June 28, 2009: Hot, Hot, Hot

We're expecting 90-100F weather for the next fifteen days. I picked a few peas today, but I think I might just as well pull the vines and plant something else. The peas have been a disappointment. First the sparrows decapitated the blossoms and robbed me of my first picking, then the wind blew them off the fencing and made them practically impossible to pick. They definitely were not worth the real estate they took up.

Speaking of sparrows, one precocious youngster peeked out of the birdhouse today. In fact, he came out of the hole so far, I thought he was going to try to fly. He has feathers, so his first flight probably isn't too far off. Mom and Dad sparrow were really upset with me when I went out to pick beans last night. Their normally cheerful chirping turned into a real sound of fear and warning until I left the garden and they could comfortably return to the nest. I took my camera to the garden this morning, and managed to get a photo of a baby bird.

Baby sparrow peeks out of the birdhouse.

The east garden bed #1 has been cleared out, enriched with about two inches of home made compost, and replanted. I put in four squares of Imperator carrots, repeating my earlier success with gluing them to paper mats. This time I used some cheap napkins....you know, the kind that fall apart and stick to your face when you use them. I know they will disintegrate more quickly than the newspaper I used last time. The other side of the bed got five rows of 14 beet seeds, for a total of 70 beets. I'm hoping these get a bit larger than my spring planted beets, and maybe be enough for another eight pints of pickled beets. There is just enough room left for a row or two of green onions...the ones I buy from the grocery store and plant for later use.

My bush pole beans are reaching for the sky. I strung lines across the top of the kennel for them to cling to, but they have a mind of their own...they'll go straight up.

Sky high beans.

I did some garden cleanup today. I'm trying to give the determinate tomato row a bit more sunshine, so maybe I can get some ripe tomatoes. That meant cutting back some of the big cauliflower leaves and pulling up a giant marigold (they are double the height they were supposed to get). Otto helped ;-)

Otto helps in the garden.

Sunday's Garden Dinner

Dutch Oven Pot Roast of Pork (onions)
Baby Red Potatoes (potatoes)
Buttered Carrots & Broccoli (carrots & broccoli)
Cinnamon Applesauce

A Bouquet of Calendula, Marigolds & Nasturtiums



  1. Granny - i'll never grow sugar snap peas again. They just take up so much space, and don't yield very much. I'll take my cowpeas, anyday! It's very nice that some birds moved in your homemade birdhouse! Oh believe me....it's hot here too!

  2. Sounds like a lovely dinner! I'm glad you have garden help -- this heat is slaying me.

  3. That's an intriguing idea about glueing the carrot seed to paper. What kind of glue do you use? Do you place each seed individually?

    My apologies if you posted about this before - I just did not see it and am curious.

  4. Jeez, I know the feeling...it was plenty warm here, too, and no end in sight...
    Dinner looked good, as usual.

  5. the shot of the bird is too cute! we have some bird friends living in the rafters of our attached neighbor's house. they like to come over and show me the worms they caught, as if they're saying, "see, it's natural to eat meat!" HA!

    everything looks great, as usual!

  6. KitsapFG...


    Individually placed carrot seeds, using a toothpick (lick the end of it to make the seed stick). Make sure you put the paper on something or the Sharpie ink goes through onto the counter top. :-(

    You probably saw a photo of the carrot patch. The seed mats were very successful and much easier and faster than thinning.

  7. EG, my sugar snaps were pretty good, I'll probably plant them again. I wasn't impressed with "Tall Telephone". I used to grow "Little Marvel", a very short bush pea, and had really good luck with them.

  8. Stefaneener, I put a fan in the garden shed so I can work out there during the heat of the day (painting). Once it gets over 90 here, I'm only good for early mornings and evenings. I had two helpers tonight, Annie dug some holes in the paths for me to stumble in, while Otto stood in the soon to be potato or lettuce bed.

  9. SB, I'm not cooking tomorrow. Leftovers can be heated up, I'm going to take the day off!

  10. Kelli, we had house finches nesting on our front porch last year. I was hoping they would use the bird houses, but the sparrow got there first. I have hinged roofs on them so we can peek at the babies, but sparrows burrow down in their nests so you can't see the eggs or babies from above.

    How do you make animal friendly cookies? I'm curious!

  11. That's a huge marigold!

    I second the sharpie comment - I'm glad I looked underneath the napkin just after I made a dot otherwise I'd have had a nice grid on my kitchen table. It was still fresh when I looked so I got it mostly rubbed off. I'm not sure bleach would have been so good for the table finish :-)

    Try not to melt in the next couple weeks!

  12. Amy, I did polka dots all over my kitchen counter, but a Magic Eraser took it off. That's not as bad as the time I reupholstered the seat of an office chair and stapled it to my dining room table :-(

    I have a bunch of huge marigolds. Some of them are taller than the tomatoes, and will have to be pulled out. No big loss, they were a packet I got for 20-cents, but I hate to destroy flowers.

  13. I see why you get so much out of your garden, Granny! Nothing stays unplanted for long. Be careful in that heat.

  14. I just love reading your blog-you always have soooo much going on. You're such an inspiration!
    Love the birdhouse (bird included!), and looks like you have a really good helper. My peas were a disaster too-second year in a row. I think I'm giving up on those!

  15. Boy if we could just average out temperatures out we would have some nice summer weather. I'm guessing I have birds nesting near us all the time,but I never see them. One of these days I need to get a birdhouse.

  16. i should find out what kinds of birds we have hanging around here.

    my cookies are made just like any old sugar cookie except i use egg replacers and earth balance butter. earth balance is dairy-free, 100% natural, cholesterol free, and made from non-gmo seeds.

    my egg replacer recipe is wonderful - i whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and water. i use it for baking in many recipes that call for egg. problem is, it causes my cookies to rise too much and lose their shape, so for my cookie bouquet batter i started to use powdered Ener-G egg replacer. the ener-g replacers also work great in my royal icing.

    the cookies look and taste just like any other cookie, but i think they taste even better because they are healthier and no animals were harmed for the ingredients. =)

  17. Hi Granny! It's Toni in Wyoming.

    We're heading into a dry hot streak as well.

    Your garden dinner looks yummy as usual!

    My garden is growing and growing!!! Still only harvesting radishes and lettuce greens... for now!

  18. I hope you are spared some of that heat. some mighty force has been keeping extreme heat away from here, but it must be getting tired because this under 90 stuff can't last forever.

  19. Tell me about hot! We have had upper 90s days for the past...3 weeks? And with the humidity of Middle TN, the heat index was in the 100s many days. THANKFULLY we have gotten a bit of a vacation from them and are going to be in the high 80s all week. Just in time for the 4th SWEET!

    I thought having birds in your garden was a bad thing? I have the bird houses, but I am going to plug the holes! lol Well, the bottom bird house (of mine) is covered with cantaloupe and watermelon vines!

    I did the carrot newspaper thing right after I found your comment on it. Blew me away. I am not having good germination, but I think it is because my bush beans is shading most of the square. I did notice that when I did it, I had more than one layer so it worked out good that it bled through. I only had to do the dots once instead of 3 times! LOL

    I didn't have a good produce of peas this year either. I am not sure what happened to mine but after a while the production was down big time and they just died off. I did plant sugar snap peas but I had 4 square feet of clay pots and I didnt get a whole serving of peas.

    I hate destroying plants too. That is why I had 30 tomato plants that I finally found homes for. I just could NOT kill them!

  20. Granny took the day off today, so I hope I don't miss any comments!

    Ribbit, I have never been one for succession planting, as I usually poop out after the first harvest. I am, however, going to try to keep every square foot filled this year. wish me luck!

    Kelli, that sounds good. I frequently eat meatless meals (and it wouldn't bother me a bit to eat all meals meatless), but I've never been able to kick the milk and egg habit. I could probably get used to soy milk.

    Sue, I put up two bird houses, but the birds checked out the tall blue one and none nested there. I don't know if it's the color or the size. My helper(s) were so helpful I had to put the fence back up last night. Annie is a digger, and Otto likes to sit on the plants....the live ones.

    Daphne, you've got that right! We could have a perfect garden.

    Toni, you just wait until all those Roma tomatoes start producing! You'll be a busy girl! The dinner was good, especially the roast and potatoes. Why is it some things just taste better when cooked in an old cast iron Dutch oven?

    Wayne, welcome to Annie's Kitchen Garden! I just took a quick peek at your blog, and I'll trade you my green beans for your cone flowers (beautiful!) and bees!

    JenGC, the heat may keep the carrots from germinating. I'm giving mine a good sprinkling right now, and I'm going to try to find a board to completely cover them until (if) they come up. I've heard lettuce won't germinate over 75F, I don't know about carrots. I planted them in July last year (probably 90-100 degree heat), covered them with a board, and they germinated fine. But so did my lettuce.

    I think birds are fine in the garden if they just eat bugs and poop on stuff. But I keep my berries covered, and I'll know to put the netting over peas and lettuce in the future. The sparrows have been eating a lot, but I can afford to feed them :-)

  21. WOW Up to the 100's??? It was 80 over here and I was dying from the heat! LOL. I would literally melt where you are.

    The birds around my house are weird. The peas and berries remain untouched but the robins keep pecking at my tomato plants (which are still only about 3 inches tall). Go figure.

  22. Hi there! Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. Hiding in my garden is lots of fun, but sharing it with other gardeners is great, too!
    I really enjoy your blog. The birdhouse is so sweet, and I'm inspired by your meals from the garden.

  23. Wow, am I behind in my blog reading! Having a sick kiddo for a week takes up a lot of time! Luckily he's fine now and I'm back to reading blogs...

    So sorry about your peas. This won't surprise you, but my peas were washed away this year. They were so strong and green too. Such a shame.

    I love the pic of the baby bird. I've never had a bird family move into a birdhouse. We only end up with wasps and other wasplike creatures living in them.

    And I love your garden dinner! Very very very cool.

  24. Cynthia, I bought bird netting, but I don't like it. It blows off in the wind, and I'm always getting my feet tangled in it. I'm going to have to devise some type of a frame for it on my strawberry bed. My peas are all tangled up in netting, too.

    Hi, Hidinginmygarden! The birdhouses are a craft hobby to give me something to do during the winter months, but I have five more built and sitting in the garage....I can't seem to find the time to get them painted!

    Kate and (real grown up) Crew, glad to hear the boy is feeling fine now. Washed away? Raised beds, raised beds, raised beds. Kate needs raised beds. I have bees painted on my small birdhouse, and earlier this spring I'd see bees buzzing around it a lot. I thought it might really turn into a bee house! I think the birdhouse is empty now, I didn't see any birds around it at all yesterday...baby bird has flown the coop, er, nest.

  25. Granny~

    I saw one of my neighbors have a net frame for their berries that they planted alongside the house. They made the frame out of PVC piping and looked almost like a soccer field goal. It looked really sturdy and seemed to get the job done :)

  26. Cynthia, that's kind of what I had in mind....more like a hoop house with netting, rather than plastic. Although I could then use the plastic in early spring for a head start on the berries. I have so many things to do right now, it seems I never get them all done!

  27. granny, that is probably why you have so much energy! they say it takes a lot from us to digest meat. and we all know turkey makes us tired! =P (speaking of - i don't know how i'm going to make it through my first thanksgiving!?! yikes! =)

    i have been transitioning since march '08, but have been 100% meat free (well, almost) for 3 1/2 months. it's felt so much longer than that, so let's say roughly 315 meals! (THAT sounds more like it) i was a meat and potatoes girl, so it wasn't easy!

    i personally don't care for soy products too much, especially tofu. i get my protein from beans and grains (have you tried quinoa?). i prefer almond and rice milk to soy, and will be making my own oat milk very soon. (100% natural and a money saver!) i will let you know how it goes!

  28. Kelli, I never tried tofu. I like most of the Morningstar Farms foods, but like you I prefer the beans and grains. I feel a lot better when I eat like that, and I haven't been eating as healthy lately. It's hard to have to cook two different meals every day, and Mr. H is strictly meat and potatoes. I eat better in the winter when I have more time to spend in the kitchen!

  29. i hear ya granny! you are a busy bee in that garden of yours!

    john wasn't too excited with my diet change at first. he told me i was crazy if i thought he'd stop eating chicken. i said, "eat what you want, but don't expect me to cook it!"

    he slowly adapted to the meatless meals and told me one day that he felt so good not eating meat that he wanted to try to give it up with me. i couldn't believe it!

    i was away at my moms when i ate my last meat meal (st. patty's day corned beef - so fitting for a part-irish girl!)but i didn't tell john right away because i didn't want to jinx myself (i was having a lot of "last meat meals"). i told him a few days later that i think i had my last meat meal, and he said so did he, on the same day!

    funny how things work out...


  30. Kelli, John must be a great guy! I don't think I could completely give up fish and chicken, but beef and pork would be no problem for me. I'd take a Morningstar Farms black bean burger over hamburger any day!