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 8, 2012

Garden Update-July 8,2012

 My Ugly sidewalk border continues to be chomped down by the local deer herd, despite having tried every "Deer Repellent" sold on the marketplace.  This patch of Coneflower and Rudbeckia take the brunt of the damage. You can see, they don't care at all for Silver Mound Artemesia , my purple Salvia, or the Stachys.  Can one make an entire garden out of those three plants? No. It is UGLY!
 If you want to see flowers, you have to go to the VEGETABLE garden.  Lots of flowers there!
This is the earliest (by 25 days!!!) I've ever had sunflowers in bloom. They are the ones that self-sowed and came up unattended by yours truly. 

 We got 1.35 " of rain this week, followed by temps in the upper 90's and high humidity. The corn responded by growing TWO FEET in ONE WEEK!!!  --And have started forming tassels!!!

The blueberries are coming in, and the fabric has made it possible for someone besides Mrs. Robin to get these fresh morsels. We're getting a couple of cups a day.....not a LOT , but better than last year.
The taste is a bit tart on this variety-(Patriot), but good.  Next up will be the "Chandler" variety.  One of those was ripe, and it was much sweeter. Looks like the Blue Ray will follow after that. Not sure on how those taste--last year we never got a single one (Mrs. Robin isn't talking...........)

Our streak of hot broke yesterday and it was the FINEST 80 degree day I have ever experienced. I got so much done out in the garden....and even had a surprise visit from Good Sue in Indiana.  It was indeed a perfect day!

45 comments:

  1. You are the only gardener I know who is having 80 degree temps. Everyone is broiling! Love all of your updates...

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    1. Hi Daisy--we had the heat for a good long time. It makes 80 feel like heaven.

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  2. Nice looking blueberries! We hope to plant some of those here to go with our insane raspberry crop.

    Deer! Argh!! I sure hope you find a way that deter them that actually works! :)

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    1. Mama Tea--I hope I find something that works on deer too! I'd be rich!!
      And I wouldn't forget any of you guys, either!
      :)

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  3. Your garden is doing SO WELL, Sue! That's one thing I'm slowly working on, more flowers in the garden.

    Boy, I can't wait for those 80 degrees to come down here. 2 more days of heat...sigh.

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    1. Tami, I don't know how on earth you do what you do with temps like that. I think I'd get AC and never step outside!

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  4. Hello Sue! Your flowers are looking so happy and inviting, I guess the deer agree ;) Hope all is well x

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    1. Marrissa---I lost your blog site----Please send me an email!!

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  5. So why IS it that those deer repellants that are guaranteed to repel deer don't work???

    My gosh, Sue, your garden is soooo far ahead of mine. I'm beginning to think I have a huge "stunt" cloud over mine. My sunflowers aren't even a foot tall yet and my experimental corn is the same size. We've had the rain and heat . . . so what's wrong with my plants (she wails pitifully)?? Lots of small green blueberries but none near ripe yet.

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    1. Maybe it's the rain. We don't get any. Your plants are busy drinking it up. Mine have nothing else to do but grow. ??

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  6. Everything looks so lush and green unlike here in Kansas. I always wanted to grow blueberries when I had my garden before coming to a nursing home but you had to lay on some serious Miracid. But I've enjoyed looking at yours.

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    1. Hi Patrick--we've got pine trees and sand. Blueberries seem to love that (almost as much as Mrs. Robin loves blueberries!!)

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  7. I had volunteer sunflowers, zinnas and cosmos this year...I was too lazy to pull them out, so I just let them do their own thing...they look lovely! Those blueberries of yours are going to be something else...beautiful!

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    1. Lynda-I think my volunteers are so much healthier than anything I planted. I'm loving those "freebies". I wish I had some cosmos and zinnia volunteers.

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  8. Things look really nice - especially the blueberries. We have had to creatively keep the bunnies out of the strawberries. Soon we will need to protect the blackberries and the grapes from the birds. It never ends... and we all keep doing it for the love of gardening!

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    1. You said it! No matter what Ma Nature throws at me (us!), we just keep plugging away. I think I'd just fade away without it.

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  9. Wow, save for the deer damage, sounds GREAT. 2 feet in one day?!? Amazing. So, I'll have to look for your gardening zone 'cause a major reason I don't grow blueberries is that it can get brutally hot here, in the summer, and the air is quite dry.

    My garden has succumbed to ground squirrels (new to our property), INCLUDING sprouting sunflowers, so I will enjoy yours vicariously. =) Nicely done.

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    1. BB--we have high temps and very little rain in the summer---the only caveat with growing blueberries is the soil must be very acidic. Sandy soil tends to be, but you might want to test it first.

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  10. Man, those deer really did some damage.
    Everything blooming with the veggies looks good. Amazing growth on the corn. Enjoy the rain and a cooler day in the garden. We seem to have missed our rain chance but have cooler weather. I'll take it!

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    1. GonSS-I'm glad you've finally gotten cooler weather. This year--blech!
      I vote for a change of weather!

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  11. Your sunflowers look great! I planted seeds this year and not one came up! Maybe they will sit dormant until next year.

    The blueberries look good. So glad you are able to get some before the birds do.

    So sorry to see that deer damage. A few years ago, I used something called Hinder and it seemed to work as long as I sprayed every few days and after every rain. It was a lot of work. I have had a couple of years without the deer--don't know why...but I am enjoying it.

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    1. Zoey-perhaps the deer "remember" the Hinder from before and avoid the area. I've tried several different sprays, but it's a losing battle. I've never had a year like this-----of course, we were gone for so long. I told hubby--NEVER again will I leave the garden.

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  12. I love your flowers, even in spite of the deer! Isn't it funny how hard we work and then some things do even better when we are not around to tend to them LOL??!

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    1. Erin-hi! I know I felt totally un-needed when I came home, but HA--the lack of rain finally caught up---the plants need me now--Hahahahha!

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  14. Our weather is supposed to break tomorrow. Rain is in the forecast. I am about to dance naked in the backyard in moonlight if it will make the heat go away, haha

    Have you tried spraying a home brew of hot pepper/garlic and onion on the plants to deter the deer? You could ask the hubbs to water the plants (pee) asa deterrent. lol

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    1. Tonya, if you are able, please send some of that rain this way. Despite the rain last week, we are DRY!!!!
      Thanks for the deer repellent ideas. And (LOL) hubby already volunteered his, um, services. What a guy!

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  15. We in Wisconsin have some pretty voracious deer, too. Something you might try is tepees of three bamboo sticks around each plant. Sometimes when a plant gets to a certain size and the leaves harden off they are less attractive to those nasty deer. The thing with the sticks is they don't wash away, and can be cut to the right height for each plant. If you can break their habits, it is half the battle.

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    1. What a great idea, Rachelle--thank you. I'll be trying THAT too! Something has to work---I need to see my flowers at some point this year!
      :D

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  16. Sue, as I'm sitting here we've had the first decent rain in weeks - which means our temps actually dropped down to 84!!! It's glorious I tell you after so many days in the 100's. Your flowers looks so pretty, especially since everything here has pretty much dried up. We were under water restrictions and I was not willing to pay a fine to water the garden.

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    1. Anke-I'm glad you got some rain, though I'm sure it's just a start of what is needed. I felt the same way about our cooldown. Wonderful!!!

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  17. I'm welcoming the cooler temps too. Can't stand the humidity.

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    1. You and me both! Heat--ok, humidity-BAH!
      :D

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  18. Hi Sue, I'm so happy you finally got some decent rain. Nothing here yet, though last night it was really, really close. About a mile away, in fact.

    Just look at how that corn grew. Wow! And those deer....talk about annoying. I scared up two of them walking down our lane last night. We're just lucky we have alfalfa fields and acres of corn for them to munch on or we'd be cleaned out in the gardens.

    Let's hope for more regular rains and less heat!

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    1. I sure hope you get some rain. We need some too. I read how the rain hits everywhere else but your garden. We had that the other day. My hubby came home from town and said it just poured. I could have cried. My sand (soil-haha)is just dust.........

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  19. Sue, the extreme heat broke here in eastern Nebraska as well. The promise of temperatures creeping back up into the 90s for the weekend with no rain will have an effect on the crops and gardens for sure. I have been hauling about 100 gallons of water to Terra Nova Gardens on a regular basis. It's only keeping the plants in a survival mode. Between the lack of rain, extreme temperatures, and those wild turkeys, gardening has been a great challenge this year.

    Your flowers always look so great. I have a lot of spring flowers but not so many flowers for the rest of the season. I really should expand the different flowers in the yard.

    Have a great day in the garden.

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    1. Hi David-glad you got a respite, albeit short, from the heat. Hauling water is time consuming and tedious, isn't it? Every morning, I have to decide "who" gets the precious bits of rainwater I save in my stock tanks. It only lasts about 2 weeks if I'm careful, and it seems to be about two weeks in between rains. I have the hose down there, but never use it---the cold water seems to "shock" the plants. But, if it gets much drier, I'll have to resort to it.
      Happy Summer!

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  20. I have yet to have a deer problem, but I live closer to the city. And to see one would be a strange sighting indeed. Blueberries YUM! Alex loves blueberie pie.


    With All That I am Carrie Duvall
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

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  21. Hi Carrie--this is our first year that we've been able to get any blueberries--and they're not making it out of the garden. They are delicious. Have a wonderful week
    Sue

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  22. Count your many blessings from a drought stricken soul. The blueberries look like I could reach in and touch them. Wish I could.. They can only be grown in pots here with much coddling.

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    1. Hi Patrick! WE've not had a drop of rain since that rain on the 3rd. With sandy soil, that's not enough. I'm losing a lot of plants this year. It's tough, deciding what lives and dies. I can't water it all.
      Wish I lived closer-I'd drop ya a pint of berries. Take care

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  23. I couldn't find the place to comment on your GBBD post so I'm posting here. I sometime have the same problem with seeds failing to germinate. I think it may be how they were stored at the store-too hot etc. and the same problem with plants that just seem to fail to grow well. Meanwhile I have a butternut squash that is about to take over the garden. I think they must be the runts. That is one beautiful cabbage- so perfect and the garlic hanging to dry. Happy Bloom day.

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    1. Lancashire rose-thank you -Happy Bloom Day to you. You certainly have a LOT of blooms to share!

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  24. Oh, I forgot to tell you I'm sorry for what you are going through with the deer. Some years are worse than others at the flower beds at my church, that I help take care of. Hostas seem to be their favorites, but they are eating other plants to the ground as well. Between that, and the heat, the beds look awful this year! I bought some plants that say on the tags that they are not liked by deer. I hope the rabbits don't like them.

    I love your volunteer sunflowers and lovely blueberries!

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    1. Sue-your beds NEVER look awful-I'm so glad we have blogs and sharing of gardens or I'd go crazy in a bad year like this. I so enjoy seeing your blooms. So many varieties. Have a great weekend!

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