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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer is a Comin' In

... and it arrived, overnight, with a rise to highs in the 80s.  whew.

I am hoping that on days when I can get into the garden early, that I will be able to continue through the day through the heat.  That's what happened, yesterday, when I was able to get the last of the tomatoes, all of the peppers and the herbs that had been languishing on the porch out into the garden.

Fence over cardboard mulch
As an aside, the tomatoes and peppers are planted through cardboard mulch, with old fence sections currently holding the cardboard in place. As the table tomato plants grow, I will raise the top of the fence and stake it in place at about a 60 degree angle, for the plants to continue to grow through. And I will use the fence as a support, tying plants as needed to keep the fruit off the ground. I lost a LOT last year to ground rot and ground dwelling bugs. 
Close-up of baby tomato plant
The sauce tomatoes don't grow nearly as tall, but also need some sort of support. I am plotting to just raise the fence sections a bit off the ground, using pieces of 4x4, blocks, bricks or whatever I have on hand... just enough for the plants to drape their branches over the slats and keep the fruit up and dry. 
Peppers just need cardboard for
weed control

The peppers don't need support, but I had the fences there and need something to hold the cardboard down, so they got the same treatment. 
Today, though, coming home from my stint in town a mid-day and having to dig through the garage to find boxes of shorts, summer dresses and tank tops while wearing my work attire (the previous single tank top, pair of shorts... now with extra cooling via a rip in the butt... and summer dress that I brought in for "unexpected" warm days were all on the line) kinda kicked my butt. So no garden for me today.

Hex painting was the order of the day, with a custom 4' sign on the table.

I have signed up with an online farmers market out of the nearby town of Dover-Foxcroft and will be attending their physical market on  Saturdays for a bit, at least. I hear through the grapevine that eggs have been lacking at the market, but unlike the previous sales venue -- a buyers club -- I can specify how many I have in the online stock page and can set aside ones for us to put by for winter.

Hopefully I will have some lettuce to bag for them this week as well.

I am frustrated by the lack of seedlings in my beet and carrot rows, but have stock to replant, which I shall after giving them all a good soaker watering and waiting a few days. Peas, spinach, potatoes are up, the onions and leeks are hanging on (need side dressing) and it's time to get some blood meal on the garlic. I will see about picking some up on Tues as we have been unable to find that which I thought I had.

Corn and beans and the vine crops are not showing yet, and I am frustrated by the cardboard in the vine area, which refused to stay put (to its credit I must say we did have some higher than typical winds) so will need to be replaced -- with the holes in the board matched up with the emerging seedlings -- once they show themselves. Puzzle time...

Physically, I am feeling more pain than usual. Cutting cardboard holes hurt, walking to and from the gardens hurts, etc. but it is still better than not. I do need to take times inside in between projects to rest the knees though.

Red rangers meat birds have been allowed to forage much of the day and have, thus far, stayed away from the garden. I have more coming early in July, so these guys will begin going to freezer camp in a couple of weeks. The few remaining layer babies should be going out into a chicken tractor soon. I just need to make them one then we will be minus indoor fowl for a few weeks.

Next project is a good cleaning of the bunny cages (including burning off the excess crud and hair that I cannot easily remove by other means) and moving them into the back room. this is the first stage of turning the current "living room" into a studio and the current computer room into the den.
And, of course, there is the front door project that we need to complete. Pix should follow at some point.

And, so, all is well as we approach summer solstice and the turn of the wheel to shorter days.