A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Garden Update-July 22, 2012

It is now almost 3 weeks without a drop of rain and temps in the mid 90's. Plants are really starting to suffer. I feel horrible for the area farmers--the corn is so hideously distorted from lack of water, it's hard to look at.
Out in the garden, the onions are starting to collapse. It's a bit early this year, but what's new. Everything is running early.  With the heat we've been having over the past week, I'm hoping WINTER is early too!  Whine Whine Whine.  I hate heat.

I got the fall broccoli planted and covered. The starts were healthy and ready to go in. I hope this hot weather doesn't make it bolt or do something else wonky. I had to pull the cauliflower--it was just buttons, due to the high heat. This is my first year with NO cauliflower. I doubled up on broccoli for the fall instead.



In the aisles by the blueberries, self-sown Cleome has started blooming in abundance. I love the color, but in the middle of the aisles is not a good place for it.
I started to rip up some strays, and found ANOTHER ground hornets nest. I will be heading out in the dark tomorrow morning to try and deal with that. 

The strawberry beds have all been cleaned up. I am NOT leaving my garden next year at all. I can't believe how much I missed them this year. 


Out by the sidewalk border, the deer continue to mow down any coneflower, Rudbeckia, petunia, hollyhock and Aster that dares to grow. It is a miserable sight and I am at a loss as to what to do. I've tried sticks around the plants, deer repellents, hot sauce, hot pepper spray---everything. It is a total mess.


The ONLY plants they leave alone--Achillea and Stachys, a few ornamental grasses and the Russian Sage.  Every neighbor has hollyhocks a mile tall. Not me!  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!

I have LOTS of flower photos from the vegetable garden --in my camera---that for some odd reason I am unable to load onto my computer. I can "review" them on the camera, but when I plug the camera in--it says there are no pictures. I tried to remove the SDHC card and put THAT into the computer--same thing.  Pictures from 3 days ago on this post loaded no problem.   So, until I can solve THAT mystery--I've got nothing more.

Have a great week.



39 comments:

  1. Sure is different this year isn't it? I think your garden looks pretty good. Isn't it funny how pictures somehow make things look better than they are? We say that all the time around here..."Wow - The house looks great!" When in reality all we see are the problems.

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    1. Hi Tami-so true. I had some folks come by yesterday to see the veg. garden and they went on and on about how nice it was. Me? I saw all the faults--I was "embarrassed". Maybe I need to learn to relax. Er, wait--that's what the garden is for............

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  2. Deer must be so frustrating! Down here in my part of Metro-D, I have no deer....but we do have rabbits, woodchucks, fox, skunk and opossum and they do enough damage. I can't imagine dealing with DEER!

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    1. I have a skunk that digs for grubs in my garden-every morning there are HUNDREDS of little holes. I guess I should be grateful, but wow!

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  3. We went for about 4 weeks without a drop of rain and temps in the low 100's. Then all of a sudden rain every.single.day! Now the tomatoes are splitting on the vine... Oh well, it is what it is and we'll just have to make the best of it. There is always next year, right?

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    1. Anke-I hope next year will be better for everyone. Seems there is one problem or another no matter where ya live.....

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  4. Oh, so beautiful! You are an amazing gardener! As for keeping the deer away - might I suggest a dog??!! Just kidding - I know it would tie you down too much. If we were your neighbors, I would share our Chucky with you! Seriously though - have you ever grown moonflower? I have heard that planting it amongst your other flowers helps keep deer away. I am growing it here this year and can send you seeds if it survives and produces any! The spray on deer repellents have worked here but the smell of some of them is so bad that it keeps us away, too! And you have to keep on a spraying schedule, which we are not good at...

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    1. I know what you mean about the smell of those sprays. I tried one a few nights ago--then stupidly opened up the windows to cool the house down....PEE YEW!!!!!!!!
      And if you were my neighbor, you would be put to work weeding!
      :)

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  5. Sue, great pictures as always. I'm sorry to hear about the deer issue. They seem to always pick the best looking yards to graze so in a way it's a frustrating compliment. My mother in law was always upset about neighborhood dogs and cats doing their duty in her yard but there again her yard was the best looking in the neighborhood. Another frustrating compliment.

    So far my gardens have been exempt from animal devastation. I'm not sure why but they have left all the corn that made it above two feet alone. The zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, pumpkins, and watermelons continue to grow and stay unscathed. It's all quite amazing considering all the wild life that lives in and around the garden area. Of course I already had heart to heart talks with animals that live there. I told them it was ok for them to eat some of the harvest but just don't be greedy. :0)

    Have a great day in the flowering yard and hopefully you will get your pictures rescued.

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    1. David, I certainly hope your heart to heart talks with the wildlife continues to work, but I suspect the turkeys are just waiting for your corn to mature. Sorry.......

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    2. Sue, just when I thought I had escaped the eyes of wild, devastation came to visit. Friday nothing touched. Apparently weekends were meant for wild animal garden buffeting. All the sweet corn was stripped clean. It's OK because that was intended to be the sacrifice corn for the critters to leave my corn in the fence alone. I must get my gate finished to encourage them to stay out. It's just been too hot to work outside during the day. My total focus has been to keep the garden watered during this relentless drought season. We have a glimmer of hope for isolated thunder showers on Wednesday but it hasn't been happened in the past so I have a wait and see attitude.

      Have a great day in the garden.

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    3. Oh , David, I'm so sorry. I hope the weather cooperates and you get done what needs to be done to keep YOUR corn safe.

      I sure hope this weather turns soon. We're running a good 20 degrees above normal and with no rain and stiff winds, my trees and shrubs are even starting to suffer.
      Have a good (rainy!) week.

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  6. An early winter? Wash your mouth out with soap! I was hoping for no winter, so I could enjoy my first fall garden experience. Tell me you do water that garden. Mine would be burned to a brown crisp if it didn't get (over)watered, not lush and green like yours.

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    1. Sorry, AG-I don't water. I've watered once in the past three weeks--yesterday morning--because the corn was drooping.But NONE for the tomatoes, I tell ya! I don't spoil them (or the Mr., for that matter)
      I'm mean, very very mean.
      :D

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  7. I, too, have suffered severe deer damage this year. They've eaten things they've NEVER even looked at before (tomatoes, butterfly bushes, coneflowers, etc.). I don't know about you, but I could probably deal with our drought and extreme heat. But the deer -- they break my heart. Hang in there. Hope your fall vegs catch a break in the weather.

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    1. Kris-hope you find a solution to the deer dilemna--I'd LOVE to know how to get them to stop!

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  8. It almost sounds like you saved the pics to the internal hard drive rather than the card. Try switching the switch or unprotect them . Something like that is happening. I have 16 pics on my internal hard drive of my camera and my computer doesn't see those.

    (Your flowers look nice!)

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    1. Rachelle-excellent suggestion. I am turning the house upside down looking for the owners manual to check that. Thank you!

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  9. Yeah, the garden this year is just poopy. And I didn't even leave it for a month like you did! I don't grow near as many flowers as you do but the ones I do have are insect ridden, stunted and refuse to bloom correctly. And those are the ones that haven't died outright on me.

    We may start getting hate mail, you and me, but I'm ready for a SEVERE winter to kill off all these nasty insects we never used to have . . . before it started being hot as Hades in the summer and wimpy warm in the winter.

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    1. Join me for a pity party?? I'm sure we'll have TONS of company. What a year!
      And just this morning, wonder Hubby commented that we DESERVE a hard winter--for putting up with this summer!

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  10. Sue,
    This year has been such a bummer garden wise. I have been struggling to get one good tomato thus far. Thugh I am not giving up. I am planning on adding some more beds for fall. I am still looking for some Doo Doo my Alpaca lady was a huge dissapointment.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

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    1. Carrie-I wish you luck finding a good source of "doo"....it makes a world of difference.

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  11. Your garden still looks beautiful but I know individual pix make it look better of than it is. Don't they?
    Never mind winter. Just hurry up fall. I didn't realize how bad the drought was so far north. You should see how bad our crops down here in KS. Why do you cover your crops? Best

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    1. Hi Patrick--I cover most of my stuff to keep it bug-free. I don't use any sprays or chemicals and this allows me to grow things without all the pests.
      I sure hope the crops down there aren't past the point-of-no-return. They said the corn around here will be "ok" IF we get significant rain within the week. I feel so bad for the farmers. Corn seed is so EXPENSIVE!

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  12. The flowers in the isles are a pain but they sure look nice.
    Those dang deer. I don't have that battle so I don't know what to do.
    Do you have another computer to try your photo card in to figure out if it's something on your computer or with how the photos are saved (although, I doubt your camera is doing anything different unless there is a setting to switch from jpg to gif or something odd). Good luck!

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    1. Hi GonSS-thanks for the tip-I will check the settings. This camera is MUCH to complicated for me...

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  13. I really feel for you with that deer problem. Maybe you should just try big drifts of the flowers you know they don't eat.

    I do hope you get a lot broccoli to compensate for that cauliflower. It's so sad this year for anyone trying to grow vegetables. I told my grocery shopper (DH) to stock up on canned veggies as the price will skyrocket soon.

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    1. Hi Zoey-looking at what's going on with food crops all over the U.S.-I think everything is going to be expensive soon. Hope you have a wonderful week (with rain????)
      :)

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  14. Your garden still looks pretty good in spite of the drought, that's good plant selection, lady! :) I know what you mean about winter, I admit it's looking pretty darn good to me right now.

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    1. Erin-you put up with more heat/humidity than most-I admire the way you keep up with your gargantuan harvests. Stay cool!!

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  15. Despite the lack of rain everything looks very productive. I'm afraid mine is finished here until the fall. Broccoli already-I hope it survives the 90 temperatures. I would like a hard winter too - or at least a more normal winter. I need a break!

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    1. L.rose-I heartily agree! I vote for an end to this summer---NOW!
      :)

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  16. Sorry about your deer infestation!! I hear that once they get a path of things they like, they come back frequently to visit and snack. While we have a lot of deer around my place, for some reason they don't bother my plants. .except for the tree they de-barked and killed! Thankfully!!

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    1. Oh deer---dear! Now you've gone and Jinxed yourself. I never had the deer eat my sidewalk border either....but this year, oh boy. Hope your beautiful flowers remain trouble free!

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  17. Mrs. Pickles-Thank you! The deer can't get inside the veg. garden............yet.

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  18. I wonder if it would help to put a couple buckets of water around for the deer. Could they be eating more plants than usual because the heat is making them more thirsty? That doesn't explain why the neighbors are not having problems, though.

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    1. That could be part of the problem---worth a try. I certainly appreciate and use any suggestions. I'd LOVE to have some flowers-LOL!

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  19. Great improvement in your garden! They all looks healthy. Great plants!

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