Thursday, October 1, 2015

Garden Update: Oct 1

We've all been enjoying getting outside nearly everyday now that the temperature is back down in the 80's. The boys love swinging and running and having a popsicle when they get too hot. They also enjoy checking on all the baby plants that are so cute and tiny.

The pole beans are skyrocketing and will need directing to new places to climb soon. I have two baby high bush eggplants that are beginning to get true leaves and growing well so far. I've never had luck with eggplants so I have my fingers crossed that these guys will make it.

I bought two poblano pepper plants from Rockledge gardens. I fell in love with the rich dark green foliage and the plants just looked so healthy that I couldn't resist. They had flower buds forming when I bought them, but I pinched those off to encourage root and leaf growth which seems to be working. I looked online and these bad boys may get 5ft high, so I have a backup plan of transplanting them to large planters if they get nuts.

The rest of the garden is filling out well too.

This section is densely planted with sunflowers and cucumbers. The back couple square feet have more sunflowers, Amish pie pumpkin, sweet pie pumpkin, and Waltham butternut squash. I stuck the tomato cages in to help support the sunflowers so the cucumbers can use them as a living trellis. The pumpkins will have a large trellis of their own and the squash may use the large Zohar sunflowers as support. Basically I've crammed every inch of the garden with as much produce as possible and will be growing vertically to save space. I can't turn a shovelful of dirt without finding at least one earthworm so I'm confident that the garden will be able to handle the load with some additional vermicompost tea to bolster the available nutrients.

So far I have 32 corn seedlings squeezed in here and as you can see, the bugs are already finding it. I believe this is the work of grasshoppers, but it could be something else. My main concern comes from cutworms and hornworms. Every time I've tried to grow corn previously they wiped out my crop. But I have a plan this time that should hinder the pests.

Another 16 or so corn plants are planted in the bed along with burgundy amaranth in the boarder next to the patio. Coco plum are turning out to be hard to find in the condition I want. I may choose to take samples and cuttings from wild plants to start my hedge if I can't find what I'm looking for in the nurseries.

I decided to put my mulberries into a large galvanized planter in the garden instead of incorporating them into the yet to be built garden bed. I think they'll make a handsome large shrub here. I won't have to restrict their growth as much here as I would have in the garden.

My little pollinator corner is abuzz with beneficial insects and native wasps. The fire bush in the right is over 5ft high and I'll let it grow to the 8ft roof. There is a smaller fire bush next to it along with milkweed, porter weed, and horsemint. The horsemint is especially popular. It re seeds itself every year and I just dig it up and move it where I want easy peasy.

Two more firebushes are hanging out here along with a bunch of sweet potato starts. They'll overwinter just fine on this west facing wall, and I'll take more cuttings for next summers sweet potato planting from these.


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