You have to be a special kind of person to garden in the Great Plains; stubborn yet flexible, optimistic but cautious. The weather changes rapidly and oscillates between extremes. Wind, heat, frost, critters, weeds, and my own ambitious tendencies make it a challenging exercise to say the least. So, I took a few days off last week.
Lesson learned. Do NOT ignore the garden for consecutive days in July.
The pumpkins declared war on…everything. The cucumbers staged a counter attack. I am not sure with which side the gourds are allied, so I have decided to carry a white flag next time I go out there. Kohlrabi have grown to the size of small pumpkins (the 4-H manual says that the ideal size for harvest and exhibition is around 2-3 inches in diameter….).
The peas that were supposed to stop producing in 90 degree weather did not stop….and I am scared to venture all the way over to the zucchini. Those things are prolific enough that I figure they will just fight their own way out and over to the house when they are ready.
I was pretty sure I planted the tomato-jungle far enough apart this year, but….*sigh*, where did I leave that machete? (Hopefully not near the pumpkins!)
The beans were calling for help but I did not have a weed whacker with me so I could not free them. I suspect the potatoes are digging tunnels under the garden fence but I will be waiting for them (muhahaha). I haven’t heard from the carrots, beets, or eggplant but when I got out the binoculars, they appear to have erected a buffalobur fence, so I think they are safe for now.
We planted brussel sprouts specifically to show at the county fair and not because anyone in this house wanted to eat them. Guess which veggie is the only one taking things slowly? They ensured their non-readiness for last week’s fair, and are determined to make us either eat them or hack them into small pieces for the compost pile. Tough call…I really do need to find that machete…. [Editor's update: Middle son was selected to take vegetables to the state fair. Shhh...do not tell the brussel sprouts! If they continue their current growth curve, they will be perfect for that, um, opportunity.]
With the machete and a pair of leather gloves (have you seen the wimpy stuff sold in most catalogs as “gardening gloves”?!?) I am planning an expedition. The dog seems willing to go along for protection. Hubby has the weed whacker tuned up and the sons are on standby for a rescue mission, should it become necessary.
Anyone have a good guess as to the state of the garden after I leave the country for 15 days in August?