Garden Party: In my Absence

I had to leave the garden for five days and returned to find some interesting developments. Most obvious, there was some damage, probably done by an injured turkey that was trapped in the backyard:

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Squashed squash plants.

The zucchini bed also took a beating but it bounced back nicely with a heavy watering. I am hoping that the yellow squash will survive. The damage to the plants did not seem to hurt squash production. Evidently, five days is much too long to leave squash unpicked, even if it is brutalized by large birds:

S.O.U.S.

S.O.U.S.- the ones my mother rejected.

I noticed that the yellow squash have returned to their proper shape, exonerating themselves from the case of the mystery squash.

The mystery plants were untouched, as if their lack of a clear identity wards off even sick turkeys. Their produce continues to mystify:

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Mystery squash on June 29. No, the plant is not growing 7-Up. That’s there for size comparison.

The round fruit keeps getting bigger, and without any idea what it should look like, I just let it keep growing until yesterday, when I decided it was time to pick the biggest one. Perhaps a dissection will help clear things up. A google search came up with a few possibilities: a round zucchini, a spaghetti squash, a korean squash and of course, a pumpkin. It obviously looks like a pumpkin:

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The zucchini pumpkin on July 1.

According to a google search for baby pumpkins photos, the little ones also look like pumpkins:

Photo of baby pumpkin from

Photo of baby pumpkin from Two Barn Farm. (click image to visit site)

I am still not quite convinced that this is a normal pumpkin. First of all, the plants do not act or look like vines, and the plant that is growing from the seed I planted from a packet that said “pumpkins” and showed a photo of a fine, uncarved orange jack-o-lantern… that plant has rounded leaves and vines that crawl:

Pumpkin plant with rounded leaves.

Pumpkin plants with rounded leaves on crawling vines.

My mystery plants have stalks that stand up with leaves shaped more like big maple leaves than pumpkin leaves:

Zucchini leaves in all their prickly unroundness.

Zucchini leaves in all their angular unroundness atop perky stalks- somewhat less perky after turkey attack.

Also, the multi-tasking plant continues to multi-task, producing regular zucchini at a regular rate while also growing the round fruit:

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I picked the long squash and put it there so it could be more easily photographed. You will just have to trust me that it did come from the same plant.

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Another view of the same round fruit with another small zucchini coming up.

Finally I googled “Why are my zucchini plants producing pumpkins?” I got nothing, aside from advice about how to pollinate zucchini and questions about zucchini not producing. That is not the problem here. Ah well, as soon as I find a knife big enough I will cut the thing open and see if that tells me anything.

The cucumber are coming into their own. The Burpless ones have produced about four tasty cucumbers:

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The cucumber keeps producing, though it seems very slow compared to the manic zucchini.

The gigantic lemon cucumber plant has several little round fellows on the way. They look a little like baby vultures:

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Lemon cucumbers coming along even more slowly than the regular ones.

They get a little better looking when they grow up, like the first one I picked, shown here with the first Early Girl tomatoes:

Picked and washed.

Picked and washed.

I ate them a few minutes after taking that photo. They were delicious. More tomatoes are on the way, but coming slowly from the Boys:

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Better Boy

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Lemon Boy

The bell peppers are creeping along, and only the mini bell plants have visible fruit so far. But they have lots:

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Mini bells.

I hope they are tasty.

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