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Jul 2017
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Ripening peppers

Mark's hose hookup has pushed the garden into much faster growth over the last week. The peppers are ripening...

Roma tomatoes are the first few tomatoes. We're starting to harvest cucumbers in multiples now rather than one per week, and the summer squash are holding onto their female flowers rather than aborting them before they can turn into fruit.

Summer garden

On the other hand, this garden is still much less turbo-charged than my Virginia one. A decade of soil building can't be replaced overnight. But blight has been minimal, the fenced acreage is perfect for keeping me sane, and I suspect I'll love this garden even more than my previous one within a couple of years.

Posted Mon Jul 16 06:00:31 2018 Tags:
Kitchen floor replacement of a section.

Our kitchen floor demanded some attention this week.

Luckily the leak was easy to track down but the damage was not good.

Posted Sun Jul 15 06:00:32 2018 Tags:
Oyster mushrooms

We haven't had any appreciable rain for a week and a half...but apparently it's mushroom season anyway. I'm guessing the cooler weather is what brought out this flush of oyster mushrooms at the park. All I know is that I could only fit a quarter of the available caps into the scooped-up front of my shirt without exposing my belly button. Clearly I need to start bringing a harvest bag with me into the woods!

Posted Sat Jul 14 06:00:29 2018 Tags:
New strawberries.
Planting new strawberry plants always puts a smile on Anna's face.
Posted Fri Jul 13 06:00:39 2018 Tags:
Patio baby eggplant

Three weeks later, it's time for a followup on my eggplant varieties post. How have Patio Baby and Black Beauty fared now that summer is in full swing?

Patio Baby is both better and worse than expected. The plant is so heavily loaded with developing fruits that I had to stake the stem upright, and we've enjoyed a handful of tasty meals picked from the single plant.

On the other hand, I can tell it hasn't bothered to send roots out into the surrounding soil. If I don't give it a daily half gallon of water, the plant wilts like crazy by the middle of the afternoon.

My conclusion? If I had to do it all over, I would keep Patio Baby on a patio where it's easy to water and keep an eye on.

Eggplant flower

Black Beauty, in contrast, is slow and sure and just now blooming. I haven't watered the plants at all except when I happen to be hitting the nearby bush beans in the same row. But Black Beauty is fine with the neglect...I'm just not sure if the plants will manage to set fruits before winter frosts come to call.

Among both varieties, though, there's a major success to report on --- flea beetles haven't been much of a problem after the plants spent their first three months in pots. I always love it when a type of produce I thought wasn't worth growing organically is suddenly easy with a simple tweak, and that appears to be true in this case.

Posted Thu Jul 12 06:00:34 2018 Tags:
Garden hose hook up onto washing machine out through dryer vent.

We attached a garden hose hook up point to our washing machine intake.

Anna and I have a debate about hooking up the dryer. She is fine with not hooking it up....I want to have it available on cold rainy days when we don't want to hang clothes outside.

It might take me a while to win that one. Meanwhile we will use the dryer vent door to access the new garden hose hook up and push it back inside when Winter comes.

Posted Wed Jul 11 06:00:36 2018 Tags:
Female squash flower

You're probably aware that tomatoes won't set fruits when temperatures exceed 85. But did you know that summer squash can be equally sensitive to wild weather?

Mark and I have been eating summer squash for a week or two now, and I only realized that was a fly in the ointment when I went to show off flowers to the neighbor kids. "Can you tell which ones are females?" I asked...then furrowed my brow as I realized there were almost no female flowers currently present on my plants.

Male and female squash flowers

While it's perfectly normal for squash plants to open lots of male blooms and no females as they're maturing, after that I'm used to seeing at least as many females as males. However, we've had really hot weather recently and I've only been watering plants that appear to need it (not the squash). Apparently that stressed the plants enough to make them abort most of their female fruits.

I've now added squash back into my watering rotation, and will hope that's enough to put their offspring back on our plates. I'm sure we'll be sick of squash by autumn, but for now it's a treat to harvest each ripe, yellow fruit.

Posted Tue Jul 10 06:00:42 2018 Tags:

Parkersburg community garden with flood wall.
The Parkersburg community garden sits right next to a giant flood wall.

It was built in 1950 with a gate that can be closed in case of really high waters.

According to google it has never needed to be closed.

Posted Mon Jul 9 06:00:36 2018 Tags:
Unloading cardobard

Truckload of horse manureThursday afternoon, Mark and I stocked up on biomass. We snagged as many cardboard boxes as we could fish out of the recycling dumpster, unloaded that, then filled the bed halfway up with horse manure.

As of Friday lunchtime, every bit of the manure and most of the cardboard was already used up. But I've got two big rows just waiting for strawberry plants!

Posted Sun Jul 8 06:00:28 2018 Tags:
Honda mower self propelled.

How is the Honda mower working out in the new location?

We are still happy with it.

The self propelled feature continues to be my favorite part. The manner in which it engages is better than all the other self propelled mowers I've used in the past.

Posted Sat Jul 7 06:00:42 2018 Tags:

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