Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Update

I've been wanting to post an update on our garden but have hesitated because of my bad attitude.

I really want to complain. I feel like hosting a big pity party about the lack of rain and the destructive varmints. I'm really not enjoying walking in my garden right now.

But I know that God is Good, He always provides for our needs, and the weather is fully in His control.

So I'm going to try to share pictures of our garden with only minimal griping.

Sometimes, blogs can be a rosy picture of life, a snap shot of only the good days. These photos should demonstrate some of the realities of gardening.

To see our garden on a good year, go to last year's garden tour.
We just had our first corn on the cob. So yummy! Knowing corn will probably be scarce this year gave it extra sweetness. There are more empty places then usual in our garden since most of our successive plantings did not germinate.

Our new strawberry patch is hanging on but not thriving.

The tomatoes have grown huge and most are taller than me.  I'm trying to keep notes on the number of different varieties of tomatoes. So far I found that Bloody Butcher was the earliest, Pink Ponderosa is the sweetest (and the one the ground hog prefers) Marguerite Paste has dry rot the worst. The green beans are the greenest spot in the garden.

But our poor potato patch is rather depressing. We planted them late, which works most years. But this year, most just rotted in the ground.
The onions and garlic are harvested and hanging in the woodshed. They are beautiful, but my problem normally is storing them without rotting. Hopefully, they will keep well this year.

The grape vines are lush and beautiful. I thought it looked like we'd have a great harvest. But for some reason, there are only two grape clusters, one on each vine! Do you know any reason why? Last year we had a good crop and I tried to prune them the same way this year.

The raspberry patch that we started this spring from plants shared from friends is doing well. I drool just thinking of the fruit that we will get from these plants next year, Lord willing.

This year, I've neglected the children's garden. Something is eating their bean tepees and they don't provide much shade. But the children spend a lot of time digging holes here.

In the back of our pasture we planted some test plots. I have to keep reminding myself that these plots are extras and it doesn't matter if we harvest nothing.

But something is harvesting here. The heart of the corn is being eaten. We guess that deer are the culprit. They have knocked down much of the corn. Guess the dry weather has them searching for food as well.

The oat patch looks nice but there isn't many seed heads. Ed's farmer brother-in-law says that oats like cool wet weather. Ummm....not really a description of our summer.

Last night Ed cut the oats. It was fun to watch him! We piled it in the barn (chicken coop) to dry some more before we try to winnow it. We have no idea what we are doing, but we have fun trying! We have a huge pile of straw. Guess we'll find out if there is much grain.

The Three Sisters Garden doesn't look too bad. A few stalks of corn have been pulled down by coons but most are still standing.
The Indian corn and sunflowers in our last patch are surviving but the lima beans are a loss.

Anyway, hope that isn't too depressing. I have to remember all the wonderful gardens we have had the past years. More then once I've been reminded of our pioneer grandmothers who faced far more daunting challenges. Their winter survival depended upon the crops they grew. We will eat well regardless of our garden's production - but you still can pray that we get rain!

Linked to Tuesday Garden Party


  1. I understand your garden woes! I have had the same luck this year. Somedays it makes me sad enough to cry!

    A thought on your onions....I always have a hard time keeping them from rotting later in the winter. This year I am going to dehydrate the majority since I really only use them in cooked dishes they will rehydrate quickly. They are also easier to store this way. Just a thought. :)

    May you and your garden be blessed!

  2. It's always frustrating with the weather (and the "visitors") don't cooperate. I think your garden still looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Enjoyed seeing your garden. It seems this year is not the best for a lot of gardens either not enough rain or in our case way to much and expecting rain again this weekend. It is causing things to rot. I know the Lord will provide.

  4. Oh my goodness I thought I was the only one with garden depression this year. We live in Georgia and we are really dry right now! But I guess we are all having the same woes. Last year my garden was so very productive that I was giving veggies away by this time. Now I'm lucky enough to get a picking enough for us to eat that night. I keep asking myself is this worth it? But as soon as I eat what is picked I keep going back out there telling all the plants that they can do it! :o)

  5. Sorry to hear things aren't going as well as can be hoped! It's so frustrating to invest the work for little return. Especially when you're losing it to the critters in your sleep!

  6. Our garden is so full of weeds right now that it would be downright scary to post the pictures:}. Learning to garden in OK versus PA has been a real experience. We usually face the drought of summer and hungry bugs every year. Although this year we have had a nice amount of rain, but we saw the drought there when we visited in PA a couple weeks ago. It was not the pretty lush gardens that usually abound.

    Thanks for sharing with us one of the realities of life. But your garden still looks great. We saw many that were worse.

  7. Hi Gina! I'm just you not water your garden? We haven't had rain in over a month, but I can water my garden with a hose. Of course, my garden is so small compared to yours! A half dozen raised beds may just make it more suitable for hand watering?

  8. Mia-
    We do water our garden some - or it wouldn't look near this good! But I don't want to drain our well dry (we never have but I wouldn't want to be the first) and our garden is rather large. I've been just prioritizing with the water. Mostly I've been watering the tomatoes, green beans, and berries. The test plots are on the back of our property and too far to water by hose. I have hauled a few buckets to the pumpkins.

    I keep thinking we HAVE to get rain soon. We had a little overnight - but only a tenth, which doesn't really do anything.

    Sorry, I sound like I'm complaining again!

  9. I'm in the same boat-- last year everything thrived (until something killed the tomato plants, but we were up to our eyes in every variety of tomato, so we weren't too upset). This year has been a different story-- off to a good start rain-wise, but a number of plants that didn't come up, and now, excessive heat. Can't have all good years, I suppose!

  10. Oooh, it can be frustrating to put forth so much effort only to feel thwarted. I keep holding hope for my plants knowing we have a long season in front of us... usually through September.

    Keep courage:) I am looking forward to watching the oat progression.

    ps. I had to wince at that tomato name:)

  11. You don't sound like you're complaining! I didn't realize you're on a well... My parents share a well with three neighbors and it's always on their minds about how everything is holding up (fingers always crossed!). I think your garden looks beautiful, by the way. :)

  12. Our garden is over-run with waste high weeds. Still fruitful, but weedy. We did SOMETHING wrong when we just tilled the soil over. Unearthed dormant weed seeds maybe. This winter the whole area must be overhauled for spring. I had to take a break here and there for camp and summer stuff and that was the result. I then looked at the overgrown area and though, "picking weeds every day in the 100 degree weather is not my idea of fun (lol)". Our three cats and dog keep the critters at bay for the night (for which I am thankful)

    You know, I just sliced my onions and tossed them into the freezer. Was that wrong?

  13. I like the ideas you all have shared about freezing and dehydrating onions. I have done both in years past, but just had not thought of it this year! I'll be using a lot of onions in salsa and pizza sauce in the next couple weeks, then I'll have to think of alternative uses for the remainder of the crop, and dehydrating and/or freezing may be the answer!


  14. Sorry, Gina- I can get discouraged from all the things trying to get my produce before I do, too. It seems like all my time and money is being spent on trying to keep them away. Glad I don't have to deal with drought, too!

    Just curious- have you ever watered with soaker hoses? I lay them along the rows of veggies and run them for a couple of hours or until the rows look good and wet. I only do this weekly and if it's in the 90s I'll do it about every 5 days and every thing seems to get enough water (we're on a well, too).

    Thanks for sharing and being real!

  15. Jami -
    Yes, I do use a soaker hose. This year I should have invested in more then one.

    But watering just doesn't seem to be as good as the rain. I'm keeping things alive - but not thriving. I keep thinking this drought HAS to end some time soon!

  16. It seems to be a bad year for gardens everywhere. I'm in Northern Ontario, Canada and we've had up and down weather all season. Since our season is fairly short (Late May to Early September), I'm hoping things start to turn around rather quickly!

    We have just under an acre of garden planted this year, and it has been a bit of a trial. We had to replant all our squash and cucumbers in higher hills because of the amount of rainfall we had been receiving. Luckily they seem to be doing well. I've just started canning a lot of our produce (beans, new potatoes) but I don't think we'll get a single cob of corn this year unless the weather stays hot enough into October.

    I hear you about the critter visitors as well! Rabbits were a big problem for us, until June 15th when we caught them it was a good oppurtunity to stock our freezer. But since hunting season is closed on them again until September, we've been using wolf/fox urine around the perimeter of the garden to deter pests. This also works really well for the deer.

  17. the weather is really bad today. I had my garden arranged just a week ago and then hear comes the heat wave. Everything in my garden is done for. Only the flowers are left standing. As for your garden, you have such spacey one. I would love to have such a big space where I can plant all sorts of crops! LOL. Well, good luck to us and the weather.

  18. Hi there, I came over from Quinn's blog. Love your garden pictures. We are having many of the same drought problems. As for onions, I have had some sucess storing them in panty hose individually tied in wuth twist ties. I then hand them in the basement where it is cool and dark. Somehow the onions not touching each other helps. The panty hose are reusable each year which is also helpful. You might find it worth a try and wanted to share. I have been enjoying your garden posts.

  19. Your garden is awesome. It is so big that you can plant all the kinds of crops. I'm a bit jealous of your spacey and healthy garden. I usually freeze my onions with all of my veggies to avoid them from rotting and it is effective too.


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