Friday, August 26, 2011

The zucchini that ate South Dakota

Our various garden plots aren't doing as well this year as they did last year. The combo of a late spring, a great deal of rain, and then some really horrendous heat (nothing but corn likes a heat index of 118) set everything back by at least a month. That said, interesting things are finally happening.
A friend gave us a single climbing zucchini plant. It took a long time for it to do anything, and it was fairly reluctant to climb the little trellis that we fashioned for it. But it surely did crawl. It not only expanded a good 8' in front of the stalk, but it snaked around the front of the house, another 10'.

It is also setting the most fascinating fruit, which look nothing like regular zucchini. We've eaten one or two, and they're okay, but I suspect they'll be better as ripe squash. Or more fun yet, as dried gourds. We'll have plenty of options, since it's zuking out all over the place- curly fruits everywhere.

My grape tomato plant is huge, and there are hundreds and hundreds of blossoms, but not many sets. By this time last year, we were harvesting bowls full of tomatoes every other day. This year, we've been able to pick (and immediately eat) a handful here and there, but that's it. We may well get another two months for ripe fruit (the plant is close to the house, so it won't freeze easily), but it's going to have to hustle if it wants to catch up to last year's levels.

I started the heirloom tomatoes from seed, and though they're behind as well, I am finding lots of little tomatoes on the vines. We probably won't have enough to can, and it'll be late to dry them, but I doubt we'll have a hard time disposing of them when they finally do ripen. We've picked a few, and... oh my... they're wonderful.

The jalapenos are thriving though. I've already sliced a half-gallon of them (I do them refrigerator pickle style because canning them makes them mushy), and we have many more to come.

I planted something else in this pot in the spring, but it held marigolds last year, and the volunteer flowers overtook everything. At least they're pretty. Pushy, but pretty.

We planted maybe 10 hills of mini-pumpkins, and for our trouble we got lots of vines, and many many blossoms, but only three pumpkins. Next year, we'll plant them in a different place. And I'll skip the mini-variety. If we're only going to get three per season, I'll opt for size over cute.

This little fellow chose his camo well. I wouldn't have seen him if he hadn't jumped when I got close to his hiding place.

I know they're weeds, but I can't bring myself to pull them out.

The cottonwood tree knows that fall is coming.

So do the crabapples.

These marigolds are not accidental. They partied and went a little wild while we were in Michigan.

Finally, while we were in Michigan, the water level in Turtle Creek fell. The water is still higher than normal, but it's a lot lower than the level has been for a year or so. The high water mark is way up on the peninsula, where the dark green starts.

This is A Good Thing. If we're going to get the wild and wet winter that the Farmer's Almanac is predicting, it would be handy to go into it with the water lower than flood stage.


Amish Stories said...

Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa. Richard from Amish Stories.

joannamauselina said...

Those zucchinis are sneaky fellows. So are pumpkins. It sounds like the marigolds were pretty sneaky too. Your garden looks lush and lovely.

Mary Wilson said...

We grew some zucchini-ish things like that a couple of years ago, but they were called "trombolinis" or something similar. They do look rather brass-like!