Garden Musings in August

024The zinnias and marigolds have grown fabulously this summer! Too bad the vegetables didn’t do as well as they have.  How do you like the zinnia that looks like a birthday cake with candles? 027

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Can’t complain too much, though, as the potatoes and garlic did very well.  We got about 2 bushels of potatoes.  Tomatoes have done okay, producing enough so we could enjoy a daily tomato, but not enough to can or share with friends.  We froze a few carrots and green beans but have not had the nice problem of being overrun by them.  The squash and pumpkin plants all died off from fungus and squash bugs.  A few beets and kale plants appeared; I used them in our “green drinks” made with the Magic Bullet.  Still getting a few green beans now as well as tomatoes, green peppers and lettuce.  Melon tiggers are doing well but the squirrels are raiding them too! I’ve put chicken wire cages around the melons hoping we’ll get a few for ourselves.

Melon tiggers! Grew this for the first time. Fragrant little 1-pound melons.
Melon tiggers! Grew these for the first time. Fragrant little 1-pound melons.

The 6 apple trees produced lots of apples but the squirrels raided the trees and ate them ALL before they were even ripe! Everything I tried to deter them didn’t work.  What did I try? I hung fresh garlic in the branches and around the trees, put barbed wire and chicken fencing traps underneath the trees, hung noisy things from the branches, and wrapped crinkly feed sacks around the trunk and branches.  Will be searching for other solutions….besides shooting them.

One thing that has been such a blessing this garden season is there have not been many grasshoppers!  Absolutely no plague this year! For three years in a row they demolished everything, even tree leaves and bark.  By the end of August it is not uncommon in our area to have grasshoppers seeking to finish off drying up vegetation but not all summer long as we experienced in the last three years.

Grasshopper resting on a zinnia........
Grasshopper resting on a zinnia……..

With all the work digging, planting, weeding and watering, I must say it has been a good season after all.  My dream of having so much produce that I could share with others in need didn’t happen this year, but maybe next year!

For the love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness – Gertrude Jekyll