Mother Nature is trying my patience this year! She can’t decide if it’s spring or summer. That can make it difficult sometimes for us home gardeners. A week ago we had a couple of nights just below 50°, and daytime temps in the 90’s this week, topping out at 96° one day. But the calendar says it’s time to plant, so that’s what we do, and we hope and/or pray that everything grows.
Simple Country Entertainment
We don’t have any animals at this time. No dog, no farm animals, no chickens. So watching wildlife is our main source of entertainment sometimes. We have a good variety of birds, a few rabbits that the neighbors dogs haven’t run off yet, and an occasional deer or turkey that crosses the field.
A few days ago, we spotted something black with a bushy tail. We don’t have black squirrels here, and it was too big to be a squirrel anyway. Didn’t recognize it as being the neighbors cat either. The next thought was a skunk. This critter was a good 250 feet from our porch, but we could see it clearly didn’t have a white stripe down it’s back.
It was only visible for a short time in the early morning, then would disappear under one of the bushes along the driveway.
After a few days, Hubby decided to check it out and rode the 4-wheeler out there. Lo and behold, it was a skunk! It didn’t have a white stripe down it’s back, but it did have a big white spot on its forehead, which we had not seen previously from our angle on the porch. Even a Google search did not produce an image of a skunk with that marking.
Hubby is grateful he hasn’t encountered Pepé Le Pew yet, while mowing up close and under the edge of the bushes. So is his wife!
Hopefully, I won’t have to write a post about how to get rid of skunk smell.
I’m having an awful time getting some seeds to germinate, because the seed trays are on the covered porch and don’t have the appropriate constant temperature. Well, it could also be because a lot of my seed are at least a year or two old. I set the three trays on the table on the patio, but it was way too hot and with the daily threat of thunderstorms, I finally moved them back to the porch.
Cilantro and basil have germinated, plus several zucchini and several large cherry tomato, as well as some miniature cantaloupe. Extremely happy about those, but I’m still waiting on the miniature watermelon seeds to germinate.
I would love to see the other seeds come up too, but it’s no big deal if they don’t. I wasn’t betting on them, and I did already buy transplants for peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. I’ll probably plant more scalloped squash and spaghetti squash seeds. And if any of the other seeds do decide to make an appearance, I’ll find some place to plant them.
On the left above, you can see that I switched out the garden blanket for nylon net to keep birds out. On the right side of the picture above are hanging herb plants.
The empty yellow mustard bottle is slathered in vaseline to attract aphids, fungus gnats, and other little bugs that may be flying around my plants.
Hanging Flower Baskets
Hubby and I picked out some beautiful Petunia varieties last Saturday at my favorite nursery, for hanging baskets on the porch. They haven’t had time to fill out much yet, but when they do, they will sure be pretty!
Beans & Peas in Containers
Last week I planted beans and sugar snap peas in alternating containers alongside the greenhouse frame.
I did that to give the peas plenty of room to grow up the cages and make for easier picking on our part, while the green beans are lower growing bush varieties.
NONE of the peas came up. Could have been the seeds were too old, or I planted them too deep, or it was just too darned hot. I’m going to soak the next batch of pea seeds a few hours and replant not so deep.
I know it’s late in the season to start peas, but the variety I have will hold up well with the heat. And I am ALWAYS late getting peas out.
I had planted one container on the back side of the greenhouse with flat beans and they are doing great. The other container not so much…not a single bean germinated. Half of the container was yellow beans and the other half was French Fillet. I’ll have to replant those too.
Jalapeno & Pablano Peppers
The two containers on the right have a total of 5 jalapenos, the second and third containers from the left have a total of 3 Ancho/Pablano peppers. The container on the left still has day lilies, which I WILL move this weekend.
Tomatoes in Containers
The two containers on the far end against the green shed have a total of 5 Big Boy tomatoes. The two closest to the front of the picture have a total of 6 Beefsteak tomatoes.
These plants are mostly for fresh eating and extras will be turned into Slow Cooker Freezer Spaghetti Sauce.
Any extra tomato plants I come up with will be given away or maybe planted along a fence somewhere for freezing or making more spaghetti sauce later.
Cucumbers & Cherry Tomatoes
Around the corner on the left, against the back side of the green shed, the first one will have a couple of large cherry tomatoes when the seedlings are large enough to transplant.
The last three containers each have 2 slicing cucumber plants.
I have discovered several new cucumber recipes that I will share with you another time.
Cantaloupe & Watermelon
Still waiting for my miniature cantaloupes and watermelons seedlings to get big enough to plant in these containers.
Container Grown Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are in these three containers. There are 8 regular bell peppers and one orange variety. I want to find a yellow variety, then we’re good on peppers. But I’ll have to start another container for it, maybe just a 5 gallon bucket if I only buy one pepper plant.
These blackberries are going to new home this weekend. The blue thing they are sitting in is the end cut off of a blue plastic drum, maybe 6″ tall. It was originally cut and used for pig food. I love using things like this, a kitty litter tray (new, of course), a wading pool, etc, as a “water-bed” for potted plants. These plants were watered almost a week ago and have still held up very well in 90° temperatures. I water enough to leave a 1/2″ to 1″ of water in the container.
My Smaller Containers
I have other small containers and vignettes to show you as I get them planted and set up. Making slow progress this year, but have already accomplished more than last summer.
Here is a long wire rack I put on the outside of the porch railing to hold potted plants.
The pots sit in seed trays that will hold water, so the plants don’t dry out too fast. There are several pots of strawberries, plus a mixture of other herbs and other plants that are waiting for a permanent home. The strawberries are on the far end. Yes, the strawberries look a little rough, but they are recovering from transporting last Friday.
Easy to Maintain Container Garden
I hope you enjoy following along and seeing how my garden grows. Maybe even pick up a few tips that you can use in your own garden.
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