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: Mystery Squashed

I feel like an idiot. This morning, I took a good look behind the leafy veil of the mystery squash plants and solved one of the mysteries: the multi-tasking plant is not multi-tasking at all. It is not producing both zucchini and pumpkins. What I saw was so self-explanatory that I’ll just put up the pictures: Continue reading

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: Body Swap?

Last week I noticed that my lemon cucumbers were not turning out to be lemon cucumbers, at least in the case of one plant. This week, I noticed that some of my squash are also behaving strangely. The problem seems to be confined to one corner of the garden:

A: zucchini (?) plants. B: Cucumber labelled lemon but producing long green cucumbers. C: Runt lemon cucumber from two for one sale. D: Yellow scalloped squash.

A: zucchini (?) plants. B: Cucumber labelled lemon but producing long green cucumbers. C: Runt lemon cucumber from two for one sale, producing nothing yet. D: Yellow scalloped squash.

The zucchini’s behavior is the most bizarre. These are what I expect to find inside a zucchini plant: 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?

Continue reading

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

Garden Party: Reality Check

Week 4

We have a very mild climate here, and so our growing season is very long. Nevertheless, it is not possible to grow just anything at any time of year. Starting a vegetable garden in July will meet with some failure, but I still expect to have some success.

The zucchini, for example, are coming along but they are nowhere near where they should be at this time of year:

Zucchini shown with inverted 24 oz plastic bottles. The bottles are to hold the netting up off the plants.

Zucchini shown with inverted 24 oz plastic bottles. The bottles are to hold the netting up off the plants.

Continue reading