The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Wow. It’s been a busy week here, and somehow we’ve already rounded back to Sunday night. (sad face) You know how they say the weekend needs a weekend? Well, that’s about how we feel right now. Yesterday was a day of marathon weeding. Between the bending, stooping, carting, digging, and picking, we didn’t have much time to think about how much pain we’d be in today. It should come as no surprise that the first words uttered this morning were “ibuprofen, please.” We were thankful for the return of rain today because neither of us had much desire to go back out for more bending, stooping, carting, digging, and picking.

After we got done weeding, things in the large bed looked very sparse!

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Hmm…not quite as spectacular looking now…

Dealing with the dry, clay soil in this bed has certainly been a challenge this year. Even the addition of extra soil hasn’t helped much. There’s now a large dead patch of soil there in the middle that used to hold several bean plants. They didn’t make it obviously. However we still have several tomato and pepper plants that are holding on; and a few stalks of corn have popped up as well. The zucchini there at the front is trying oh so hard. Over about the past month, we’ve seen several baby zucchini, but none have gotten past the baby stage.

We're hoping this little one makes it!
We’re hoping this little one makes it!

In this week’s rotten news, squirrels decimated our small patch of corn in the front yard. Grrrrr….

Not much left. :(
Not much left. 😦

Earlier this week, we came home one day to find that both of our baby ears of corn had been completely snatched away! (Oooo, that was a bad evening of squirrel shooing.) Over the next several days, the little buggers chewed down the stalks. And this morning we came out to find barely anything left standing. So, so unhappy. Needless to say, we’re determined to keep them away from the corn in the backyard, by golly!

While the unwelcome critters have been dining on corn, we’ve been dining on plenty of wonderful cucumbers!

Just one of several that we picked just today.
Just one of several that we picked just today.

Yesterday we cracked open the pickles from last Sunday…and y’know what? They are really good! The flavor sits somewhere between dill and bread n’ butter pickles — neither too salty nor too sweet. Just right! Well, for refrigerator pickles that is. What’s interesting is that you can tell the different between the two cucumber varieties we planted.  The regular Burp Free cucumbers seem to absorbed the brine well and are softer in texture than the Sugar Crunch heirlooms. The heirlooms retained most of their crunch and still taste very cucumber-y despite the brine. The are both delicious, regardless! Since we’ve got two giant jars of them, we weren’t in any hurry to make more pickles today. So the most recent harvest will probably be turned into snacks and salad.

They look pickle-y enough, right?
They look pickle-y enough, right?

Aside from the cucumber boom, the absolute best find this week was teensy, weensy, baby watermelons!

Woohoo!!
Woohoo!!

So far there are three fruit; and by the looks of the flowers on the plants, we may be in for plenty more. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…of all the things in the garden, watching these little babies babies grow is the most exciting.

Meanwhile, the fruit on our orphan tomato plant are starting to ripen. Yay!

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A signal of good things to come!

In another couple weeks, these should be ready to go! We also have lots of flowers opening up on our other tomatoes, and we predict we’ll be in tomato heaven come fall.

So, another week down; some ups and some downs. We’ll sign out here with a couple marigold pictures. They are blooming so brightly now in the heat of summer, and they add such nice color to the front yard.

The little French Dwarfs are brilliant with red and orange!
The little French Dwarfs are brilliant with red and orange!
Meanwhile, the large Crackerjacks almost look like mums, and they are bright orange or yellow. The bees love them!
Meanwhile, the large Crackerjacks almost look like mums, and they are bright orange or yellow. The bees love them!
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5 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. anonymous 07/29/2013 / 10:14 am

    Your last comment about the coming fall is correct. I have been impatient for everything to grow the minute they get planted. We were finally able to get in the garden to weed. I did a row a day or so. You almost could not see the tomatoes plants for the weeds. Hopefully, weed free, the tomatoes will grow better. Our cucumbers are just getting flowers and if all grow into cucumbers we will have a feast. I picked a couple of onions for a chicken dish and they were really good. Have to check the beans every day, they get big and fat so fast. Best of luck with your watermelon, I read somewhere about putting the melon on a piece of board to keep it off the ground to prevent rotting. Keep enjoying your harvest.

    • Garden State-ments 07/30/2013 / 3:49 pm

      We’re looking into options to keep the watermelon safe, cause now we’re down to two! Looks like a bird got into one. 😦 We might do enclosed beds next year if we have the time and money.

      Aside from the cucumbers, we’re still harvesting lettuce. The beans have not been as prolific as we had hoped. We’re also thinning out the carrots here an there – they aren’t fully grown yet, but they are still delicious! And it looks like we’ll be picking at least a few tomatoes later this week.

  2. The Belmont Rooster 08/05/2013 / 1:40 am

    I think it’s time to go squirrel hunting!!! I wouldn’t let them get the upper hand. It’s time for WAR!!!

    • Garden State-ments 08/05/2013 / 3:30 pm

      Well said! (We’ve thought about catching them and sending them down to the Duck Dynasty folks!) Unfortunately, we also have a few well-meaning neighbors who feed the squirrels (WHY??), which helps keep them around.

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