Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An Incursion and Thinning

Something has been getting into my garden at night. It has to be pretty small to fit under the fence. Nothing was eaten. Usually that means it was a skunk. Last year I had one get in and he dug a hole in one of my paths. No holes this time. No missing crops. So at least whatever got in wasn't damaging anything. Skunks can be real pests in the garden as they eat the grubs and worms. So they rototill the place. But luckily my garden is cat protected. That also means there aren't a lot of places for a skunk to dig.

Right on the other side of the path from the hole I noticed this. The first melon has started to form. Well maybe.

The melon patch is so thick now that I wouldn't notice if I had others. In a week I'll have to start checking as I like to prop the melons up on bricks so the slugs don't eat holes in them and the moist earth doesn't rot them and they get warmer so they ripen better.

Most of my activity in the garden is still weeding, but now I'm weeding and thinning. These are the mustards. They came up in huge clumps. So I had to thin them out so they had space to grow.

Then I thinned out some fall turnips.

I weeded some things out of the mustard and turnip patches, but the carrot patch was the worst. I swear there were more weeds than carrots. You can see the unweeded patch to the left. And you have to be so careful with carrots. It took a while to finish. But I got it all done. I tried to be really good and not leave the carrots too close together. I like them about 3-4" apart in rows that are 4" apart. If they are closer they can be slow to grow. I do leave some closer, but that is when the neighboring carrots on side are missing. So they have a lot of empty space near them. It would be nice if all my carrots germinated perfectly, but it never happens. So sometimes they are farther apart and sometimes closer together. And I always try to save the best and biggest carrot seedlings as it makes a difference. If they are struggling now they will be slow to grow.


  1. I noticed a few fruit on my melons as well. I'm growing 'collective farm woman' from seed savers this year. Hopefully it will be tasty unlike most of the melons I've grown so far. We have plenty of skunks in our neighborhood but so far, they haven't been a problem in the garden. The only major issue I've had is the deer stripping all of the leaves off both of my Asian pear trees. Well that and the dreaded Japanese beetles.

  2. Love the little melon picture. I am missing melons in my garden this year. Sometimes, I simply do not have the space the sprawling vines require. Lots of weeding happening here as well.

  3. Thankfully you didn't have any damage from the skunk. I think my carrots have always grown slowly - perhaps its because of the spacing. I didn't realize that spacing could affect how quickly they grew - I thought it only impacted their size.

  4. We've never had luck with melons even in the greenhouse