4 - 2008

Moving into jungle mode – garden update

Things are getting a little crazy in the garden.

I figured after the last few weeks of beautiful close-ups, I’d show you the ugly (and growing) truth. We tried so hard to space things well and leave plenty of room this year.

Really, we did!

But here you can see the Brussels sprouts in front (still with some elbow room), the green bean patch to the left, half covered with flowers and half covered with beans, and the Juliet tomato in the back taking over the territory. (Longtime readers will remember that last year’s Juliet tomato developed more than 100 feet of vines.) In addition to a poor shot of the wall and utility box, the compost bin, which is about waist high, can give you a sense of the scale.

That plant to the right, creeping in front of the compost bin? At first I thought it was a cucumber. In fact I even saw a baby cucumber on the plant, which is what gave me that impression. But now look at the size of those leaves. I think it’s a stowaway butternut squash. Perhaps there’s a cucumber plant hidden beneath it just to throw me off track.

To the left of the beans there is a novelty in our garden: a little path covered with a couple of books of hay. This path is a wonderful innovation, which give me space to pick beans yesterday.

Here is the other half of that bed. At the far left are the okra plants. I think they’re the only plant that have been enjoying our three weeks of 90-plus degree temperatures.

At the right side of this picture, beside the path, are five peanut plants. They are growing pretty well and have such beautiful green color.

And in the middle? That’s a tomato plant. It’s taking over almost as much as the Juliet is. The only difference? This particular tomato is a Roma. It’s supposed to be a determinate variety, which doesn’t grow very large. It doesn’t understand destiny, however, and has designs on taking over this bed.

Other than that, the story of the week is heat stress. This picture shows two sad, wilted little baby butternut squash. Most of the newly formed squash have not stayed on the vine long enough to open their flowers. That means no pollination, and of course, no squash. We have two nice hearty squash set on the vines, and we’re waiting to see what will happen this week, when the weather is forecast to be much more favorable. We also have one pumpkin set on our vine in the front yard, and we’re waiting on that too.

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