Sunday, August 4, 2013

In The Garden


This spring we planted a garden almost entirely of heirloom seeds... I really can't say enough positive things about the seeds.  The germination rate was great and the vegetables have all been delicious. 


On the flip side, this year has been a little disappointing... we had a bad wind storm come through a while back that did quite a number on our plants.  Japanese beetles came in and seemed to eat through the beans in a day.  Squash bugs were there from the start and although I tried picking off their eggs, the majority of the plants withered and died before anything could mature.  And we've had an unseasonably cool summer with a lot of rain, so the tomatoes are coming along very slowly. 


 But I've tried to take it all in stride... I love having a garden... bugs, weather and all (smile). 


 Our cucumbers have loved the weather though.  The girls and I eat our share each day and I've still had enough to can about 25 pints of pickles.  I don't think we'll need to buy pickles for quite a while!  

This year Justus fashioned some cages with some heavy duty wire panels that have been great.  He used the wire to create side supports for the cucumbers...

 

 And also built some tomato cages.  They are so heavy duty they haven't moved an inch since he put them in. 


He fashioned them in a triangular shape, so that one side can be undone and they fold flat for winter storage.


 One of my favorite things in our garden is the row of zinnias along one side.


 Not only are they bright and cheerful, but they attract butterflies.  

   
The girls and I have loved watching them each day... they just swarm around the plants.  At least we have some pretty insects!

 

Jillian begs to cut zinnias from the garden to make bouquets... I can watch her all day.  So sweet.

 How is your garden fairing this year?

Hope you have a great week!

30 comments:

  1. What a great photo of the butterfly! And that sweet child too. I think I'm going to order heirloom seeds for next year. The seeds I bought didn't do very well. I have a bouquet of zinnias inside as well. Love them!
    Brenda

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  2. Your gardens (and helper) is just lovely.

    I, too adore those zennias - such richa nd luscious colour!

    Sorry about the beetles - have you tried those bags?

    We had an infestation of them a few years ago and we caught thousands in those bag traps. It was gross but they've not been a problem since.

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    Replies
    1. I went to Tractor Supply to get a trap and when I came home I realized I just had the replacement bags! So I need to order one... it is nice to hear that they work so well.

      Hope you have a great week!

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  3. Your garden is so pretty. Sorry about the bugs, always something - rain, bugs or wind or no rain at all. Your daughter is so pretty - great picture of her picking flowers.
    Have a great week.
    Mary

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  4. Best cucumbers we have ever harvested! I suspect it was Ohio's deluge of sixteen straight days of rain. Tomatoes are small and just starting to ripen one or two a day. Grandkids have enjoyed the snap peas. Cantaloupes will be ready to pick at the end of August; the favorite treat from grandpa's garden.

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  5. I love zinnia's my daughters and I love cutting them to dry ~ so we can have dry flowers in the winter.
    We have had the same type of weather as yours. Our garden has not done well. The cucumbers are loving it.
    I am getting ready to can sugar pickles soon. Did you know that you can pot any annual and keep it alive in the winter...I have had good luck with impatient, geraniums and begonias another way to have summer flowers in the home for winter. blessings

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  6. Stunning capture of that butterfly! Here in the Pacific Northwest we've been unseasonably dry. The whole US is topsy turvy weather wise it seems!

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  7. Beautiful pictures and your daughter is precious! I don't do much growing from seed, maybe one day.
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  8. Beautiful pictures! Our gardens whether it is the flower or vegetable garden started off well. But we have had a lot of rain and cool weather so everything just went down hill. I have beetles on my rose bush now!

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  9. Zinnias....I have never had a garden without out them.They are one of my favorites! Picked 3 bouquets yesterday.Love all the different kinds and colors.Dont worry about the vegetables. Some years are just like that. You just go with what is doing good that year. If I have a problem with something,I do a little research and try a few things. We just can't control the weather. We had a late start this year do a LONG winter, so things are not as great as some years. First year our little apple tree is loaded with apples......birds have eaten holes in almost all the apples!

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  10. We've had a vegetable garden for 3 years and this is the first summer that we have had pretty good success growing most everything we started from seed, so sometimes I think it just takes a while and a lot of trial and error! We start all our plants from seed and most are local seed or heirlooms. We harvested a ton of stuff earlier in the spring and now we are getting mostly handfuls of beans every day, potatoes, herbs and cucumbers (our squash, tomatoes, okra, and peppers are still growing). I'd say your tomatoes look pretty good to me- nice and full. The flowers are a beautiful addition!

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  11. My cucumbers are doing great. Have you ever posted your pickle recipe? Would love to have a good one. Have a great week....your girls are just little dolls! Patty

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    1. Thank you, Patty! I've tried a couple new recipes this year that I like... I'll have to see how they taste in a couple months. :-)

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  12. Beautiful garden!!
    everything is dying over here we are in some serious heat advisory's my beautiful grass is so thirsty we can't water because of the drought conditions...
    your part of the woods is beautiful...

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  13. Are your zinnias from the heirloom seeds, too?

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    1. Yes, I ordered them from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and they were the Giants of California: http://www.rareseeds.com/giants-of-california-zinnia/.

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  14. Your garden looks amazing! Most everything is beginning to burn up here and I'm sure with 90+ degree temps all this week, it'll probably do most everything in.

    The girls are so cute!!

    Judy

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  15. The zinnia's are so beautiful! Best of luck on the garden!

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  16. Oh, I enjoyed your garden tour! We have zinnias in our garden too. Though they're not my favorite flower, I do love how they attract the butterflies, bees and goldfinches, who love to eat zinnia seed heads. So don't cut them back and hopefully goldfinches will visit your zinnia garden too. They are spectacular birds and your daughters, if they haven't seen one yet, will love them!
    Claudia

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  17. Your garden looks great and the Zinnias are lovely! I planted some organic Zinnia seeds in my blueberry bed this year for the first time, not thinking that they would even come up and I think every one of them did :) I love the variety of colors and shapes and most of all the gorgeous butterflies that they attract. It's so interesting to the kids to look in our Field Guide to Butterflies of North America and find the different kinds of butterflies. I have to say that I'm enjoying our mild summer in NC. Have a great week.

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  18. Great pictures of your garden. Sorry you had to deal with the bugs and weather taking some of your plants. What is photographed is just beautiful!!

    Cynthia

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  19. ha ha ha if your husband saw my huge tomatoes tied with twine to my chainlink fence, porch rail etc system of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tomato gardening he would surely shudder as I think his system looks wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better :)

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  20. Your garden is looking great !!!! Have a wonderful week !

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  21. The deer ate our green beans and pepper plants, but they didn't bother our zinnias and they are doing great. Your ;garden looks so nice, kids seem to love gardens too! We have had Japanese beetles in the past, I actually think the traps attracted them, they literally swarmed. The past two years we have had none but I don't know the reason for that.
    Those are great sturdy tomato cages! I'd like to try heirloom seeds sometime.

    Esther

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  22. I love your garden! It looks like it's worth all the effort! Here in Missouri the Japanese beetles weren't bad this year because of our very hot and dry summer last year but they usually are just here for about a month when they come. I think their life cycle is fairly short.

    I'm a Master Gardener intern and in our MG garden this year we grew broccoli under row covers. That kept the bugs out but let the sun in. We found that very effective. Maybe you can give that a try in your garden sometime.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your garden. What a wonderful education for your 2 little cuties...not to mention making some great memories.

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  23. Your flowers look beautiful! I can see why your daughter wants to cut them, I would too! I planted some cosmos...a first time for that and they sure are pretty! I didn't plant much, food wise, just some tomatoes and chives. I have a few strawberry plants too, but they aren't doing much. Maybe I should've tried some cucumbers :)

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  24. The cold weather has definitely put a damper on things in my garden as well. No green peppers as of yet. We also have enough cucumbers and canned pickles to last a while! I have had a problem with Japanese Beetles since we moved to NW Illinois. They love my grapevines, and last year they destroyed it completely. Thankfully this year they got a slow start with the cooler temps. The traps do attract them! My neighbor puts up the traps and my apple orchard which sits next to his house is swarmed with them! Food grade diatomaceous earth will kill them. You have to be careful when applying it, so you don't inhale it, but otherwise it's completely natural. You have to keep applying it over and over to keep up with them, but it does take care of them, if you have the time, patience and not a huge area to cover.

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  25. It seems we are having similar weather this summer. Were going through a cold snap right now, it's almost like fall here and I have yet to get a single cucumber. My flowers are loving the weather, it seems perfect for them.

    Your photos are so pretty and I have to say the one of your little one picking flowers is my fav. I have a little girl that is constantly picking zinnia too and it warms my heart to see her doing it. Your photo reminded me of her and made me smile. (love, love, love the first photo of your post also. You should frame that one - it's gorgeous)

    Every year at this time when the zinnia's are in full bloom I tell myself I need to plant more come next spring but I never seem to do it. Note to self - don't forget next year! LOL

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  26. Andrea, your photos are stunning!....in spite of all of the setbacks in your garden, it is still so beautiful...and the way Justus created the cages are so clever. So glad that you are enjoying the fruits of your labor!

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