Note to self – next year, when putting in a garden, do not be talked into planting three different types of squash. I consider us lucky that the yellow crookneck hasn’t been very prolific, nor, to my great surprise, has the zucchini. This is a very good thing because the Zephyr squash is going absolutely nuts in its attempts to drown us in a giant pile of squash. Oh boy does that thing produce, especially now that the weather has gotten warmer. So far we’ve been able to stay on top of things with all the squash being produced, and I am counting myself quite lucky that I have a lot of friends who like squash, and none of them planted any this year.
The squash plants aren’t the only things enjoying the heat. The entire garden is suddenly exploding with green and the promise of fruit to come. Practically overnight the cucumbers graduated from long, lanky vines to giant climbing monsters, covered in giant leaves and tons of flowers, and I’m realizing that, much like the squash, we need to start checking those plants more often, or else we end up with cucumbers that could double as a lethal weapon. Several of the tomato plants are now taller than me, and it’s a continuing battle to keep them at least partially contained. The poor little lemon cucumber plant is only now starting to perk up, since it finally got long enough to reach the cage and I could encourage it to grow up and out from under the overbearing tomato shadow. We’ve harvested a few beautiful tomatoes already, and the plants are covered in green fruit, so it is entirely possible my dreams of making garden sauce might, for once, pan out.
In the raised brick bed, the strawberries are sending out runners in all directions and we’ve come to the conclusion that the best plan of action is to just let them eventually take over that space(and figure out where to move the herbs later). The catnip plant apparently thrives on being regularly sat on and squashed by visiting neighborhood kitties, and is now beginning to battle with the sage for control of that part of the garden. The blackberries are one giant mess and I am forever tucking the shoots back into the one narrow bed to which I’d like them to stay confined. One of these weekends we’ll get out there and rig up some string and encourage them to grow up, not out, but I suspect that eventually I’m going to have to break down and go at them with the hedge clippers, if only to keep them from taking out the compost bin.
We decided to take advantage of some empty space, now that all the lettuce is gone, and we put in two pumpkins a few weekends ago. One of them seems to be doing okay, but the other is getting ravaged by something, and the usual application of coffee grounds around the base doesn’t seem to be helping, so I’m not sure if the slugs and snails are getting bolder, or if we’ve got a new pest to deal with. I admit to being relieved that it is the ornamental pumpkin that is looking sickly, and that the pie pumpkin is the one currently surviving. I figure that, much like the peppers (which are doing SO WELL now, finally!) and the cucumbers, if we can just keep the pests away long enough for the pumpkin to really get going, we should be fine. So I’m crossing my fingers that at least one of these little sprouts can make it through.
And speaking of things with vines and giant fruit, the melon plant, which has spent the last few weeks growing at least a foot in all directions every few days and putting out flowers right and left, is finally starting to bear fruit! So far we’ve found three little proto-melons, lurking underneath the leaves, and I anxiously check them every time we go out to the garden, just to make sure they aren’t being attached by ants. I am cautiously optimistic about all those flowers, and am very much hoping that those three little melons are not the only ones for the season. Last year we were so overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes that Richard got sick of them. This year, I would absolutely love to be in the same position with melon. I may not be a fan of most fruit, but oh, I do love melon.