Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, June 11, 2007

Unless we find somebody who absolutely LOVES radishes, I probably won't do them again. They're too hot to eat. My companion planting book says that radishes are good for squash, pumpkins & gourds, so I have them sprinkled throughout those areas of my garden. That's probably all I'll use them for in the future.

I can't figure out what we're doing wrong with the tomatoes, because they're coming along very slowly. Did I tell you that the seeds we planted have finally begun to pop up? The packages said germination in 7-10 days, and they finally sprouted at about 3 weeks! Of course, that was after we had given up and bought 12 plants. We're still hopeful, but we've been disappointed so far. Our next-door-neighbors have tons of green tomatoes on their plants already.

We haven't had a problem with animals yet. Maybe they just haven't found our garden yet. I've seen a bunny here and there, and some bugs have chewed on some of the leaves, but that’s about it. We've been told that the coons will know exactly when to pick the corn, and they'll steal it. I read that if you plant melons or pumpkins in your corn, the coons won't go into the vines. We have cantaloupe in one corn patch and pumpkins in the other, so hopefully the coons will stay out. We haven't seen any deer. I know they're in the area, and I've seen tracks at our house a few times, but I've never seen a live one on the property. I think most of the damage that our garden has incurred has come from our dogs running through it. We've had to teach them "out of the garden". They've mostly figured out what that means, and they scramble to the edges when we yell at them.

We've got a big problem with weeds and grass, but we expected that because we didn't get the garden plowed early enough to kill it. Luckily I'm content to sit for hours and pull weeds and grass, which I've done a lot in the past few weeks.

Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but we have a phenomenon in our garden where one half is growing much faster than the other. You can see it well in the picture of the radishes and squash. All those rows were planted with the same thing at the same time, but one half is much bigger. There was an area of the garden that Steve plowed several weeks earlier than the rest, and we think that that area is where things are growing better. Does it really make that big of a difference? We haven't noticed a difference in the amount of weeds, just the size of the plants.

It's been dry here for about a week, but we got a tenth of an inch of rain this morning. The garden is happy again!