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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Sunday morning ramblings

Posted Sunday, July 20, 2014, at 10:15 AM
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  • Now for some observations from the garden: One of my well producing yellow squash plants stopped producing female flowers for a while. Females are the ones that turn into squash for those who are new to gardening.

    This morning a few females are back again. I wonder if they were responding to the hot dry weather? Maybe they knew they did not have enough moisture to develop good squash?

    I am used to watching out for cats when I direct seed into soft soil but I was blindsided this morning when one of my plants disappeared that was already 3-4 inches tall. I had hollowed a little cup in the soil to encourage more water to flow toward the plant. Some cat decided it was a perfect place to make a deposit. Plop, then dirt on top and my plant was gone.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 20, 2014, at 10:16 AM
  • Speaking of cats, I guess I never noticed that cats don't do a 1 & a 2 at the same time but now that I think about it, they don't, or at least not in the same place. Fascinating right? No?

    Well our little kitten Molly pointed that out to me today. She loves fresh new litter boxes, sometimes getting in them before we are done cleaning, but today she waited.

    After three attempts to make the right spot she finally did a 1. Normally the cats come out after that but Molly started digging another spot (of course, she covered the first). Again, about three different places before just right one was made, then a number 2. After covering, she was ready to get in my arms and purr. Fascinating.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 20, 2014, at 10:18 AM
  • OK, back to the garden. I was shocked this morning when I pulled some weeds and found bone dry areas around the plants. BONE DRY!

    After all this rain, how could it be? I dug a little deeper ad where the wood mulch comes in contact with the soil, it was a different story.

    The soil was nicely moist so I can only assume the wood mulch acted like dry peat moss and reject the water. You've probably noticed that peat moss requires a little extra soaking to get it to absorb the water? Same thing.

    The water found a way to the ground but it is a good example of why we don't want to let "potting soil" (high in peat content) dry out completely. Since my original bath tub is mainly potting soil, I have a constant battle with that. The other two have more soil mixed it.

    I think the edamame will fill out in the next few days. To my knowledge, edamame will not kick out more flowers and seeds after you pick them, so when I harvest, I will snip the plant off at the ground and this will give more light and room to a batch of squash that have been in between the yard-longs and edamame. (soybeans meant to eat in their green stage)

    It will also leave the root with fixed nodules of nitrogen in the soil for future fertilization. http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/nitrogen-nodules-... The plants go to the compost pile.

    The bitter melons are starting to flower and I am sure none too soon for our Oriental friends. One of our garden club members gave some to a family at their church last year and they are asking too! I just got a late start. Sorry!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 20, 2014, at 10:22 AM
  • Our summer hummers are here but unless we are home to three pairs, something else is going on. Vicky, are the early arrivals already starting back down?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 20, 2014, at 10:27 AM
  • Today I started getting the cold frame ready for some fall Bok choy. The skeeters ran me off before I could totally finish but that is ok. The expected rain will sink in better with it broken up.

    Also need to get the tub gardens ready as . I let them settle in this summer and after a little weeding they should be ready to go.

    All will get some shade cloth to get the cool weather plants germinated and hopefully they will not bolt like they did this spring. Can't believe I am already talking Fall.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jul 22, 2014, at 8:41 PM
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