Our garden project is still in full swing even though we've had record-breaking heat in Georgia, some days in excess of 100', and a rabbit infestation, so far it's hanging in there.
Some of the pole beans have rebounded from the ravenous rabbits, but some were eaten all the way to the ground. The little varmints even chewed through the guide twine.
This weekend we're planning on planting a second crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, onions, and carrots.
The sunflowers and
zinnias are blooming, so we're attracting more pollinating insects than we were before. Next year, I'm going to plant some annuals so we'll have flowers right away. For a while, when the vegetables first started blooming, we really didn't have enough insects to get good pollination. The squash plants suffered the most. They would bloom then turn brown on the end of the fruit and start to rot. I checked my trusty Georgia gardening book, and sure enough, the flower wasn't pollinated from the beginning. From there on out, I used a feather to cross-pollinate, but I much prefer the bugs do the work.
This is a hyacinth vine. My mother gave me the seeds. These vines were a favorite of Thomas Jefferson.
Photo taken at Monticello,Virginia. in Thomas Jefferson's Garden. by Howard Garrett
This is what they're supposed to look like...I'll keep you posted.
The egg plants are providing plenty of....well, egg plants. The rabbits left them alone, might have something to do with the thorns, either that, or maybe they're like 50% of my house, and don't like egg-plant. Even when it's crisp, smothered with tomato sauce and covered with melted cheese they turn their heads....the kids I mean, I haven't offered any egg-plant Parmigiano to the rabbits. With all the egg-plant I've got, it may come to that.
The pepper plants have done wonderfully. Now that the bugs are doing their job I can give my feather hand a rest. We won't need to plant a second crop of pepper plants. As long as we pick the peppers, they'll keep producing until frost.
The tomatoes are another story. They almost all come into fruit at the same time, so I will plant a second group of plants.
This Roma tomato started itself from seed left over in the ground from last years plant. We have 3 tomato vines that have started from seed naturally. These plants are a good bit behind the store-bought plants I planted in early March.
This cucumber trellis was a design by necessity that I couldn't be happier with. Last year I ended up ripping the cucumber vines out of the ground early because I couldn't stand walking on them anymore, and because the cucumbers were so hard to find under the leaves. I'd miss one and before you knew it, the once firm, green cucumber would turn into a yellow slimy pool of grossness just waiting for me to plop my flip-flop into.
This year I knew if the cucumber vine and I were to coexist in harmony, I had to keep it off the ground. We added a section of fence to train the vine to climb and sure enough, it climbed and climbed. It soon out grew the 6 foot tall fence, so I added another section to the top, and the great arching trellis of cucumber harmony was born.
The top of the arch is about 7 feet from the ground, so it's easy to pick from and easy to walk under without stooping. Plus, bonus...the cucumbers hang down through the fencing just begging to be picked.
I figured if the cucumbers were that happy on the fence, stands to reason the water melons would be too. So far so good. The melons will each get a hammock to grow in, to keep their weight off the vine. The jury's still out on this idea.
I'm hoping we've solved our rabbit problem. Our solution didn't involve fire arms, blood or guts...although I have to admit it crossed my mind. We decided to add an apron of heavy mesh hardware cloth to the bottom of the fencing. Billy's a good problem solver, so when I asked how to keep them from digging under, he decided to bend the hardware cloth at a 90' angle, so there is about a 6 inch border on the ground all around the outside.
Let's hope those diabolical bunnies can't figure out how to pace off 6 inches.
Thanks for checking in on our garden. I'll keep you posted!