drifting in the breeze

| I will turn any living space in which I inhabit into a jungle just watch me | locked in an eternal battle against kudzu |

currently inactive. may or may not return at a later date, fully dependent upon if I manage to find that mythical artefact known as 'good health'.

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Posts tagged gardening:

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p. sure this is like. a collective 20+ lbs of melons here

from left to right- sakata's sweet muskmelon, sugar baby watermelon, and desert king watermelon!

for size reference, the sakata's sweet melon is about the size of an apple. these things take f o r e v e r to ripen!! muskmelons aren't as tricky as watermelons for me but hhhh I can already tell I'm going to have to make a point of giving them space to themselves without anything that can compete with them. because the luffa vine has basically gone feral and eaten all the cantalope vines.

on the bright side, it looks like I'll be harvesting lots of luffas come frost-time??


just harvested an 18 & 1/2 lb desert king watermelon and!! it was perfectly ripe!! :D :D :D so pretty too before we started eating it, nice and lovely light green on the outside and an even yellow color inside!!

got it chilling in the fridge now and we'll eat our way through it between today and tomorrow, during which I'll quietly be basking in the glorious feel of victory because it is so hard to tell when watermelons are ripe and this is only the second time I've ever gotten it right!!


august harvest


that's actually yesterday's harvest basket asdfghjkl

jack-be-little pumpkins, including a little weirdo that might be two jack-be-littles grown together, lots of peppers, tomatoes, and calendula flowers!!

also today's pickles, because cans of things are pretty

and my very satisfying bowl of cherry tomatoes! :D


you know it's august when you're just left scrambling to try and put up all the stuff you've had growing in the garden because everything comes in all at once


my dad's tackling the cucumbers and the peppers today so we can put up pickles, pickled peppers, and homemade hot sauce. I've got 4 jack-be-little pumpkins to figure out what to do with (can't turn them into puree to freeze, they're basically like... a potato, but they're a pumpkin. high starch.), a bunch of tomatoes, some sweet corn might be ready, and I'm teetering agonizingly on the fence about trying to harvest two watermelons that may or may not be ready.

also need to soak and sow a fall batch of beans, weed out the late-corn blue jade patch, look up if my lima beans are ready to harvest or not, finish shelling out my cowpeas and laying them out to dry, harvesting elderberries to dry/make syrup with, making blackberry jelly with the frozen juice I made, maybe making kudzu jelly since it's blooming again, picking and drying calendula flowers, juggle around the succulents/houseplants because some of them need potting up to larger containers, start a batch of fall pansy seeds, and attack the squash plants with a bucket of soapy water because there's squash beetles everywhere and they're taking out my poor beloved squash.

oh, and we ended up buying like 2 & 1/2 bushels of apples because we need to make and can the year's applesauce. which reminds me that we're not going to have but so much time left until the grapes come in, which means grape jelly.


I JUST remembered I said I was going to post this asdfghjkl

bad monster cucumber of yuck = top cucumber

good little normal cucumber of yum = bottom cucumber


it is to my shame that I must admit that this is not the biggest I've ever accidently let a cucumber get before, because there were about 7 last year that I snapped off the vine and yeeted directly into the woods before anyone could witness my negligence in cucumber picking.


the further in summer we go, the heavier the basket gets!


top picture's actually from a few days ago, I just wanted to include a good image of the cucumbers and pepper(s) we're getting sdfghjkl

the tomatoes are delicious and I have no idea what kind they are because I, the grandest fool, forgot to label them. yes, I'm kicking myself over it. but sweet, sun-warmed tomatoes with that perfect burst of coolness in the center... hhhh I missed garden-fresh tomatoes so much!!


sdfghjkl I,, didn't keep on top of really carefully searching the cucumbers every single day (because it's TOO HOT why would you possibly spend more than 5 mins at a time outside right now) and there's now two monster cucumbers growing there that are way too big to eat now,,,

didn't pick them because I had my hands full with a basket of smaller, actually reasonably sized cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and tomatoes but I will later to toss to the chickens because at least they'll eat them??


this is all sweet potato foliage with like... three blades of grass mixed in and that's it for weeds.


red japanese, ginseng, and all purple sweet potatoes are all mixed in together here, and there's a mirror of this on the bed directly across from this one, only it has 3 molokai purple sweet potatoes + gourd plants in it.


CORN


look, do I have a harvest yet? absolutely not. but I refuse to stop being excited about this because look!! at!! those!! tassles!!!

this is the true gold sweet corn- heirloom, so I'm curious at how it's going to taste! since heirloom corn tends to not be as sweet as hybrid sweet corn and all.


garden update: everything is still s l o w

that cold may hurt us bad sdfghjkl

  • there are currently many unripe baby butternut squash, jack-be-little pumpkins, re-seeded sugar baby watermelons, and an entire mess of calico traveler lima beans and clay cowpeas finally setting pods!! also t o n s of unripe tomatoes and peppers, we're just waiting on them to change color at this point!!

  • I'm getting a good double handful of beans from the dragon tongue/possibly actually tongue of fire beans every few days! not enough to justify pulling out the canning stuff, but a quick blanch and shoving them in the freezer still works just fine.

  • we're getting a slowly-increasing number of zucchini and cucumbers that need picking every single day, I give it until the end of july until we end up getting swamped with more than we can physically eat

  • turns out we still have another like 90 days estimated to be left in our growing season so I gave in and planted my blue jade corn... there will be research and a hunt through the seed box for any other seeds that produce a harvest in 80 days or less!!

  • my true gold sweet corn is starting to form it's top pollen... thing!! I don't remember the term asdfghjkl but also my beloved squash and orange watermelons are spreading out underneath it very nicely! they're also finally starting to get some female flowers instead of all-male ones, so hopefully some pollination's going to happen soon!!


harvest...


garden's getting more productive!! :D this morning's basket was blackberries, broccoli, sweet banana peppers, a mystery pepper that I forgot to label, a japanese cucumber, and three kinds of basil (cinnamon, sweet, and dark opal)!

we're also getting wineberries and wild blackberries, but I haven't gone after them yet today. it's way too hot for that right now!!


first big (kinda) garden harvest of the year!!


got over a pound and a half of my heirloom dragon tongue beans!! they're sweeter than blue lake bush beans (which is one of the two grocery store regulars), a little wider and flatter too. the purple speckling fades out when they're cooked, but other than these little differences, they're literally just treated like any other green bean when it comes to canning and cooking!

there'll be a second harvest possible off the same plants, and depending on whether or not we like these enough, I'll either let them mature and harvest the seeds for next year, or I'll just pick 'em young and try another type next year!


general plant/garden update/status/plans/whatever you want to call them: (warning- LONG POST)


succulents/indoor plants

  • everyone's been moved outside to enjoy the summer weather, saving electricity on the grow lights (which wouldn't be on anyway because it's too h o t)

  • the ginger and turmeric plants are set and settled, probably won't need anything other than some water here and there until winter. roughly 9 months to go until harvest.

  • both truly tiny banana trees have hit huge growth spurts, and interestingly enough, one of them (in a shallow dish that had more sand mixed in the soil) is having just overall lots of growth, while the other is slightly slower (deeper dish, less sand), but seems to be forming a pup at the base!

  • the plumeria got hit hard by spider mites and lost almost all of its leaves :( got it treated with soapy neem, now the lingering, old diseased-looking leaves are all dropping off and healthy, bright green new leaves are growing back! it's in desperate need of a transplant to a larger container, though. gonna do that soon.

  • several succulents are starting to form pups/offshoots! baby retusa haworthia has grown out into the star/circle shape it's supposed to have. the spikey sons are continuing to grow but a few are showing signs of pest damage, probably going to have to treat with soapy neem.

  • new plant baby incoming!! I got my hands on a scented geranium! :D :D she's a peacock geranium and she smells like roses!! she is very little and baby but she should be moving up into a new pot soon <3

main gardens

  • LOTS OF SUMMER GROWTH

  • the entire garden got mulched!! I didn't get to help with that because my allergies were kicking me in the face so I got sent inside asdfghjkl. but this was super badly needed and should hopefully make the garden a bit more resiliant this summer!!

  • baby tomatoes and peppers are growing!! set's not that heavy, so I plan to do a circit every day or so to flick flowers and hopefully get some more tomatoes on those vines. lots of vine growth though, nice and healthy green!!

  • scarlet runner beans were blooming, but for some reason we're suffering on the pollinator front and nothing pollinated them, so the flowers all died without making any beans :( probably not going to get a crop from them unless they rebloom, which I am keeping an eye out for!

  • jack-be-little pumpkins all blooming! since the pollinators are MIA I'll probably pick a male flower here and there to try hand-pollinating the female flowers just in case. probably not that far off from a harvest, since they're a 55 day mini pumpkin!!

  • MY DRAGON'S TONGUE BEANS HAVE BEANS ON THEM!! eeeee they look so cool, I love them?? green beans with purple specks!! I'm kinda just keeping an eye on them for now bc I'm not 100% sure when to pick/snap/can them, I think I can go ahead and use some of them fresh tho.

  • balsam, black-eyed susans, calendula, snapdragons, bee balm, bachelor's buttons, borage, and poppies are all blooming!! and some roses of course, they're all looking lovely!! gotta pinch those snapdragons back tho

  • the sweet potatoes have taken off. I'm gonna have to take pictures later, they're just turning into this slowly-spreading carpet of green leaves and it looks so cool!! my poor pretty red/pink regular potatoes got hit super hard by that late frost though and I reluctantly must say I don't think I'm going to get much from them :( oh well, there's always next year!!

  • the arches for the climbing plants are starting to get covered!! currently in the lead is luffa gourd, which is actually being a nice and obedient plant and climbing the trellis without trying to escape (unlike the cucumbers, who are trying to eat the tomatoes)

  • corn is up, squash is up, but I did lose all of one variety of squash to squash beetles. watermelons are also up. peanuts are blooming, not sure they're getting pollinated so I'll be looking up what to do there, alpine strawberries are continuing to produce a handful of strawberries a day, and the sprouting broccoli is still producing!

  • lastly- I planted like 200 sunflower seeds and they're up and growing fast. some of these babies are going to hit 10-12 feet!! (3-3.6 meters) there's also a dwarf type I planted, but it's had some pretty spotty germination and seems to be struggling a bit. I want to sow some more around, because it's impossible to have too many sunflowers!

food forest

  • my base plans have Changed but it's still happening!!

  • I got some trees to plant, the little elderberry babs I started from cuttings are probably going down there too. finally managed to get my hands on a witch hazel!! I'd love to get more though, we should be having them all over the place and they're a vital source of early food for the bees

  • current goal is to get my hands on some mulberry tree cuttings, blueberry shrub cuttings, and some grape cuttings from my late great-grandfather's ancient concord grapes because they're stubborn and tough and will probably outlive me by a matter of outright decades as long as humans don't decide to rip em up

  • I also want comfrey. like, I'd fight a man for comfrey, that's how much I want it. important plant.

  • also turns out alpine strawberries make a great groundcover for a food forest so guess who 100% intends to try and start like 150 alpine strawberry seeds next january??

other plant projects

  • still haven't planted my roses. we're trying to find spots, but we're currently overloaded byyyyy.........

  • the large number of plants my parents and I indulged in getting because we all are incredibly paranoid by the absolute mess this year is (what with the shortages and all) and we're all on-board with trying to become way more self-sufficient. I have claimed the porch as plant-space. I am doing my best to cover it completely.

  • the plants for two woodland medicinal gardens are in the works, one down at the creek, one a bit closer. I've got money set aside specifically to buy ginseng and goldenseal seeds this fall, and hopefully I can get my hands on some ramps seeds and blue cohosh seeds too! trying to work on restoring some native plants around here!

  • pollinator garden plants. we all got kind of spooked by the vanishing pollinators, so we're planting milkweed, bee balm, and the like. also planning on large amount of multi-seasonal flowers (if we can find them) and trying to plant enough flowers in general to support at least one hive of honey bees next year (preferably more, but just one would be an absolute blessing)

  • I still don't really know what to do with my seed-started lemon trees whoops?? they're growing like crazy too, some of them are starting to get thorns! I don't need 7-8 lemon trees tho asdfghjkl that is. too many for the space I'm working with XD

  • I'd really like to be able to get some dwarf orange trees/dwarf coffee shrub/dwarf olive trees and some other stuff like some saffron crocus bulbs and then just some other tulip/daffodil/iris bulbs (and maybe a new type of peony??) just for the pretty but I'm not sure that can happen this year, gonna have to wait and see

  • basically my life is just plants right now tbh


okay let's try this again!!

found another video of someone who did a 'you can only grow/forage/barter for your food' challenge!


me: *excitedly rambling to my mother how according to my brand-new seed-saving book I think I can grow multiple types of true-to-seed squash without having to worry about isolation distances as long as I specifically hand-pollinate, bag, and mark the true-seed squashes in question, opening up possibilities of a more diverse future seed bank*

my mother: ... and that sounds... fun to you.

me: yes??

my mother: yeah okay you're officially a plant nerd


OH RIGHT I FORGOT

I would like to cheerfully call bullshit on those articles I read about how you can't get enough alpine strawberries to do anything with unless you plant an undefined ridiculous number of plants, because two days of freezing the alpines I collected -bring em straight in, pop them in a freezer bag, and lay flat in the freezer- I had almost 2 cups of tiny little berries and they were delicious in ice cream!


seriously I have only 10 plants and I'm getting a solid handful of berries a day. the plants are only 2 years old. I'm thinking about maybe trying to save enough of them to make a batch of jam or jelly, next.


more plants... brassica babies


purple cauliflower, sprouting green broccoli, and green macareta cauliflower are the first three pics in order!! they have many holes in their poor leaves because the little green caterpillers that show up every year won't leave them alone D: I've gotten two heads of broccoli harvested tho and the pic's of a third one I haven't picked yet!!

last pic is one of the arches we set up to trellis on- between the two beds and the arch, there's 21 sweet potato plants, the arch itself is lined with small gourd seeds, and two lil baby peppers were planted on the bed to the left. they're doing good so far!!


behold,, a baby


yeah so apparently you can start digging for young potatoes at 10 weeks after planting? it's been abt 11 since I planted mine but since that late frost killed all my top growth I'm estimating that I'm about 3-4 weeks behind. I got curious tho and scratched around at the bottom of one plant and kinda ended up accidently severing this lil potato DX but!! I am happy because this means the plants are actually starting to form potatoes!!

next test dig will be when the plants start to flower!


I'm so hecking close to having everything planted till it's fall garden time hhhhngh

it's going to be 95 F today so everything's getting a last-minute water, fish emulsion, and having their mulch heaped back up. yesterday I planted... A Lot of flowers and flower seeds, accidently cut my leg on the fence while hopping over it, planted some more squash, my strawberry watermelons, pulled weeds, cleared a bit of ground in the side garden, and harvested a good handful of peas, which I ate immediately because I'm weak and I didn't have enough enough pods to put away for later anyway.

just need to find somewhere to plant my boer white pumpkins, my job's tears, and then find good permanent beds for the asparagus and rhubarb. and then I think that's it?? IDK I'll have to go over the gardens one more time and count up what I've got, just to make sure. I'm pretty sure I've planted at least twice as much in both varieties and in sheer plants this year compared to last year, even though I had twice as much trouble with pests!


sweet potats... planted...

anyway they're finally in the ground, the rest of the corn's been planted, and I'm throwing sunflower seeds around like they're confetti.

it's hot. it's really, stupidly hot. I haven't gotten a fraction of what I wanted to get done actually done today because I spent most of it in a heat-induced misery.


my sweet potato slips finally arrived!! they're a bit wilty but I stuck them in some potting soil and gave them a good watering and they should perk up :)


they actually gave me a few extra- the all purple (purple flesh) was the only one that had 6, the red japanese (white flesh) had 7, and the ginseng (orange flesh) had 8!! :D but I still have my 3 molokai purple too, so I've got 21 sweet potato slips :D

the tricky part here is that we're going to need to fix up special places for them, probably some raised beds, amended with a bit of creek sand. which we can't do right now because everything's sopping wet. oh, well, maybe in a few days!


fence is done around blackberries + finally got to get the back side of the garden plowed and I got it half-planted with the start of a three sisters planting! so now I've got some corn, one type of watermelon, and three varieties of pumpkins/squash in the ground :3 though I did also get rained on quite a bit, since it started halfway through. I've got like an inch of mud stuck to my shoes now XD

I'm going to use the watermelon to help me keep the squash from crossing with each other because I accidently ended up with not one, not two, but three varieties that are all C. maxima (jarrahdale, flat white boer, and buttercup) and so they'll cross if I don't keep them apart. hopefully they're not just going to end up eating the corn and then the rest of the garden. I'm probably asking too much here, because squash are just Like That.

the beans get to go in once the corn hits 6 inches tall, and I ended up getting the '1500 year old cave bean' variety which, in hindsight, I'm not actually sure if it's a pole bean or not. hm. that could be a problem. oops?


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