Garden Party: Pruning Squash

Sunday, I picked some veggies:

Squash and yellow are the themes of the day.

Squash and yellow are the themes of the day.

I did not mean to pick the pumpkin because I don’t know what to do with it. I was merely giving it a little turn to keep it from getting a flatter flat side. I heard a sharp snap and knew it was finished. So there it is, my first vine-ripened pumpkin of the season. Continue reading

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Garden Party: Timing

This summer’s garden has proven a challenge in timing. The lettuce came up too quickly, the tomatoes took too long, I have no idea whether the beets will ever mature. The peas looked like they were doing well, but have started to dry out ever since I increased the watering time. Maybe they are drowning again? The bell peppers seem to be on target, and the lemon cucumbers continue to thrive. Continue reading

Garden Party: Pumpkins & Co

I am not sure I really planned to grow pumpkins this year. When I tossed the Halloween decorations into the back field last fall, it did cross my mind that I might get pumpkin plants this year. So I guess that is an indication of intent. That I got two very different types of plants, only one of which is producing pumpkins, is not what I expected but now I am glad that the zucchini impostors are making pumpkins because the plain pumpkins are not doing well at all.
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Garden Party: Bells and Boys of Summer

The little bell pepper bed, looking so much more tidy than last year, when is housed cantaloupe.

The little bell pepper bed, looking so much more tidy than last year, when it housed cantaloupe.

The bell peppers are finally making real progress. I remember that they seemed to take forever last year, so I should not be surprised by how long they are taking now. On top of that, we have had some very odd weather recently. It has even set back the tomatoes. The Early Girl, after a fine start, has slowed down and only has a few oblong little fruits hanging now. Continue reading

Garden Party: Still Water

Apple tree front, scrub oak back.

Apple tree front, scrub oak back.

Oddly, all that grief with the drip system made me want to try something more ambitious: a hose-less drip system. One, I would like to know exactly how much water I am giving to the peppers, and two, I would rather not have a hose running across the driveway to be abused by passing car tires. The plan would make use of a sad little apple tree that has mysteriously survived despite being overwhelmed by a sun-greedy scrub oak. I would hang a container of water on the tree and have gravity propel the water through cleverly arranged hoses to its proper destination.

The plan never came to fruition. The tree, upon closer inspection, seemed unlikely to be able to hold up more than a couple soda cans full of water. Then I realized that there is a perfectly good faucet in a stall at the back of the barn that would work for a drip system without the hose being run over every day. I went out and got a new drip timer, a fancy one with multiple settings and a digital readout. Then I realized I would have to work with the big hoses to set up a new system. I have not done that before. Valves and joints and things like that seemed daunting. Continue reading

Garden Party 2015

It is ironic that I am late to start blogging about the garden this season, since I started planting so much earlier. Actually, it makes perfect sense. I am feeling lazy. Not so lazy that I would not do a garden– I want to eat it, I just don’t want to spend so much time on it.

2015 garden. In the foreground, a volunteer plum tree that plopped itself down right in the middle of things. How can I say no to a plum tree?

2015 garden on May 30. In the foreground, a volunteer plum tree that plopped itself down right in the middle of things. How can I say no to a plum tree?

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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. Continue reading