2010 Gardens Update

It’s been a little while since my last post. Forgive me, as I’ve been busy. The semester ended, and just afterward, I spent a week visiting family out of state.

I had hoped for some new GPS adventures from my trip, but the weather was rotten when I had time to get out, and when the weather was good and the dirt was drying out, I was busiest visiting with folks. Sigh…maybe another time. I had high hopes for enjoying new trails (to me).

When I came home, I found my gardens in need of their first weeding of the season. The wife and I had found our first zucchinis and cucumbers of the year, too.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

Here’s how things looked before pulling all the weeds (mostly grass).

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

And how it looked afterwards.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

We had a little surprise waiting for us…passionflowers.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

The vine just grew up right along the garden fence. So, I decided to train it along the fence to enjoy the flowers.

The pumpkin vine is going pretty crazy, but only a couple little pumpkins on it. Here’s the biggest of them. I think I’ll have to support it so its weight doesn’t strangle the vine hanging from the fence.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

Our herbs look pretty great right now. We had trouble with some, though. The thyme and cilantro didn’t come up this year. The oregano has been difficult, but I’ve got ONE seedling I’m trying to nurse until it’s large enough to put in the garden. The basil looks great, and we’ve been making use of it. We also have pineapple sage, for which my wife has been searching for uses because it’s doing really well. We have regular sage, too, but it’s not quite big enough to start using yet.

The stevia is getting to a point where I can start using it. I think I’ll use it to sweeten my next batch of iced tea.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

Most of the others are coming along great. Most of the tomatoes are really going along. The pink ponderosas seem a little slower, and the green zebra is also a little slow (although it does still have some tomatoes on it). The early girls, cherry tomatoes, and the Lowes special are all going quite well. The peppers and eggplants are being slow, and they’re going to take awhile. The tomatillos are going to be exceptionally prolific producers.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

Our small wildflower bed is fun, too. It’s not really thick with flowers right now, but it’s got quite a number of small ones. Some of the earliest flowers are already going to seed, so I’m hopeful the flowers really take off next year. As it appears many of the flowers are biennial, I think I’m going to plant another bag of seed on the area this fall/winter so I get some biennial flowers every year. I really am not entirely sure what all was in the seed mix I got, so I’m always surprised when something new comes up. I also planted a bunch of sunflowers among these as well as some bee balm. This bed should be producing all season long with all sorts of different flowers.

2010 vegetables Memorial Day weekend

Here are a few closeups of different things I’ve been getting in this bed.

wildflowers

wildflowers

wildflowers

wildflowers

In other news, I had a friend over the other day and we saw an exceptionally LARGE rabbit. It was so large it looked like it may have been a domestic rabbit. But, its markings were certainly wild type. We suspected a swamp rabbit, but my location is a dry, sandy upland area and the habitat didn’t make sense. After doing some reading about swamp rabbits, I learned that they can and will venture rather far from water (up to 2km according to one source I found).

That puts a swamp rabbit within the realm of possibility. There’s a perennial stream approximately 1-2mi from the house, a seasonal stream much closer, and a rather large (1/4-1/2 acre) pond down the street. The rabbit was muching some of the lush grass getting overspray from my vegetable garden. I’ll be setting one of my cameras to attempt to get a better picture of this rabbit. If I get one, and it is indeed a swamp rabbit, I’ll be posting a more in-depth article about swamp rabbits.

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