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July 23, 2013

July's Garden Update

I'm a little late in posting my July 15th pictures of the garden (June 15 pictures are here), but better late than never, right?!?!  Between the storm, losing power, having no internet for a few days, and spending hours figuring out how to transfer pictures from my new phone to my computer, I have taken much longer than I first anticipated in publishing this post.  I decided to take pictures of my garden on the 15th of every month so that I could see its progress throughout the summer.  It's amazing how much growth takes place in just one month. I know I am going to soothe myself when the winter blues hit by looking back at these summer garden posts. I will be reminded that the grays and browns of winter are eventually replaced by the brilliant colors of summer.
The grapes have climbed to the top of the pergola.  Remember my grapes?
The blueberry bushes are as tall as the grapes and have already produced three gallon bags worth of berries with lots more ripening.
We enjoyed our first meal of freshly picked green beans, and we have been making salads from the lettuce patch for over a month.

 The cucumbers are sending out runners and starting to blossom.
 The pole beans are winding their way up the support...
...and the base of the bird feeder is filling in with green peppers, nasturtiums, and sunflowers.
My tomatoes look a bit spindly, but that is because I recently pruned them. Tomatoes yield a much better crop if unnecessary shoots and leaves are removed, ensuring that the plants energy is going into producing fruit rather and unneeded foliage.
I always pinch out the new shoots that grow in the crotch of the plant's main stem and branches.
I also take off the lower branches of the plants to help prevent disease and fungal infections that can occur when the leaves are splashed with water and soil.  A few years ago I lost my entire tomato patch to a fungal infection, but since I have been aggressively pruning, my tomatoes have remained healthy.

Before Pruning

After Pruning
Last year my tomato plants produced enough fruit to make spaghetti sauce and canned tomatoes for both my family and my parents.  We have one jar of spaghetti sauce left, and we will have enough canned tomatoes to last another year.  I do hope this year's crop will do as well and that we can avoid the fungal infections that have plagued us before.

So...that's the vegetable garden.  I'm anxious to compare the August progress to this month's progress.

Along with vegetables...we also "grow" eggs.  This past week, Little #4 came running in the house, with his eyes popping out of his head, exclaiming over the giant egg he had just found.  One of our Americana chickens laid a double-yoke egg, and it was, literally, the size of a goose egg.  I took a picture of it with two other eggs.  The egg on the left, obviously, is the double-yoker; the one in the middle is an average size chicken egg, and the little one is a guinea hen egg.  I thought it would be neat to show the comparison.
We decided to have some fun and crack the three eggs into individual bowls so we could compare the insides.  Much to our amazement, despite their exterior shell size, the yokes were all the same size...of course, the double yoker had two.
Pretty neat, right?!? I just had to share that little experiment. Oh, and don't you just love the bowls? They are from my beloved ironstone collection.

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are.  Thanks so much for stopping by...I hope to see you again soon.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and am so excited. Even though I am a Texan, for some reason I love New England (probably due to decades of viewing "This old House"), gardening, sewing, new construction made to look old, thrifting, mothering, listening to classical music, etc. What fun this is!


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