Garden Update | Lots of Flowers, Lots of Bees

By Kiersten | Last Updated: July 3, 2012

Bee Pollinating Melon Flower
Look, it’s a bee pollinating a cantaloupe flower! One of many. In fact, I can’t even go near the garden without disrupting dozens and dozens of bees. Between that and the extreme heat, I haven’t been out in the yard much these past few weeks. And it shows! There’s grass growing in the raised beds, weeds in the herb garden, and plants in dire need of pruning.

Yellow Squash 7-3-12I did get outside long enough to pick my first yellow squash. I’ve never had luck with zucchini, so I was pretty thrilled to get a yellow squash. Perhaps I should stick with that from now on? I felt a little pang of sadness cutting it up for dinner, but it was delicious.

Eggplant 7-3-12Last year I got a seemingly never-ending supply of eggplant from the garden and it’s looking promising this year too. Which is great! Because eggplant is delicious, especially when you grow it yourself.

Cucumber 7-3-12A baby cucumber. I’m not sure if this is a Crystal Apple or Dragon’s Egg cucumber, but I fear it will end up bitter from the super hot weather we’ve been having.

Pattypan Squash 7-3-12Now that I’ve gotten a yellow squash, I’m pretty sure the plant next to it is a pattypan squash. So far it’s been flowering a lot, but no squash. Hurry up, squash!

Tomato Plant 7-3-12I planted a bunch of tomato seeds in May after the ones I started inside during the winter died. This is one of them. I’m thinking maybe I’ll get some tomatoes from these in August or September?

Compost 7-3-12We finally started composting, using this tutorial for making a composter from a garbage can. So this is what it looks like now!

I’d love to hear about how your garden is doing! Do you have any tips for composting?

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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I’ve heard it does with cucumbers. Last year I was getting lots of them and then all of a sudden, every one I harvested tasted SUPER bitter. Like, inedible bitter. When I researched it, I saw some people saying it was the heat…

Great job composting. I’ve tried several times and just can’t seem to make it work. My biggest challenge is getting it from the inside to the garden. How do you collect the food scraps in your kitchen?

Yeah, I’ve gotten off to several false starts and I’m hoping this is the time that takes. I have a compost pail (from Crate & Barrel–not sure if they still sell it) that I put our kitchen scraps into. It has a charcoal filter on the lid to prevent any odors from escaping and so far we’ve avoided gnats or anything else getting in there. Fingers crossed!

Your plants look wonderful! I need to get out and weed mine. It’s always to hot or raining! I’m hoping ot have lots of fresh tomatoes to munch on this year!

One of my favorite things to do is look at the plants and see what little, baby things are growing, like your cucumbers. It is so exciting to spot these!

Congrats on the yellow squash. I haven’t had lunch with zucchini and only got one squash last year. This year, I planted both in pots out front. One of them is not looking so good, lol. The other pot is still green and growing with some male blooms, but no female blooms yet.

Okay, I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t have luck with zucchini. I thought it was a universal thing that everyone gets bushels and bushels of zucchini every summer, more than they know what to do with, and I always wondered what was wrong with me that I can’t even get one darn zucchini to grow! I hope yours pull through and give you lots of zucchini this year!

I’ve been composting right on to my garden bed for several years now. I collect any usable kitchen scraps in a sack and then walk them right out to the garden and sprinkle them about. In the Spring I will toss on coffee grounds a few times a week too. Once a year I cover the garden with a thick layer of cut grass and in the Fall, I rake a very thick layer of leaves over it when it’s cleaned out and then lay down a flexible fence to hold them in place. The following year when it thaws out, I just plant right through the leaf compost and repeat the cycle. My garden soil is superbly rich and lush, chock full of fat worms and everything grows like mad. I just have to fence it off to keep the deer and rabbits out. The upside to doing this is that I tend to get a lot of volunteer plants. This year I got volunteer strawberries!

Right now, everything has gone crazy in there; herbs are huge, tomato plants covered with tiny little fruit, eggplant are full of blooms. The chard is on it’s second growth and the beets are snuggled tight in the earth still; for some reason they don’t wish to mature so fast. August is always a stellar month for us. I can’t wait!

Wow, I like your way of composting–it eliminates a huge step. So the kitchen scraps don’t attract insects? Are you burying it or just leaving it on top of the garden?

My garden seemed to be doing really well and I just looked at it today and everything seems to be dying! 🙁 I’m assuming it’s the week+ of hundred degree days.

I have been totally lazy with our garden the past few weeks. We have all the watering on a timer now so I haven’t gone out there and weeded and the herbs are getting out of control. It’s just been so freaking hot and yeah, I’ve been lazy 🙂

We have a compost bin too but I think I must have put the wrong ratio of ingredients there. It’s not really decomposing.

We have a timer for the water too! I try to get out there everyday, but when it’s hot, I don’t want to & since they’re being watered, I don’t have to. And the weeds are out of control–I feel so embarrassed! We don’t have a fence and I worry people are judging me. 😉

I haven’t gotten to the decomposing part of composting yet, but I’m hoping it starts happening soon. I could use some soil to top off the raised beds.

I’ve had no luck growing cucumbers and zucchini. The plants will grow and squash will form but it never matures. My strawberries and tomatoes are doing good at least. And I share your fear of bees. I yelp when one buzzes near me, and I’m sure my neighbors think I’m an idiot. lol

Ha! A few weeks ago I was out there and I lifted a cucumber vine and a bee came flying out at me and I had a minor freak out until I realized that my neighbors were outside too. Oops.

Love the garden update. You are going to have a lovely crop. And great job on the composter! I think the compost I put in my garden has helped it tremendously. I have a closed tumbler, and right now it is really cooking. I have a small bucket in my kitchen and when I added it to my tumbler it was crawling with worm-like maggots and bugs. Gross yet exciting!

Ew, maggots! My husband was skeptical about the composting because of the maggot factor. I almost did composting with worms last summer but then I heard stories of the worms crawling out and dying and icky things like that and I couldn’t do it.

Totally not EW! Maggots help break it down so quickly. I think they’re beetle maggots. I frankly would rather die than touch them but my crazy hubby grabbed one to show to Lily. ICK! The grossest thing was when it rained hard, some of the maggots crawled out of the bin and were on the driveway, wiggling around. I probably shouldn’t be telling you all this 🙂

Well, the thought of maggots definitely grosses me out, but I think what grosses me out even more is the thought of breeding all these flies in my backyard! Flies creep me out. I think its their eyes. Creepy, creepy eyes.

You’ll probably get more fruit flies and beetles out of it than actual flies. Although I don’t know what your bin is like – is it covered or open? I haven’t dealt with an open one and I’m sure the bugs are different in both 🙂

It’s covered. So far, nothing has gotten into it, but there are holes for ventilation so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time!

Yay for composting (and linking to my post)! It takes so little effort and our garden loves it! The eggplant blooms are beautiful – I love those purple flowers. What happened to your squash vine borers? Our squash bed is completely empty but Cakes keeps telling us every time we visit the garden with her that there’s squash growing there (it’s just a bed covered with pine straw.) We have SO many bees this year too. I wonder if it’s because we haven’t gotten much rain or that it’s cooler this year (cause everyone else is getting our extreme temps). Whenever we put the inflatable pool on the deck we can get up to 40 bees buzzing around looking for a drink. I’m wondering if we need to move the pool closer to the garden to help pollinate our flowers or if that would just be a mess when my daughter’s in the pool and increase her odds of getting stung.

You should see the squash plants now. 🙁 Pretty sure we’re going to get back home and they’ll be completely dead. So bummed! Last year I didn’t have a problem with them because I planted so late, so I think I might try that again next year. So funny that Cakes still things there’s squash in your garden. 🙂

Maybe you could put something on your deck to get the bees away from the pool. Don’t they like sugar water? Maybe if you had that on the deck, they’d go to that instead of the water in the pool!

I have a few of these squash like plants coming up around my watermelons this year …I did not plant them so I don’t know what it is but it’s got a beautiful yellow flowers on it… look just like your photos……. did they ever produce a squash or melon or anything other then flowers?

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