Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planting the Fall Garden

My Spring garden was pretty much a  bust.

I procrastinated too much and got the peas in the ground too late; they didn't yield much before they lost the battle with our darned-near-100-degree heat last week.

I planted twelve various store bought peppers in the open areas in the berry garden and although there are a few silver dollar sized fruits on the plants, the plants themselves are still pretty small.

Most of the tomatoes I started indoors are doing well.  The ones that are fenced in, that is.  The ones that I planted outside of the mostly-chicken-proof area were dead in two days.  The ones in the fenced berry garden are already starting to take over an area and I will soon have to bring a machete with in order to harvest them.

And my volunteer squash?  Oh, my poor squash.  There were three Patty-Pan'ish plants two yellow squash plants and one butternut plant.  I fought a fierce battle with the damned squash bugs but even with my daily picking, squashing, drowning, stomping of their tiny little eggs and bodies, I lost the war.  A few days ago I picked the last three tiny squashes and gave up.  In less than four days, the plants were gone.  Like totally dead, flattened, sucked of their life and matted into the surrounding garden area.  You wouldn't hardly be able to tell that they were even there just a week ago.  Scary.

And to make matters worse, some of them have started attacking my cucumbers!!  I've already lost one plant and I'm really trying to save the other five.  I've only harvested three cucumbers from the first larger plant (the one that died thanks to the squash bugs) and it was soooo sad.....there were lots of teeny-tiny baby cucumbers on the vine!  I suspect that I'll lose all of the cucumbers too.

But, hope springs eternal.  Right?

So remember that new garden plot that I said I was just going to keep idle and just keep adding wasted hay and compost & maybe some green manure to?  Well, I started planting it.  If only to move away from the darned squash bugs.  Paul had the auger hooked up to the tractor so I figured I shouldn't waste the opportunity to use mechanical means to bust through the ground (I'd call it soil, except there is very little "soil" to speak of) and stick some seeds in there.  And yes, I DID need to use the auger for that task.  I actually hand dug eight holes for eight squash plants and it took me hours.  Yes.  Several HOURS just to chop through the ground.  Pick ax and rock bar and a spade-thingy that looks like an instrument of murder.  I filled up the empty holes with compost and stuck my seeds in.  Then, since the area is not fenced off, I made little round rock fortresses around the holes in an effort to deter the chickens from scratching the young seedlings into oblivion.  We'll see how that works.  If you see a post titled "F'n Chickens!" in the next week, you'll know it didn't go well.

Speaking of rock fortresses, my herb garden is going great!  The chickens haven't been able to scratch the herbs to death and things are taking off like gangbusters.  I'd take a picture, but alas, I have yet to order the darned thing.  Which I may just do after I've finished this post.  I'm going to buy one that Mike Yukon over at Living Prepared bought.  He is always doing reviews and other neat comparison things on his blog.  Everything from digital cameras and rocket stoves to raising potatoes in 5-gallon buckets and even eating meat that's months old (and surviving to tell the tale!).  Go say hello if you've got time on your "Just one more blog and I'll go outside" clock :)

I'm off to plant some more.....I mean, buy that camera.

And then plant some more :)

Paul's Take
I told her not to plant the tomatoes that close together.  And now she's doing the same thing with the squash in the fall garden.  Does ANYbody ever listen to me?



  1. Yay for the herb garden!
    Squash bugs haven't hit us but we're fighting those little white cabbage moths. They're everywhere!

  2. I been getting squash bugs the last few days. The race is on now to see if they can take over before the end of the season. Eventually they will win in the squash and zucs then move into the melons and cucs. The Squash and zucs are so thick this year it is impossible to find all the eggs so the battle is ultimately lost, all I can do is a delaying action as long as possible.

  3. I've been on potato bug patrol. Surprisingly, I'm squeamish when it comes to bugs, so I've been daintily smooshing them between board and rock. Until the number of bugs started to ramp up. Now I just squish them as I go. And their nasty little orange eggs, too. It seems as if you are following my Square Inch Gardening method. Psst. It doesn't work.... :)

  4. We had lovely volunteer squash vines in the compost heap last year, and they were strong and vibrant. Overnight, squash bugs appeared and by a day later, the plants were dead. I'm declaring war this year.

  5. I wonder if your new patch will yield up squash just fine. My first year or two no SVB's but ever since then nothing but. My summer squash are doomed too. Winter squash are too small to chew on.

    Maybe one of these years I'll stop planting them to break the cycle.

  6. My summer garden, other than squash and some tomatoes, is gone, well actually never there. Too much rain. I have to start the fall garden now but need to till under all the wonderfully thick weeds that came up where something should have been planted. You're ok on planting squash too close. I did that last year and other than having a jungle of leaves to turn over (and kill bugs)they grow over each other just fine.
    So far the squash I planted growing up cattle panels has had fewer eggs than the ones I let grow on the ground, now that doesn't help zucchini or yellow squash but spaghetti and acorn squash worked.

  7. I did the same thing - planted tomatoes too close together Sigh....

  8. Geesh, you work SO hard on your garden, Carolyn! With your soil (or lack thereof) and terrible heat, you have no choice though. I really admire your stick-to-it-tiveness.

    I've never had trouble with squash bugs (did I just say that out loud?) and, boy howdy, I sure hope I never do. We have plenty of other disadvantages up here near the tundra though.

  9. A rocky spot is perfect for most herbs. My oregano may need to be moved.....too rich and too wet where I have it and it looks sorry.

    Good luck with the fall garden. I have never done that.

    So far, no squash bugs here......I am going out very soon to dust with Sevin again!

  10. Carolyn, thanks for the kind words.
    Squash Bugs, I had them last year eating my tomato plants and yes they won. I seemed like within only a week they appeared by the hundreds! Chemical warfare was almost useless, they are one tough bug.