After these little tomato plants died at the paws of my two puppies back in March, I started rethinking fences. The puppies dug and rolled around in the newly planted bed with such gusto that I knew I needed a fence and I needed a fence fast!
I rushed off to the store looking for a temporary solution. I needed a fence the I could install by myself quickly, but would still be strong enough to hold back the pups. Since the fence is only temporary, I was hoping to find something that wouldn't break the bank. The plastic fence I found fit the bill nicely and at $7.94 for 25 feet, I was thrilled.
The fence was cheap enough, but the T posts were not. The salesperson recommended I space the T posts every 6 feet, but he thought I could get away with 8 feet because the fence was so light weight. I decided to be cheap and push the distance to 12 feet. This was a mistake that I eventually had to correct.
The real mistake I made was buying 48 inch T posts for a 40 inch tall fence. Apparently, 12 inches of the post end up below the ground leaving only 36 inches to support the fence. When I realized my mistake, I was in too deep and I wasn't going back. The top is floppy, but the fence seems to be doing the job. My precious veggies are now safe.
Despite the late start this year, the garden is already on it's way to being very productive. One of the first plants to provide fruit was this yellow banana pepper.
The tomato plants are absolutely loaded with fruit this year. Sungold, a yellow cherry tomato, was the first to ripen. The first two I harvested never made it to the house.
I started my okra indoors again this year to get a head start. I harvested my first okra over the weekend, though what I'm supposed to do with one little okra remains a question mark. His little friends should be ripening soon and there's plenty of flowers for more fruit to come.
I normally don't start squash indoors, but this year I made an exception due to our crazy late cold fronts. All that work and planning paid off, because this year I got fruit before I saw my first vine borer moth.
I recently chased one of those silly moths through the garden. I sure wish I had purchased one of those battery powered fly zappers, it would have been perfect for the job of moth assassination. I don't know if the moth managed to lay it's eggs or not, but if it did, I still have about 4 more weeks of production, which should allow for a decent harvest.
Tatuma squash is more resistant to vine borers due to it's smaller stems. Plants this vigorous will take a while for the borers to damage.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of squash ready for harvest and more on the way.
As I type, there is finally rain on the way. Many of the plants in my vegetable garden have never seen a measurable rainfall. Isn't that crazy?
I took this cucumber picture back on May 7th. Plants like cucumbers respond very well to rainfall seemingly doubling the size of their fruit overnight. I can't wait to go pick this one tomorrow!
There's so much going on in the garden right now. Every bed is full, but soon there will be vacancies. The onions and potatoes are beginning to show signs that it's almost harvest time. The onions flop over and the potato foliage dies back indicating it's ready.
This year's onion crop has been a pleasant surprise to me. I really thought our wild temperature swings would cause the plants to flower, but that hasn't been the case. When onions flower, the bulbs tend to be smaller. These onions never flowered and the bulbs are growing right out of the ground.
Here's a little trick I thought I would try: I planted my late season lettuce in the shade of more mature plants like this chard. It's working great. I've tucked in enough lettuce for a few more salads. Who knows maybe this year I'll have lettuce and tomatoes at the same time.
Thanks to my new fence this year's garden has been safe from puppies and other critters. After an armadillo recently tore up parts of the yard adjacent to the veggie garden, but left the veggie garden alone, I'm beginning to think the fence might stay.