As promised, a lot has happened recently in the garden.  The biggest change…..the corn….is gone.  We had somewhere in the neighborhood of 360 corn plants each with between 2 and 4 ears of corn.  Now, all that’s left is a tiny, tiny fraction of that.  Say hi to everyone’s favorite garden pest…the rat.  Upper left is what the corn planter looks like now while upper right is what the typical damage looked like.  It gnawed through the husk of the ears of corn and ate about a quarter of an ear on each one.  Traps are out and set, but thus far no luck.  Additionally nothing else in the garden has been touched.  Great shame because the corn was successfully growing (unlike last year) and we were going to have a load of sweet corn to share with my readers.  We’ll be planting again soon to try once again.

In other interesting news we harvested our carrots today.  Upper left is the haul.  Keep in mind that there is nothing to reference for scale and most of these carrots are between 1 and 3 inches in length.  Nothing huge, but still quite a nice little harvest.  We’ll be seeding again soon to try for a fall harvest.  Upper right is a picture of what happens when you plant carrots too close together.  Carrot seeds are tiny and hard to evenly space.  You’re supposed to thin them when they come out of the ground, which we obviously didn’t do quite well enough.  Interesting effect though.

Upper left are the newly emerging green bean plants.  You’ll recall they were planted during the previous update.  You’ll also notice a new layer of straw on several of the beds.  With the weather getting so hot and dry some mulch becomes helpful for more than just weed control.  Mulch will also prevent water loss and help keep the root zone cooler, conserving water by preventing the need for additional watering.  It also protects some vegetables and fruits (watermelon, pumpkins, etc.) from rotting due to sitting on wet soil.  Upper right shows our red onions.  Still not quite red, but coming along nicely.  Again, these were planted too close together and may eventually hinder their growth.  Only time will tell.

Upper left, our largest watermelon.  For scale, you can see a smaller watermelon towards the bottom right.  It is roughly the size of a softball, so obviously this one is quite large.  Believe it or not, this one also managed to hide from us until only a couple weeks ago despite it’s size.  Upper right are our pumpkins.  The plant looks like it’s suffering, but it isn’t.  For any of you that have ever been to one of those pick-your-own pumpkin patches you know that the pumpkin vine always seems to look partially dead when it’s time to harvest.  Unfortunately these pumpkins aren’t going to make it on the vine until October (we’ve already picked one).

More to come in the coming weeks as the garden will gradually begin to shift from a spring/summer garden to a fall/winter one.  I’ll be trying my best to keep up better with the updates.  We’re still harvesting loads of produce every week with more on the way.  Along with lots of cherry, roma, and heirloom tomatoes we’re still getting lots of cucumbers, zucchini, and squash we just had our first ripe honeydew and our first few bell peppers.  We’re also starting to see flowers and fruit on our raspberry vine which will be getting attached to the iron fence around the patio as soon as it’s large enough.  Until next week…

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