Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Adopt a Crop 2010 : Finally. Something to stare at.

Wow. It's been a while.

Since I planted all those seeds and was all, "Hey! It's gardening time! Let's watch my seeds grow all fat and happy since the frost date has passed!" and then we all sat around for two months (seriously, since March) wondering what the eff the deal was with the weather/seeds/plants/weather.

OK, so it was probably mostly me obsessing wondering and it was mostly about the weather.

Y'all, it's been a vuuuuuuuuurry cool and rainy spring. To the point where putting on a dress and heels instead of jeans stuffed into albeit hot knee-high boots with a sweater and scarf makes me ultra nervous because I'm sure that as soon as I walk outside and The Weather sees that I'm not battened down for winter, the sky will open and a deluge will soak me in my summer wear. And I can't have my new dress soaked with a June rain.

Rain in June? Really? Snow in the Sierras? Really? Nature - I thought we were friends. What is this BS? I don't know you anymore. You've changed.

Anyway, despite the craptastic weather we've had since I planted the garden back at the end of March (which, I'll admit, is a bit brazen anyway), all plants are now accounted for and actually growing. And we even have some newcomers that were brought in to ride the bench in the event that some of our first-stringers decide to get chewed by mystery bugs.

Because it's obviously the little seeds' choice whether they live or die at the teeth of a mystery seedling devourer, don't you just know. I take no blame for this whatsoever.

And to kick off this garden update right, I'll start with our Adopted Crop, the infamous African Horned Cucumber Jelly Melon.

Yes, people, you chose this monstrosity, so don't get all, "What the fuck is that? I voted for tomatoes." because tomatoes weren't on the list. I plant those automatically.  Nice try, liars!

Good news is, for those of you who did vote for the jelly melon and are man enough to admit it (even if you're a girl, you can be man enough for something. True story.), that late comer has actually germinated. Finally. After I stared so hard at the soil (and resowed the seeds 3 times)(Three)(THREE)(!) that I nearly pooped my pants.


The shriek I let out when I came back from Arkansas to find the newly emerged leaves standing proudly (and singularly, only one of 7 seeds germinated) got Bubba running from the garage to see what horrible gooey creature I'd encountered only to find me crouched over (and gently petting) the jelly melon seedling.

He already knows I'm strange, so no worrying that he's going to leave me for a Normal Wife, he gets it.

And then I saw that the previously empty watermelon mound was suddenly inhabited by TWO sprouting watermelon seedlings. TWO. HOLY CRAP. Again, nearly shit myself. This was the third sowing there, too, so I was getting worried that I might have to give up and go find ready-made seedlings at the nursery and give up my dreams of The Giant Watermelon That Looks Like a Snake and The Nerf Football Sized Melon That Looks Like a Weapon of Space War.

The excitement was short lived, however, because when I returned to squeal at the melons a day later, half the jelly melon seedling had been gnawed and the watermelon seedling was leafless. It had a stem, but the two emerging leaves had been eaten and the emerging seedling, still wearing its seed hat, had been demolished.

Current melon seedling status: 
1 half-eaten but stalwart jelly melon seedling
1 stem-only watermelon seedling
1 normal watermelon seedling

This guy was waiting for me at home tonight. He's hot.

This changes day to day, so I'm going to let this status stand because I can't be coming back here every day with updates because it would bore you. Not that I wouldn't do it, but you'd leave me. I know you would.

Though, when I tell you what I'm about to tell you, you might never leave again and you may beg me for daily updates because EXCITEMENT (do whatever you do when you get excited) the first tomatoes have landed.

These are the Black Krims, which are popping loose with an unpredicted amount of wrinkles, much like a newborn Sharpei puppy, but way more delicious (I assume. Your puppies are safe around me. Promise.) and I can only assume they will grow up to be like grown-up Sharpeis but with less attitude. Basically, bigger and less wrinkly versions of their baby selves.

Did that make any sense? You know what I mean.

And not to be outdone, the Better Boys have started setting fruit to, so as not to be outdone by the new glamorous tomato addition.

We win.

The amount of probing around in the tomato bushes that I had to do to confirm that there were tomatoes set on all three plants was *thisclose* to requiring a latex glove. I was determined and ready to use lube if need be. Even though that makes no sense.

Also exciting, because excitement in my life is as easy as seeing a plant do a new thing, are the beans. Which have now begun to latch on and climb their poles just like the little strippers that they are. What? You don't agree? Beans are not strippers to you?

You know they wear strings, right? Because these are both string varieties and who's to say that they're not G-strings? Not you or I, that's who.

Pole dancing strippers, they are.

Thankfully, and I mean SUPER THANKFULLY, I planted two varieties of cucumbers, and despite the stubbornness of these allegedly "easy to grow! Great for kids!" Mexican Sour Gherkins, they are all now growing happily and the pickling one is setting fruit. 

My gardening advice: Always grow cucumbers. They never let you down. And then you can make pickles. Which I really like.

We're going to be dill relish because sweet relish is the devil's work.

Are you dying to know about the two tomatillo plants? Because they're doing really well and not just producing empty lanterns so that I have to come back in a few months, with tears in my keyboard, to report that my beautiful plants were just full of empty husks. 

No, friends, I've been squeezing the husks. Because I'm porny and also because I MUST KNOW what's going on in there. Specifically, whether tomtatillos are happening or not.

And they are. Happening, that is.

There's no doubt that the lettuce is also happening since it's basically been happening all over our lunches and dinners for the last month and then last week I had to pick a whole bag's worth for my Pilates instructor so that it didn't take over my yard while I was gone. 

More gardening advice you don't need: Always plant lettuce. It grows so fast that you never feel like a loser and you know in a few short days whether the seeds were duds and if you need to reseed.

This was our first try. We're good like that.

 Then there's that jalapeno. It's doing fine. Like, it set a few buds and they've opened up and I saw a bee hovering around there, so I'll probably get some jalapenos. But I'll be honest, I'm not impressed. It's still pretty small. However, it's an improvement over last time I grew jalapenos and the friggen thing just totally withered and died for no good reason other than its vicinity to the chard.

Though, if I were living next to that chard forest, I'd probably take my own life, too.

Jalapenos. They are chard-haters, too.

Did you know that my cherries are ripe? And not in a porny way? Because they are. And we're not even trapping them under the netting like last year because we're just going to duke it out with the birds and then go steal bags full from my neighbor's tree because we're thieves like that.

Stealing and fruit pie, it's a natural combination.

I will just say this about the artichokes: WOW. Oh, also - we need to buy more butter.

OK, friends, that's enough gardenblahblahblah for one day, but I hope you're secure in the knowledge that the jelly melons are *hopefully* on their way and that this year's Adopt a Crop won't be a complete failure. And if you're into anal retentive data tracking (and, if not, why? It's wicked fun.), I am keeping track of the harvest again this year and WHOA NELLY are we going to hit that zero barrier fast this year.

Yes, I'm very nerdy. I've just proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.


  1. Wow. That was at LEAST a PG-13 rated gardening post. Innuendos all over the place. Fun.

    Your Black Krims are way more wrinkly than mine were last year. That's weird. But I'm sure they'll still taste delicious.

  2. i love that you call the pole beans strippers. really made me laugh.

    and, i have recently been called a "pea pincher" because, like you, i need to know what is going on inside those opaque shells. are there full-sized peas in there, or just a lot of hot air and some tiny little baby peas?

    thanks again, for the garden giggles.

  3. may i just say i love that as my garden is dying and done for the season, yours is kicking in. makes me feel like we are in a disney movie and this is all circle of life ish.
    also, i want a cherry tree. Oh my goodness, how delicious do those look?
    Also? (final also) there is never enough gardenbalahblahblabhablahbalhbalba

  4. Can a gardening post be too long? Not if you've got one as funny as yours! You've inspired me to add to my boring pictures with more fun info about my veggies. SO jealous of it all. Patiently waiting for mine to start growing gangbusters like yours. P.S. I decided to give artichokes a try this year. Any tips?

  5. even if you're a girl, you can be man enough for something. True story That's funny.

    Good gardening advice on the cuc growing. I do love pickles as well. But tell me, how are THOSE pickles?

  6. I love that you wrote out a "melon seedling status". I would have been crying to see one chewed down to the stem. Also I totally agree that sweet relish (or sweet pickles for that matter) are the devil's work. Nothing worse than biting into a pickle and finding it to be (barf) sweet.

  7. Hunh, I don't know if my Black Krims have ever been that wrinkly. I'll keep a close eye on them this year. I wonder if it's the cooler weather (I know I shrivel up and get wrinkly when it's as cold as it has been!), so maybe that's what's going on here?

    I'm totally jealous of your cherries!! Seriously! I've finally got a couple healthy looking cherry trees in, plus a 4-in-1 that's a little iffy looking...but I don't expect fruit for a couple years now.

    Do you ever find your cherry leaves are really wilty/sad looking? I'm wondering if it's our heavy clay soil.


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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