Monday, July 27, 2015

The Garden Report.

OK, so I haven't been taking any long distance motorcycle trips this summer. I did do a 4 day trip to Road America this spring, but I've only taken the bikes out for local day trips since then.

This is our first year with a garden in Wisconsin and I've spent a lot of time in it! I am very happy with the results so far. I posted about tilling and hauling in compost for the garden back in May. The typical date of last frost is usually right around the fist of June and I planted about that time.

The rhubarb, tomatoes, tomatillos, green and jalapeno peppers are from small starter plants from the garden store. The sugar snap peas, zucchini, bush beans, and green onions I planted as seeds.

I'm proud to show the first edible produce from the garden.... sugar snap peas.

The last couple of weeks have been quite warm and the effect on the garden has been great. It seems like most of the weather up until the last few weeks has been cool and the plants just hadn't taken off like they have in the last week or so. We are just now starting to run the air conditioner.. that's how cool it's been.

Here is what the garden looked like 2 weeks ago.......

And today.....

The tomatillos have tons of blossoms and have started to set fruit. The tomato plants have lots of fruit. The zucchini has lots of blossoms, same as the beans. The dill is tall and fragrant, and the rhubarb is doing nicely.

Zucchini flower...

Tomatillos a plenty...

Bush style green beans...

I made my tomato cages from a 50' roll of 5' wide, 6" x 6" square, welded wire concrete reinforcing mesh. I cut off 5' long pieces and cut the bottom wire off to make feet, secured the ends...

Nancy and I have a lot more flowers and plants on the back patio and around the outside of the house.

We continue to be visited by all sorts of wildlife.

More as the plants produce!

Richard asked me about fencing to keep the abundant deer out of the garden.... Well, to answer that, I did a lot of research and watched a lot of videos on youtube, before I finally decided on what to use. I originally thought about making a 7' high fence with electrical conduit and light weight mesh. But I was intrigued by the monofilament fences I saw. Several people have reported good luck keeping deer out of their gardens using not much more that fishing line.

Here's what I did. I started with 4 steel fence posts, one at each corner. Then I ran a row of 2' high poultry fence AKA chicken wire, around the garden, in the same line as the steel corner posts. I used some wood lath to keep the chicken wire fence upright. It stands about 1.5 feet high, as I put about 6" of it on the ground to discourage small critters from going under it.

Once the low fence was in place, I used a roll of clear 20# test monofilament fishing line and circled the garden with 6 strands.

The theory is that the deer brush against the fishing line and because they can't see it, the back away from it, and because they're unsure of what's there, they won't try to jump it... in theory.

So far, it has kept everything out... We'll see.