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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Welcome To The Jungle.....

An Urban backyard in an established neighborhood, where trees are old and tall will certainly have it’s fair share of wildlife no matter how densely populated it may be. There are squirrels, birds, mice, bugs of all sorts, neighborhood cats and even the occasional raccoon. Add a garden into the mix and indeed you up the ante.
So normally I weed then water, but the other day I had come home to some desperate looking veggies and immediately ran for the hose. I started with the squash and tomatoes out front and then onto the artichokes. EEEEEK. As I began to spray, out slithered what I know to be a rather harmless garter snake. He may have been as surprised as I was. I had just enough time to run and grab my camera. He hid in the crepe myrtle for a while and then made his way back under the artichokes. Must have been something good under there.
I finished watering the front and moved on to the back. And low and behold as I begin to water the potatoes this slimy skink came slithering out and quickly made it’s way under the deck. He was a biggie too. I have since run into a few of his buddies and cousins.
So, lesson learned. Water first. Weed Second.

The garden is coming along well and is actually beginning to resemble a bit of an Urban Jungle.
I have tomatoes of all sorts. The Green Zebra, Black Krim, Green Sausage, Red Fig, Golden Nugget and Yellow Lemon (yes they actually look like lemons) have all set fruit.
I did end up pulling up my Zucchini in an effort to try and curtail the spread of powdery mildew to my other plants. And, with the help of some neem, it seems like I may have things under control.
The lemon squash (I was obsessed with things that looked like lemons when ordering seeds) are coming in nicely, and all of my other squash plants are growing well and producing lots of male flowers just as they should.
The cucumbers are taking over. Several of the slicers have also pollinated and are starting to swell. The lemons (yes, I know) are a little harder to determine which I’m sure means they haven’t pollinated yet, but soon I’m certain.
Potatoes are harvested. Next year they will all be in grow bags or pots. In the ground the potatoes seem to sprawl away from the plant, so there is no telling how many spuds I may have missed, and they took up a fairly large amount of space for a relatively small yield.

Sowings this week include cowpeas where the potatoes were, scarlett runner beans where the zucchini were and okra where my pea fence once stood.
In honor of International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day I even planted a row of dwarf sunflowers in the front of my driveway garden.

And saving the best for last. Early last fall I started two artichoke plants in the driveway garden. I’ve watered and watched, watered and watched. Finally. Artichokes! In fact not one, not two, but three!

And finally a little help from mother nature. We got a really good soaking with some thunder storms last night. And coupled with a full moon this past week my garden is in full swing!

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