Deer Damage - beets 2014

Deer Damage – beets 2014

With a late start and cool weather here, we’ve only had a couple 30+ degree days, the gardens are slowly coming along. Of course despite the cool weather, the cool weather plants still bolt as soon as the sun shines. I am betting on a late fall as well as everything in nature evens out and with two consecutive cool summers/late springs we are due for a late warm fall.

Cucumbers are now just starting to take off and we will likely get some, but not a bumper crop. The dill I’ve planted amongst the cucumbers is very prolific and one box is actually drowning out the cucumbers.

Tomatoes are growing good – should be a good crop if the tomato spots can be kept in check but its been rainy. Perhaps a nice bedding of grass clippings mulch should be put down from now on, that in theory will keep it in check.

Squash are growing great up their trellises, really taken off these past couple of weeks, should have a good crop of winter squash and some of the zucchini are ready now. I’ve also planted a few sugar pumpkins as well this year for pies/various breads. Pumpkins were very slow to start however they are probably the fastest growing plants right now. I will likely be starting the pre-treatment for powdery mildew soon – preventative spraying with the baking soda/milk/dish detergent should keep the plants healthy.

Turnips and rutabagas are growing big and strong as usual. Usually one of my most prolific crops. Trying some turnip/rutabaga greens tonight with supper. Boiled with a little salt pork should make them a fast favorite.

Kale, well its kale – it grows, we cut it, it grows more. Have taken to frying it, then mixing it directly with mashed potatoes – kids seem to enjoy it.

Snap peas are producing their first crop now – will produce a second by September for sure. I’ve only planted a row of them as a privacy fence this year as they produce way more than we can eat if I go all out. These ones were planted mid May – that gives you an idea of the coolness this season as we should have already had the first crop.

Parsnip and turnip experiments where I let them overwinter is producing seed – an enormous amount of seeds. garden2-july312014100% of the parsnips survived the coldest winter here in a very long time and the turnips/rutabagas survived as well and are now in full on seed making. With their survival/seed production into the second year during an extremely cold winter/spring (frost down 12 feet) then that definitely opens up doors for crops id ruled out – Garlic anyone?

Beets are growing – some of the better looking beets I’ve ever grown – if I can keep from eating all the greens. So good this year we seem to have attracted a deer or two – they’ve mowed down one beet garden out front and were starting in on the main garden. I’ve since put up a motion sensor sprinkler which seems to have done the trick, or it could just be the increased bear activity.

Deer also like Swiss chard, which are growing abnormally slow this year – should be able to start eating it this week but usually mid July we are overrun.

Yellow bush beans – I’ve planted allot (4 boxes) this year and they’ve gone to flower – well the ones where the deer haven’t eaten off the tops. These make for great freezing and we should easily have a full winters supply out of the four boxes.

My trial crop of  brussel sprout s looks promising as the sprouts are forming now but the plants sure do take up a large amount of space. Should definitely increase the spacing per plant to maybe 3 plants per 4 feet.


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