Most of my zucchini plants are quite a bit behind schedule, and it shows. These plants have been the victim of ground hogs, which is a new arch-nemesis for me as well. In the past there was only one ground hog, and he didn’t spend much time in the garden. This year I’ve spotted little ground hogs, and so my garden has a whole family of munching beasts to deal with. I’m going to fight back with every item in my arsenal, but this time I used Miracle Grow. I’m hoping a “shot in the arm” or heavy dose of nutrients will push these plants to out grow the hogs appetite. I’m also aiming the sprinkler at my plants which seem to need the most care: my cucumbers and zucchini.
With all this chaos in the zucchini patch, I wasn’t expecting to take this picture. I recruited Davie and my niece to help me pick the peas in this photo, and while we were in the area, I decided to check on the plants which invaded my strawberry patch. That’s when I discovered this treasure trove of green squash. In the top right corner, I found my first conjoined squash, which looks really neat. In the bottom left are a few young radishes we picked to give our salad some flavor.
I’ve tried in the past to grow a good selection of lettuce, and always regretted neglecting the plants. I’d usually end up spending my time tending tomato plants, weeding the cucumber patch, or pretending I was a fish in the local river.
My timing was never quite right most years, but alas, I think I’ve got the hang of it, and the salad above was all picked from my back yard buffet. It’s a diverse selection of greens, reds and even yellows consisting of lettuce, mesclun and chard. I cooked up some garlic bread sticks to go with my salad as an extra reward for all the work I’ve invested.
I’ve also managed to protect my peas enough to get a few for some stir fry in the near future. In the center of the photo is a small, and still thin pea. In past years the deer and ground hogs would have nibbled away the plants to nothing, but this year I’ve gotten serious with some heavy duty wire. I bent the wire in half, and placed it over the plants. They have since grown through the cage, and will require additional support, but at least this work won’t be in vain. I just hope I can harvest the crop before my sister then loves peas beats me too it = )
The weather lately has been so rainy, that I’ve heard more then one joke about my chicken coop being the start of an arc. Now that the sun has finally decided to battle the clouds and start soaking up some of the puddles left everywhere, I’ll stop thinking about an arc conversion of the shed I’m building. Granted, it would be pretty cool to build a boat around the first story, and use the shed as living quarters while floating here and there. I even have a good selection of local animals that I could have stocked the boat with….. I’ve got two cats, two pigs in the barn, three horses, and the neighbors have cows, sheep and goats.
Thankfully, I’ll pack those thoughts back into my dreams where they belong. The sun is out for it’s second day in a row, and I’m starting to feel happier now that I’ve actually got some Vitamin D in my blood.
Instead of using the sunny day as an opportunity to build, I’m planting peas, very late in the season. I’m not a big fan of these veggies, but I do like stir fry, and they are good for me, so I’m sure I’ll eat them if I can beat the critters to the harvest.
It took about 30 minutes to break up the soil, and mix in some aged manure. The whole time I was digging, I had a few Amish children watching and cheering my name from across the valley. They are very friendly, and smile and wave when they see me drive by.
In the right of the photo, I’ve removed the protective plastic from my Swiss Chard, leaving the stakes in place more out of laziness then worry about the cold. These plants did survive the winter, and began growing as soon as the snow began to melt.
In the center I’ve planted a mix of different cabbages, which have yet to sprout. I’ll give them a few more weeks before I determine them to be missing in action.
The rest of the garden is covered in a blanket of thick green grass, odd, but not to worry, the Rototiller will solve that problem soon !