Thursday, July 17, 2014

Join & Welcome, Garden Changes/Updates

I would like to start my post out by welcoming a new friend, Astarlight to my blog.

Temperatures have dropped from triple digits, to the low 60’s in the morning, and peaking to the mid 80’s during the day.  Thank goodness for the cold front coming through.  We even received a fair amount of rain to help with the drought issues here in Oklahoma.

With all this rain, my tomato plants, especially the Pineapple Tomato, is growing like crazy.  The plant is taller than I am, and I’m 5’8”.
I’ve had to tie up this particular plant several times, because it’s grown over and around the tomato tower.   

The peas I planted on the straw bales only grew approximately 4, maybe 5, inches tall, and then stopped growing.  I’m not sure why. I’m thinking maybe the bale was packed too tight.  I was going to transplant the peas, from the straw bale into a raised bed, when I realized the roots weren’t developed enough.  These pea seedlings ended up becoming food for my compost container.  

I then planted pea seeds in the raised bed, where my green beans used to be, and now I have new seedlings popping out of the ground. Hopefully with planting in this new spot, the pea plants will grow and come to full maturity.

A blogger friend of mine, 1st Man, over at Two Men and a Little Farm, asked me if I trellis my cucumber plants.  Initially, I placed several seeds inside two pots sitting next to one another.  Then I created a trellis using t-posts and wire.  Every day I would go out and take cucumber vines and wrap them around the wires in hopes the vine will grow on the trellis.  As you can see here, it loves the trellis……and the fence behind.  

Front two pots of cucumbers running up trellis.

Behind trellis, jumping over to another plants trellis.

The bucket potted corn has also started producing its own fruit.  This was an experiment, and the experiment was successful.  I’m going to continue to grow corn in 5 gallon buckets from here on out.   The idea of using buckets makes it possible to move the corn, especially if we have heavy winds or storms.


Here’s an update to our watermelon and pumpkin vines.  Each vine has multiple blossoms; soon we will see actual fruit.  I’m hoping to have several harvests of both before winter sets in.

Finally, my bougainvillea started flowering this week.  Usually we have flowers long before mid July.

 *****Straw Bale Update:  Disappointed with the planting of peas in straw bales.  The peas failed to grow properly……..reason may be tightly packed bales.  Recommendation, use regular beds or pots for planting peas. 
I will be taking two of my straw bales and flip them on their side, at which point, I will make a large cut down the center of the bale. This way the straw won’t be packed tight.  I will try one more time to see if peas will grow in straw bales.  Expect updates in the near future.

Life is good, let’s cherish what we have and pray for those who lost their lives today.



  1. Looking really good there Sandy!!!

  2. Looks great! Good to know of the straw bale planting..... love the cucumber trellis. My squash plant is using the fence to grow and it is so beautiful easy to see the squash too! The cukes are climbing the fence too.... great ideas!

    1. M.E.,

      Thank you, I was disappointed with the results of planting peas in my straw bales. Hopefully, cutting open the bale will make a difference......we will know soon enough.
      The cucumbers have taken off like crazy, there's no controlling these babies now :-)

  3. Sandy
    It's been interesting watching your garden grow!
    I'm especially interested in the straw bale garden and the corn growing in the pots.

    1. Kimberly,

      It sure has, lol......
      I'm very satisfied with the corn growing in the 5 gallon buckets. The secret is to only put 3 to 4 seeds in each bucket.
      As for the straw bales, I'm still watching them and will soon give my final advice about using them.

  4. I have been putting tall branches and saplings in my garden for the cukes and my little cucamelons. Looks cool and they love it. This has been a stellar garden year, but for pepper plants getting ate by aphids..

    1. Longtime Wife,

      Using branches makes the garden look so natural, I love the look.
      Try using a dawn soap, alcohol, and water mixture to help get rid of aphids. Now Kymber over at Framboise Manor had a great concoction she found that kills off these bugs with tomato limbs check her blog out.

  5. Sandy,
    Thank you for your lovely post, and the information on peas in straw bales. I have had some mixed results this year myself. Love and best wishes to you and yours,

    1. Hey Jane,

      You're welcome! I would love to hear about your mixed results if you have time. I'm always reading my blogger friends posts on gardening and learning from them.
      Thank you, and love and best wishes to you and yours too.

  6. Great garden update Sandy! The cooler temps and rain has been a real blessing, hasn't it? Peas are a cool weather crop, so I'm guessing they couldn't handle the heat. Everything else looks great! I trellised my cukes last year but not this year. So much better trellised!

    1. Leigh,

      Thanks Leigh! I'm so loving the cooler temperatures and rain.
      The peas were seeded the beginning of spring and just didn't go any where. It was cool then, I was worried about the peas because the bales were tightly compressed and planting just on top of them. Whereas my tomato plants were planted in side the bales and they're really good. That maybe the secret and then again as you've indicated maybe it was just to hot in Oklahoma. I'm still learning :-)
      I have to agree with you on trellising cucumbers, they do better in a vertical position.

  7. So glad you got rain. And you are 5'8"? Your plants look terrific.