Worms and Flowers

FGU #6 Hardknocks and Heartache

Posted in Friday Garden Update by Lzyjo on July 3, 2009

Gardening isn’t always a hobby of nurturing and caring. In the garden things  can get ugly pretty quickly. Killing babies, thinning without a conscious, and squashing bugs in a manner usually reserved for splatter films. In the midst of all the gore and carnage there are assaults against us from the various pecking beaks, sharpened incisors, and dirty claws, snatching our gardens away from us.

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I witnessed many horrors in the garden this week. They were almost enough to bring a tear to my eye. All six lettuce plants and both bolting lettuce plants were eaten down to stumps. No lettuce seed for me yet.

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I’m in the middle of renovating the garden, moving out the potatoes, peas and cool season crops and planting successions of zucchini and corn. I knew better then to leave the lettuces unfenced, but my laziness got the better of me. I moved the fence, I weeded and dug holes for my beautiful new lettuce transplants. I was so tired after the work that I opted not to plant the transplants and left them outside to harden off. The next day they were shriveled goners and to boot I went to the garden and saw all six lettuces eaten to stubs AND the beautiful bolting lettuce, with flowers ready to pop open, decimated. The chicken wire hoop was on its side, I can only hope it was the ungodly wind. Lately I have been running into my archnemisis Mr. Wood Charles Brown the III. He has been seen on the edges of the garden and had been so bold as not to run until I am just feet away from his lumbering frame. Is steam coming out of my ears?! I finally got some beans to get going and just as they might begin to flower. All. Munched. Down.

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Is that a a blush of red on the tomatoes?! I cannot believe it. I found one red tomato further up on the plant, as I excitedly reached to pick it, I realized someone (something) had already pecked it for me and hollowed out the contents, one more tomato thrown to the wayside.

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There are lots of green ones, if they ever decide to ripen. The landlords gave us a huge bag of tomatoes and peppers. Already. They always give everything more and earlier than our own. Ah, that’s the way it goes. Maybe I should just let them do all the work?

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Butternut Squash 'Waltham'

My butternuts aren’t looking too good, the vines look like they are, uh, dying…The squash are only about half of their average size and already turning a ripe color, I hope they keep growing!

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Watermelon 'Sugarbaby'

Getting bigger. Mr. W.C. Brown, III listen up, get your dirty claws off my melons!!

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Can you see how much work I’ve been doing?! I weeded the old potato area and planted some hills of yellow straight necks and zucchini and a few more rows of corn.

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During the dry 95 degrees days the zucchini production has come to a standstill, which is okay. The hot pepper are loving the heat, of the best producers of the pest week.

PhotobucketIsn’t that the cutest cucumber. I call him “Gordito.”

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I’ve mentioned before how much I love acorn squash, My favorite way is Martha Stewart’s recipe. Roasted with thyme, butter, and a small amount of maple syrup or brown sugar. Simply delicious!

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There is some good news in the garden. We are going to enjoy corn of the cob with our 4th of July faux-b-que, ie, vegetarian burgers. I’ve been so excited about the corn that I had a dream about it. I was in the corn patch, checking to see if they were ripe and the ear kind of shucked itself, revealing gorgeous golden kernels. MMMM!!

Total harvest is up to 54.74. Only 27.11 in the red!

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The ‘Mammoth’ Sunflowers are almost nine feet tall. It will soon be time to cut off the heads.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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6 Responses

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  1. tina said, on July 3, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    Your garden looks very good. Lots of good news. I can surely see how much work you’ve done-no weeds in sight. Keep it up and it will keep rewarding you. Don’t stress on the critters, they have to eat too:) It looks like you’ll still have plenty. I surely enjoy these garden updates.

    Thank you, for the complements, Tina. It’s hard to weed everything when it’s so big, as soon as I finish one part it’s overrun again! Your right about the critters, they must be hungry. I’m glad they leave the squashes alone!

  2. Daphne Gould said, on July 3, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    Oh no not the lettuce seed. I’m going to try to let a couple of mine go to seed. I hope they make it. With our weather it might be September before they decide to bolt. The wet and cloudy weather is making good eating lettuce, but it is slow to set seed.

    I am definitely maddest about that one, Daphne. I just think what ever ate it must have been very hungry, because I know that lettuce was bitter! Enjoy your lettuce while you can. I hope you eventually get some summer weather!

  3. Faith said, on July 4, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    LOL I can so relate. We have so many horror stories to tell, and some successes as well. Never a dull moment, for sure!

    I have quite a few deformed fruits, but we eat them anyway. My melons have not even flowered yet, I’m so envious of yours! LOL

    You have been working really hard! 🙂

    ~Faith

    I can commiserate with any horror! I feel like a manic depressive gardener sometimes, the highs can be wonderful but there surely are some low lows. I got a lot done with the great weather in the 80s! It was heaven! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. artistsgarden said, on July 5, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Growing your own veg is so dispiriting at times – but then you get to eat somethings and it is all worth it again.

    Your corn looks good
    K

    Thank you, Karen! I needed the encouragement! I bee felling better when I can add new harvests to the tally!

  5. Jen said, on July 6, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    So what is Wood Charles Brown the 11??? a woodchuck? The nerve of him!

    The squash and corn sure look good though – and just wait- you’re gonna be rolling in tomatoes! Wish I could send you some lettuce – that’s about my only successful crop so far.

    Aww, Jen that is so sweet! I’ve had it up to here [frantically gestures above my head] with the woodchucks. Wood Charles is his formal Christian name, and he has a numeral, like many prominent families in the area. I think woodchuck is more of a nickname. 😉 You wouldn’t believe it but we’ve “removed” 22 total for this year and all of last year. He just ate my squash plant too!!!! ARRRGGG!!!

  6. writeandcreate said, on July 6, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    With the thrill of watching your garden grow via your blog, I’d forgotten about the hungry critters. They must have been watching too. Maybe a scarecrow would help? Could be fun to make.

    Thank you, Brigit. A scarecrow- -what a great idea. Maybe my giant bugs will help to scare them off. I’d better get em ready and in the garden!


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