zucchini and challenges

 

IMG_0285 (1024x960)This is how much zucchini I got to freeze this past week, plus we ate some and gave some away.  Off to a good start for the year, then the HEAT came on.  We’ve been lucky this year that despite the DRY, we stayed relatively mild, only getting into the 100F temps this week.  Through May and June its been 90’s with nice 50’s for our early early mornings.  At those temps the zucchini flowered and my Roma tomatoes are doing GREAT!

Then the heat started and the zucchini flowers stayed closed as they are want to do when its hot.  You just never know when that heat is going to start, have seen it be 105 by the beginning of may and then the garden shuts down until the temps come back into the 90’s, and that could be September . . . with frost in October. 

One of the other things I lack is pollinators.  Despite growing plants that will attract pollinators, and even bringing in a hive – which sadly FAILED – there are few pollinators in my garden. So this year have been out there every morning with my magic feather.  Making sure the tomato flowers are tickled as well as the potatoes.  Do believe that is one of the reasons my yields are low on both in the past.  And of course I’m working the squash and as the flowers bloom, will also do the bush beans.

If you have been reading my blog you know I save the water we run to get the hot water going for the shower and transfer that to water butts for the garden so the chlorine evaporates off.  Have decided to get a chlorine removing filter for my garden hoses.  Know they also remove calcium and magnesium, but even with the hardest water in the world, Blossom End Rot is a continuous problem in my zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, and I have to supplement the plants regularly to prevent it.  This year I started before the seedlings were showing flowers and so far so good.  Anyway, I figure by supplementing my standing water with the filtered water, I’ll find a balance of minerals for the garden, plus additions of compost and fish emulsion.  Hopefully, I’ll also get the added benefits of the various organisms that develop and nourish and create soil.

DH bought me a transfer pump for moving said water from the bathtub to the water butts!  I’ve been using a little pond pump, filling up 3 gallon jugs and then carrying them out to fill the butts.  Will miss the exercise, but this saves beaucoup time!  Eventually, we’ll also get bigger water butts  for rainwater and this will help move that water also.

and the Olla experiment is working well, but the pots I have are surface pots and definitely need to develop a system to get pots deeper into the soil for keeping the plants going once they are past seedling stage.

All in all, the garden has been productive and is doing well.  I’ve off for a few days next week and it will just be a few days as I don’t trust the DH to water and keep up with the zucchini picking, much less get the stuff in the freezer!  he’s a wonderful guy, but . . .

and this is one of the ways he takes after his dad; he’ll criticize me for all the time and effort to grow excess and preserve it for the winter, yet he’ll praise the efforts and the quality of what we get to eat during the winter to other people.  Thankfully, his folks lived with us during their last years and I learned a lot about how and why DH does and says what he does.

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This entry was posted in canning, container gardening, gardening, homesteading, legumes, organic, peppers, potatoes, preserving, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, top bar hive, Uncategorized, water. Bookmark the permalink.

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