The August Garden

It’s 76° outside right now! A couple of days ago at this time it was a toasty 104°. Not only that, but there’s rain. It’s just been drizzling most of the time, but it still came out to an inch here yesterday and more is on its way.

That’s why this weekend I needed to throw as many seeds as possible into the moist garden beds to prepare for fall. If it gets too hot again (fairly likely), some of them won’t make it, but that’s a risk I have to take.

I bought a couple of packets of carrot seeds from Wheatsville while grocery shopping and pulled out a bunch of leftover seeds from this spring or last fall. Well, except for the turnip seeds which were intended for 2008 and which my mother found somewhere and decided I was the right recipient for.

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Seeds that went into the garden this week

So, without further ado, here’s my garden after living in this house for six months. The pics with all the wilted leaves are from Friday afternoon obviously, when the plants were trying to protect themselves from the heat.

Cucumber Variety Bed

This bed has not just a few cucumber seeds planted, but also nasturtiums, watermelon radishes, Jaune Du Doubs carrots, and a couple of broccoli. That may be too much to plant in this little bed, but I really wanted to get more things in the ground. And my experience with carrots is that they take many months to grow so they’ll probably wait to grow until I get rid of everything else.

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Future cucumber bed

The smaller cucumber bed that I prepared recently seems to be doing well enough. I’ll have to thin some out yet again. It’s always painful to see plants go in the compost, but it’s the recommended way for plants to have room to thrive.

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Baby cucumber plants, wilted in the summer sun

And right next to that, not worth it’s own topic is the yellow squash bed. More accurately, it’s the pile of dirt that I stuck some squash seeds into a couple of weeks ago when there was rain forecast. We’ll see whether or not I can still get a decent-sized squash from my yard.

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Yellow summer squash

Variety Bed #2

Unfortunately, the dirt in these new beds has dried up a bit since the summer harvest. I need to figure out how to start getting my mulch on. You can see a volunteer pumpkin vine growing in the corner of variety bed #2. This bed now has seeds for radishes, turnips, spinach, and a corner patch of lettuce.

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A place for vegetables

Melons

This is the same melon bed I’ve had all summer. Only now, I threw in a couple of seeds for Paris Market carrots because I read melons and carrots make fine companion plants and they should start really growing around the time I get those melons out of the way. That is, unless I have to tear up the whole bed to get the melons out.

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Melon vines still everywhere!

I tried looking very carefully for melons Friday and was surprised to discover what looks like an almost-ready cantaloupe. I’ll be keeping a close eye on that!

In the newer small canary melon bed, it looks like the plants are ready to be thinned again. There’s no telling if they’ll have time to produce this year.

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Canary melon vines

Lemons

Well, no, there aren’t any lemons yet. I planted this tree from a seed less than two years ago so there are still years to wait. But look how leafy and green it’s getting. I’m excited already. Do baby trees need to be pruned at all though? I’m wondering after seeing just how much it’s leaning after the rain.

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The Meyer Lemon tree at 21 months

Bell Pepper

No signs of any fruit, but it’s still hanging in there.

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Bell pepper wilting its leaves to avoid peak heat

Peas

Finally, I soaked and planted the peas from last spring and planted them in their own little plot. Unlike last spring’s peas, these will be in my own backyard so I can closely monitor them and pick them at perfect ripeness.

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The pea plot

Gratitude Journal #4

I’m grateful to have clean running water, for the amazing social powers of the internet, for having a comfortable bed to sleep in every night. But here are just a few other things I’d like to call out this month.

My Mom

For many reasons, but in this case because she let me borrow her loppers. These trees were covered with poison ivy and virginia creeper, but after a couple of sessions with the loppers attacking the lower vines, the poison ivy leaves above have shriveled up and died.

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So many trees! 🙂

This mouse

Because it’s cute. I pass by this construction site every day on my way from work. As soon as I approach, this little guy darts off to hide. Not sure if it’s the same mouse or if I’ve seen many different ones, but if so they’re all cute. It draws my attention away from the ugly parking garages recently built.

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Construction-site mouse

The squirrel that ate my melon

One day I was sitting by my bedroom window staring out into the garden when I noticed some quick movements in the melon patch. It was a squirrel engaging in a most curious behaviour. It would quickly stand up tall, look around in every direction, and then crouch back down again, and was doing this repeatedly.

There was something yellowish in its hands. And then in its mouth. The squirrel somehow knew that the treasure it had found doesn’t normally appear on its own, and that its rightful owner might come to claim it. It looked all around but didn’t see me, all the while chomping and chewing away guiltily.

I hadn’t noticed a melon outside earlier, but sure enough when I went outside to check (after the squirrel had left) there was a canary melon sitting there under some vines and weeds. I don’t believe squirrels should ever have to feel guilty about anything. I took the melon from the patch and placed it in a clear area where the squirrel could return and eat guilt-free.

And it did.

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Squirrel-damaged canary melon

Mother Nature

Because she rewards those who share.

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Another melon in the making