Garden Party: A Little Step Back, Some Big Steps Forward

Week Seven

Something decided to dig around in the beets, carrots and onions, then gave the cauliflower a toss for good measure. Whatever it was, it only attacked corners of each crop but it pretty much killed those corners. I hesitate to blame the family of raccoons living in the barn because they are so cute, but I can’t think of what else would selectively (except for the cauliflower) go after plants with tasty roots. I could blame the squirrels (unpleasant little creatures) but I don’t know if squirrels eat beets and carrots.

Poor little dug up beets.

Poor little dug up beets.

One positive to come out of the wreckage is that I determined there are (or were) some onions growing. To prevent further destruction, I put the netting back up around the root crops.  This time I installed it vertically.

It doesn't look like much but it seems to be doing the job.

It doesn’t look like much but it seems to be doing the job.

On the bright side, the zucchini are coming right along. There are already at least three squash visible. This one is just about ready to eat:

If they grow true to form, this one should be followed quickly by more than anyone can eat.

If they grow true to form, this one should be followed quickly by more than anyone can eat.

I can’t tell if the Chiriman is doing anything other than growing leaves. These little buds at the heart of this plant look promising but maybe I’m being overly optimistic.

More leaves or impending blooms?

More leaves or impending blooms?

I have been so anxious to see more lettuce growing that I lost track of the forest, so to speak. The lettuce I have is coming along very well.

Heck, I could start eating that1

Heck, I could start eating that!

In light of the damage to the main cauliflower bed (really they only demolished the row that I had thinned, so the best row but not all of the cauliflower), it is reassuring to see these transplants coming along.

No idea how cauliflower grows but I'm guessing big robust plants are better than little wilted ones.

No idea how cauliflower grows but I’m guessing that big robust plants are better than little wilted ones.

The peas seem to appreciate the weeding I did. I left that thing in the foreground because it is not yet encroaching on the peas and I don’t know what it is. I’m curious to see what it does, as it did not grow in any of the other beds.

So much easier to see the peas without the forest.

So much easier to see the peas without the forest.

The melons continue to demonstrate the drawbacks of a deep planter.

A melon in the too deep bed on one of the first round of transplants.

A melon on one of the transplants in the deep planter.

I thought this was a surprisingly large melon on one of the second transplants....

I thought this was a surprisingly large melon on one of the shallow planter transplants….

... until I saw this one.

… until I saw this one.

I think that last melon is about five inches long. I did not want to pick it up for fear of disturbing it. The melons in the deep planter are coming along much more slowly, despite having been transplanted a few days earlier than those in the shallow planter, and despite having a drip system dedicated to them. The plants in the shallow planter get by on overspray from the flower bed (45 minutes twice a day). I might wonder if the slower group is getting too much water (45 minutes of drip twice a day plus some extra overspray from the flower bed) but I know melons are notorious water hogs.

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