Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beans, beans, the musical... ok, the hard to grow fruit....

I was too tired for blogging yesterday... shame on me.  It was shopping day in Show Low, which always takes up most of the day.  The road work is still going on, so we added an extra hour each way for each pilot car through the area.  Can't wait for that to be done.

My lists were extra long on this trip.  The chickens start on layer feed on July 2nd.  I guess we'd better get the nesting box into their coop.  They have grown about half of their combs in and seem big, unless you pick one up, then they seem very light.   They come to my voice now, but I'm not sure if it's because it's me, or that I might have food.  While working in the garden today, I found a huge amount of beetles in the straw bales, so I captured several in a jar and gave them to the girls.  They went crazy.  I think I'll be popular for a while.

We added extra items to our food list, too, as we are having company for the next 2 weeks.  Good friends from the valley and Steve's sister, arrive Thursday and Saturday.  Then, next weekend is family for the 4th of July parade.  I hope to be trying new dinners while I have all this company, so wish me luck.

Now, a straw bale garden update. 

I thought the green beans were going to do well in the straw bales.   The seeds seemed to come up quickly and put on leaves.  Then, one was eaten by something.  One other is doing well and looking ok, but not growing fast after it's initial speed.  It's in the foreground in picture. 

Three other seeds came up in the far bale, but look sickly and haven't done well.  Spinach in the other bales is doing well, but the ones in the same bale as those 3 green bean plants have done terribly.   I now believe the bale, itself, might be the problem.  The bale has sprouted some wheat-looking shoots, so it is producing something, but why won't the green beans and spinach grow there?  A conundrum.  I've placed 3 more bean seeds in other bales to extend my bean season, assuming they go anywhere.

As it stands right this minute, I don't believe I'll try the straw bale method again.  It is expensive to start and only the broccoli and strawberries seem to like them.   If I try again next year, I'll probably place the bales on their sides and fill them with broccoli and strawberries, and possibly zucchini.   The carrot seeds did not do well there, ditto the pepper and tomato plants. 

So, I'm placing all of my veggie hopes on the raised beds.  The green and red lettuces are coming along nicely.  So are the green onions, arugula, spinach, radishes and carrots.   I've gotten the 2 tomato plants I bought to really flourish and they are flowering nicely.  I've also started 2 tomato plants by seed and they have moved to the beds and are flourishing. 

As it stands, now, we'll be eating humongous amounts of greens soon.........

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