Thursday, August 5, 2010

Take my CUCUMBERS, please!

But for the love of Dog, leave my lettuce alone! Again. Yep, again. I put up that chicken wire fencing thing over top of the youg seedlings to protect 'em, but yet again, two nights later, the rest of my plants are gone. There's, literally, two lettuce plants, and a few turnips remaining. Whatever this thing is, it doesn't like turnips. But jeez, it eats everything else right up. Check this out:

And this one is a lettuce in the next row over, that's got a leaf cleanly cut in half..

And this other lettuce, where all the leaves were cleanly hacked right down next to the stem. Can't win!

With all that said, I now suspect slugs or snails. There were no prints in the dirt or straw of any type, and I know a rabbit or whatever would have left those. A deer just couldn't have done this with the fence installed. So, tonight, I will go out there at night and kick some tail with a flashlight in one hand and the Jar Of Death in the other. All insects, slugs, snails and critters will die. Dig that.

Carry on..

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Garden catastrophe..

Took a beating this week. I failed to post an update last week, when I had this fabulous setup just emerging.. the green you see is the radishes and the turnips and  even some lettuce just poking up..

And since then, just a couple days, if that, later.. something snuck in overnight and decimated the joint. I suspect deer, cause it just ate the tops of everything and there were no tracks inside the box. This is what I have left:

You'll notice the distinct lack of green anymore. There's just five turnips (whatever this was doesn't like turnips..) a handful of lettuce and a couple of beets left. No radishes anymore. Not much of anything really.. I had to replant the whole thing and we're already on the cusp of the last few remaining days left of the season.. can't really go through this much more and still have a salad in the fall! I do hope to get a bit of a cold frame up and running this fall though, so whatever grows now, I can keep growing maybe into November? We'll see. You'll also notice in this pic I built a half-assed frame of 2x4's and some chicken wire and placed it over the top. This was something I threw together in about 15 minutes right before work. I'm still settling on the final idea for protection for this stuff next year, but I think I'm going to go with something similar to this. A series of stackable empty frames with a cover frame that has wire mesh on the top level. Just until the plants get big enough where they're not gonna be such a treat to animals in the night. I understand deer only like the garden stuff when they're teeny tiny.. not so much when it's grown up. Plus, whatever it was didn't give a whit about the tomatoes or the cucumbers. Take my cucumbers, please! The hot peppers all went untouched as well, but I expected as much. So, I really only need to protect a small area of the garden.. and maybe this is the best way. Still pondering it all right now.

Here's a couple tiny survivors that remain.. turnip on the left and Simpson lettuce on the right.

In other news, one of the cherry tomatoes in the corner is getting hit by some kind of blight, I think, and I suspect it will succumb to that sooner than later. I just hope it's one of those types that doesn't transfer to the other plants.. and so far, it hasn't. But look at this poor thing in the foreground. Just a train-wreck! Heck, I already pulled off most of the dead branches from it too.. it looks much better now than it did a day ago.

The damn thing still produces all the fruits, though.. check 'em:

The tomato plant in the Global Bucket is doing *awesome* now, though. Since the transplant into this bucket thing, it's sprouted several more fruits and all are doing well, with no Blossom End Rot in sight. I can't say the same for the control tomato plant to it's right, though.. that one got another one cut off today too. I now believe the Global Bucket, or any type of sub-irrigated planter, is the way to go.

The jalapeno's are rockin' it old school style in the beds, still.. there's 20-something pods on the plant in this picture alone, and there's a zillion more popping in every day. Not one of them looks like it's turning color yet, though..

And finally, the mint is still growing strong. I already pinched back a branch too, and the rest are coming up big time. 

In beer news, I brewed a Wheat beer with Pete at his place the other day. We threw in a bit of dark crystals and and ounce of Black Patent to color it up, and at the very end of the boil, we threw in a bucket of wet hops, picked right off his vines. Northern Brewer variety, I believe they were. I think this is my first really legit wet hop beer. curious how this'll come out.. stay tuned for that. 

My pal and fellow Commando, Jody, just went nuts and spent some mad cash on the new Blichman Top Tier brewing stand. He ordered it with a couple of the burners (which are *huge*) and a flat plate for his existing cooler mash-tun. It took a few hours to assemble, but it's ready to go now, I believe. here's a shot I took of him standing next to it..

Good job!

Other than that, I have nothing to add right now. Carry on!