Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May's Garden (2017)

If I could only use one word to describe May's garden, it would be "neglected".  The rain stopped long enough for Bill to get it plowed, half planted, and then the bottom fell out again.  In the mad dash back to the house, all my tools were dropped, and there they have laid, for the rest of the month.  This is the busiest month for my job so everything takes a back seat to work.  Except for picking greens for salads, this morning was the first time in three weeks I have walked out to my garden.  I am over one month behind on everything.

Last year the garden extended behind the beanpole arch to the fence by the field.  This year, it is grown up in weeds.

This is the back fence where previous gardens extended all the way back to the edge.  I had herbs and flowers planted in the deep shade.  It is all weeds now.  Even though we have shrunk the garden in size because the boys are gone, we have concluded, it is still too big for the two of us.

As of today, this is the garden.  The beans in the center rows are doing great. The okra to the left did not germinate well;  I didn't expect much since they were old seeds.  If I had known they were not very viable, I would have just tossed them.  The empty spots will soon be filled with newer seeds.

The rake is still sitting where I dropped it.
To explain why there are always buckets and baskets sitting all around my garden, I throw rocks in them as I am working.  I wish I could say eventually I will get them all, but I have realized, it will never be.  Every time we plow, more come up from the subsoil.

This is the row I tried putting a cover over to avoid bug damage.  It did not work.  A huge storm blew it open and I never had a moment to close it back.  This will be removed and saved for the winter garden. It was worth a try.

Everything is bolting so at least seeds will be harvested.

This area has been plowed but not planted.  

Seedlings are sitting on the porch waiting to be planted in the empty area.

Even with my many failings, there have been successes.  The strawberries are rocking!

This grapevine has sprouted a few feet away from the place where the previous concord grapevine was located before it was killed by fire ants.  Hopefully, it will not be wild but a Concord variety.  We will know soon.

Update:  It was wild grapes so we cut it down.

The compost pile has not let me down.  It is sprouting all types of surprises.  I am not sure what they are, but it will be fun to watch.

This compost tomato plant has already started blooming.  It shows I am least one month behind in getting my garden out.  The tomato plants purchased earlier in the season are still sitting on the porch waiting to be planted.

The bugs have enjoyed my absence by throwing wild parties and picnics. They do not seem to realize how rude it is to invite all their friends over when the grownups are gone. This is what is left of my favorite collard plants after the imported cabbage moths helped themselves, bad neighbors.

Visiting the blooms is acceptable, I am hospitable, but when they decide to leave their eggs everywhere, I get irritated.  The worms hatch out and eat nonstop.

Notice the expression of contempt on her face.  It is hard to see in the picture but she really was snarling at the camera.  This one was pitching a fit, screaming and threatening us because she was not allowed to run (fly) wildly around my plants.  I was not afraid, Bill had her firmly grasped in his hand so I knew I was safe.  Mean moth.

We do not tolerate such behavior in our garden.  My secret weapon is Bill with a squash racquet purchased from a thrift store for $2.99.  He gets out every day on his lunch break and makes a few swings for exercise.  He was ahead in the game until I began working long hours, then he had to stop so he could do all the laundry, dishwashing, cooking...etc.  The moths used this weakness to score in the leaves.  My job is beginning to slow down so I will be joining Bill in the garden soon for a daily game of moth squash!


  1. Sorry to hear you had to let the garden go by the wayside for a while. We've all been there and it's hard to catch-up! From reading other blogs and FB posts, the US is drowning in some places and parched in others....no in between. I hope the sun shines on you soon...and us as well!

    1. Hello Sally, I have not even read the news in weeks and so do not know what is happening. It seems, I get more information from reading my favorite blogs than from any news site. Since I haven't even been able to read, I feel like I am living in the dark ages. All of that will change soon when work slows. The first thing I will do (after laundry, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping...) will be to sit down blog bing.

  2. It seems that cabbage white butterflies are a nuisance in many parts of the world.My countermeasure against these pests is what we call a vegetable net. I have had these synthetic nets for many years and I am so satisfied. No chance for any egg deposition then. Cauliflower is flawless when growing this way.
    You said that you garden is a bit too large for the two of you. My advice, if you allow me to say it, is to plant POTATOES! It is so rewarding and potatoes are very versatile. No great deal of work. I have different sorts, even dark blue French VITELOTTE. But I suppose there are other varieties of potatoes in the US, sorts that suit the different climate zones.
    By the way, I cannot see that your garden is neglected.
    It is a wonderful place.

    1. The vegetable net sounds like a perfect idea. I tried covering with the cloth I used for my winter garden. It was not secured enough and blew off during a storm. I fear by now the eggs have already been laid. Next year, I will try again and this time figure a way to secure it down better. Also, I need to plan the garden better and put everything together that the white moths like.

  3. Hi Jeannie,
    This is our 14th day of rain. I need to borrow someone's goats just to eat the grass as it cannot be mowed. I'm two weeks behind in trying to plant the garden so I am praying for a long growing season. How's the cutest dog in the world? Dorothy

    1. Dorthy, you sound like my Mom, except for the part about wanting goats. This morning she saw my post (the first in forever) and her comment was, "I didn't see any pictures of Scooter anywhere."

      Oh, the cutest dog in the world is snoring on the couch beside Pack Leader in the air condition. He is doing quite fine, thank you very much.