Tag Archive for melons

What’s Growing on in the Garden in August?

children's garden in august

okra and sweet potatoes growing strong in the garden in august

The month of August has been riddled with disappointment in the Little Sprouts garden. We fought squash bugs that decimated all the squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and now melons. We fought armadillos, raccoons, and possums. It seems like everything that could come against our growing has. But the good news is we still grew 115 pounds of food in August.

gardening with kids, okra and watermelon

early august produce in the children's garden

Normally August would be our glut of produce month, but the animals stripped the peaches, plums and apples off the trees. In addition, they stole most of the melons and stripped the tomatoes and tomatillos bare of all green fruit.

possum damage in the children's garden

We have been busy picking squash bugs by the hundreds, and trapping live animals and relocating them in the country where there aren’t any people living. We have trapped 4 raccoons and 7 possums to date. We have evidence of an armadillo and at least one more raccoon that remain at large.

garden eating raccoon

Most of our garden has died off from heat or bugs, but we are still growing sweet potatoes and okra. Our tomato and tomatillo plants are flowering again now that temps are under the high 90s every day again. Maybe if we don’t get a frost, we will have another round of fruits to enjoy. We are still growing hot peppers as well.

We have planted quite a few seeds for a fall garden and they are beginning to germinate now. I also purchased some fox and coyote urine to try to deter any more animals from wanting to hang out in the garden. We do have one helpful creature hanging out in the garden, this cute watch kitty. She’s exterminated a few pests for us and all she asks in return is to lay in the cool dirt of the garden (sometimes on a seedling or two) and to get a few pats on the head or scratches on the ear. She’s a keeper.

watch kitty in the garden

giant carrot in children's garden

garden harvest, gardening with kids

Our total produce production so far this season is 453 pounds of healthy, delicious, chemical free food for the kids and Mr. Kent and I to enjoy. Not what we had hoped, but definitely nothing to sneeze at. We have eaten watermelon, cantaloupe, hot peppers, okra, tomatoes, carrots, tomatillos, onions, Swiss chard, butternut squash, garlic, green beans, drying beans, cabbage, spaghetti squash, peaches, figs, peas, broccoli, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus, spinach, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, radishes, and Brussels sprouts. What’s growing in your garden today?


What’s Growing on in the Garden in April?

It’s April and this week at Little Sprouts, we’ve been planting and harvesting. We are in zone 7, so now is the time to plant many of our summer crops. Check out your local extension website to see what you should be planting. For what to do in April in zone 7 in Oklahoma, click here.

On Monday, the Little Sprouts and I planted watermelon and some flowers. On Tuesday, we planted butternut squash and some more flowers. On Wednesday, we planted corn and on Thursday we planted cantaloupes. I’m pretty excited to harvest any of that, and quite frankly so are the Sprouts! This week we also harvested our last head of kale, some asparagus, and some herbs.

If you want to see how we started our garden, click here.

Here’s a little April tour around what’s happening in some of the beds:

Peas in the Children's Garden

This bed has a row of peas along the trellis in the back. You can also see a little marigold in the corner and some sage coming back from last year.

lettuce and onions in the children's garden in aprilThis is an onion bed with a few rows of lettuce coming up in between the onions.

jerusalem artichokes in the children's gardenThe green bucket is growing Jerusalem artichokes, which I’m super excited to try, the two beds next to it contain some flowers for pollinators and the one next to that has some volunteer cilantro coming up that reseeded itself from last year. There are also peas growing along the back of it that should trellis up the chain link fence, and it has two broccoli plants that didn’t fit in our broccoli beds. I don’t know whose fault it is that someone around here always buys more than what is agreed upon on our mapping plan. If you find out, let me know, cause they need a good talking to.

garlic in the children's garden

This bed is planted totally in garlic, some of it looks great and others look like they disappeared.

garlic and onions in the children's garden

This is an onion bed on one end and the other end is growing garlic. Garlic goes in the garden in the fall and grows there until around June. This garlic is looking great.

children's garden, asparagusThis bed is growing asparagus. It’s just started to emerge this week and we’ve got a full bunch to eat for lunch one day and about another full bunch to share and snack on. My grandma would call that a mess. The amount of food it takes to serve a meal to the family. This little cutie on the end is a mess too, a precious one.

children picking asparagus

Here is our “mess” of asparagus we ate for lunch. It was DE-LICIOUS!

carrots and flowers in the children's gardenThis is a potato bed and a pollinator attracting flower bed. The main flowers we plant in the garden for pollinators are zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, and nasturtiums. Zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers stand up well to our hot, humid Oklahoma summers. Nasturtiums are edible and burn up by hot summer, but they bloom out early and are beautiful while they are producing. Marigolds and nasturtiums repel garden pests, and sunflowers feed the birds (and us).

cabbage and spinach in the children's gardenThis bed contains cabbage and spinach, some of our cool season crops.

broccoli in the children's garden in april

This bed has broccoli plants growing in it.

april potatoes in the children's garden

This is another potato bed. We have not been utterly successful with potatoes yet, but I just KNOW this is our year.

april herbs in the children's garden

The herb tower has thyme that grew all winter, and the oregano is re-sprouting from last year. We also replanted some marjoram in the top. We will get a few more herbs to add to it when the farmer’s market opens in another week. Boy I can’t wait for that!

What’s growing on in YOUR garden? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear all about it.


Garden Glory-Sweet Potatoes

bumblebee wings (2)

Isn’t this lavender gorgeous?  It smells amazing too.  It’s glorious to sit near it and watch the busy bees working. 

You won’t believe our harvest this week!  My Little Sprouts and I harvested over 84 pounds of food this week!  The tomatoes and okra are slowing down, but we dug our sweet potatoes today and yesterday we harvested most of our second corn crop.

sweet potato vines

This is one of our two sweet potato beds.  To harvest the sweet potatoes, first we cut all the vines back. 

sweet potato bed

Then we started digging.  It was like hunting for treasures.  We all had so much fun doing it.

digging sweet potatoes

This was the biggest one found while the kids were here, but they tired out so we finished harvesting after work tonight.  We found a few that were bigger than this one.  It was over 4 pounds, but we found three more that were about 5 1/2 pounds.

giant sweet potato

The kids were excited.  We harvested 73 pounds of sweet potatoes total.

sweet potato harvest

sweet potato haul

73 pounds of sweet potatoes

We harvested a couple of melons this week.  The squash bugs have taken down all of our cantaloupe vines, so this will be our last one.  We still have a number of watermelons growing though.

Melon Harvest

Here is a look at what else we harvested this week.

october harvest

This is all the corn we got.  It was about 4 pounds.  I’m not sure what we are doing wrong, but the ears don’t get very big.  We figured out how to pollinate it by hand and while we didn’t do it perfectly, we got a LOT more corn that pollinated than last time.  Once the tassles formed and began dropping pollen, we took one off the stalk each day and rubbed it on the silks of all the ears of corn.  Hand pollinating is as simple as that.

harvesting corn

The kids had lots of fun picking the corn. 

The weather has cooled off here so it’s 60-80 degrees when we are in the garden.  It’s very pleasant work now that the summer heat is gone. 

What is your favorite thing to harvest?