Appalachia Gardening

Planting By The Signs July 2013

Planting by the signs july 2013 calendar
We’re mostly through planting around the Blind Pig house, but I’m always looking for an extra spot to set out some late cucumbers and squash.

Cucumber bloom

Even though our big garden is basically a mud pit-the smaller beds around our house aren’t doing too bad. It looks like we’ll have a bumper crop of cucumbers-they’re just starting to come in as are the zucchini and squash. I’m planning on making a few runs of 14 Day Pickles-anyone want to have a pickle along here on the Blind Pig where we can make them together?

Watermelon plants

Our watermelon patch is the prettiest we’ve ever had-I don’t know that it’ll produce watermelons-but it sure is lush and vibrant this year. I moved my watermelons to a different part of the garden-I’m not sure if they look so good because of the new location or all the rain we’ve had. Chitter helped me plant them-and she says she’s going to talk to them every day like she did last year so we’ll grow lots of watermelons. Hmmm I wonder if she’s been keeping up with her watermelon conversations.

Sow true seed tomatoes

We’ve had such good luck with our tomatoes the last few years, and it looks like we’re going to have a bumper crop this year as well. I swear some of them are as tall as I am. The ones above are the Mountain Princess variety from Sow True Seed-and have proved¬†to be unbelievable producers.

So even though I’m worried about the corn and beans drowning in the flood zone of the big garden-there is still much to be thankful for!

How does your garden grow?


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  • Reply
    July 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t have any cucumber, or at least not to my knowledge…is that what the first flower is in your blog today? We have some of those, but they are little surprises from our compost, so I’m not sure what they are!
    The bean seeds you gave me are doing beautifully, they are a bit small still, but almost every seed has sprouted! I will be blogging about them soon, I was hoping for at least some flowers before posting though.
    Alas, for the second year in a row, tomatoes for us are not doing well…but our watermelon look good (not as lush as yours yet) and our squash is awesome!
    I love having a garden, it’s a wonder to watch.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    RB-I have never heard that before about picking vegetables! Seems like it makes sense-but what would we do this year when it rains everyday LOL : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Theresa-my experience with lettuce is-after it bolts it does become bitter. But you could give it a taste and see : ) We tried the topsy turvy tomato planters one time and they didn’t work for us either!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Linda Shupe
    July 4, 2013 at 4:20 am

    My brother lives in a small town in Easter West Virginia and has had trouble with tomatoes not ripening before frost. I ordered the catalog from Sow True Seeds and will send him the seeds from your tomatoes. Hope they do better next year. Thanks

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Our garden is hanging in there so far. The squash are getting their third sets of leaves…yeah, and it’s July….it was so cold and raining up until the last couple of weeks and now it’s in the 90s every day and they are in shock. I’ve never not had them taking over by now. The corn is about 14-16 inches tall. The green beans are about the same and are finally starting to put on some blooms, so we may actually get some beans too. I picke my first Hungarian wax pepper last night. Lovely yellow and there are 4-5 more on the plant at this point and still has a few blooms. The other pepper plant is just starting blooms this past week. With the heat my lettuces and endives all bolted. Does anyone know if I pick out the flower heads will the rest of them be edible? or will they be too bitter? The tomatoes are starting to put on little baby tomatoes…like I would have expected in June, but hey, this is this year and it’s different. If the season holds out long enough, we should have lots of tomatoes. I’m thankful that they are surviving the heat. I watered heaveily last night as everything was a bit droopy and the hydrangea bushes were scorched and the blossoms turning brown. I have to deadhead the roses as they are starting to bud again and the heat finished off all the blooms that were on them. Oh, I tried 4 tomatoes in those topsy turvy pots for the fun of it. Like my ohters, they are heritage tomatoes and they do no like growing upside down…they are all trying to crawl back upwards and not growing as much as the others, so I’m thinking they may need repoted into regular pots.. Any thoughts there? It’s fun learning how each person’s garden is doing! I bet your watermelons do great being talked to.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    July 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Though the corn, tobacco and soy beans are jumping like weeds with all the rain, we’ve heard worries from others about their berries, melons and ‘maters cause of the lack of sun. Maybe they’ll jump later when the rain stops, or should I say IF it stops. LOL
    Our sis said the strawberries she picked were fine, but those primarily ripened before all this rain came.
    Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t pick watery fruits and vegetables for at least 3 days after a rain? Chef Mario Batali was saying it on The Chew a few weeks back. He said in Italy and other places in Europe, the people never pick fruit or vegetables, especially juice/water-filled ones like melons and tomatoes, for 3 days after a rain because the plants soak up all the rain and sends it to their fruit/vegetable, and it makes them more watery and less flavorful. Bro Tom and I found that interesting! We’d never heard that before and wondered if anyone out there had ever heard that.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’m down here in the foothills so my garden is earlier than yours. I’ve been collecting 2-3 gallons of cukes per day. I’ve been getting 1-3 tomatoes each day for about 8-10 days. Yesterday was too rainy to get into the garden and I picked 1 & 1/2 gallons of them today. I should have corn within the next two weeks and I can’t give away all the squash but I keep gathering them. For several years I have grown Kholrabi. Its a huge raddish. people around here had never heard of it but everyone says they like it.

  • Reply
    Marylou Sweat
    July 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Down here in Dover, Fla. our garden is almost completely over mostly because it’s just to hot for anything to grow. We have cut everything in and put in the cover crop where the strawberries grow. All we have left are 10 rows of blackeyed peas that are almost ready to pick. We have had a lot of rain also and it’s been in the 90’s most days. Marylou

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 11:52 am

    You must be a month ahead of me.
    Boy, I hope my tomatoes will look
    that good, just now getting blooms.
    Out of about 70 watermelons, the
    rabbits left me 4, gonna replant
    more if the rains ever stop. I
    think you’re more of a Master
    Gardener than lucky and besides,
    you’ve got those Angelic voices to
    sing over your garden…Ken

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I also love Ed’s story about the wild turkeys. When I worked I drove over 4-5 counties, and I would come across the most interesting wildlife. It had its pitfalls, but wonderful memories, and I am thankful for that opportunity.
    Great those watermelons coming along well. I have found a few things in the garden always exceed my expectations, and then others not so much.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    July 3, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Tell Chitter to throw them a kiss when she walks by. I tried this on a plant once. Think it helped. Guess my neighbors thought I was nuts.ha,ha

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 3, 2013 at 8:00 am

    You heard about my garden yesterday. Today I would like to share a unique experience (at least to me) that happened night before last. I sometimes come home using different routes just to keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood. That evening I chose to drive around Tomlinson Loop which had been recently paved with tar and chat and had a lot of loose chat in places. I was doing a pretty good clip but I was aware of the road conditions. Just past the old Tomlinson place there is a sharp right hand curve then a very steep hill down to the creek. As I rounded the curve and looked down the hill I saw something that made me lock ‘er down right there in the middle of the road. Luckily there wasn’t any loose chat right there, right then and I managed to stop in a straight line.
    Luckily I stopped because right ahead in the middle of the road were three wild hen turkeys and a whole flock of their offspring (poults I think they are called.) The hens ran off into the weeds but the babies didn’t know what to do and were running around all over the road. They must have heard their mothers calling because soon they got themselves oriented and started off into the weeds toward the hens. But not before I could count at least some of them.
    I see lots of wild turkeys around here but I don’t think I have ever seen a baby one. That day I got to see Thirteen. At least Thirteen, some of them may have gotten into the brush while I was counting.
    How many poults have you seen at one time?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 3, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Tipper, those tomatoes are looking beautiful. I’ve got my mind on trying to dry some tomatoes this year. I’ve never done it before so I guess it’s time.
    Did you plant any of the loofah seeds? I sure have used last year’s loofahs a lot.
    Do you ever make a cucumber sandwich? They are great. You make them just like a tomato sandwich. That would be bread, mayo, cucumber, salt, and pepper. If course if you want to be fancy and have a good crop you can put both cucumber and tomato on together….as my second husband used to say “so good it’ll make you smack your grannie.”
    Raining here today, again. LOL! Monsoon season.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 7:20 am

    We sure have had our share of the rain this spring. Some of the corn fields in the area are water logged and sparse of growth. Maybe the seeds have floated away or rotted in the ground. I am only growing peppers this year and the plants are huge. I look forward to the watermelon story – maybe she is singing to them. Sounds like a ‘Frog and Toad’ story.

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