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: 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:

squashedsquash

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: 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