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The Longest Days

Happy Monday. I hope your week is off to a terrific start! I was on the way to work this morning when the news snippet talked about these being the longest days of the year. I really noticed it on Saturday night. I had to go into work at 9pm for a night time deployment and it was still light out. At 9pm! I love the Summer. OK, it’s not really, technically Summer yet but it was almost 90 this weekend and that’s Summer enough for this gal!

9pm sunset:

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We felt a little like vampires over the weekend – only creeping out to work on things in the early morning or right around dusk. It was pretty humid and I get way too tired in the heat. On Sunday morning (right after being up late for the deployment), we high-tailed it to the strawberry patch to grab a box of beauties before the heat got too bad. We lucked out and managed to stay relatively cool through most of the picking. It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes or so when we started to feel hot and sticky… time to leave!

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Strawberries are Ben’s favorite fruit so berry picking is a must around this house! Now we have a heaping flat for shortcake, lunches, and I’m planning on freezing some for smoothies. Mmm

My own strawberry patch is looking like a failure. I got a couple handfuls of itsy-bitsy watery tasting berries. The majority seem to be chewed up by tiny black bugs. If they were gorgeous and sweet, I’d be more angry but these guys almost aren’t worth the effort to pick…

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I hate to resort to pesticides so instead I’m wondering if I should just rip all these out and try another type of berry for next year. I suppose it could also be my soil or maybe they aren’t getting enough sunlight; I’m not really sure what the issue is. Maybe I should stick to veggie gardening instead. 🙂

Speaking of, the veggie garden has been planted and already is seeing some interesting results. I cut back on the peppers this year (we still have some from last year’s harvest in the freezer) but still will have the color variety with green, red, yellow, and orange

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(Note how nice that bed looks) Four of the peppers I got from the local organic farmer and the other four were from Walmart. Oddly, the ones from Walmart are looking a little yellowed and don’t appear to be growing much.

We dumped in a new bag of soil to each of the beds right before planting. I had a few bags leftover from last year (they went into the pepper bed) and the new bags yielded a MOUNTAIN of weeds. Oh baby – this is not fun work.

The bed in front is trying to be a cantaloupe. I think I killed two of the three plants by trying to separate them too soon. Whoops! Hopefully the last one will yield some fruit. We like to try one new thing each year and ‘loupe it is for 2016. In the back bed I have yellow and green beans. I only filled half the bed thinking I’d wait a few weeks and plant another few rows to stagger the produce. In the meantime, the weeds are growing there nicely. 😉 Finally just off to the right you can see my tiny plot of peas. They are doing really well.

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So my funny “oops” moment came when planting my zucchini and yellow squash. I planted two zucchini in one bed and two squash in the other bed. Then I promptly forgot which bed was which. This wouldn’t be a problem except that one bed had both plants sprout up and the other bed was a total dud. I can’t imagine 4 zucchini OR squash plants unless we wanted to eat that 3x a week for two months. I planted two of each in the bed and am crossing my fingers when (if?) they come up I’ll be able to spot some differences and rip out the extra ones. I’ll keep you posted.

It wouldn’t be my yard if the rabbits didn’t find a way to destroy my pink lilies:

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But my peonies are doing great. They are in the back of the house and bloom a little later than everyone else’s. I planted these the summer before last and it’s doing so well.

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I bought a peony cage to keep them upright and off the ground. I wasn’t sure how well it would work but it does keep the bulk of the plant upright and even with some pretty massive winds, they’ve kept in place.

At first I was pretty blue that I messed up and got a single instead of a double, but it really is very pretty and fragrant. Maybe I can get a few more planted for next year.

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Well, it’s 8:35 and looking light enough out for a walk. I think I’ll go and take advantage of this extra sunlight. Bye for now!

 

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One Response

  1. Your flowers and gardening look great! And the strawberries you and Ben picked – YUM! First full day of summer.

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