This week in the garden 8/9/12

Hi Folks,

Well, things are chugging along out it the garden – it will be time to plant fall crops before we know it! So, give some thought to what you may be interested in growing for fall. A few beds are already available for planting and more will come clear as the summer crops end. Anyway, that is the future, and right now there are a few crops that need our attention, so if anyone has time in the next week or so to go out and work on some of the tasks I’ll list below, that would be great. But first,

News:

Watermelons are ready or nearly ready! I risked a test melon of the striped variety and it was ripe. Not the sweetest I’ve had, but definitely ripe. If someone wants to try a Blacktail (the dark green ones) they are probably a more flavorful variety. If the tendril at the base of the stem is dried up, there is a good chance it is ripe. If the test melon isn’t ripe yet, then we know we have to give them a few more days. The corn and the sunflowers have both stood back up after the storm like champs! Can’t wait to see those sunflowers. Some less fortunate news is that the string I got for the tomatoes and things seems to not be lasting as long as usual – some of the older tomato vines are falling because the string is snapping. Usually the string will last a full summer, but be too weathered to use the next year. So, whenever I’m there I try to get these vines back up off the ground. These plants don’t have that much time left, so radical action is not really necessary.

Things we can to do right now (in order of priority):

Finish the pole bean trellis: we need to tie the strings for the last bit of one of the pole bean trellises and train up the beans to the strings – probably using some tomato clips. One thing and another and this part got missed. The beans are healthy, they just need to be picked up off the ground if we want the quality of the beans to be good.
Weed the corn: Thanks to Kearney for doing lots of work in this area already, as well as getting more mulch and mulching the aisles around the sweet potatoes, beans and corn. We can mulch around the corn to help control the weeds over the next couple of weeks, but getting the current weeds out as soon as we can would be a good idea.
Cut back the basil: If we cut back the basil to remove all flowers, we will continue to get fresh leaves until the first frost.
Continue tying up the second tomato planting
Help the climbing green beans grab the string of their trellis: The wind wants to blow the strings a lot – if we can just get the beans to grab, no problem.
Move the fake owl to a new spot if you have time: We are trying the fake owl strategy on the rabbits, and they have been nibbling the climbing green beans (old cuke bed). Moving it around is supposed to be the strategy.

Well, that about wraps it up – don’t forget to harvest while you are there. Things have slowed down a bit, but there are still tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, hot peppers, basil, watermelon(!) and maybe a few cantelope(I’m not sure). Gil and I are heading out tomorrow for the beach and some family visiting for about a week, but I’ll have email if anyone needs anything or has any questions.

Talk to ya’ll soon!

Cheryl

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