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Archive for June, 2008

At my Mom’s house, I saw Menard’s had canning jars on sale and mentioned it without thinking. Mom stared at me all concerned and said, “You’re not thinking of canning, are you? You’ll have to buy a canner!” And she went on and on about it in a negative fashion. Golly Mom! I’m going to can and I’m going to use a big pot w/ a rack in the bottom. I’ve already got everything I need except a jar lifter, and I’ll figure that out too when the time comes.
On a much more positive note, my tomatoes are starting to open their little yellow flowers. So far the lemon boys are ahead of the salsas. I saw 3 half-open buds, he he. I’ve been thinking of stimulating pollination with my Tide spin brush. It’s like a big electric toothbrush for stain treatments. It vibrates the flower into releasing lots of pollen and you get more fruit that way. I’ll try it and see. If it’s too much work, I’ll just put it away.
On a side note, Scott has looked into getting the lawn aerated, so my next task is to dismantle the playset as much as possible. I’d like to leave the little raised area there for another planting bed. Should I take down the fort part too, or leave that? I just hope the bench and pole aren’t cemented in or I’ll have to dig those out—yeoch!
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Garden Update

My salsa tomatoes are really bushing out—probably due to not picking off the suckers. They each have immature flower buds. I was able to water them once with the “bloom booster” but it’s been really rainy lately. The lemon boys are still smaller than the salsas, but they have new blooms coming too. Surprisingly, the gypsies have teeny tiny buds too, despite their small size. Those plants are about 10” tall, or so. Bananas still have no buds, but they aren’t yellow anymore. The watermelon vines are growing, but I still don’t see flowers or buds. The pumpkins were successively transplanted to under the play set. One of the 3 vines didn’t make it, but it turns out that one was a double, so I still have 3 vines. They look good so far. The habaneros, on the other hand. They are so small! They’re probably only 6” tall still. They’re starting to get more leaves but I don’t see them making fruit. The maturity time frame is close to 100 days, so if they don’t start growing soon they’ll not make it before the frost comes. (Funny to mention frost as it’s supposed to get to 90 today.)
I got a big ol’ stock pot at big lots, thankfully! I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t find one and would have to start going to estate sales or something. But I got it at B.L. and it was only $12, too. Now I’m all set for canning tomatoes and sauce.

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After cracksealer, but before sealcoat.

All done!

I’ve been keeping busy with resurfacing the driveway. My time management isn’t that great, cause I feel like it’s taking forever, is quite a toll on my body and leaves me unable to keep up with regular chores around the house or computer tasks either. Dilemma!
The tomatoes are doing good, a few of the salsas have the beginnings of a flower bud or two. The lemon boys look a little wilted, so I gave them extra water. The peppers aren’t growing very fast, and they look rather yellow. More nitrogen? The habaneros are still very small plants too.
I’ve got lettuce galore. Chestnut loves the mesculan mix more than just mustard alone. I have yet to harvest our lettuce row cause we don’t use that much. I really should just cut it cause it will bolt if I don’t…
Scott brought home some pumpkin vines. I don’t know if they’ll make it, though. The rosemary seeds I sowed haven’t done anything so I think I’ll plant the pumpkins out there, anything would be better than the cramped pots they’re in.
The watermelons are doing good. Of the 6 additional seeds I sowed, two sprouted and are growing new leaves. The other vines are still rather small and  bushy. I don’t see how they’ll have fruit ready to eat in just a month.
The sunflowers are kind of a bust. I’ve got 6 seedlings thriving of all the seeds I planted. I think sunflower seedlings must be super tasty to bugs and they just ate them all, unfortunately. I had such high hopes, too. I guess I’ll have to plant 2 or 3 seeds in a group and treat the seeds with insecticide to get great results. But some is still better than none.
The tithonia plants I planted in the front are still alive, save one. They are actually thriving, very surprising. No flowers yet, through. I looked them up again in the catalog and they are supposed to grow to 36”. I highly doubt they will reach that height. The healthiest one is still less than 12” tall.

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