It’s been a very hot dry July, but the tomatoes are loving the heat! I need to water heavily every couple of days. The upside is that there are almost no mosquitoes, unlike the past two years when it was almost impossible to venture into the garden, even in bright sunlight.
Despite the munching of the Woodchuck, I picked my first Zucchini today.
I had suspected an Italian rabbit, since most of my eggplant was eaten along with zucchini, Lacinato Kale, and Italian frying peppers, but Katy’s mom spotted a large well-fed Woodchuck sneaking through the garden. A few minutes later we saw him on his hind legs feeding on gooseberries. This confirms Greg’s suspicion about the new burrow under my barn. He also did a number on two out of three clumps of Black-Eyed Susans. No wonder I can’t grow perennials.
The Roma tomatoes were small, as expected, but I picked enough tomatoes and basil to make a nice batch of bruschetta. The fresh tomatoes make all the difference in the world.
Kevin and Katy will be having their “gender reveal” party here next weekend, so there has been a flurry of activity for the past couple of weeks trying to finish up the yardwork and get the place looking respectable.
I finished cleaning out the bed where the herbs are along the fence and planted basil, globe basil and Thai basil, oregano and dill. They had gallon containers on sale at the Crystal Lake Home Depot — 3 for $12,
I had enough mulch to cover the area after planting. There was some volunteer dill that had grown up plus French tarragon and oregano which I was able to save.
A couple of years ago, I decided to plant some lovage seeds and a couple of them took and I got a few small lovage plants. Lovage is an herb with a celery like smell and flavor used in soups and stews, more popular in Europe than here.
The perennial plant returned and was approximately 10 feet tall with large hollow stems and seedstalks that fell over because of the weight of the seeds. It dominated the whole back of the herb garden. Since it was so invasive and I never used it, celery leaves or seed would work as well, I removed it. It will probably need Roundup to finish the job.
There was also a good amount of buck thorn and nightshade growing along the fence, which will also probably need some spray to kill the roots after I removed the rest.
Two of the white eggplants that I got from Countryside were totally eaten. The zucchini and a few pepper plants were trimmed, along with the cucumbers. One of the Black-Eyed Susans was trimmed to the ground and the other two sustained varying amounts of damage. I suspect those pesky wabbits.
Crystal lake Home Depot had 1 gallon pots of vegetables on sale at 3 for $12, So I bought two regular eggplants and 1 Ichiban. I replaced the ones decimated by our little woodland creatures. The were trimmed slightly the first night, so I individually fenced them.
The first breakfast from the garden is always wonderful. Tomatoes, chives and basil from the garden along with eggs and some store-bought “farmer’s market” zucchin[ and a generous handful of sharp cheddar cheese made a great omelette.
The GRO Enterprises crew arrived this morning and removed the pear tree near the compost bin and the two Silver Maples at the West end of the garden. Finally there should be enough sunlight to grow decent peppers and tomatoes.
The pear tree was a nuisance since Yellow Jackets and HOrnets attacked the pears as soon as they ripened and you couldn’t even walk near the tree as all fruit that hit the ground was covered with stinging insects. The squirrels ate the ones that hadn’t fallen. I topped one of the maples a few years ago but it had significantly grown back and the other had been too big to remove safely at the time. These trees limited the full sunlight on the garden to 3 or 4 hours.
Below are before and after pictures.