Monday, July 29, 2013

Wild Blackberry Season + Garden Update

The garden has been going nuts. The wild blackberries in our yard are starting to ripen, we're picking cucumbers, lettuces, basil, and small sungold tomatoes from the garden, and in a few weeks we'll have squash, black krim tomatoes, melons, and pole beans.

We picked a bowl full of blackberries today and made plans for a jam or berry crisp, then promptly ate the entire bowl.

Four large cucumbers have been harvested from the garden.

The morning glory planted by the arbor has taken off.

Orange lilies and mystery pink roses popped up all over the yard a few weeks ago.

The sungold tomatoes have been turning ripe, but never make it back to the kitchen. It's too tempting to eat them right on the spot while weeding.

This photo is from a few weeks ago, and the garden is even more lush now.

Hard to believe we started with this only two months ago...

We really haven't had much trouble getting our plants to grow and thrive this year with the sunny/hot/rainy summer we've had. No deer, rabbit, or other critters have made it past the fence that we can tell. Japanese Beetles have been the only issue so far. We hung a trap on the arbor and have caught hundreds, but hundreds more are still in the garden eating the leaves and leaving little holes in everything. Anyone have tips for keeping them out? Something that doesn't involve chemicals or pesticides? Any info would be very much appreciated!


  1. You can never go wrong with a dump cake!! Dump blackberries (or any other pie-like fruit), then sprinkle yellow cake mix on top (dry). Slice a whole stick of butter and put little slices all over the top. Bake until really melty looking (similar to regular cake baking time).

    Don't judge me (just 'cause I'm a Southernor who uses butter the way She-who-will-not-be-named intended).

  2. Here is a post from my blog and my beetle battle..

    Be sure your traps are away from the plants that you would like to lure them away from. Also, make sure the traps are down wind. I have had good luck covering my raspberries with craft tulle to keep them out. My raspberries are lack luster this year due to the spring cold so didn't bother.

    Good Luck! Enjoying watching your place progress too!

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  4. Orah - thanks for the link! I didn't know that a bucket full of water alone would attract them. My fiance has been dying to get ducks, so now this will be one more justification for him! Thanks again for sharing - we will try this!

    - Claire

  5. Hi, I just googled this solution to your beetle problem...this is all natural and it may help. Your garden looks wonderful!

  6. Thanks Carol, I am going to put out a bucket with dish soap in it today!

  7. The number of Japanese beetles we get here in Missouri varies from year to year, but sometimes they can be really bad. I've heard a lot of people say that the traps simply lure more beetles, and that to make them work you should put them in your neighbor's garden. ;)

    Supposedly Japanese beetles eat something like 270 different plants, which can sometimes keep them from decimating everything. I've found that the plants they love most in my organic garden (and around our farm) are the wild grapevines which grow like weeds. They turn them into lace; I've seen a dozen beetles at a time on one leaf.

    When I saw the photo of your garden and read about your infestation, I immediately pictured grapevines growing all along the fence. You'd basically have to sacrifice the plants each year, but it might save everything else! :)

    Just discovered your blog via etsy and am enjoying all of your posts - and am in awe of everything you've done. Love the DIY photo setup you built!

  8. Farmgirl Susan - thanks for writing & for the tip! We may try planting a "bait" to distract them from our veggies for next year. Lots of people suggested putting out buckets or bags filled with water and person said a yellow bag filled with water and a penny works. Sounds crazy, but I'll give it a shot! Thanks for following along on the blog!