Garden Notes

  • The first several days of July 2012 saw very hot weather, multiple days with 100+ temperatures. Some thunderstorms. A strong set of storms with 80 mph winds moved through Virginia and DC, putting several million out of power, including my in laws.
  • The straw I placed around the plants in the garden is proving beneficial. The garden soil is staying dark and appropriately moist, rather than becoming light colored, hard and dried out like it did in 2011 when I left it uncovered.
  • Pumpkin vines, which had grown large and climbed rapidly up the fencing, started wilting in early July. Maybe this caused the wilting, or maybe the heat. By mid July they continued to wilt though some of the lower leaves continued to stay green. Not sure why. Had put milk on the pumpkin roots per some advice from a local grower.
  • Cucumbers, Squash, Watermelon are beginning to mature to the point where they have male and female flowers. Have noted several baby squash, white squash, watermelon and cucumbers being formed under the female flowers.
  • Noted a cucumber stem, eaten by something. Also noted Squash Borers on some of the squash/cucumber plants. Within days several began to wilt.
Squash Borer
  • Cherry tomatoes are producing well. Larger tomatoes are too, though some bird or something is pecking some of the tomatoes.
  • Irises and most other flowers have finished blooming now.
  • Neighbor Jonathan suggests digging out the dirt around the irises to expose the top of the bulbs so they’ll grow and bloom next year. Runoff from the small slope where they are planted has buried them deeper than they’re supposed to be. He also suggested thinning them so they produce better.
  • First Morning Glory started to blossom July 17.
  • In the last days of July planted pumpkin, red beans, peas, cucumbers and sunflower seeds in small pots after soaking the seeds for a couple days in warm water.

Nature Journal

  • Butterflies: Northern Cloudywing, Common Buckeye, Tiger Swallowtail, Silvermark are visiting our butterfly bush. A Zebra Swallowtail visited the neighbor’s butterfly bush.
  • Moths: Virgin Tiger Moth, Saw Wing Moth, others.
  • Insects: Junebugs, Spectacle beetles (A type of snapping beetle), borers.
  • Birds: Catbirds built a nest in the shrubs under our front windows, can be heard singing throughout the day. The wrens are here and there. Hummingbirds are visiting the nectar feeder. I have stopped regularly filling the larger bird feeder, and this has practically eliminated the squirrel visitations.
  • Other: My motion camera caught a raccoon, opossum and deer in the back part of the yard. Dug up a shoe sized mole while turning over the material in my compost pile.



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