Hi, I'm Snickers. I live with Jen and am a guinea pig.

She has been busy catching up on house chores in between visits to her mom and dad, plus feeding myself and the other two guinea pigs who live here. So, I'm writing a gardening update for her. prrrr titter titter

It rained Monday through Thursday last week, so Jen couldn't really do anything. Friday and Saturday were hot, humid and sunny -- a good time for drying the soil. Jen expects that when she goes tonight (Sunday) after work to harvest, many tomatoes will have burst because of the sudden excessive rain.

Sadly for Shaggy, Scooby and me, the greens have all bolted. Jen keeps talking about seeding for a fall harvest, but she is a little overwhelmed right now and may not get to it. She has given us some yummy organic greens from the store. I appreciate that she grows veggies for us. They are soooo good!

Oh, Jen has a blog entry about puppy mills and schoolroom critters. As a guinea pig, I find the idea of being stuck in a classroom bad. Kids should be supervised; they can be mean to small animals and not realize it. It would also be lonely. In a home, there is a lot going on. Jen cuddles us, chats and listens to us. Sometimes I whimpered when I was lonely after my buddy Pumpkin died. Jen heard me and snuggled me so I'd feel better. That kind of attention wouldn't happen in a lonely classroom. You can read this blog at her 360 site.

And she says that I make her feel better. I try to.

Well, that's about it. It was fun chattering with you! Have a good "wheek" and God bless you all!


Jungle or Jumble?

A few weeks ago, my plants were small, but I had confidence that they would grow. I upped my hand-watering a little. And we have had soaking rain once a week. I fed them, too. Now the plants are quite large.

Only after watering (or rainfall) do I feed the plants. The first water should just be that -- water; this gets the plant's vascular (water/nutrient uptake) system going and hydrates the cells. Then I do a light watering with the food mixed into it. I suppose the watering is like an appetite stimulant for the plants. Plus, it provides water in the plant cells so the follow-up nutrients are circulated into the places that need it.

My plantings are mixed up, so to speak, this year. Instead of one section for each type of plant, I inter-planted. I think the corn is the only item I kept to one spot, which was half-planning and the rest circumstance. I'd have planted a second, later crop, but my personal schedule got in the way of sequential plantings. The planned part was that I seeded the corn in a recessed area of a raised bed. In The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, the author recommends this so that the bed stays better hydrated. It catches water and rainfall and holds it longer. We certainly have had the kind of sun and heat that corn seems to like. Mine's looking good, I think.

Overall, all of the plants have grown really well. I can no longer see over them into the adjoining plot as I could a few weeks ago.

Saturday morning I hand-watered. I transplanted a few basil plants that were small. Sunflowers were shading them, so I moved the herb to sunny spots.

My herbs in containers on my porch are growing extremely well. I hope to have photos soon. Meanwhile, here's some aerial photos.

Update: the Alzheimer's is more advanced than the doctor originally thought. Now my 3 sisters and I are trying to get her the help she needs, but the insurance is not making it easy. She needs a full evaluation that Geisinger health insurance will not cover.


Thanks And Garden Update

Thank you to all who read and responded to my entry to all praying believers. I want to explain now that more is known to my family. My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. This has made the last couple of weeks quite difficult, especially for her and my dad. One of my sisters and I have taken turns staying with her. She still functions well; just needs a little help and most of all companionship in dealing with the emotional repercussions of this.

So, thanks to all for your continued prayers.

Meanwhile the weeds are getting a little ahead of me in my garden plot. Yes, we've had some decent rain! I've picked plenty of sweet pea pods, lettuce, basil and mint. The broccoli did better than I thought. Nights have been cool, and that may have prevented bolting and blooming of lettuce and broccoli respectively. Soon the tomatoes should be ready. Plenty of tomato plant "volunteers" have grown. Some I left in.