Food gardening

Had to harvest the broccoli. It had bolted. Par for the course, cool(er) weather crop. Early May, they had plants, so I bought them. Was also getting pest pressure, that may have contributed to bolting. Put what I harvested in a bag on the counter, a little while after wife said small green caterpillars all over the broccoli. Somewhat bitter because it bolted, pre-flowering, it'll go n a chicken stir fry. A little Toban Djan to counter the bitterness. May not be wise and asking for trouble but considering replacing the broccoli with Swiss Chard.

The pests/bugs are starting to show themselves, a bit early by my estimation. Mole/vole tunnels here and there, groundhogs grazing n the yard, gonna get interesting. Killed a copperhead back there coup!e weeks ago. Snakes, anything but snakes.
 
GORGEOUS pit vipers but but toxic venom for sure. How far away when you spotted it and did she take a strike?

Nah, I was mowing the grass on the rider, outer perimeter inwards. There it was, smack dab middle of the backyard/field behind the house. Maybe was hanging out at hoop fencing I have around the apple trees before disturbed by the mower, laying in wait for birds that land on the fencing. Gotta admit, nice looking handsome snake. Put it in neutral and was gonna get off to....? Heck with that, through my feet up on the engine cover just in case of the unpredictable, and put it back in drive. In a way hated to do it but can't something like that crawling around so close to the house or places I frequent. In the green grass pretty obvious to see, other areas he'd be quite camouflaged and difficult to spot. Can't have my dogs getting bit either. Actually I didn't hate it, good riddance.
 
Nah, I was mowing the grass on the rider, outer perimeter inwards. There it was, smack dab middle of the backyard/field behind the house. Maybe was hanging out at hoop fencing I have around the apple trees before disturbed by the mower, laying in wait for birds that land on the fencing. Gotta admit, nice looking handsome snake. Put it in neutral and was gonna get off to....? Heck with that, through my feet up on the engine cover just in case of the unpredictable, and put it back in drive. In a way hated to do it but can't something like that crawling around so close to the house or places I frequent. In the green grass pretty obvious to see, other areas he'd be quite camouflaged and difficult to spot. Can't have my dogs getting bit either. Actually I didn't hate it, good riddance.
Yeah, hemotoxins…not good for people and especially not dogs. They have their role but a snake or two ain’t gonna decimate a population and they certainly aren’t endangered. Gorgeous colors and pattern though. Better to be safe
 
Non-food but I’m trying to baby this juvenile bird-of-paradise. It was one that was bare-rooted last week from sitting in a pot forever. Hoping she’ll come around and may need to get a little fertilizer supplement. All of the others are happy to be in the ground and loving life.

That’s Primrose (Vinca) behind her IMG_1055.jpeg
 
Pests.

Got squash bugs. Not doing a lot of damage, yet, but I'm also seeing groups of eggs on the squash, cukes, watermelon and pumpkin. Haven't used any chemicals or even "organic" pest control, yet. Eggs may be aphids. Have been seeing big flying grasshoppers as well. It's going to be a battle come mid July.

Blossom end rot on 1 or 2 of the 6 San Marzano tomatoes. Seems the consensus has changed on that from a calcium deficiency to a watering issue, cycles of water then drying out. Did a second round of fertilizer yesterday, a bit of manure, then layed straw. Hopefully that will help.

I messed up and left one of the garden gates open a couple of nights ago. Not extreme damage, but found a half eaten tomatoe, tops of some beans eaten, nibbled on the radish tops. Once bitten twice not so shy, I got hit again last night. Quite a few beans eaten to the ground, my polebeans that were just starting to take off, gone. One green tomatoes pretty much consumed. All the radish tops, the radishes are due for harvest, I was going to eat the greens as well.

Not deer, something else. I can see where something dug just enough to get under the fence. Groundhog, maybe. There is about 5 that frequent back there. That's a problem, it's too late in the season to start from scratch on some things...if. Wife doesn't want me to shoot them. I have a shitload of rocks I've dug up, I think I might try lining the fence with rocks. Don't want to destroy my supply/roll of fencing, but could possibly cut roughly foot wide sections and staple to the ground along the fence line. Who knows, they're diggers, if they want to get in they'll get in, thr buffet.

Deer have destroyed my wife's flower garden I made for her. Also pruned the peach tree. First year producing, peaches are small but almost ready. It's a "fruit cocktail tree", I already harvested the few plums the same tree produced, same tree different graft. Should do better next year with a bit of pruning and culling of some of the over abundance of fruit.

Got 12 sweet potato plants yesterday, wife is going to put them in grow bags, protected inside my garden fence. Yeah, protected. :facepalm:
 
The garden is going well but my barrels have run dry, I need some rain. The ground is hard here, hit it with a heavy duty rake right now and it bounces off. Moral of the story, I need more or bigger barrels.
 
I have partaken of the first radishes today. Everything is looking good. We do have some predation but not sure what. No sign of groundhog entry but some of the pole beans have been nipped back. I'll put a trailcam on it. Have loads of peaches this year and some apples too. Lost all the peaches last year to a very late frost. The whole state was wiped out.
 
I have partaken of the first radishes today. Everything is looking good. We do have some predation but not sure what. No sign of groundhog entry but some of the pole beans have been nipped back. I'll put a trailcam on it. Have loads of peaches this year and some apples too. Lost all the peaches last year to a very late frost. The whole state was wiped out.
I have lost count of the groundhogs around here. They are in the barn, under the old shed and in the woodpiles for sure. I guess there are enough munchies around here because they have never bothered the garden.
 
I have partaken of the first radishes today. Everything is looking good. We do have some predation but not sure what. No sign of groundhog entry but some of the pole beans have been nipped back. I'll put a trailcam on it. Have loads of peaches this year and some apples too. Lost all the peaches last year to a very late frost. The whole state was wiped out.

What kind of apples do you have?

Ever have problems with deer pruning your fruit trees?
 
What kind of apples do you have?

Ever have problems with deer pruning your fruit trees?
I have chicken wire around my apple trees and peach trees. They are only about five feet tall and the deer love the apple trees. They leave the dogwood, and plum trees alone? They like my pear tree but that is probably 35 feet or more tall. They ate the small peaches I have but left the leaves alone? They eat everything on the apple trees.
 
I have chicken wire around my apple trees and peach trees. They are only about five feet tall and the deer love the apple trees. They leave the dogwood, and plum trees alone? They like my pear tree but that is probably 35 feet or more tall. They ate the small peaches I have but left the leaves alone? They eat everything on the apple trees.

Earlier in this thread I posted pics, I took pex flexible plumbing pipe and made hoops, then five foot welded wire fencing to keep the deer off my fruit trees. They're out growing the hoop fencing. I'd like to prune to shape the young trees, easy picking, the health of the tree(s), in part to allow airflow to prevent disease and powdery mildew. Allowing in the sun will also ripen the fruit. For the most part anything that grows through the fencing gets nipped by deer, which will pretty much negate my efforts to purposefully prune to shape. To boot, anything that doesn't make it through the fencing gets miss-shapened. It's just a reality I will have to remove the fencing at some point. Then, what, the deer will decimate the tree(s). I have about a grand invested. Rock and a hard place, kind of frustrating. I do have to maintain the grass, so building whatever kind of fencing out further would be a pain in the ass. Got about a grand invested. I didn't plant trees to feed the fucking deer.

Peach tree(also plum on same tree), loaded with small peaches, if I had better access I would have thinned for better fruit size.

Apple trees, both 3 in 1(Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious & Gala, Granny Smith & Fuji) only the first mentioned produced any fruit this year, not sure why. The fruit doesn't have great size, but at least the one is producing this year. Not totally sure with apple, a lot to sort out and can't remember at the moment, but some fruit trees produce on second year growth, so there's that.

First cherry tree died, the replacement is doing pretty well, except for the deer, and the insects. Currently a mockingbird nest is in there, 2 speckled blue eggs. Birds shit cherry tomatoe seeds inside the hoop at the base of the tree, volunteers, fuck it i'm letting them grow. There's a big ass hawk around here, they like preying on mockingbirds. Oh well, hawks gotta eat, circle of life.

The reason I asked what kind of Apple SBL has: I chose the trees wanting good fresh eating apples, in the long run maybe other purposes such as cider, apple butter, etc. Something I had never heard of, never knew such a thing existed, Cedar-Apple Rust. Cedar tree(s) produce the spores, carried by wind to the apple trees, rust spots kill the leaves on the apple tree, ruins the fruit. I pruned the shit out of the apple trees covered with rust last August, a part of me not caring if it killed the trees or not. It didn't, they seemed to like it with new growth. I sprayed this year, antifungal, once. I should('ve) do it again, but one time spraying prevented a lot of rust. Do I see myself doing that every year for the rest of my life, I don't know. One solution from the experts, take down every cedar tree within 10 miles. Ain't happening. Some apple tree varieties are resistant to cedar-apple rust, but less desirable for fresh eating, okay for cider, maybe even preferable. I mean they're apples, but hard and sour, shitty apples for picking off the tree and taking a bite. Maybe those are the variety SBL has, a plus and a minus. I almost wish I had known and planted those such varieties.

So that's where I'm at with the fruit trees. I don't reckon in the long run I mind sharing with wildlife, but those fuckers just browsing around, a nip here, a nip there, grrr. Cages come off at the end of this growing season, at least I'll get this year's harvest. I perhaps see an airsoft rifle in my future. It might discourage them from certain areas, maybe, but if nothing else vent my frustrations.
 
The apple trees went in over the weekend.

View attachment 121145

Pics of the hoop fencing. Peach("fruit cocktail tree") in the foreground, up and over it's about twice that size now, loaded with peaches. The apple trees in the background, if I had not pruned last year they would be at least twice the size from when initially planted. I like the fencing, was proud of the idea, but it has served its purpose and must be dismantled and removed. This fall, and let the chips fall where they may. I mean, what else can you do.
 
I don't know. Came with the place. Deer have eaten my girl's hosta but never any fruit. Squirrels have taken peaches.
Squirrels used to get my mangos and avocados but they’d never eat the fallen ones it seemed, only the ones on the tree and they’d eat a small area and leave the rest of the fruit. Cute little bastards 😡
 
Squirrels used to get my mangos and avocados but they’d never eat the fallen ones it seemed, only the ones on the tree and they’d eat a small area and leave the rest of the fruit. Cute little bastards 😡

Ain't that some shit.

When I lived in the city back at the beach, I started noticing bites out of my tomatoes. Damn tomatoes almost ready for picking/eating, whatever it was they wouldnt eat the entire tomato, just for the most part take a bite out of every one of them. So, we have another couple over one nice evening, cooking shrimp on skewers, steaks, grilling squash, fresh vegetables from my garden. Guest, she says, "Look there". Silhouette of a damn rat running across the top of the fence at the back of the yard. Embarrassing. Bingo, it all came together, mystery solved. I'd never seen a rat anywhere around the property before then. The next day I pulled every tomato plant, except the cherry tomatoes, they didn't seem to give a shit to eat them. Actually never ate anything but slicing tomatoes. As a precaution I placed rat traps throughout the garden. Later found a dead bird, not in a trap, maybe startled heart attack from trap snapping, poor guy/gal. Got one rat. Fucking rats, don't want no fucking rats.
 
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