38 Pounds Of Pumpkin

The title says it all:


Even though we only got one, it tops last years biggest by 6 pounds. Driveway pumpkins FTW.

We got tons of yellow squash and zukes as usual, had to rip the plants out as the recent rains brought on a big swell of powdery mildew. The fresh new bed will get covered with plastic to grow some turnips (we hope). 3 of 4 cucumber plants died, but the remaining one went nuts, have over a dozen jars of pickles as well as provided fresh cukes for salads all summer. The bean patch gave up approx. 20 pounds of green beans, and there is one more batch on the vine as we speak. The artichoke plant gave us 9 artichokes, and we left the 10th one to flower. Tomatoes…well, we’re trying to ripen them inside. We’ll see how that goes. Tons of them, so if it works, we’re good to go…if not, I don’t know. Brussel sprouts did fair, decorative gourds have put out 3 gourds on the vine. I’m just going to let them sit on the fence and do whatever they do. Peppers produced, but very small. Next year they get the plastic from the start. Strawberries were good, radishes were good, and the fruit trees gave me about 5 small apples. Not bad for just planting them.

Let’s see how our first Fall/Winter garden goes…

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Lets Grow…

The garden is finally going good, after what seems like an eternity of wondering if the sun and heat would ever show in 2010. Besides everything being about 30 days behind, and almost have reconciled that the pepper yields will be nil, everything is going great.

Here is the beginning of the year:

…and here it is now:

We’ve already been enjoying strawberries, artichokes, cauliflower, squash, radishes, and zucchini. Waiting on the beans, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Pumpkins are doing well, 4 softball sized ones on the vine with numerous smaller ones which I’m sure I should have cut off by now. The watermelons everyone said would never grow are 4 inches round and growing every day. Cukes are on the vine, and harvest of first batch is probably a week out at the most. I even planted some decorative gourds that everyone said would flop…and they took over our fenceline. Tomatoes are EVERYWHERE on the vine…when they hit, I’m due for a bit of work storing them all. The pepper plants are budding, but I fear their small size will make for an uneventful yield. No matter, we’ll see what happens.

Fall garden is being planned right now!

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I Need Sunshine, On a Cloudy Day

We’ve been busy at TacomaHome. We refinanced the ol’ girl, but the money man said she needed paint before we did so. Thing is, we were going to use the money from missing a house payment at re-fi time to pay for it. Oh well. We did a lot of the work ourselves, then had a friend come in and spray it and do the trim. Still expensive, but we barely did it in time to, in fact, miss one payment to pay for it. Whew.

Other than that, the gardens have been yearning for that big orange ball of light in the sky. We’re finally getting some good signs:



We’ve been putting out a lot of strawberries, but they get eaten before the camera comes out. Planted the pole beans, they’re all about 3 inches high currently. The zukes and some squash were already getting powdery mildew (!), so they’ve been cut back to see if anything can be salvaged. Tomato plants are all finally taking off. Peppers and Cucumbers are all stalled out. Pumpkins seem to be going off. Hops are doing rather nicely. Melons are stalled, but these weird decorative gourd things are doing well. A big sigh as we wait for that blast of continuous sunlight!

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More Groundstuffs

Over the weekend, into the ground went seeds of:
* Sugar Baby Watermelons (I have to try)
* Hale’s Best Canteloupe (ditto)
* crookneck summer squash
* yellow zucchini

I also transplanted the 2 bell pepper starts, and 2 Tettnanger hop plants I thought died off last year, which apparently did not. My bean/pea beds are still bare as I have not found the time to empty the old beds, move them, and refill due to the bullshit morning glory of death that is overthrowing my fenceline. FU, morning glory. F. U.

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First Strawberries

While watering, I spied with my little eye the first strawberries of the season. If you squint, you can see some of the flowers have turned to fruit:



The strawberry pot (6 plants), the strawberry ‘trough’ (4 plants), and the strawberry barrel (9 plants) are all bearing new fruits. Strawberries rule because they make you feel like you’re doing something right.

Final freak storm damage came to one pumpkin death, one tomato plant seems like it’s on death row (but we’re seeking a pardon), and everything else is looking like it’s going to make a full recovery. The cukes look like they’re gonna ‘push out’ the damaged part of the leaves, so I’m glad the sun came when it did. No seeds got planted, but we’re counting on this weekend (have to move an ENTIRE bed due to morning glory refusal to just fucking die already).

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Parking Strip Orchard

So we got thru the freak winter storm recently (wind? hail? chilling temps?). I think a lot of our small stuff did not fair too well. Last April it was in the high 50’s to low 60’s, sunny all the time. We shall see as finally some good weather is here (sowing seeds this weekend).

What’s new is our ‘parking strip orchard’. Two self-pollinators, one cherry, one apple. Our strip is larger than most, about 16 feet from sidewalk to curb. These should top out at 15-18 feet tall if all goes well. Both were snagged from the very awesome Portland Avenue Nursery.

The apple has 5 varieties:

The cherry tree has 4 varieties:

The paint marks our from our pals at Call Before You Dig. We requested free locates over the interwebs, most were done the next day, the last one was done the day after.
Anyhoo, we hope to keep dressing up the strip, it’s very barren and lame. Lots of neighbors stopped by as we planted. Updates soon.

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New Raised Beds

New bed along the fence line, and the four new 4×4 beds. You can peep the new compost barrel in the back by the gate…it’s now cooking up a new batch. Flowers are going in the ends of the two planter benches, as well as the two hanging baskets on the green bench.

By the by…if anyone needs a kids pool ladder, it’s sitting in front of our house for free.

By the other by…if anyone wants a free pine tree with tons of Tacoma history (was at Lorenzo’s {now the space where masa is}…then was in Engine House #9’s courtyard…then was dropped off by an arborist friend at my house because we couldn’t just toss it out), lemme know thru the comments and I’ll tell ya where to pick it up as well. I’m sure it’s rootbound, but you could re-pot it in a bigger pot, or just plant it in your yard.

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