We’re not going to spend this blog post complaining

Nope.

We’re not going to write about how the rain just didn’t stop this past week.

We’re not going to write about the pool that developed around our raised beds.

We’re not going to write about the mud bath that enveloped everything from our spinach to our melons.

Nope. We’re not going to write about any of that.

Instead, we’re going to write about tomato fortresses. Intrigued? Confused? Read on, and everything shall be made clear.

We promised ourselves that we’d get some transplanting done his weekend; and that’s what we did! We finally got most of our tomatoes outdoors and some of the peppers. Finally! However, our battle with critters has gotten more intense. This week we lost two sunflowers (RIP), which was quite maddening considering that one of them was doing so well (sigh). It seems like every time we make a batch of squirrel tea, it rains, thereby washing away all our noxious efforts. So when we put out the tomato transplants, we went…well…some might say a little crazy in our protection efforts.

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Boba Fett? No silly! That’s just a San Marzano,
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Enter at your own risk.

Alright, laugh if you must. It’s okay…go ahead and get it out of your system now. (Plays Jeopardy theme song.)

Done? Great. Moving on…

The house’s previous owners left us with a bunch of thin wood boards, which we twisted and broke  into stakes. We then took those stakes and placed them around each plant or plants as toothy, protective maws. No squirrel or rabbit would dare enter these Sarlacc pits of doom! (Bwahahaha!)

Hmmm…maybe we have lost our minds, just a little.

As ridiculous as these formations look around the garden, they are working, especially once the areas are sprayed with squirrel tea. Even so, today we dealt with three rather tenacious rabbits who seemed to be patrolling the main bed throughout the afternoon. We were pretty sure that after awhile they just enjoyed leading us around the yard like idiots.

But we didn’t spend all weekend fortifying our planting areas. We built another trellis for a small bed of cherry tomatoes.

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Soon this image will be bursting with tomatoes…we hope.

This little bed is on the side of the house. Last year, we placed three tomato plants here, but didn’t think they’d do very well since the area is kind of shady. Lo and behold, those three pants ended up being our most prolific; and they grew halfway up the screen porch! (The tallest one had to be 6 feet high.) We archaically tied the poor plants up using rope and boards. This year, with leftover supplies from our pea trellis, we made this fence, and we plan to train the plants up it over the course of the growing season. (As long as they survive. And yes, they are fortified as well.)

We when we’re not coming up with strange, funky ways to keep the squirrels and rabbit off our plants, we’re enjoying the fruits (uh, actually vegetables) of our labor! Our first harvest of peas brought forth the world’s best stirfry.

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SO. MANY. PEAS!

Our lettuce, when not complete waterlogged, continues to be quite yummy. And soon enough, we’ll have some wax beans to experiment with!

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Gathering bean recipes as we speak…so to speak.

Both the zucchinis and cucumber just started blooming today:

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We see pickles in our future!
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Really pretty, especially in the early morning sun.

And our watermelon plants continue to thrive!

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Go little watermelon. Go!

Oh, and let’s not forget about the corn! After having some initial problems keeping the squirrels and birds away, our little patch of corn is really taking off!

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Even if we only get a single ear of corn, it’ll be worth it.

Up next week…well, we’re not sure yet. Hopefully things’ll be a lot less muddy and we can finish the rest of the transplants. And maybe we’ll talk about flowers, which seem to be doing either really well or not so much. Till then, happy gardening!

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