.
The most upsetting mid-season note is about the peach tree. It started to look a little bad with all the rain. Then it started to look really bad with all the heat. We took some advice from the local tree non-profit, Casey Trees, that we probably shouldn’t have. They were advising folks not to water, because we had so much rain. However, I suspect because our tree was so young and the root weren’t totally with it yet, we should have been watering anyway. I hope it bounces back, but I’m pretty worried about it.
I think that’s all for now.