Ahem. So, I started this summer worrying about Rudee. We have him in a kennel that gets a LOT of afternoon sun. We have tried a plywood barrier. He couldn't see, and ate part of it. We tried a tarp. It really didn't last, and he tried to eat it. (My dog has an extreme oral fixation. I have no idea what he's going through. Oh, look! A cookie!)
I thought perhaps letting him have part of the garden as his own might help. He likes to sit near the garden, (he'd sit in it, digging and chewing, if I'd let him, so that's the limit of his "help"), and I figured, hey, vines, large leaves, he can chew if he wants, it won't hurt him, so let's see if this works. And, hey, presto, Bob's yer Uncle, it did!
These are birdhouse gourds. I had tried them last year, and found them to be fairly large leaved, and sprawling. They are surprisingly good climbers. (There is several tomato plants in front, as well.) I planted some Trip-L-Crop tomatoes in with the vines. Not doing that again. They just don't seem to want to do anything. I think it might be the planter box isn't large enough. But, they create a brush barrier for shade, so it's still fine.
This is the view from Rudee's kennel, you can see a few of the gourds, they seem to be holding up fine, I was afraid they might be too heavy, with the vines holding them up, rather than on the ground, but they seem to be going right to town... Best of all, Rudee doesn't seem interested in eating anything, and I have checked, his kennel is MUCH cooler in the afternoon. I water the area frequently, since it's a 'living' barrier, that seems to help, too. And, bonus, if I can dry the gourds correctly this year, some extra bird houses! (I didn't get them dry enough last year, and they rotted. NOT NICE. Chickens didn't care, but I would really like to have them as something other than chicken food.)
I had my first Purple Cherokee tomato finally ripen. I took a picture, and only noticed after I took the photo, I had a neat little heart shaped one! I thought that was nice. I think it is cracked on one side, but my tomato tester (aka Mom) will tell me for sure later. One thing I found, I am going to have to put all of one kind together when I plant next year. The bees went about pollinating, and I have a bunch of round red tomatoes on plants that aren't normally round, or necessarily red. Ooops. But, since it was just for eating this year, not saving, I should be fine.