Garden Party: Just a Few Wrinkles

Week Nine

Has it really only been nine weeks? I suppose I am becoming impatient, and progress now seems painfully slow. It is going as slowly as ever, but also as quickly. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I have gotten better at finding the zucchini, but I have discovered that it is very difficult to pick them when they grow out of the base of the plant. I distinctly recall picking zucchini from my parents’ garden, where it hung in the middle or near the end of a vine. Mine seem to all be springing up right from the base of the plant, so I have to decide whether to break the end of the squash off, or break branches at the base. I have done the former so far.

A: a broken squash tip. B: another squash growing out of the base.

A: a broken squash tip. B: another squash growing out of the base.

The problem with breaking the fruit is that you have to cook it and eat it right away. I don’t think it will keep well if you try to store it with an open end like that. This has not been a big problem yet. We have eaten them right up and they are tasty.

In the chiriman patch, I have finally identified some blooms. There was one that was very flower-like but it shriveled up before I got around to taking a photo. In any case, I believe these are more blooms on the way:

Maybe they will open later in the day with some sunlight?

Maybe they will open later in the day with some sunlight?

I have decided to just live with the gophers. It turns out that the bed floors do not have wire mesh covering them, and even if there were not sizable gaps in the bottoms, gophers can chew through wood if they are so inclined. So that is on our to do list for next year: change out most of the dirt and put rat-proofing on the bottoms before planting again. The dirt probably does need a change anyway. I did consider tunneling under the bed to install wire now, but that led to visions of a Far Side cartoon image of my legs protruding from under the gigantic wooden box.

To get rid of the gophers even temporarily,  I would have to embark on a grisly hunt… how could I do that to one of these little guys?

Sad beet, fat gopher.

Sad beet, fat gopher.

It turns out, the gophers appreciate my consideration. They have not disturbed the beds in some time. I have abandoned one poor, uprooted beet to its fate after trying to replant it a couple of times. It has not moved in several days and I see no new digging going on. Of course, it is possible that the cats ate the gophers, though I don’t see how with the protective netting and big wooden boxes serving as an excellent gopher fort. No, building a gopher haven was not my intention.

I tossed some new lettuce seeds in the gaps between the plants, to see if they would take. It is not the butter lettuce I planted originally, I just grabbed the only lettuce seeds hanging on the display rack by the checkout counter at the grocery store. I don’t know if it is the kind of lettuce I like to eat, and I really don’t know if it will grow at all, but there might be a lettuce sprout or two in here now:

There are definitely some unfamiliar shapes in there. fingers crossed that they will be edible.

There are definitely some unfamiliar shapes in there. I have my fingers crossed that they will be edible.

I think the peas are doing well. Maybe they should be producing faster but I have no frame of reference to guide me. Apparently I am growing the fat, sturdy-skinned English peas so I will have to wait some time yet.

Not snowpeas, just unripe peas.

Not snowpeas, just unripe peas.

Finally, I have been eating the red bell peppers from my early garden and they are delicious. A couple of them have developed some wrinkles and I don’t know what that means.

I hope I can still eat them.

I hope I can still eat them.

The plant looked quite glorious a few days ago, before I started eating the peppers, but it still looks pretty good, wrinkles and all.

Fat red bells.

Fat red bells.

 

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