Monday, June 28, 2010

Garden Goodness

Despite an unusually hot month of June, very little rain, and an abundance of bugs, our garden has been blessing us with lots of yummy produce. The zucchini frenzy came to an end early in the month, when the squash vine borers finally managed to take down the plants. The green zucchini produced significantly more than the yellow ones, so I think I'm going to stick with the green ones from here on out. I got about a dozen zucchini off each of those plants, whereas the yellow ones produced maybe half that. Either way, more than enough zucchini to last me for a while now, haha. I may try another planting mid-August, when I get back from my trip to Germany, since temps stay nice and warm into November here. By then, I may develop an appetite for zucchini again. :p I have also picked 8 butternut squashes now, and both plants have actually set a second crop, so I've got 4 more out there that just need to ripen for a couple more weeks, and then should be ready to pick, as well. They turned out really nice, and I'm amazed at how well the plants have withstood the squash vine borer. There are several places where I could see the borers got into the vines, but the plants just manage to grow thicker vines, and it doesn't seem to bother them much. Thumbs up for butternut squash, it's definitely going to become a staple in my summer garden. The tomato plants have been attacked by leaf footed bugs and stink bugs. The larger tomatoes are also suffering from blossom end rot, apparently a sign of calcium deficiency. I've still been able to harvest a lot of little grape tomatoes, which are delicious, and enough of the large ones to be happy about. It's definitely been a learning experience, though. I'm planning on working gypsum into the soil, as well as adding a bunch more compost before planting again for the Fall. Hopefully that'll help. I also read that garlic helps repel a lot of the bugs, so I may try planting some garlic for next year. The bell pepper plants look gorgeous now, they seem to be the only plants to really LOVE the heat. I've already picked quite a few, and will probably continue to harvest throughout the summer. Cucumbers are now producing like crazy, too! I pick 3 or 4 every single day, and they are delicious! I planted Diva, which is an all female hybrid that doesn't need pollination, so the crop is plentiful. My green beans gave me two good harvests, but then it got too hot, so they are gone now. The onions are about ready to harvest, too. They didn't get very big, but I think it was because I planted them too late in the season, and it just got too hot. I may try them again next Spring, we'll see. All in all, I'd call this Spring/Summer garden a great success. Or should I say, a yummy success! :o)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

I can't believe my first baby turned 10 years old today. It seems strange to say I became a mommy for the first time a whole decade ago. Time flies! He has been such a joy to have in our family, and shows amazing patience with his younger siblings. They couldn't have hoped for a better big brother. Love you, Tyler!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boy/Girl Twins!

Our family has grown by two!

Meet Lily

And Max

The kids love them, and these little kittens have been amazingly patient with the kids' constant prodding and poking - um, I mean, petting and loving them. :p