Monday, July 31, 2006

Hidden Treasure

I wrote the last blog in the wee small hours this morning. I'm writing this at the very end of the day, just before midnight. It was cooler today, and I got an earlier start. I only intended to water, but then I saw the cucumbers needed more attention. They are growing so fast I continually have to tie what ends I can to the stakes. Others go along the ground and I put papers under them to help keep them clean. If a cuke starts to grow on the paper or ground, I put a flat rock under it to keep it above the ground. You can see the cucumber plants in the foreground. That's a tomato in the red pot.

Since it was cool and I had a few extra minutes this morning, I decided to feed the fruting veggies a little more fish emulsion. And in the process, as I was pushing the cucumber leaves out of the way, I discovered that one of the plants had two fairly long cucumbers I'd missed in my daily searches. It's amazing that the leaves cover them so well that even when you're looking you can't always find them. It reminds me a bit of raising children. As parents we look anxiously to see if what we try to teach them is having any effect. We are always watching for signs of growth and they don't seem to be there. And then one day, all of a sudden, evidence of maturity you didn't expect seems to appear. You see that after all, your patient parenting is bearing the fruit you'd hoped it would.

Getting through the heat and beginning the harvest

July 31, 2006

I have spent more time wearing my bookseller hat and less time in my sunbonnet and gardening gloves since my last post. That means sometimes I've had to choose between gardening and blogging, and, of course, I chose gardening.

Since the last post I fed my plants that were beginning to look starved or starting to bloom, some fish emulsion. It didn't help the peppers much, but it seemed to help everything else. I picked my first tomatoes today. I've been picking a cucumber about every three days for the past ten days. I've harvested a couple of zucchini and a few small bell peppers. The tomato vines are loaded and it looks they will be getting more and more ripe ones every day. Cucumbers are loaded with blossoms and little cukes. So over all, the
veggies are doing well.

Wish I could say the same for my small herb bed beyond my kitchen window . (Pictured above.) The gophers think it's for them. I've lost two calendulas, my marjorem, and both yarrow plants. Something is eating the sorrel above ground and its almost gone. (Discovered next day it was gophers, and now it's gone, too.) And today my prized lambs ear plant looked wilted and almost dead. (See gray blob hanging over rocks a bit at front of picture.) And just two days ago I had been admiring it and thinking of how well it was doing and how I would be dividing it into more plants in the fall. I gave it a lot of water this morning and hope it revives. The picture was taken the morning after I wrote this, and it has revived a little . I'd think the gopher had gone after it, but it wasn't loose. I'd think it was our triple digit heat that we've had almost every day for two weeks, but it was a bit cooler today and yesterday. And I can't believe that one day without watering would wilt it that much. Time will tell. Maybe the gopher just nibbled a bit of it so far. (Compare the picture above to the same bed on May 20, bottom picture on May 20th blog, below. )

I finished planting the irises I was given last week since it was a bit cooler today. I spread them in every one of my beds to see where they will do the best. And that way if a gohper should go on a rampage, it won't get all of them. Though I understand that they are poison, so I wouldn't mind if a gopher did eat them.

It's time to start broccoli, and I have some seeds. It's time to think about what else I want to plant for the fall garden. It's just so hot this summer that I'm not sure I could keep the seeds moist enough outside. So much to do. So little time.
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