Friday, August 2, 2013

What's Happening in the Garden - part 2

While I posted a few days ago,  really haven't been able to do much in the garden other than necessary watering.  There are forest fires not far from us, and the entire valley we live in has been filled with smoke.  The air quality has been "very unhealthy" on the EPA's quality charts.  So, we have been staying inside as much as possible.  Last night I noticed some blue sky and real clouds, not the yellow smoke haze.

I was able to get out today and take care of some long overdue garden chores.  Pruning, transplanting, preparing fall beds... those sorts of things.


I delivered some used textbooks (my son is home schooled) to a woman yesterday.  She offered me some herbs, I offered her some herbs in return!  So, I took her a wooly apple mint, a chocolate mint, and an unknown type of mint.  I brought home a large lemon balm, an oregano, and some very small oregano babies.  I cut back the lemon balm, 1/3 of each stem.  Then I cut down 1/2 of those, since it looked poorly, just in case it wants to come up from the roots!  I expect it to be just fine in a few months.  Lemon balm is a kind of mint, and they are very, very rugged plants.  The oregano has new growth at the base, so it will be fine too. 

oregano - new growth at ground level

baby oregano

lemon balm - before pruning and replanting

I cleaned up the strawberry beds.  I threw out most of the runners, but allowed some "daughter" plants to remain, or cut them off and potted them if they were already rooted.  The existing plants are already putting up new growth.  Next year I plan to wage an early battle with the earwigs and sowbugs. so I get more undamaged berries for myself!

half done

"daughter" plants

too many runners!

finished bed - all cleaned up!
The blueberries are finished, and are showing a lot of nice new growth. I wonder if they'll need larger pots next spring?  The Meeker raspberry didn't have berries this year, but will next.

It's the boysenberries (or Tayberries, I have to remind myself the woman who gave them to me wasn't sure) that are impressing me!  Every few days I have to wind their brambly stems through the trellis.  I can only imagine how many berries there will be next year, since all this growth is primocanes!  For some odd reason one stem produced one berry, which is nearly ripe. 


Apples are harder to grow than I expected!  I sprayed in winter, then instead of spraying in spring, after blossom drop, used those silly nylon socks that were supposed to keep coddling moth larva out. They don't work!  I am down to two remaining apples.  When the larva eat their way right through the nylon material, something needs to change.  I don't know how organic farmers do it.

What I started with - May 15
DO NOT USE FRUIT "SOCKS" - they don't work...
lost harvest - July 17

Cookie and the recycled gate planter (eggplant, beans, peppers, tomatoes) - July 17

how it all began!  May 24

cinder block bed (cucumbers, tomatoes, bush beans in holes)
The mini-gladiola are done for the season, but they were so pretty, in such an array of colors.  There was one dark purple I neglected to photograph. 

On another subject entirely... the kitten, Benny, is growing like a weed! He eats as much as one of the dogs, but is thin as a board.  (No, he doesn't have worms, the vet took care of that!)

Benny (Bensonmum) aka "Monkey-Man"

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