Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gardenish things

 My garden is somewhat puny this year. I failed to prepare the beds last fall due to various circumstances, and it shows. I have hopes that my compost will flourish (isn't that a lovely thought! flourishing compost!) this year so that I can greatly improve the quality of my soil by next year. However, I am currently having issues with a tree that is trying to grow its roots UPwards into my compost pile. Thus effectively ruining/stealing/using up all of the good stuff at the bottom and cementing it to the ground with thousands of tiny rooty tendrils. Thus ruining my life. Every time I try to turn the pile it becomes a battle involving many curse words and a machete.

Lemme tell you. Gardening in Oklahoma is like trying to squeeze life out of a rock. A really, really stubborn, clay-filled, pest-infested rock. As a good friend of mine once said, the environment here is "hostile", at best! Still, I'm determined to coax something out of the barrenness. At least I got my seedlings started early for once. :P

When the okra is puny, I know we're in trouble...

Also, please forgive the ridiculous amount of weeds in my garden this year. I've been meaning to mulch it for ages now. I should have done it months ago so that it could have retained more of the lovely rain we got!

Beautiful cabbage!

Devastated cabbage!

Diatomaceous Earth to the rescue!

See what I mean about hostile? I went to check on my potato plants the other day, for instance. They were growing big and beautiful and perky just the day before. I walked up to this:

One. Day. Y'all. This is one day's worth of total devastation. Not a single leaf made it out unscathed. I was almost left without any leaves at all. And I couldn't for the life of me find the critter that did it. From what I've read, this is the work of the infamous Colorado potato beetle, but I have yet to have the bastard show his face.

At least some things are doing well...

Ginger (left), and Egyptian Walking Onions (right)



 I'm having my first ever truly successful run with tomatoes this year, oddly enough. Maybe they're hogging all the fertility. Hmm... Next thing on my list: learn to can!! Oh, and buy a pressure canner. Right. I guess that would be an important step. :P


I'm excited about this pepper's supposed to be spicy, but not TOO spicy.

The romaine has done well...time to gather seeds, and feed the rest to the rabbits!

The mustard is also done...time to gather seeds and either turn them into mustard, or save them for next year...

I planted a mix of kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli in this pot...I figured it would go crazy since kale is usually so easy to grow. I was going to feed it to the rabbits since I despise kale, but so far it hasn't grown more than 2 leaves per plant, and those are being vigorously gnawed upon by some sort of insect.

A stray brassica made it to the regular garden bed and is doing much better than its siblings...

Sorrel...if you haven't tried it, you should! So citrusy and delightful!

Sage and oregano...I think...I lose track of the mints...

Trying out a few new herbs to fill in some of the blank spaces...this purple basil smelled fabulous, and the one on the right is dill, which I love.

I have no idea what to do with chives, but this one caught my fancy...

Something lemony...I don't remember...they were on sale. :P

The boys's's's' (grammar? phooey) strawberry plants are making babies like there's no tomorrow...goooo strawberries!

I'm having trouble keeping the ants off of my purslane. They seem to be sucking the juices from it, and it's not really growing. I dusted it with Diatomaceous earth (my very best friend in times of desperation), and I see lots of teeny little baby purslanes coming up, so I have hope!
The cucumbers are going mad...

Baby cucumber...isn't it funny!

"Doug! Grab hold, I'll help you up!"
"(Panting) I don't know if I can do it, Karl. Go on without me. Save yourself."
"You're gonna make it man, just don't let go!"

Cucumbers! ...Oh, and this baby musk melon, which is adorable.

Celery...I didn't think it would make it!

Scarlet runner beans...that seem to be happy making zero beans...

My pride and joy...everyone, this is my Marshmallow plant. It barely survived last year, but has come back this year with every intention of conquering the world. Isn't it beautiful?!

That's about all this post can handle, folks! Tune in next time as the war against clay and beetle continues to wage in the wastes of the Midwest...

Shared on the HomeAcre Hop, and the Homestead Barn Hop!


  1. I love to garden stalk people on the web. :)
    How do you use diatomaceous earth? I have two large bags of it in my shed. Do you think it will keep my kale from looking like lace? Any hints you have on that would be awesome! Also, what kind of cucumbers are you growing? They look great.

    1. I love to be garden stalked! LOL

      With diatomaceous earth, I like to sprinkle it over the whole plant and surrounding earth when they are really struggling with insect damage. Especially when the plant is young and just having trouble getting started. I don't love that it kills good bugs as well as bad bugs, but I don't usually use it once the plants get a little bigger and have less, as you said, lacework. So far I've had moderate success with it, but you do have to reapply if it rains or if you water your plants rather chaotically like I do. :P

      Another thing you might try with the kale is going out in the early early morning with a flashlight to see if it's slugs doing the damage. If you can pinpoint the critter doing the feasting, you can potentially find a solution specific to that pest (like those copper collar things, or beer traps). Plus I find that picking off and squishing is really the most effective method for eliminating any pest!

      The cukes are from a package I picked up randomly at Lowe's I think it was...Organic "Sumter". They are certainly thriving!

      Wow. This reply got huge. I love talking garden!

  2. You grew carrots! I'm in awe! "Hostile environment" is very apt. And now here comes the heat...

    1. You know, I have really never had trouble with carrots! Not sure why they didn't sprout for you! If you want to meet some time, I will totally bring you some of my seed. :D

      Nooooot looking forward to the heat. Gotta get some mulch! Blergh!

  3. Replies
    1. Haha! Thank you!! I forget things so quickly.