Sorry I have been a little lax in posting

The heat wave broke today and 85 degrees feels like heaven. The house has been cool and I think the new roof and added vents were a big part contributor to keeping the house cool. The new kitchen ceiling fan has also made a huge difference moving the cool air though the house.

We were a bit late getting the garden started again this year what with all the home improvements and getting stuff painted.  Of course just for fun, I had to change the garden layout and try some new ways of planting stuff since life can be too simple for me. /sarcasm

We did buy plants and then had to spread out tarps to protect the plants when it got hot in the afternoon. Over all I think we may only lose two squash and one cucumber to the heat wave and I had to replace a watermelon plant but I think it was me that screwed up planting it and not the heat wave burning the plant.  The squash plant was a bit wimpy to begin with and the heat wave finished it off.

This year I have invested in heavy duty Tomato cages and so far the cages will hold a tarp with a couple of clothes pin to protect the plant from the sun.  I know it costs more money up front but I think investing in a higher quality tomato cage is worthwhile in the long run.  Plus the new cages have a protective coat and in different colors so you can use the cages for different types tomato plants that you will recognize at a glance.

While I am searching for excuses on why I am late for planting a garden. I am looking at how hard last year’s harvest was on myself and Mom as everything had to be processed at the same time. Now I have planted a sweet corn that seems to be doing well and should be ready to harvest about the middle of August. I have a pop corn and dent/flour corn that should be harvested around September and the corn can be left to dry on the stalk. My pole beans can be left to dry on the vine and winter squash can be harvested, stored in a cool dry area and then you can take a bit of time to process them. I did not start my garden with harvest times in mind but I think that timing and different plants will work better for me in the long run.

I’m excusing myself on my garden but it may just work out when august and September rolls around and I have limited physical energy to work processing the harvest.

More good news My golden raspberry is producing fruit this year. The Quinalt strawberries are growing great but they put out one of the smallest berries I have ever seen, though it it is a nice sort of nice tart tasting strawberry. My Black berry is growing great in its new spot. I have blossoms but I doubt I’ll get fruit this year.

I know this may sound like I’m getting excited about plants. That is because I am excited. I spent several years trying to grow strawberries, raspberries and blackberry plants and I watched them all die. I doubt, I will get a more hand-full of berries this year but it is a success in my books.

One thing that annoys me is people who claim to prep, have a few packets of seeds and think they will start a garden after the SHTF by just throwing a few seed in or on the ground and it will provide food for them.  Gardening, maintenance and harvesting a garden takes a lot of effort.  Please start a small garden of a few herbs, tomatoes and some peppers, those are simple to grow for a new gardener. Now my sweet corn is looking good so far in spite of the heat.  This is my first year growing corn so I expect I won’t have a great harvest.  The garden only augments my food supply it does not replace my stored food.  Yet…..

It doesn’t matter if you start with an acreage or a small herb garden in a container, you must start growing some of the food you eat if you want to be prepared and some what self-sufficient.





7 Responses to Sorry I have been a little lax in posting

  1. S.Lynn says:

    Every household should at least have a tomato plant. Store-bought ones are just so tasteless. I did everything from seed this year in a mini greenhouse except jalapenos. It was so exciting.

    • Jamie says:

      S.Lynn I agree about the tomato plant. We have 4 plants this year. A couple of volunteers and two from the garden store.

  2. I don’t really like gardening, and basically I decided to work around it by storing a hell of a lot of freeze dried vegetables. But once my wife retired, we have been gardening on a small scale this summer. I built raised boxes and we planted squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Now, I confess, we didn’t use seeds. We bought the plants already growing in little pots that were biodegradable. You just plant the pot in the planting soil and go from there.

    Things seem to be going well and next season I expect we will try to get to the point where we grow from seed. I don’t mind doing the grunt work for her and it isn’t really bad seeing your plants grow.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry: That is awesome you have started a a little garden. The taste of home grown tomatoes alone will probably hook you on doing at least a small garden. I use a small plastic “kiddie pool” for herbs that has worked out great!

      Don’t worry about using starter plants compared to seeds when you are just beginning or if you can’t get seeds in the ground at the right time.

      I have a few suggestions that really helped me out as a new gardener.

      Mulch around your raised beds and add straw mulch around plants after the get a bit of growth. This really cuts down on weeds and retain water in the summer.

      Cages for plants that are climbers. Spend the little bit of extra money for heavy duty cages as it really pays off on reusing them year after year.

      I prefer using the canvas cloth tarps compared to the plastic type tarps. Store extra clothes pins as they work great for holding the “protective tarps to the cages to protect plants.

      • We put “vegetable growing soil” we bought at Home Depot for $4.00 a bag in the beds, then after she planted the vegetables we put mulch over that and then red bark chips of some kind. The sun is is fierce and the beds would dry out immediately without that.

        I didn’t buy the cages, because they were $6.00 each, I bought a bag of cheap bamboo stakes for $2.00. But alas, the stakes worked at first because the plants were small. As they grew, the stakes couldn’t handle the load and now I have to go by the cages anyway. I had some left over in the shed from a previous, unsuccessful gardening attempt but I threw them away. It never fails that if I haul something from the shed to dump, I eventually need it.

        • Jamie says:

          Isn’t that always the way things happen? I like the flexible cages for protecting plants from frost or sun as well as very substantial cages for climbers. Speaking for myself I think having a good stock pile of cages and trellis type stuff is mandatory for a small raised bed gardener as you want go vertical with plant growth to get the maximum return on your plants and garden.

  3. S.Lynn says:

    Harry, if you go by newish construction sites where they are pouring concrete they might have extra welded wire mesh (that gets embedded in the wet concrete for strength) that you can make cages out of.

%d bloggers like this: