Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Awesome Overload

There's so much going on right now. Where do I start?

My old reliable okra is really starting to take off. I stripped all 10 plants of their pods on Sunday to make jambalaya, and was able to pick about 8 more pods this morning. I imagine I'll be making another batch of jambalaya before the week is done.

My second batch of corn for the season is coming along nicely. It's probably just about time to plant another because the family loves fresh sweet corn. 

I've got successful tomatoes and grapes for the first time in years, but I've been fighting off the birds, who want at them too. I've been trying all sorts of tricks (bowls of water, bird netting, paper bags) to fend off the birds. I'll have to write a post about all of the tricks, but so far, covering up the fruit with paper bags is my favorite.

 This might finally be the year that cucumbers and green beans work for me. Fingers crossed!

My zucchini plant is looking good, but the squash keep dying off. So, now I'm going to start experimenting with hand pollinating. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm also trying out cantaloupe for the first time this year. The kid says she loves it, so how could I not grow it?

My attempt last year to order sweet potato slips didn't work out so well, so I tried to create my own this year with the old stick the potato in a jar of water trick. I just planted the slips in the garden today. Hopefully, they will survive the heat.

My first batch of sunflowers for the season are starting to droop and look pretty sad.

But I'm not going to pull it out yet, because it's still attracting bees to pollinate the garden. Also, this may be the year that I actually start saving seeds. Who knows? Sunflowers seems like a good place to start.

As part of my growing obsession to save water, the hubby has constructed a greywater system that takes the "waste water" from our R.O. system (i.e., the system that turns our tap water into filtered drinking water) and dumps it into a bucket instead of pouring it down the drain. I now use that "waste water" to help water my garden. (We plan to write a blog about creating a system like ours. I think it cost about $60 and I'm told it was pretty easy.)

I plan to pair this with ollas to save even more water and also to make sure my plants are getting watered deeply.

The only question really is whether I'll buy them or make them. I have a side-by-side experiment planned with a olla designed for the job vs. a do-it-yourself olla. Depending on the results, I'll determine how to upgrade the garden from there.

The hubby also recently hung a grow light in my office for me. Now that the Arizona summer is really starting to hit, things like my green onions and parsley in the garden have started to languish. Rather than buying them at the grocery store, which is probably shipping them in from far-off locations, I thought it was better to grow them at home. I'm hoping to grow green onions, parsley, cilantro, romaine lettuce, and maybe some baby bell peppers with this setup. Let's see how it goes.

Whew! There's probably more, but that should be enough for now, huh?

How about you? What are you up to this summer?

No comments: