July FUFpdate!

Here’s the scoop on happenings at Fuzzybuns Urban Farm as we head into a new month of growing.

There’s beauty, there’s death, there’s tiny, there’s tall.

And there’s evil. Japanese Beetles have arrived this week. I know it’s not their fault they live here, but I do resent them anyway. They’ve alighted on my grape leaves and the destruction begins. ๐Ÿ˜ก But I shall say no more of them. Let’s focus on some beauty.

…so we did.

We ate the flowers from last Monday’s Mon. with a Bun. “Greens” don’t have to be just green. It’s a party in the salad bowl!

Done for.

These might not look lovely at the moment, but these “Ranunculus raisins” are the start to all those gorgeous blooms in May and June. I’ve been asked if they are hard to grow. It depends! Do you enjoy planning in February for your garden? Do you have a place that stays a stable 50*F in your home? Do you like coddling your plants to make sure they are covered when the sun is waaay too hot for May? Do you like spending time rinsing, separating, and trimming corms while watching Netflix? Do you have a place to let them dry and then store them dark and cool for 7 months? If you say YES to all of the above, then nope, they are not hard to grow. (Those blooms are worth it!!!)

Eye Candy! July Bloomers

Row 1: Seed Dahlia, mini pumpkin blossom, false sunflower (Oxeye) Row 2: Zinnia, Ratibida (Prairie Coneflower), Campion (Vesusvius) Row 3: Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), seed Dahlia, daylily (St. Francis) Row 4: Bush’s Poppy Mallow (winecups), seed Dahlia, seed Dahlia

Lots of things are blooming or are about to. In the next two weeks, I’m expecting explosions of even more colors and scents as the sunflowers open, Easter lilies burst, and cardinal flowers begin budding.

What is not happening? The sweetpeas ๐Ÿ™. In a post at the beginning of the growing season, I shared a new way I was starting two varieties of sweetpeas this year. The result of that was 2/3 of the American sweetpeas sprouted indoors. The King Navy sweetpeas eventually sprouted outdoors. All of them were transplanted near trellises to climb. I do like the cardboard tube method to start them and transplant them. I do not like the vole or chipmunk or whomever it was that chomped off the American sweetpeas at the ground, just as they had rooted and began to reach for the trellis.

So, I started over with those. They are now in a different bed and look so far behind for the season. I am only somewhat hopeful they will be able to bloom this year. I replaced them at the initial trellis with fast-growing Painted Lady runner bean. They did so well last year and I love the coral and white blossoms, as did the bees and hummingbirds. It was like a fortress when I planted those: large plastic juice bottle with bottom cut-out to make a greenhouse dome, plus hardware cloth around all sides. They’ve already reached the top of the trellis.

The King Navy are on their trellis, but it’s been slow going and they are probably not getting enough sun to be truly happy. Maybe no sweetpeas this year? We’ll see.

-Pause-

The next photo is beautiful, and it also shows death. This was hard for me this week. A nest of cottontails were just about the age to start hopping their fuzzy buns around the yard… but they were attacked overnight, and I would bet money it was the neighborhood feral cat who got them. I have seen her stalk, hunt, and carry off baby rabbits before. Three were decapitated this week. Rest in peace, little ones. I’m sorry my species has allowed cats to mess with the ecology here and pretty much everywhere.

Two days after the clean-up and burial, I saw what was surely a littermate in the flower berm, seemingly uninjured, and being nursed by mama. The cat I implicate as the perpetrator of this week’s massacre typically surveys our yard daily, so I can only hope the ‘tween cottie has the vigilance and speed to stay alive.

Last, but not least…

The tiny this week are itty bitty sprouts of German chamomile coming up in a seed tray on the patio. When big enough to transplant, I think I will put them in the area where the garlic was (to be harvested in just a couple weeks!).

And there’s the tall! A friend gave me loofah seeds to try this year. I started them with a 3-foot little trellis, half expecting they would not survive. But they have. And they are ready to reach for the sky! (Growers report they can reach lengths of 30 feet. -gulp-) I heard a radio interview recently with Gary Pilarchik of The Rusted Garden. I always appreciate a garden hack, and one I took from him is to use wire closet shelves as trellises. Brilliant! We had one sitting in our basement from our Spring closet redesign. These loofah babies have 8 feet to go up, up, up. And if they want to continue? I will be looking for the next hack!

More news from FUF/CE next week after the holiday. And how about you? What’s blooming? What’s climbing? And do you love a garden hack as much as I do??

Keep growing and see you Monday!

9 comments

  1. Such beautiful flowers, and how wonderful you can eat some. Sorry to hear about the little baby bunnies. Such sweet little things. In my yard a deer has has been biting off the blossoms of my tall day lilies and other lilies. Luckily I still have enough other blooms that arenโ€™t tasty to them

  2. Oh, what loveliness! The dahlia bulb u gave me is getting taller, as are the tomato plants. The marigolds seem to be being chewed (I thot nothing liked to eat marigolds??) by somethingโ€ฆgreens only. And Iโ€™m fertilizing my plants as suggested! Love all it it even tho my space is tiny.

    1. A tiny space can be a wonderful space, for sure! A young cottontail chewed down one of my marigolds early in the season. Not ingested, just taste-tested and ignored since then. I’m curious if your marigolds are eaten (gone) or pruned (plant parts left on the ground)?

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