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Crazy Carrots, And Other Fun Garden Stuff

I’ve heard one “expert” say on a podcast, and another state in a book, that growing carrots isn’t worth it because they’re so cheap at the grocery store. Even the organic ones.

I beg to differ.

Once you figure out how to keep pests from eating just-germinated carrot greens, carrots are relatively easy to grow. And much cheaper than buying them from a store – especially, of course, when you usually buy organic. And like with all food you grow yourself, it’s quite the heady feeling to harvest at least part of your meal from your own backyard or property.

But when you don’t quite thin the babies out the way you’re supposed to, you can end up with some interesting creatures.

Here’s one – er, that is, two – that I pulled up the other day:

In this case, don’t think the problem was that they were too close together, but that one or both decided to grow at a slight diagonal. Usually, when carrots grow too closely they are either both very small (even if the part sticking out of the soil looks like it’s at a mature size), or they end up looking like a pair of legs or a three-legged stool. That is, instead of one decent-sized root, you end up with two or three skinny roots, usually of different lengths. Maybe one day I’ll remember to snap a photo of one of these marvels.

Then there’s this one:

It’s like some obstruction got in its way a few inches under the soil, so it decided to grow wide instead of long.

Other fun garden stuff

Are goji bushes supposed to put off a second crop? Or are mine just being weird this year because of the mild winter?

Ignore the animal skull in the background, heh, heh. (I have a pre-teen son, remember?)

See the blossoms? This, my most productive goji so far, had already blossomed out pretty well in March. Well, can’t complain about a second crop, especially when the young bushes are taking their own sweet time to grow!

Below, a photo of the sweet potato vines going crazy.

Now, this is fun. Last summer, I declared that I was no longer going to water the blackberries. They could die as far as I cared (mostly because I discovered they make me sick to my stomach). But lookee here:

Nature decided to keep them watered this year. Even though I’ve had both bugs and birds snacking on the ripening berries, I was able to harvest a handful the other day. It went into J’s afternoon smoothie, if you must know, you nosey thing, you. 😉

My broccoli plants, which I planted WAY later than I should have, are huge:

The leaves are full of holes because both before we left for Minnesota, and after we came back, I had to remove a bunch of cabbage worms. Also, there’s another kind of weird and colorful bug I’ve never seen before that I think is munching on the leaves, and I know that the grasshoppers like anything from the Brassica family. BUT…I’m still harvesting and cooking the leaves. It takes a while for the florets to form.

My wrath of grapes

Probably my biggest gardening lesson learned this year will be that in humid areas, grapes must be sprayed with a fungicide in the spring, several times, to prevent black rot. *Sigh.* And according to the information I’ve found, once grapes have black rot, you might as well cut down all the vines and bunches of grapes and hope for better luck next year.

So I cut most of the vines down a couple of weeks ago. However, there were two bunches that had mostly mature grapes that looked like they really, really wanted a chance to ripen and bless our tongues with their sweetness. So I left them, just to see what would happen.

Well, so far this bunch looks good:

But this one has had it:

I’m not holding my breath that we’ll have any grapes this year. But the good news is, this vine is quite prolific, and as long as I fertilize it and spray it (with non-toxic stuff, of course!) we should have grapes next year.

My garden update for late June, 2017. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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