Right Now at Combs Canyon

I’d like to report the months of June and July missing. I know we’re still in July, but so much of it’s gone and I don’t know where to. I guess summer likes to speed by.

There’s been so much rain this summer that only once has our rain barrel run dry. This is not only because the rain keeps it full, but because when it rains, we don’t have to water the garden as much. Go figure. It’s hard for me to say we’ve gotten too much rain, because I don’t want to be in a drought. But, I think the copious amount of precipitation did my zucchini plants in. They simply rotted away. I’ll just have to make it a priority to buy some at farmer’s markets. (Especially since last year I found a double chocolate zucchini bread recipe that I really want to make again.)

Our other veggies have done well, though. Let’s take a look around Combs Canyon, shall we?

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The garden from afar. Those Earthtainers are the best. Our tomato plants get so bushy and produce more fruits than the plants in the raised beds. I think next year 100% of our tomatoes will be in Earthtainers.

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Okra in the back. Basil in the middle. Pickling cucumbers in the front. We’ve gotten a lot of cukes this year. It really paid off putting in more plants than last year.

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I don’t like to fight Nature. So, when I noticed a pickling cucumber vine taking hold around one of my okra plants, I went with it and set the vine onto a nearby okra plant for more stability. So far so go. Plus, dangling cukes are easier to spot than ones on the ground obscured by leaves.

So, a few weeks ago, a deer or two thought our garden was a salad bar. They ate the very first of our cherry tomatoes that started to turn red. They also nibbled the leaves of my pickling cucumbers. (Fun fact, the pickling cucumbers themselves are actually kind of prickly. You have to rub off these little “spikes” before eating and deer can’t do that, so they leave the cukes themselves alone.) Last year, I had hung some car air fresheners around the garden and the animals seemed to leave it alone. My husband confirmed this method with some Internet research and we bought a mess of those Magic Tree air fresheners. You know what I’m talking about. Seriously, the deer haven’t come back. Talk about a cheap and easy solution.

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We just picked these today. There’s nothing like throwing a few fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes into your dinner salad. (Or snacking on them!)

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Because Combs Canyon is only in it’s second year, we have to go elsewhere for other produce. One Saturday morning, we got up early (for a weekend) and picked blueberries for 2 hours. There’s about 24 pounds here.

We got those blueberries from Rouster’s. Quite possibly the best reason to get up early on a Saturday.

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The next morning I made blueberry waffles. How could I resist? I have plans for muffins and a crisp or two. And, maybe I’ll try my hand at new recipe or two.

Enjoy the weekend, folks!

Right Now at Combs Canyon

I don’t know where May went. But, if you see the month, can you tell it to call me?

Actually, I know where May went. It was a busy month. My husband and I got our garden in order, made some upgrades and now we have plants in the ground we check on daily to water and care for.

Going into gardening, we knew that each summer would not only bring fresh vegetables, but also a lesson or two. First lesson of this season: do not start seeds too early. With my basement grow lights, I started my seeds too early. They were outgrowing their pots before it was time to put them outside. (A cold spring didn’t help.) Next year, I’ll start later, but not as late as last year.

Even though some seedlings were looking a little iffy, we put them in the ground anyway. We also bought some tomato plants–our favorites coming from Ed’s just a few miles from us. (I’m convinced we never have to visit a big box hardware store for plants again!)

Here’s how things are looking and for reference, here’s how they looked in April.

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In the way back, outside of the bed, our blueberry bush. Inside the bed: 4 okra plants in the back, 1 lettuce on the left, basil in the center row and 4 pickling cucumbers in the front row. On the right side in the container is a couple of snow peas.

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In the back are 4 tomato plants. Center row is 4 basil plants. In front are 4 zucchini plants (there’s already a baby zuke growing on one). And, in the flower pot are a couple of marigold seedlings. I heard (and hope) they deter mosquitoes.

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Two EarthTainers with two tomato plants each. The pea fence still needs to be put on these to contain the plants once they get larger.

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Blueberry bush. We’ll probably get just a handful of berries off of this, but I’m still pleased with it. I just need to keep the birds off of it.

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Snow peas. I’ve harvested about a dozen off of my little plants. I don’t know if I’ll get any more.

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Some thyme in a pot on my porch. I don’t really know how to use it, but it smells good.

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Thank goodness for previous owners. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have this bush (I’d rather spend time growing things I can eat than flowers). My husband cut back this bush considerably last year and I think it did it good. There are more blossoms on it now.

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Compost tomato? I hope so! The “volunteer” tomato seedlings did a whole lot better than the ones I started inside. Because we didn’t know what we were getting, we got rid of the ones in the beds. This one we’re letting grow. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Enjoy the sunshine, folks!