Friday, June 28, 2013

Summertime Heat is Upon Us

 We're baking here in Broomfield with a high yesterday of 96. Should be close to the same today. I did all my gardening early, as usual, and now it's time to focus on the inside list of things to do.

  A lot has happened since I last wrote. The garden is growing nicely. Unfortunately, my husband, Bob has a mysterious conditionHis whole right leg is numb and the doctors are still trying to figure out the cause of the numbness. He’s had difficulty walking without help. We got him a cane but that wasn’t enough. Yesterday the rollator came that we ordered. It’s like a walker with wheels. It’s wonderful how it’s helped his mobility. He feels better so I feel better. Since we don’t know what we’re dealing with yet, we’re just taking it one day at a time. He did have blood work done and it’s fine so that’s good. I worried that it might be an autoimmune disease, but it appears that is not the case. He did have an MRI and it did show some minor things that might be causing the problem. They also did injections for diagnostic reasons. He has more feeling in the leg since they did the injections. So now the doctors are trying to pinpoint the cause so we can start the process of getting better.

 As you might imagine, I’ve been busy taking care of Bob and the house and garden. I did want to catch up a bit today since the garden has grown so much. I just had to take a little time to share in the progress.

  We’ll be eating stir-fry on the grill tonight! I picked a lot of snap peas this morning.
I planted more this year than last so we’ll be getting lots of big harvests! We love to do stir-fry on the grill in my cast iron skillet. It’s so healthy with a wide range of veggies and we usually throw in some left over meat from the night before. Like tonight we’ll be eating the left over steak from last night with lots of snap peas, zucchini, onions, carrots, 3 colors of sweet peppers and mushrooms.A splash of soy sauce as it cooks and it tastes perfect. Yum, I can almost smell it now.

  The peas are the only veggie we’ve harvested so far this year, however the plants are all full of blossoms so it won’t be long. This is a good size bowl and it's nearly half full. Just one days picking!!

The cucumbers are spreading out and some are climbing the trellis. They have masses of blooms so, like last year, we’ll be eating them daily. I love to pick them when they’re about 8” long. The skin is so tender you can eat it with no problem. The skin isn’t bitter yet, like they get when the fruit is big.

 We prefer baby veggies; they are more tender and a pleasure to eat. Besides the more you pick the more your plant will produce. A lesson learned while growing up in Fort Collins, CO. We had a large garden and I had to weed a few rows every day before I could go have fun. Now I happily spend several hours, every morning, in the garden. 

The lilies are in bloom.I got these for a couple dollars in the clearance isle at Lowe's a couple years ago. I always look there first. The lilies started out in a small container. Now they've spread out after being planted in the ground. This is their second summer in this spot. I'll probably separate them and spread them around this fall. They grow so fast, I love it! 

  Look how big the tomatillos have grown! Lots of blooms here too. The blackberry behind it are getting new branches. All of the blackberry plants are getting new growth, even the scrawny one. Here it is below.
I hope to plant all these blackberry plants as well as the blueberry bushes in our own yard someday. Until then they can grow in these pots.

The tomato plants are getting tall with some blooms starting to pop out.

The squash has really filled out. Three of them have a strange thing going on. The leaves are brown and curling up. I have clay soil under all that compost. I just did some reading and it seems I may be over watering them. The clay holds the moisture so I'll wait 3 days like it said to do and I'll see if that makes a difference. It did say to look for bugs that have bored in at the base of the plant, leaving a little sawdust looking stuff just under the hole or slit. so I'll look for that first and if there is no indication of the bugs, I'll back off on the water. There is always something to learn in the garden!
I'm still getting used to the rotation of the crops. I got a lot of good deals at Lowe's in the clearance area. 
All the plants in most of the pots around the yard were super cheap. Most are perennials so they'll came back next year. That's a money saver right there.

All the marigolds were being cleared out at the grocery store. I got them for a quarter each! The wave petunias won't come back but they sure put on a nice show.
I was excited to find some plants that I've always wanted, marked down to 2 or 3 bucks each. With some tender loving care and water these plants usually come back. Usually they've missed a watering and look sad. I always put on my glasses and check them for bugs. I won't bring home new bugs to contend with.
  Speaking of bugs. I've got earwigs in my corn! Not good. I came out yesterday and found half of the plant was leaning over. I examined the wound at the bend and all these earwigs crawled out. Yuck! I hate those bugs with their little pincher on their butts. So I'll try to find an organic way to deal with that. The corn is also making tassels and ears and it's only a few ft tall. Strange... heat maybe??
The carrots and celery are looking healthy. I planted potatoes at the other end of this bed so it just looks like soil right now as I just covered some growth. There will be a mound of soil the by the end of the growing season.
I planted grass seed on the last patch that didn't have grass in the back yard. It's coming up nicely. It'll be nice to have grass on the entire back yard, where the garden isn't.
The Astilbe has just started to bloom. It's a plant that loves water, but the show is worth it.
The birdhouse gourds in the blue pots have grown up the trellis and into the tree. I've never grown these successfully so I'm looking forward to some gourds this year.
A new outdoor rug we got for the back porch so Bob can get some air without putting on shoes. I think it's fun and the splash of color is nice.

It's time to cut the veggies for that stir fry!