Saturday, October 29, 2011

Garden Update - October 29th

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The garden is still doing pretty good. The temperatures have cooled with 40's and 50's at night and 60's to 70's during the day. We almost had a frost earlier last week, but it barely missed us. The lima beans are producing pods like crazy, and if they can make it before the first frost I will have a great harvest. The fall lettuce is coming in nicely, but the spinach is just not doing well. The tomatoes and peppers are still producing, but the tomatoes are all green.

Garden overall, the two big beds up front are baby lima beans.

This is just one corner of one of the beds and look at all the pods. I sure hope they make it before first frost.

Here is the bed of lettuce, there are 12 heads going out of 16 seeds planted. I can't wait to eat fresh salads in just a few more weeks.

Close up of lettuce, this is Great Lakes variety#118, awesome for salads.

Peppers are still going, I had such good luck with jalapenos that I am going to try habaneros next year.

Close up of jalapeno peppers.

A row of spinach, maybe it will get bigger, it is just not doing as good as my lettuce.

My tomato plants have grown into a snarled mess, but they are loaded with green tomatoes.
I don't know if they will ripen before first frost, here is a cluster of green ones.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Garden Chipmunk Finally Caught

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Warning, this post is about how I finally caught the chipmunk terrorizing my garden. It contains pretty graphic information and may be unsettling to some people. If this is you then do not read any further.

I have been trying to catch this chipmunk for a few weeks now and nothing has worked. I have tried rat traps, glue traps, metal cage traps, you name it. I see him all the time but he always runs into my lima bean patch and disappears.

Tonight I figured out that he was been running into the open end of a drainage pipe that I have installed in my garden. My garden area is outlined in concrete pavers and this obstructs the natural flow of water out of my yard. I built a redneck drainage system to funnel the water that build ups in front of the pavers. It consists of a simple cone drainage grate that is connected to a piece of black pipe that runs under the pavers and out of the other end.  The other end of the pipe is exposed where the water drains out.

Once I figured out he was in the pipe, getting rid of him was easy.  First I stuffed the open end of the pipe with a towel, essentially trapping him in the pipe since the other end of the pipe is the drainage grate.  I then put my water hose over the grate and began to fill the pipe slowly with water.  I wanted to be as humane as possible, so I had my pellet gun ready for when he tried to escape the water once it filled the pipe.  He finally appeared at the top of the grate and I did what I had to.

I am glad he is finally gone.  I may put another grate on the open end of the pipe just to prevent any more chipmunks from getting the same idea.

This is the hav-a-hart trap that he just was too smart to go in.

This is the grate in front of the pavers

This is the open end of pipe on the other side of the pavers, nice lima beans.

You can see the distance from the grate to end of pipe, nice little spot for him to chill underground.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chipmunks in the Garden

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I have had a problem with chipmunks in my yard for the ten years I have lived in my house.  Before I started gardening I never paid much attention to them.  Now I am much more aware of them and have hoped they would stay out of the garden. 

Well tonight I was getting ready to fire up the fire pit and enjoy some quality time with the family when one of these little jokers bolted from my lima bean bed across my patio and under my air conditioning unit.  I grabbed a broom and tried to get him from under the AC unit but it ran back into the lima beans and I couldn't find him.

So I pulled out my rat traps that I use when I try to catch these guys, but we were completely out of peanut butter.  I searched the cabinet, what to use....what to use....YES, Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies.  I love oatmeal pies so surely chipmunks do too.  I baited up three traps, one by the AC unit and two in between the lima bean bed.

Hopefully this will work, I have lettuce and spinach near those lima beans and this guy could do a lot of damage.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My First Blogging Award Hooray

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Rachel over at GrafixMuse's Garden Spot nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  It is my first ever blogging award and it is an award to increase awareness on blogs that you find enjoyable and that you want to pass on to other readers.  I am honored to be nominated by her and I like the "Pay It Forward" aspect of the award.  She is a gardening and graphic guru from Maine and you will not find better quality blogging pictures.  I am always amazed by how crisp and professional her pictures look.

Here are the rules for the award: (Copied From GrafixMuse Garden Spot)

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Liebster Blog Award is designed to introduce others to enjoyable blogs that have less than 200 followers. When you accept the award, you choose 3-5 other blogs that you feel are deserving of more subscribers and pass the award on to them.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have fun!

Now it's my turn and I would like to nominate...

Crafty Cristy - Cristy is a gardening mom in South Alabama who also home schools her kids.  She posts good book reviews, craft ideas from her homeschooling adventurers, and gardening experiences.  She is a new to gardening like me and I like following her blog.

Frugal Living At Its Finest - Amy is a stay at home mom who really knows how to find a good deal.  I am amazed at the number of deals and posts that she puts on her blog.  She posts really good deals, and I have learned a few "frugal" tips from her.

GingerBreadHouse - Mrs.Ginny is a gardener and excellent cook.  She posts lots of good 'ol southern comfort food and gardening posts.  I feel transported in time when I read her blog.  She reminds me of all the good in America like the way things were before we got all complicated with our iPhones, Netflix, Facebook, and 24/7 society that we live in now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Garden Harvests - October 11th

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Things are slowing down in the garden. I am not going out there every day, and we are getting pretty consistent rain. The fall lettuce is doing great, but the second planting of spinach has not sprouted yet. The eggplant is finished, the final tally was 21 eggplants weighing a total of 13 lbs. That was from one amazing plant! The baby lima beans are flowering like crazy and I should be picking pods in a few more weeks if the weather cooperates. What I have going now is tomatoes, jalapenos, baby limas, lettuce, and spinach.

This was a pound of jalapeno peppers and that brings the total for the year to almost 6 lbs. That is a lot of jalapenos for 4 plants. I am estimating I got between 80 to 100 jalapenos per plant. There might be a few more left, put this was probably the last good picking.

I picked the last of the cowhorn peppers this week.

I also picked the third watermelon of the season, this one weighed about 7 pounds.

Two small tomatoes, the green one was on the ground. The plants are loaded right now with green tomatoes, but I just hope there is enough time for them to ripen.
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Garden Pictures - October 3rd

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This Monday instead of posting pictures of my weekly garden harvests, I decided to just post pictures of the garden.  You can only see so many pictures of eggplants and peppers before it gets redundant.  So to recap the harvests for the week, more jalapenos, more eggplant, and more cow horn peppers.  Now on to the garden pics.

Baby Lima Beans look unbelievably lush and healthy.  They are just starting to flower.  I planted these in late August.  I hope they produce before our first freeze.

Bed of Great Lakes Lettuce, this will be enough for me and plenty to give away.

Close up of Lettuce Plant

Here is a bed of spinach that I planted, unfortunately I can't distinguish the spinach from all the weeds that sprouted in with it.  I replanted some this weekend and hopefully I will have better luck.

My monster eggplant that has produced over 18 eggplants weighing 12 lbs.  Not bad for one plant.

Close up of eggplant

Eggplant and jalapeno peppers, you can see how big the eggplant is relative to the peppers.

Garden Overall Pictures

I still have a few watermelons.

Tomatoes have really taken off and grown together since the weather has cooled.  They are loaded with tomatoes now.

Tomato close up

Cow horn peppers still producing well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Perfect Weekend

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It is not often that I stray and talk about something other than gardening on my blog, but sometimes you have to mix it up.  I am thankful for every day the Lord gives me on this earth, but there are some days that all is right with the world and I am filled with a sense of peace, contentment, and well being with my life.

This weekend I had a few of those days.  We started by waking up early on Saturday for my daughter's soccer game.  The morning was clear and crisp with the temperature in the 50's.  Her regular coach was not there this game so I had the opportunity to help out with the kids.  Seeing all those 4 and 5 year olds running around is always really cool.  My daughter just wanted me to keep giving all her teammates high fives and fist bumps, but I explained to her that we have to actually play soccer too.  We left the soccer game and headed over to McDonald's because I always promise her a butter biscuit after her early soccer games.

After scarfing down my biscuit, I had to get my 'Ol Red ready for sell.   I sold my old truck to a nice old man who was going to use it for his plumbing business.  Selling my truck completed the transaction of upgrading from my old truck to my new truck.  Speaking of my new truck, that was another highlight of this weekend.  I finally got my truck back from the mechanic and it is purring like a kitten now.  Me and my daughter drove it everywhere this weekend, and I love having a newer truck with an actual radio and air conditioning.  I got the truck about a month ago, but it had a burnt exhaust valve.  It runs like a new truck now and I love it.

My daughter and I ate lunch at our favorite hot dog place called Cook's Hot Dogs and then it was time to take an afternoon nap.  Once we woke up from our nap, we loaded up in the truck and drove around to look at houses.  It was getting dark and the weather was starting to cool again, so we decided to pick up some firewood and fire up the fire pit for the first time this season.  Sitting in the backyard around the fire pit, I just soaked up being with my wife and daughter.  Life was good.

Sunday we slept in instead of going to church because my wife was feeling a little sick.  After watching our church service on TV, I went out and planted some more spinach seeds.  The first batch I planted was a bust.  After cleaning up from my gardening, in the afternoon I got to share in some male fellowship with a group of men from our church.  We all went to see the new movie Courageous.  This is the new movie from the same people that did Facing the Giants and Fireproof.  The movie was awesome and I highly recommend all fathers to go see it.  After the movie we all went to eat Mexican food and discuss the movie.  The movie made me think a lot about what a good father is and what areas I need to work on to be a better father.  After dinner I headed home and as soon as I walked through the door I hear, "Daddy, I missed you so much, give me a big hug!"  What better way to cap off the weekend but with another evening sitting around the fire pit.

God is good, all the time.  I hope your weekend was as good as mine.