Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 7/1/13

Well, June is over – and I completed the 2013 Blogathon, posting every day for 30 days! I didn’t think I was going to make it – with work and garden and putting up harvests – but I did it. Again, thanks to all of you for coming with me on the journey. A lot happened at the homestead this week. Storms were a major part of this week – and more are coming over the next couple of days. I’ve been trying to re-apply fungicide to my tomatoes, but the rain is preventing me – all the while, increasing the spread of the spores. sigh On the bright side, we realized this week that the baby bluebirds in my birdhouse have hatched. My “Garden Wilson” told me he saw one of the babies stick his head out of the house to receive a worm from Mama this morning. As soon as one of us can get a picture, I’ll post it! And more good news: we have another family in the yard.  

WHAT’S NEW:

In my last bluebird update, I mentioned Papa bluebird protecting his young from a mockingbird. That mockingbird has been exceptionally aggressive. Well, this weekend, we found the reason why. I have a mockingbird nest in my white crepe myrtle tree (the one in the picture above). GW (Garden Wilson) saw the babies stick their heads up when Mama flew off, but they weren’t visible when I took this picture. (I hope I can see my yard babies before they grow up and fly away!)

Mockingbird nest

Mockingbird nest

Speaking of the crepe myrtle tree, my white one is in bloom. (The pink ones usually follow a couple of weeks later.) The blooms are gorgeous, and I have little white petals all over the yard.

Crepe myrtle flower

Crepe myrtle flower

FRUITING:

My mini red bell peppers are turning red and I expect to pick a couple this afternoon.

Mini red bell peppers

Mini red bell peppers

I finally have one tiny, tiny rocoto pepper starting.

Rocoto pepper

Rocoto pepper

I have new melons, and growing melons! I think my lemon drop melon has doubled in size since last week. (See last week’s picture.)

Lemon drop melon

Lemon drop melon

Look at the change in my tigger melon! (See last week’s picture.) When it’s ripe, it’ll be reddish orange and yellow.

Tigger melon

Tigger melon

I lost one of my cantaloupes; it shriveled up for some reason. But my other one is growing. (See last week’s picture.)

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe

Right after I posted last week’s update, I found a tiny red watermelon. Here’s how it looked this weekend.

Red watermelon

Red watermelon

And I finally have a tiny casaba melon.

Casaba melon

Casaba melon

Still no new white watermelons; the plant has been struggling to grow after that vine got pinched (and the watermelon fruit died). But I do have flowers, so I expect new fruit soon.

I lost six more tomatillos (a total of 12 now). I thought it was the storm, but we opened the husks and it looks like something is eating them close to the stems. Maybe that’s why they’re falling off. I’ve got some research to do!

HARVESTS:

I harvested quite a bit of cucumbers, pepperoncini, tomatoes, peppers, lima beans, and raspberries this week. Here are a few highlights.

It took me over an hour to harvest one bed of lima beans, but it was worth it. (And I still have more pods on the plant!) Here’s the harvest (along with the raspberries picked that day.)

Lima bean & Raspberry harvest ~ June 29, 2013

Lima bean & Raspberry harvest ~ June 29, 2013

Speaking of raspberries, I’ve been picking this much every day for close to ten days now. I see raspberry preserves in the near future!

Raspberry harvest ~ June 26, 2013

Raspberry harvest ~ June 26, 2013

How about this wild looking pickling cucumber?

Wild pickling cucumber

Wild pickling cucumber

Thankfully, I’ve been harvesting lots of tomatoes, despite the leaf spot. This weekend, I made homemade tomato sauce with my own tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. It was heavenly!

Ripe tomatoes in my kitchen

Ripe tomatoes in my kitchen

That’s a lot of tomatoes, and my counter is filled with them again after two more days of harvesting. I am NOT complaining!

So, what’s going on in your garden?

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