Garden 2012 – Week Sixteen

Greetings, gentle reader. 

 This week in our patio garden we have tales of triumph and defeat, of awe and “arg”, and of nature doing its naturey thing.

   Firstly, the triumph! 

   Ta daaaaaa!


   We picked our first full grown cucumber, and boy is it a beauty!  We didn’t have a quarter handy, so we put a beer bottle cap next to it to give you some idea of its scale.  Not gargantuan, but not puny, it’s a respectably-sized cuke, and me, I’m very proud.  We sliced it up almost immediately and threw it in a salad with more of those lovely tomatoes from our Red Million and Pear tomato plants. 



  Sadly, even while we were rejoicing over our lovely cucumber, we did lose a baby cuke or two.   We could just see them starting to grow, but then they were claimed by the heat and the fact that we weren’t able to water consistently enough to keep them going.  Unfortunately, if the plant isn’t getting enough nutrients, it cuts off the supply to the little fellas in order to keep itself alive.    There are a few other newbies just starting out, though, so we’re trying to be more careful about keeping the plant sufficiently hydrated.

  More triumph, in the form of our first harvested jalapeno.  I didn’t think to put a bottle cap next to it, so you’ll just have to trust that I have medium-sized girl hands, and use that knowledge to roughly judge size.  The jalapeno was no more than two inches, but once again we felt that picking it sooner rather than later was the best idea.  Want to encourage the rest of the little suckers to grow bigger!

  Our Abel Lincoln tomatoes are coming along nicely.  I hope they get nice and big and juicy before they turn red.  In the past I’ve only ever gotten golf ball-sized fruit, no matter how big the final product was advertised to be.  I’m really hoping that this year we’ve done things right, and that the result of that will be gigantic beefsteak tomatoes.


     I think these are more Abe Lincolns just starting to grow.  (Apologies for the fuzzies.  Darn camera!)


  When a tomato blossom is fertilized properly, it dries up, and the collar of green leaves around it open up and spread, the stem grows thick and strong, and you can almost see a baby bump hiding beneath the faded flower.  I could be wrong, but I’d bet that lower left bloom is sporting a teeny tomato.  The upper right probably is, too.  Isn’t that exciting?

 Speaking of exciting, the Hungarian sweets, which you may recall we just picked clean of peppers, have started blooming again. We’re going to have another crop of them!  Yay!


  Also, the rosemary and mint have started to come back to life.  They were so vibrant early in the season, but then suddenly stopped growing.  I began to worry that we were losing them, that we were doing something wrong like not watering enough, watering too much, etc.  So you have no idea how my heart sang to see them suddenly shoot up again, green and lush, like they’d never had a lull.  Hooray!


 Also exciting, the quinoa, which you may recall we planted on a lark using grains we purchased from a grocery store, is grown up and looking very quinoa-y.  We’ll never get enough to really use, but it was fun to see if we could make it work.  I label this one a success!


  One not-so successful venture has been the multiple squash plants.  They grow like crazy, and their flowers are gorgeous, but we’re just not seeing anything like fruit.  A friend of ours said that we have to cut of the male blossoms, so perhaps we’ll try that.  It kind of doesn’t make sense to me.  If there are no male flowers, how do the female ones get fertilized?  I suppose we don’t really have anything to lose at this point. What’s the worst that could happen, we continue to not get fruit?   

  That mystery tomato of ours is absolutely flourishing.  It’s taller than I am now!


  It’s full of fragile, yellow blossoms, and here and there you can see small, marble-like fruit just starting. 



   As for the “awe” and the “arg!”, I give you the following:



   Look how big he’s gotten.  Awwww(e)!


   And no wonder, look at what he eats! 


   Yes, that’s a fat house fly the size of his abdomen.  Arg!  I’m both impressed and disgusted.  Alright, I’m mostly impressed.  How is he going to finish that?  Does he have a hollow leg?  I’m thinking maybe Bro was too hasty in dubbing him “Bernie”.  Perhaps we ought to think about renaming him Adam in ode to professional gorger, Adam Richman.  He could even have his own show: Mantis versus Food.  (Ba dum cha!)

 I’m here all week, folks!

 Well, actually I’m not.  In fact, I should probably get back to whatever it is I do when I’m not making terrible, garden-based puns. :D 

Have a great week, everybody!   




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