Rain, plants, rain, garden, and more rain

Finally a beautiful sky on the way up to the homestead.

Next morning I run out and peek at my garden.  Hmmmm, the tomatillo looks pretty bad.  I don’t think it’s going to make it.  One of the peppers is shriveled up and one of the Poblano’s looks like it was bad right under the soil.  Hey, the marigolds are finally growing and there is lots of lettuce, turnips and cabbage popping up.  Amazing what a couple hours of sun will do.  However, the rain is not over.  I check with the nursery and since the plants are not yet a week old they will give me credit for them.  I call Denise and we head off to the nursery to exchange the plants.  We get there and the lady at the nursery thinks the tomatillo may be sunburned.  Denise and I kind of laugh because we haven’t seen the sun in a week.  I’m pretty sure it had powdery mildew.  As we’re looking at plants I see one and ask another lady what she thinks about the plant that has white spots.  She acts quickly and grabs it from me and says powdery mildew, I need to throw this away.  Not their fault really with a month of rain and humidity.  I find replacements for the Poblano and Tomatillo.  I pick up some pickling cucumbers, butternut squash, cantaloupe, zucchini, and a pie pumpkin. Sandy called me yesterday and said she was getting more soil so I have 6 bags of Roots waiting for me so I don’t need to stop and get more.  I will put it in the large oval so the vines will have plenty of room to spread.

Our topic of conversation is the shooter up here.  They have connected the first woman who was shot in the neck and the man riding the bicycle that was shot and killed.  They are saying the other four windshields shot out can’t be connected because there is no solid proof.  I don’t think there is any doubt in our minds that it’s connected.  Everyone is a little on edge.  It’s so random and all over the place and during the daylight.

We head on back since John and Denise have to go get some telephone poles at 12:30.  They are going to use them to make a loafing shed.  I head on back and get started planting.  I replace the Tomatillo and the Poblano.  I have a Big Jim pepper that looks sad but I think it just might come back.  We’ll see.  I fill the oval and put in the cantaloupe, squashes and pumpkin.  Ah, looks good  That’s about all today.

I check out the new chicken coop (house) that John made.  They now have 16 chickens.  12 layers and 4 meat chickens.  I like the door for the chickens to go in and out. He put it on a pulley that lifts the door and at night will slide down to close it.

Denise thinks her spaghetti squash and pumpkins cross pollinated last year  I get out my Master Gardener book but I can’t find anything about any of the squashes being non-compatible.  I’ll plant them together and we’ll see what happens.

It’s warm today (a couple of hours or sun anyway) so a perfect time to try the new organic weed killer.  I was using the Burn Out II and couldn’t find it this year.  I found out that St Gabriel’s organics sold it to Bonide.  I find out that the new name is Avenger.  It has the same ingredients (citric acid, castor oil are the active ingredients) so I hope it works as well as the Burn Out II did.  I spray some of the weeds and try it on the Common Mallow.  Common Mallow is awful.  It has a tap root to China and even strong chemicals won’t kill it.  WOW, an hour and half later here are the results.  The jug recommends a 1:4 ration for small weeds, 1:3 for 6 inch and 1:2 for bigger weeds.  I mixed it 1:3.  I’m telling you this is better and faster than Round Up and it’s organic.  Safe for pets and beneficial insects.  It even shriveled up the Common Mallow.  This is excellent!!  It smells good too.  Like oranges.  You can see in the pictures exactly where I sprayed it.  It is non-selective so you have to make sure the wind isn’t blowing etc. but WOW.

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Next morning I need to finish this little project.  I need some marigolds (since mine aren’t growing fast enough), some stakes (I’m thinking of making a hoop house over the gardens to protect from hail), and netting or screen.  I head off to Poulsen’s Hardware and their marigold don’t look so good and they are scattered around so I can’t really see how many they have.  I need a whole flat.  I decide to head over to Eaton Grove nursery but they don’t open until 10:00.  I say screw it and go to Lowe’s.  The first thing I see when I go in the garden center is marigolds, 5 – six packs for $10.00.  That’s a pretty good deal and they are really nice looking so I get 10 packs.  I find some netting and then head over to the pvc department.   Hmmm, the pieces are 10 feet long and I need a few.  I decide this is a project for next week.  I don’t have time for all that today.  I stop in the sprinkler aisle and get some quick connects and a hose splitter, and some short hoses to cross between the gardens so I’m not watering the unused ground (or the weeds).

I head home and it’s about 11:30.  I need to have this project finished by 2:30 so I can go to the Pampered Chef party.  Oh boy, a chance to meet more women from around the county.

I plant all the marigolds around the peppers and tomatoes and put a few in with the squashes.  Marigolds deter some of the bad bugs.  They smell skunky.  Snakes don’t like the smell either so that’s fine with me.

I’m trying to get all the hoses connected and working and of course it starts raining.  I put on my rain coat because I really need to get this done.  Uggg, the humidity is starting to drive me crazy.  The lady who used to own my house is in town again and stops by.  I hate to be rude but I let her talk while I am still working.  It’s almost 2:00 and I’m not finished.  She yaks while I work.  She says what a great idea the wattles are and she’ll have to tell her son to look at them.  I want to say “lady, no need to do that.  I’m sure he’s already seen them because he and his cousin have been skulking around the town poking into everyone’s back yard.”  These are the two town characters (see last blog about bathing in the flooded river and causing no foot traffic sign to be posted at the campground).  I finally get the hoses hooked up.  I put the splitter on the main hose, connected a soaker hose for the oval, put on a short hose to take it across to the radish, lettuce, pea patch gardens; then took a 15 foot hose and hooked it to the tomato, pepper garden.  I do a test and it works.  Hurray!!  The controller is set to water about 15 minutes every morning so hope this works.

I have to work fast  I still need to put the netting over the gardens in case of hail.  I will just throw the net over some stakes this week and maybe next week can make a better plan. Once the plants starting growing and getting bigger the net may squash them but this will do for now.  I grab some stakes and put them in the oval garden.  Those will be enough to hold the net up.  On the other garden the tomato cages and the stakes already there will hold it up for now.  I throw the netting over the gardens and I am done.

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Whew!!  I finish by 2:30.  Time to get ready for the Pampered Chef party  It’s being hosted by a lady I met briefly at the library last year and the mother of the boy who mows my yard.  I have never met her.  Sandy and Ada and I walk (in the rain of course) up to the party.  I meet some more local ladies and they are really nice.

Well, time to head on back.  It’s raining.  Will it ever stop?





About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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