It rained off and on all last week, and I spent most of my time inside and totally neglected the garden. The other night, I was quite surprised to look out from the deck and see a cucumber hanging from the vines. No one’s ever going to mistake me for an eagle eye, so you know those cucumbers have to be big for me to see them.
Just take a look at these babies.
If we can grow nothing else, at least we’ve done well with the cucumbers. While the trellis helps keep them out of the tangle of vines from the pumpkins and the melons, it makes it difficult to pick from the far end. So I wandered through the jungle to get the furthest one. Boy howdy, do we have melons.
Look carefully, I counted seven cantaloupe nestled among the leaves. I’m sure when they die back in a few weeks, we’ll find even more. The fruit aren’t quite ripe just yet, but those 80-degree days we’ve been promised this week should help a lot. The rinds are white and netted, just like in the grocery store, so I’m feeling good about these.
I did spot a tiny watermelon that’s not even fist sized. It’s a gamble with our mild temperatures to try these heat-loving plants. I like being able to grow unusual varieties that you don’t find in the store. More often than not, the quality and flavor can’t be beat.
I also saw a few pumpkins on the tennis court and in the garden proper. I planted one Knucklehead in which the pumpkins are supposed to be covered in knobs and warts. These guys look pretty smooth, but they still have another month of growing time. I also planted a Snack and Jack from seeds I’d saved. Of course, I usually plant multiple types of squash, so who’s to say what hybrid I’ve ended up with. I saw at least one tiny pumpkin for now.
While I was wandering among the vines, I decided to check on the beans and picked a few more handfuls. I’d always read that bush beans give you a large harvest all at once, but the two plants that actually came to maturity have been producing for a month now. I wish just a few more plants had made it so a single picking would be enough for dinner.
At the other end of the garden, I checked in on the carrots and zucchini. I dug down till I could see the shoulders of the carrots, and they were large enough to be picked though they were quite meager lengthwise. Usually that’s a sign that the garden bed needs to be dug up deeper, but this is new soil a couple feet deep. I don’t know how it could have ended up hard and compacted.
With all the talk of bees dying, I was pleased to see three bees milling around in a zucchini blossom.
While many things are on the cusp of being ready, here’s what we ended up with yesterday.
We ate the carrots with our lunch; three carrots, three people–perfect. They were not as sweet and tender as I was hoping. The core was getting tough, so even though they’re small it was time to pick them. It’s just been such a strange year for our garden with all the stunted growth. One good thing about bad dirt, even the weeds don’t want to grow.
What are you picking from your garden? Getting any great deals at the local farmers market?