Garden update 8/7

As summer gets under way, things are really… wait, what? It’s the second week of August?!? How did that happen?

Yep, August already. Summers seem to get faster every year. The garden’s coming on full stride, and we’ve become quasi-vegetarians of late. All in all, most of the plants seem to be doing better than last year, though some are not, and most still haven’t reached their full potential due to the weather. We had a good almost two inches of rain in a three-day span a couple weeks ago, and per the norm, just about nothing since then. Dry weather followed by lots of rain in a short timespan is great for… you guessed it, cracked tomatoes!

In any case, stuff’s doing okay. I don’t have the time to water much, so I water heavily once a week, and the more delicate things maybe two or three times. Because of this, I can tell the plants aren’t totally happy – alive and doing fine, but not thriving. I do have more tomatoes than last year, but very few cucumbers. At this point in 2011, I’d already put up a bunch of pickles – I’ve been collecting cucumbers for a week to accumulate enough to make even one decent batch. I dug the blue potatoes – okay, but not great harvest. The early cabbages are finally starting to look pretty good, and I may pick one or a couple shortly.

One thing I’ve noticed is that things just seem to be taking longer to mature. The cabbage had a 65 day harvest time listed, and we’re probably at 90 days. I know some of it is that the gardens were just started last year, so we’re still working on getting nice, active, mature soil, but I know the weather’s partially to blame this year. But when is the weather not?

The corn is all starting to silk at the same time – kind of disappointing. I planted two varieties at the same time, one of which was supposed to pollinate three weeks earlier than the other (in case you’re wondering, corn pollen is wind-borne, so having two different varieties in bloom at the same time will probably result in neither of the best attributes of either variety; in other words, nothing too good). I had good intentions of covering the silks with little paper bags as they popped out and hand-pollinating (not as daunting as it would seem – I only have about 60 plants), but lately all my good intentions have been laid to waste by our two-year old. So I’m just hoping against hope that something decent comes out of it.

I also have fall crops to transplant, but we’re still waiting on that (see aforementioned child). Hopefully any day now…

Nothing quite like the sight of ripe tomatoes on the vine.

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