Friday, May 11, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Very well thank you!

Our garden has really taken off since I last wrote.  I posted some pictures from the day we planted, the bushes about three weeks along and again about five weeks along.  We were about to be able to pick our first squash and zucchini then.  They garden is now 10 weeks along, and we probably won't be able to get alot more before the heat takes it's toll on the plants.  Even watering at least 30 mins every evening, and sometimes in the morning too, has it looking a little sad.  Gary's been watering a little extra this week hoping to green back up the last of our baby spinach.  The zucchini and squash bushes are looking kinda pitiful, but you wouldn't believe the yields we've gotten.  We've had zucchini for supper every night for almost 2 months now.  The only exceptions were last week while painting the Church we didn't really cook, and the occasional taco night.  We've also frozen 5 or 6 gallon size bags of zucchini, a couple of squash and a couple mixed.  We've also giving away probably another 40 or 50, and we are letting them get big.  The biggest one in the picture below is on the counter top right now waiting for me to cut up and freeze it.

We are also getting pickles (or as I prefer to point out they are the cucumbers that are grown for pickles).  I've got a few out on the counter that I want to try making some sweet pickles out of.  Okra is coming in, we've had it twice this week and I cut some to share with the Kuders.  It's not coming in as fast as I had hoped, and it doesn't seem to grow as much on a bush as I had hoped.  We also are getting tons of green beans.  We have picked them clean four times now, and are hoping that I might be able to get one more picking out of them right after we get back from Alabama in two weeks.  In the last week or two my sunflowers have started blooming.  And speaking of things we hope to pick when we get back from Alabama, we are hoping there might be some watermelon to pick.  Truth be told I'm hoping there will be at least one really good sized one that we can carry up with us for Memorial Day.  The watermelon vines have really taken over the garden.  Some of the earliest melons to show up, those closest to the place we originally planted the seeds are about the width of my hand now.  Those further down the runners aren't much longer or wider than our okra.

Gary and I have talked about it, and when this garden is done, we aren't going to try for a summer crop, it's just too hot.  He doesn't think we would have to water as much with the daily rain, but we are going to give it a break.  (We get rain each day around an hour during the summer.  Usually around 2 or 3.  It comes from the sea breeze and land breezes meeting and changing direction.  In the morning on our side of Florida the sea breeze blows in from the Gulf, and then in the evening, the land breeze changes and blows out toward the water.)  We are planning to have a fall and spring garden again for sure, maybe a winter garden too.  One thing is for sure the kids really like the garden.  Britt insists that it's Daddy's garden.  Not sure why, since I work in it just as much or more than he does.  They know that they aren't allowed in the garden when Daddy is home.  Gary has been very adamant that they are to stay out.  He doesn't want them picking, since they can't tell what's what yet.  And this way, he doesn't have to make sure that they are out when he has sprayed or fertilized.  I did let them in long enough yesterday to let them pick out three or four flowers each to cut for the table.  I think they did a pretty good job.  I had to cut them fairly short, so as not to cut off other buds (we do want some seeds after all), so I put them in a little mini pitcher and basin I've had for years instead of a vase.  I think all the blue and gold look happy in the dining room.

(ps - This marks our 700th blog post.  Hard to believe I've been writing this much or this long!)

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