Monday, July 17, 2017

Gardening is the other addictive hobby!

Late last year, the hubby and myself decided to put in an orchard on the property we bought near the house. It has about an acre of flat land and its very sunny, perfect for fruiting trees and a veggie garden. So over the winter we bought, planted and babied 35 fruit trees and shrubs. A variety of peaches, plums, cherries, concord grapes, persimmons, figs, apples, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all in this orchard. We did not get any fruit from the trees this year because we wanted them to get established and grow. But we have been getting tons of raspberries and blueberries which we all loved!

Panoramic view of Orchard
So growing your own vegetables has its ups and downs! Ups is you get the fruits of your labor if the downs don't get to it first. I.e. Green hornworm caterpillars
Green Hornworm Caterpillar
devoured most of my tomato plants at the orchard and killed my jalapeƱo plants! Now I am not one to automatically go to chemicals to control insects but I was tempted since the were and always are destructive. I took off each visible caterpillar, which were well fed and about the size of my pointer finger, squeamishly by hand and tossed them over the deer fence. I got most of them but the damage was already done. But its amazing how resilient plants can be. They have mostly bounced back from the damage and leafed out new growth and sent out new fruit!
Today was an up day since I was able to take home and eat my bounty. The three dogs love it too! 
Tomato harvest from today
We have learned a lot from this year's garden, where we planted the squash and cucumbers was too shady so they this not take off like we wanted so no veggies from those plants, tomatoes need to have marigolds planted around them to prevent the moths from laying their eggs that eventually become monster green hornworm caterpillars. Also that weeding is a problem when you are not constantly there to up keep the garden in the great TN summer heat. But we will learn, come up with a game plan for next year and work on everything over the fall and winter to have an excellent garden for 2018!
Hope you enjoyed my garden pics and let me know if you have had any ups and downs in your gardens!

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