My Growing Challenge Update~July

My garden is really doing nicely this year. We’ve had quite a bit of rain in the mid-atlantic region. My folks who live on the Eastern Shore of MD haven’t had rain for at least three weeks. Mom said that she finally pulled some tiny quater sized beets the other day for dinner. My beets have been delicious and yesterday I had a good tennis ball size! We’ve been eating them nearly every meal. I love fresh beets. I’m afraid there won’t be any left for fermenting….oh well. 🙂

I found an unwelcome guest in my garden yesterday. Deer ticks!!!!!! Well, you know how I feel about them. I believe they were actually on my beet tops. I saw a little tiny speck on my shirt and thought it was dirt, but it was moving. This is the tiniest I’ve seen yet. It was smaller than the head of a pin like a speck of pepper! I crushed it with a rock. Also when I was rinsing the beet tops I saw another go down the drain. Please, please be very careful and aware of them. Their bite can be deadly! Or it can leave you lifeless and wishing you were dead! Here’s a picture of the latest one that was on my hip. Oh and by the way Lyme Disease is in every state and on 7 continents! Don’t be deceived by the CDC, it is “incurable” if not caught very, very, very early on after the bite. However, I am a living miracle, I am nearly 100% recovered. Praise God!

OK, on with the garden challenges. Mine this year was to grow some different plants from seed indoors. I’d never had any success with this, but this year I did. My greatest challenge was the peppers. I planted Sweet Italian Peppers and Hot Hungarian Peppers. After months or maybe just one month of trying to get the seed to germinate, they came up. They grew indoors by my south facing window and did fine….until I put them in the ground. Then they just sat there and didn’t grow. So I transplanted them yet again to a better bed with more room to stretch out. Ah, they are growing. They are still small but they are doing just fine.

As you can see, the store bought organic Jalepeno is bigger, but I’m really pleased that they are alive! Now I know where the term “late bloomer” comes from. Late Bloomers are just fine in my book.

Another angle, with my crow pans. The pans and eyeball have worked. That’s for sure another of my Growing Challenges….keeping the crows out.

What’s left of my corn after the crows picked through it, is finally tasseling…..maybe corn by July 4??? Maybe.

My bed of Butter Beans and Tomatoes. The Marigolds are so lush and lovely. I planted them early, actually in April and they are doing much better than the ones I didn’t get in until May.

This is my first year growing Tomatillo’s. They are so cool! Like little lanterns hanging in the garden.

My volunteer Zinnia’s growing along side the onions and leeks.

Also another Growing Challenge…look at them onions!

And leeks too!

After I ordered these we figured Honey is allergic to Tyramine…that includes onions! YIKES! I’m going to have to find a way to eat all these!

Another Growing Challenge, I am growing vertical this year. Everything that can go up is going up to save space! These are my cucs.

Even my watermelon plants are growing UP! I strung string for them to climb. Then I’ll use pantyhose, (because there’s no other purpose for them in my book), to hang them in and tie them to the trellis. 😀

I’m so happy. I think this is a volunteer Mullein in my herb bed.

My herb bed is blooming full speed ahead now.

Another Growing Challenge. I started Borage from seed and it’s really growing! All the perennials that I got at Alloway Herb Farm are doing great.

Borage

Beautiful volunteer Zinnia! I love the delicate center of these hardy flowers.

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I Love Bird Houses

Larkspur

This spring has been a lovely time here at Peaceful Acres. I’ve seen so many varieties of birds on our property. I was just hanging the laundry out and I’m not sure what kind of bird it is, but it sings to it’s hearts content, always making me smile at it’s joy. On my mowathons, which is happening again today, I’ve seen bluebirds, purple martins, yellow finch, cardinals, sparrows, robins, hawks, and of course that ole nasty crow. I found the neighbor who put up a purple martin house. I’m going to put some up this year. The American Indians used gourds to house purple martins. They kept the crows out of the gardens! My ever gazing eyeball seems to be working for now. Beautiful it’s not, but it works.

I love birdhouses. My blind dad, built me a bunch. I’ve

painted a couple and they just sit here and there. The ones in the trees always have visitors every year.

It’s just about boom time for the garden. My mom dug her potatoes already and as you can see my potaotes are starting to wilt. My mom & dad have been gardeners my entire life. Dad just turned 79 the other day and I’m realizing that all the things I need to know, I better find answers to now. He’s not been doing well lately and I know that “it is appointed unto man to die once.” So, I’m in the asking phase of life….making sure that when our parents pass, we don’t have any unanswered questions. I think in part it’s my age. You know how young people are….they know it all. They just don’t seem to think older folks know a thing. Then when you get older you KNOW you don’t know it all and are willing to listen to those wiser. One thing that I really hate is when you are trying to give an ounce of advice/knowledge to another and all they can say is, “I KNOW”. Well, you don’t!  There’s always something someone can teach us.   Scriptures says, that “gray hair is a sign of wisdom.” That’s why I don’t color mine! 😀

My onions are doing nicely.

Potatoes starting to wilt.

The green beans are coming on slowly. I eat them as fast as they are growing when I go down to the garden for a visit.

The picked through corn is doing great, and the eyeball seems to be working.

Tomatillas are growing.

I’m going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes! They should be ready in a couple of weeks. My mom said that around here she always goes by July 4th for her time table. July 4th is the last time she feeds her tomatoes, it’s when she harvests her potatoes and it’s when she’ll plant more potatoes and it’s usually when she has her first tomato. We’re a bit colder on this side of the shore and we seem to lag a couple weeks behind my folks. I did feel under the soil and I’ve got some nice size potatoes ready. I’ll wait till the plants die off some more before I dig them up.

I’m Watching You!

My garden has gone from being a place of beauty and tranquility to being a place of eyeballs! The crow problem has pushed me to extreme measures. I purchased these ugly yellow beach balls that have big eyes on them. They were $10 each! They better work!!! I’m hoping since I’ve got this 24/7 security watching out for the crows I won’t have to. I even hung pie tins hoping that they would scare off the crows too. I dug around in the dirt where I planted the corn and sure enough they picked more than 50% of my corn out of the ground!!! I’m going to replant today. I know it will be a very late crop but now that I’ve got my eye on the ball, well, I’m hoping for some delicious sweet corn. What would Maryland be like in the summer without Blue Crabs and Corn on the Cob?

Giant Eyes are watching

One hung in the Cherry Tree

One hung in the Apple Tree

More Garden Pictures

Watermelons are up

Cantaloupes are up.

Cuc’s are up.

My Borage & Sage that I started from seed this winter. This was my first “Growing Challenge”.

Nasturtiums among the carrots.

My friend at Sycamore Spring Farm and I are always swaping plants and other stuff. These are the heirloom onions she gave me. They grow their own “babies” on the tops. And what’s so cool is that the baby is growing more babies. Then these will be my onion sets next summer. Cool! That’s the whole idea of heirloom plants. You can save the seed from year to year. Below is an old lettuce plant that grew in the isle from seeding last year. I’m going to try and figure out how to save these seeds as well as the spinach.

Lettuce growing from seeding last year. Now starting to already go to seed. For those new to gardening….this is what’s called, “bolted”. See how it has spikes…grew out of control…it’s bolted.

Beets doing well.

Carrots doing great! I thinned them early and it’s a good thing, they are so lush!

Pole Beans are in bloom.

Perennials I purchased at Alloway Creek Herb Farm are blooming.

Ca Poppies I started from seed are blooming.

Me in my cute new skirt and pretty pink crocks, enjoying it all here at Peaceful Acres!

“Better is one day in the courts of my God, than a thousand else where.   I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked…..no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

Psalm 84:10,11b

My New Growing Challenge~Crows!

My trusty guard owl on the fence.

My growing challenge for this week is those DangBum Crows!!! I’ve been gardening since I was knee high to a grasshopper and I’ve never had crows! I’m not sure if it’s because our property now is grown and there are more places for the to roost???? I don’t know, but I do know they are a pain in my backside.

Poor corn

They have torn havoc on my corn and now they seem to think my little tiny pepper plants are for their pleasure also. If you remember, I started these peppers indoors this winter….my first growing challenge. Then it took forever, but they got in the ground. And, I’m not sure why, but these peppers just aren’t growing much, so they’ve gotten lots of TLC. Then I transplant them to a bigger space so they can reach out to the sun and grow. That’s when the crows came by and pulled a couple out of the soil. No, they didn’t eat them. They left them to die. 😦 They come in and bomb the plastic owl that’s perched there to protect my garden. It’s when I see Mr. Owl knocked over that I know the crows have been back.

I strung string around my little plants to give the crows a visual illusion!

It is working for the corn now….but it’s too late for the corn.

My tiny little pepper.

I finally bought a Jalapeño because I’m afraid when it’s time for Salsa, my little guys would still be growing.

Other than the crows everything else is growing splendidly! I’m very pleased with my little garden! 😀

Ariel view from the top of some cinder blocks.

The spinach is done. I saved one plant to try and salvage seeds. I’ve never done that, so here’s another Growing Challenge.

Spinach Seed Head

Beautiful bag of greens. They have been so good this year! I really love young kale.

Hair cuts for everyone. All the greens got cut off. They keep putting out though.

My last planting (3rd) of pole beans are really doing great. I think it’s the soil, they really are booming and I got the string up not a day too soon. They are grabbing for it and climbing.

My tomatoes are staked well. I have to keep them tied or they’ll take over the entire space.

Almost all my tomatoes are from volunteer seeds, only three were purchased from Cooks Garden.

Full beds means NO weeds!

My newest herb garden. The sage I started from seed are doing great as well as the borage.

The little fence is to keep the “Toto” dog Lady out. Even though she still manages to get in!

I tried casting lots of herb seeds on the soil this year. Not much produced though. I did get lovely Ca Poppies and I think these are Echinacea Purpurea. Does anyone know? I’ve had to wait on the weeds to grow, because I can identify them by site….but not herb seedlings.

My potatoes are really doing swell! They are big and I haven’t had a one potato bug!

Now lets pray there are potatoes under that ground!!! 😀

My Growing Challenge

Thyme

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for so long about The Growing Challenge. I guess with R&R, I plum ran out of time. Today as I was mowing our 5 acres, which if I can brag a bit, I made record time on my John Deere~48″ mower; 3.5 hrs. That’s some serious circles! 🙂 As I ran past the garden while mowing I stuck my neck out for a look….it’s been so rainy here, that I haven’t been out. Boy things are growing and the joy with raised beds is there’s practically NO weeding….did you get that, NO WEEDING!!!! BUT those dangbum crows have plucked out most of my corn that was up and they’re picking in the soil for my seed. How on earth do they know what’s planted there?????? Stupid crows. I’ve got the BB Gun loaded, cocked and ready to shot!!! 😉

This is my first yr growing onions and leeks and they are looking lovely.

My little Jalapeño.

Dag…my tatters are looking great.

Man!

My pole beans are growing up the twine nicely.

Cabbage looking good.

Beautiful Greens and Lettuce that we are totally enjoying!

Here is a new bed that we bought top soil for $30 yd and it is as hard as a rock. I tried to add compost to it, but it just can’t be worked. The other beds we got top soil for $12 yd and it was great. Honey’s taking this out and going to get some cheap stuff. Boy, they get ya coming and going.

Here’s another growing challenge. I’ve never grown CA Poppies from seed and they look really great!

The real challenge for me this yr was starting seeds indoors and it went very well. Just about everything survived. EXCEPT those beautiful Sweet Potatoes…..they just couldn’t handle it here in my garden. I don’t think I’ll try again. We don’t really have the soil for it and it was too much trouble. It was fun growing them in the jars and finding out what a slip was, other than the one I’m wearing! 😉

This is my Cherry Tomato that I started by seed.

This is the same seed as a volunteer. Does anyone know why it’s leaves look different?

My tomatoes that I started indoors is doing splendid. Compared to the ones that are volunteers they are prettier. The Tomatios are looking good too. The Jalepeno are a little small still. All the peppers that I started indoors are very small. I’m not sure why, but I’m hoping they don’t take the same route as the Sweet Potatoes!

I do love this time of year and I’m so glad to be well. Praise the One and only One who is able to heal. Jesus! He has brought me out of the pit of destruction and set my feet on a rock and put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to my God, many will see and fear and put their trust in Him! Jesus is God, and He is healing me.

Look who came home to shoot him some crows!!! 😉 Crow Pie!