It’a been a Good Day; In a Hot Sort of Way.

I’ve been studying Photoshop all day, I’m taking a 31 video course on YouTube presented by an extremely competent instructor. His channel is “Horn and Talon”, either he has me boon-doggled or he knows his stuff; I believe it’s the later.

Red Tailed Hawks

The ambient was 108º F from 1pm-5pm today keeping all of the critters in the shade. I was one of them although I went to the garden to prepare it for the high temperatures we are suppose to experience this week. It doesn’t bother me too much after working in it for so many years, when we left the Desert in 1999 it was 125º F the day I left. Mrs. Lebec left a month after me on another over 120º day. People would tell me that at least it’s a dry heat, I’d reply “So is an Oven.” For contrast I left Minnesota during the winter of 1970 during a blizzard with the temp at -30º.

I’m posting photos I have used on other posts, for the past few days I have not had many opportunities to take images. Monday and Tuesday I was out looking for subjects but the high temps are keeping them in.

I worked in the Garden until 10am this morning mostly watering but I pulled a few weeds as well. The weeds are always in need of pulling, I don’t mind it at all it’s all part of it. I’m having issues with Zucchini, Cucumbers, Peppers and Eggplant. I believe it’s a combination of bad compost I purchased and poor quality plants. I don’t like planting Night Shades plants from nursery’s or on line suppliers; I prefer seeds. We bought the plants from a high dollar nursery in a high dollar city for the second year. I am experiencing some of the same issues I suffered last year. I bought two Egg Plants one is making it the other is weak as Grandma’s whiskey and the other is thriving. Now these two characters are 1 foot apart in the garden, I believe that’s a combination of poor soil and bad plants. I’m planning on giving the Nursery a call to find out if they grow their own plants. If they do I suspect they are using GMO plants to glean seeds from.

I mention that because the Zucchini is strange stuff, not only this year but last as well. They are shaped like footballs, nearly the same size, and appear to be a cross between Pumpkin and Zukes. When the fruit ripens in a strange form it may be an indication of the seeds being GMO. But these were plants which tells me either the Nursery doesn’t know what they are doing or it was intentional. It is not in their interest to do that they may have purchased them from a crooked grower, either way I believe I owe it to them to give them a call.

The compost is a horse of a different color, I purchased 40-3 cubic foot bags from a big box hardware store. To be perfectly clear they are not the culprits in this however they do share a bit of responsibility; very little. I don’t know what this stuff is, it is not compost. While in the bag it was very hard coming out in a solid block that had to be chopped apart. I thought at the time it was due to being squeezed in the skin tight bag. But after a week or so in the boxes with the plants imbedded I had to literally chop the stuff up to enable it to absorb water.

The compost turns white as if it is loaded with Alkali (natural salts), I don’t know what that is but Mushrooms were prolific in it for the first 3 weeks. I will talk to the manager there as well, I’m not mad or anything my nose is merely a bit out of joint. It’s a lot of work purring a garden together each spring and the supplies are not cheap. I don’t mind purchasing all I need to create a productive garden, I won’t buy cheap stuff. On the other hand in defense of the store they would not knowingly sell bad product, if I were the manager I’d like to hear about any bad stuff the store sold.

I’m not after refund or anything like that I’ll mark it down as a live and learn experience. Next year I’m changing the entire layout of the garden. The boxes will be moved, dirt will be brought in to level the entire 1/4 acre and I will purchase two truck loads of bulk compost. It is supplied by a different local Nursery, I’ve purchased many cubic yards from them in the past. All compost is delivered with volunteer plants installed, from this Nursery it’s mainly Corn. The seeds remain healthy in “Cold Compost” which is what this has to be. With “Hot Compost” the temperature of the decomposing organic material must be hot enough to kill the seeds. Hot Compost decomposes quicker than Cold and is generally cleaner, either product is fine by me as long as it’s processed correctly.

All in all it truly was a good day, the garden is dis-heartening but it’s not something that makes me angry, just a bit disappointed. It’s like we would say after a losing Baseball season; “There is always next year.”

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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