Garden Update: Lack of water = lack of seeds sprouting, & plum tree explodes!

I know I promised a garden update ages ago. I even took pictures! On June 22. Let's see what we have here...


Yes, let's start with an epic fail. I have no idea what was supposed to be in this planter. Badly cropped in the original photo, you can see a scrap of the plastic wrap I put over these to try to get some greenhouse effect on my seeds. Fabulous! All nice and warm and cozy inside there. Problem is, there were apparently no drainage holes in these herb planters. Oops. So no drainage + no ability to evaporate + a gap for watering that allowed the rain in = SWAMP BUCKET!

We since took a drill to the bottoms of these buckets and added a few drainage holes. Having mud fling out at you from the drill bit? Not as delicious as one might expect. Actually it probably is, if you expect it to be kind of gross.


So here in this little failure, you can see again the swampiness, the label that is half washed off from the condensation of the greenhouse canopy, AND the scraggly chives from too much water. Lesson learned, learn from my fail, folks!


This looks a little better! On the left: The smaller, darker leaves are the basil I grew from seed, much happier than anything else I planted. larger stems with the lighter, splotchy leaves are the start I bought from the nursery in hopes of getting a couple kinds of basil to stick around. On the right: The result of buying starts and forgetting about them for days, this dill started to dry up but hopefully will rally in the damp soil it got planted in.


Once I got the plastic off, this cat grass has been happy! Maybe I can get more than one stalk growing at a time...


Oh, these raised beds. From left to right in all rows here: 1) Cucumber, may or may not have sprouted, adding a start in there. 2) Leeks, didn't start, threw some more seeds in. 3) Zucchini sprouted! Bottom: 4) Strawberries didn't start, I put onion starts in here instead. 5) Yellow Zucchini didn't sprout, threw some more seeds in. 6) Butternut squash sprouted! Two of them!


Second verse, same as the first. Top: 7) Should have been tomatoes, didn't sprout. That's a beefsteak I'm planting. 8) Should have been tomatoes, didn't sprout, but I got a marigold in there! And lots of nasturtiums. 9) Should have been tomatoes, had a couple sprouts,  but they're too shaded by the nasturiums. I pulled the big bush of them back and gave the sprouts some room, hopefully they fill in. Bottom: 10) Carrots didn't sprout either, I put some new seeds in there. 11) Got one sprout from my black/purple one! Threw a marigold start in there too. 12) Of course, with the four Bush Bean seeds I planted, two on one side had to sprout. Transplanted one to be kitty corner from the big one, and put the tomato/marigold sprout into a different home--actually that could be the one that's in #8.

Apparently I didn't get pictures of the mint or the berries by the fence, but they're all doing fine. There's a mysterious plant growing into one of the blueberry plants, no idea what's up with that one. 

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Jump to July 3. We woke up nice and late, since the heat for some reason makes me nocturnal. Went outside to check the plums on the tree and this is what we find:


Branches from the tree, broken from the weight of the fruit. I guess cutting out the saplings really did a number on its ability to fruit this year! Not visible here: A huge branch of the tree broke off at the trunk, and enough was left that rather than splinting the remaining two broken branches and bandaging them in hopes of survival, we just cut them off. Half the tree gone. Poor tree. 


But this most-of-a-three-gallon-bucket was what I harvested in less than 10 minutes from one seated position. Intense. And those are just the good ones! With the squirrel-eaten ones, it would have been full!


Two hours later... The equivalent of six three-gallon buckets. That's 18 gallons of plums. I see jam in our future!


And this is the result of missing one "empty-refill" cycle on the dishwasher due to urgent harvesting issues. Making dinner with this mess was a huge test of my OCD and anxiety, it was exhausting and nerve-wracking and my brain still feels like it is misfiring from the attempt. Mr. Moon got it all sorted out rather quickly after we were done eating though. He's so good to me. 

I'll be sure to take pictures of the storage process when we get there. Looks like I will be getting to use my pressure cooker for canning finally too! 

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