Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adopt a Crop update: Heat's coming so YIKES

It's supposed to start warming up this week, which around here means it'll creep into the 80s for the first time since, OH APRIL, which makes no sense since it shouldn't be anything other than raining and cool in April because heat is for, you know JUNE, but whatever.

I guess I don't get to vote when it comes to the seasonal temps around here. And, let's be honest, I did really appreciate not having to to train in extreme heat and almost die, so there's that.

The plants, however, don't really get going until the daily temps jump into the 80s and 90s, and that scares me because they kinda already look like they've gotten going. And then what happens when it turns 80 degrees? They haven't left themselves a lot of room to "get going" when they're already at the top of their tepees and cages and have begun spilling over the sides of their beds onto the ground and such.

You think they'd leave themselves a little room to move, but no, they decided to take advantage of the cool weather, too. Not that I can blame them. It's hard to work in the heat. Perhaps they'll want an ice tea with a curly straw once it gets too warm?

Hard to say.

And have I told you that I'm suspicious of my tomato plants? I am. I'm suspicious that they're not what their tag purported them to be which was, specifically, Better Boys. But I've never seen Better Boys that look like this:

Which is to say, someone anus-like.

I also forgot to say anything really about the Surprise Cilantro! that I decided on a whim to grow for no reason other than Bubba looked sad when I told him I hadn't planted any because it bolts too fucking fast and what is the use?

Well, Surprise! I planted it! And it's bolting already! Yay!

Seriously. It bolted in five whole minutes. Jerk.

Oh, and speaking of tomatoes (just skip back two paragraphs, that's right) the two loser tomato plants that were all too good to grow or whathaveyou have decided to get into the game and do some work. I sort of suspect that these ones actually ARE Better Boys because they don't have blossoms the size of a softball and haven't begun to produce wrinkly fruits. Thankfully, however, they are doing something and have begun to put on weight, which is great when you're a tomato plant.

We're bulking up.

And since I added a new, healthier looking, Better Boy to this bed (he's already overgrown the little super loser that's now hiding in his shadow), I'm feeling better about the pseudo-success of this bed and am glad I won't have to label it a complete Crop Failure.

The basil, though, Epic Fail. Look how yellow and spindly. Suck.

Thankfully the big tomato bed has basil that won't quit, and so after harvesting nearly a pound of it (true story, check the tracker), I still have plenty to harvest for salads and pizza and whatever the hell suits me. Good times.

It's hiding there under the tomato and next to the Nasturtium That Will Not Quit.

And then there's the beans. Oh the beans. I just talked at length about the beans, so I won't bore you too much with more Bean Talk except to show you an example of said leaning.

Do you see how this could become an issue?

My mom was here last night for dinner, before which I put her to work harvesting beans from the heavy side of the tepee so that we didn't risk it toppling over with heavy fat beans in the coming heat. I'm still not writing off the potential need for additional reinforcement, but we're at least at a wait and see status for now.

What I'm also waiting to see is how tall this corn really is on 4th of July, because knee-high is long gone.

It's sort of hard to properly capture just how tall this shit is now, but I think you can clearly see that my knee is hitting it below its midway point, so by 4th of July it could very well be shoulder height. Which it actually might be already depending on where I stand (inside the box or out). Maybe it WILL be high as an elephant's eye by 4th of July?

How high is an elephant's eye, exactly?

Oh, and I assume SOMEONE must be interested in the status of the adopted cucumbers so let me just tell you that the status is somewhere in the range of Large and Sprawling.

Given the World Dominating Nasturtium obscuring the true sprawling nature of the cucumber in these photos, it's a little hard to see exactly how sprawl-tastic the cucumbers have become, but I will say that in future years, I will definitely cage all my cucumber plants because, whoa.

Mostly this is cucumbers in here.

Even the one IN a cage is hard to contain, but the one without a cage is going EVERY. FUCKING. WHERE.

Like, out of the beds, under the beans, UP the beans, out the other side of the bed, into my living's Yikes time in the cuke bed.

That on the ground there? That's cucumbers looking for something to overtake.

The best part is that there is nary an evil and disgusting squash beetle (knock on wood) to be found, so I'm not having to perch out near the beds with the needle-nosed pliers just yet. Which is nice since I haven't been able to conjure up any new explanations for that particular brand of Crazy Garden Lady behavior for the benefit of my neighbors.

And because it wouldn't be a summer garden in my yard without one, we have a foreign crop invading from across neighborly lines.

Hi. We surrender. Please accept us in your home.

I really like these foreign neighborly plants because I don't have to water them or really do anything other than eat their final fruits since my neighbors water them on their side of the fence and then, because they're some of the nicest people alive, they also come over to our yard and carefully protect the plants with some remnant caging to keep certain dogs from trampling them whilst they chase shitstarting squirrels.

Or something like that.

And, even nicer, they also send over some nasturtium from their yard (which I'm pretty sure originally grew over from my yard - sorry!) to keep the foreign plant company as it waves its tiny vegetable flag of surrender.

It all adds some nice atmosphere to my summer garden sitting spot so that I don't get lonely or scared behind the ever-expanding corn and such.

Soon this will be mostly shaded and I'll be able to hide back here from I don't know what.

And so I'm able to leave you on a firm This Girl is Crazy note, I reseeded the lettuce bed beneath the beans because I guess I forgot how scary the lettuce was a few weeks ago, so YAY we'll have a nice summer mesclun soon according to these little sprouts.

I'll soon wonder why I did this.

And, yeah, no wool update yet. But it's getting too hot to care.


  1. I am always envious of your garden. It's so luscious.

  2. That is a serious bean tower. Maybe nexxt year it shouldn't be so vertical?

  3. Wow, some of your plants look like they're invaders from space intent on taking over the world. They are humongous!

  4. Love your blog. Your garden inspires me when my own garden is looking sad. LOL Re the cilantro that bolts, if you love the flavor try Asian or Vietnamese cilantro. It doesn't bolt and seems perennial for me (So. Cal). It doesn't grow 10 feet tall either thank goodness. Not the same in Mexican food as the real stuff, but really really yummy in stir-fry or asian dishes and very similar to cilantro taste.

  5. I want your cucumber plant... mine is pathetic... I have 2 small guys growing that I will to grow everyday. Awesome Garden!!!


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