Back Forty

Back Forty Update

With a high temperature forecast of 104 today (and that is before the heat index is added), maybe I should be drinking iced coffee. Right now the temperature in the Back Forty is a reasonable 78, so I decided to take a few photos. With all my traveling I did not get a whole lot planted this year. But that means that I still have some space to plant a fall garden, so it’s all good.

Since it’s gonna be brutal out there, I plan to turn up the air conditioning, clean floors and organize my explosion of art supplies in the bedroom and dining room, blog and read blogs, and maybe sneak a few minutes of weaving on my loom in the back studio, where I have a poor little window AC unit struggling on energy saver. At least the building is now shaded by trees.

We took out the deck last year and replaced it with a small landing, and since the whiskey barrel rain barrels were beginning to rot, we put them into service as half barrel planters. I hope that the critters will let me harvest some tomatoes this year. The nets you see in the photos are the old screens from my gazebo in the back. They are hung over one blueberry bush and one branch of my seckel pear tree in an effort to get some of this fruit for myself, since they don’t ripen after picking and the critters took all of them last year. Every last stinkin’ one of them. I put out a dish of water for them yesterday so that if it is thirst driving them, they don’t have an excuse this year.

Field peas and butterbeans

This side is shady and kind of wild. Carrots, dill, parsley, flowers, various herbs, “weeds” and what little is left of the lettuce.

Herbs, artichoke, peppers, field peas, zephyr squash. I love zephyr squash because it is not as seedy and it is beautiful.

Brandywine and Juliet tomatoes in a whiskey barrel planter

The other planter with Brandywine tomatoes, and soapwort. I do not recommend planting soapwort. It is now a terrible weed in my garden, sending runners out everywhere.

This is how I mulch my paths. Sometimes I use landscape fabric too. I’ll cover the cardboard with pine needles. This path is a challenge because when we have big rainstorms the water flows down this path like a stream and carries off light mulch and weed seeds. When I have a little extra money I think that I’ll invest in some river rock to lay down here. A French hydrangea and my studio/shed is to the right, and a Nanking cherry and lots o’ weeds are to the left and back. That is my compost bin at the end of this path. It has become much too shady and it doesn’t get hot enough. The ants love it. It will have to be moved to a sunnier place in order to cook the compost.

Harvesting squash and peppers, and of course, herbs, now. The mosquitoes have decreased significantly since we took out the deck and the rain barrels, but they are still worse than most places because of the jungle next door.

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