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.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Back Home.....and the Garden Didn't Miss Me At All!


We have just returned home from 3 weeks out in Wyoming. Wow--we saw lots of wildlife, incredible FIELDS full of wildflowers, did a ton of hiking, and yet nothing compares with getting back home.
The garden , which was just "waking up" when we left is in full spring display (even though our spring is at the end of June)
Nepeta Stachys, and not yet blooming daisies and Heliopsis

The potatoes under the Agribon were just poking up when we left and now are 2 foot tall!!

Kale, Onions and a stray potato

The beans, planted the day before we left are up and doing well. Fall carrots were planted July 1 in the center .

Salvia, Achillea and pink spider Dahlia

Corn planted the day before we left. Germination was spotty to say the least

Zinnias along the border of the vegetable garden


  • Shallots, lettuce and a very "chilled" Brandywine tomato

We had a low of 38 on July 2.  This summer looks like it's going to be another cool one. I'm okay with that ---the salad greens, onions, and potatoes all do well and those are the most important to us.

Usually the green beans manage to produce well under the cool conditions as well.  I guess the only downside to this would be the Brandywine tomatoes.  Last year I had 3 that ripened before the first frost in early September.  It's a trade off we're willing to make in exchange for not getting so hot we need AC.

I'll be catching up soon with blogs. Have a safe and Happy 4th!

28 comments:

  1. Well, the garden may not have missed you but we did! Your garden is looking fantastic - how did you manage that with being away for 3 weeks? You must have water fairies and weeds that pick up their rooty skirts and run away when they see you coming ;) I hope you have a wonderful July 4th!

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    1. Hi Margaret! No water fairies--just TONS of mulch and a very cooperative Ma Nature when it came to well placed rains. Hubby and I went knowing that it may have meant no produce this year. It was worth the risk, but I'm also very glad we got rain. It's usually a very dry month for us. Have a terrific weekend!

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  2. Did you do this post just to make me feel bad? My beans have been in the ground longer than yours and are half the size. I can't get my kale to grow higher than 4" no matter how nice I talk to it. And your flowers? Well, there is simply no competing with you when it comes to flowers, I should know that by now. Your zinnias make me want to go out and rip mine out by their little hairy roots.

    Question: Why do you cover your potatoes with Agribon? Potato beetle problem?

    A great, big wish for a happy holiday to you and your hubby. Hugs.

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    1. Hi Mama Pea---yep, the Agribon is for the potato beetles. I always cover the broocoli, cauliflower and potatoes. I used to have a terrible problem with them, but this let's them know--there's no lunch at our house! Ha!!

      My beans are doing great, but my poor tomatoes, melons, squash, and pumpkins haven't done a thing since I put them in. Nothing. It's weird. Ha--I guess it fits in around here.
      Happy 4th to you as well. May you find a peaceful way to spend it!!

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  3. I get to comment!!!! Yeah!!!! I just love watching your garden...it's so beautiful. I've actually started to add things you grow to my garden beds...and I've very pleased with the results. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Lynda--Thank you! Gardening just gets under your skin and can become addictive.
      Hope you have a wonderful 4th!

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  4. I'm with Margaret, we missed you! Your garden looks amazing, especially considering it hasn't been tended in 3 weeks! I don't even see a weed! Glad you had a wonderful trip and are safely home again. Enjoy your Fourth!

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    1. Hi Daisy---the beds were relatively weed free, but the aisles? OMG. I'm 4 days into working on that and still no end in sight. Guess I should have mulched them as well-ha ha.
      Happy Fourth to you as well.

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  5. Hello Sue, welcome back. So glad your garden did well while you were away. Did you have someone come to water your garden? I hope to see some trip photos. Have a happy 4th of July weekend.

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    1. Hi Eileen
      No, no one watered. I mulched everything heavily, and we were lucky to have some good rain as well.
      Happy 4th to you and hubby. Hope you have some fun plans.

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  6. Sue, I'm glad to see that your garden survived so well without attention for three weeks. I'm seriously into weed control now that the rains have slowed. I can finally walk through the garden without mud sticking to my shoes. I'm still trying to tame the wild vacant lot called Terra Nova Gardens. It isn't giving up too easily. Certain parts of the garden have gone feral. Wild life has been exceptionally hungry this year. The deer population visits the garden on a nightly basis and the top of the list things to get finished is the six foot wooden fence. I'm determined to garden in the midst of wild life challenges. The deer already ate every strawberry plant down to the ground. About 13 plants out of 30 have recovered but there will be no strawberry harvest this year. My challenge is the many different species of wild life to protect the garden from. They can fly, jump, climb, dig, and slither through the tiniest cracks in the fencing. Ah, such is life for the urban vacant lot farmer.

    Have great day in the garden.

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    1. Hi David
      I'm having a terrible time with my flower beds around the house ---the deer are really mowing things down. It's frustrating dealing with animal pests---but I guess that's all part of this love of gardening.
      I can imagine how bad the weeds are---rain is great for plants of ALL TYPES, not just our veggies. Happy Weed Pulling!

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  7. I am thrilled that I can now comment.
    Your garden looks great, Sue! It's amazing how everything survives even if we fail to nurture it. I have done next to nothing in my perennial gardens this year and they have never looked better! LOL. I am looking forward to seeing more of your gardens this year!

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    1. Zoey-you have the most gorgeous flower beds I've ever seen. I wish I could "sustain" the variety that you have. Mine seems to be reverting to 5 or 6 strong growers and that's it---I think the deer are pruning away everything else.
      Hope you're having a terrific summer so far.

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  8. I must say your garden looks great for you having been gone for so long. Just a little work and you'll have it in fine shape.

    Glad you had a good time in Wyoming. I've flown over a number of times but have never had a chance to really see and enjoy the country.

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    1. Mark-you must visit there sometime. We go to do wildlife watching---June is particularly good for that as the moose/elk/etc have their young. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your wife and enjoy some truly awesome scenery. Some day. When you're caught up........
      ;)

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  9. Your garden looks great. Your kale is especially beautiful! I'm envious. :)

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    1. Thanks, Bill---I appreciate that!

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  10. Everything looks great. If I left for that long and had no one watering, everything would be shriveled and brown. Rough not to get those tomatoes though. Can you make a little "greenhouse" for the tomatoes to get them extra warm? Worth the risk to travel and hike. Glad you got away for a bit.

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    1. Hi GonSS-In a normal year, I wouldn't have had a garden upon return, --just lucky we actually had rain this year. The trip was wonderful, but really--I don't like to go away during garden season. I miss it too much! Have a great week.

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  11. It looks really nice, great work and effort indeed.

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    1. Thanks so much, Blogoratti! I appreciate your visit.

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  12. What a fun sounding trip West. Your choice of things to see and do mirrors our exactly...:) Except if I left for that long the gardens would look like hayfields when I got back....:)

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    1. Hi Mr T--the aisles of my garden did look like a hayfield. It's been a week of work---I think next time I'll get goats-ha ha!

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  13. You have a gorgeous garden, Sue! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

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    1. Thank you Linda---and I just checked out your wonderful blog---I'll be following!! Very nice!
      :)

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