Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Sick Humor of the Vegetable Gods

Seriously. It's not funny.

I spent two days agonizing about just pulling my shelling peas and going ahead and planting my squash. The SVB and squash bug emerge in GA in June. Once they come, kiss everything goodbye. I got one, count them, one, zucchini last year out of two plants. I got a half a squash from another. The squash bugs and pickleworms got me every single time. I was determined to beat them at their game. I'm scrappy and I have more experience...(only because I don't think their lifetimes are as long as mine has been).
So I went to the garden. I steeled myself to uproot those bugger peas and curse them for not maturing fast enough. I thrust my hand into the square...and found the beginnings of the first flower.

Don't laugh. It's not funny. It's a conspiracy, I tell you. I'm thinking about holding a grudge. I'm a woman. I can do that really well. :)

So I acquiesced and let the little peas live for at least two to three weeks more. Maybe I'll get three or four peas out of the deal. I did, however, start the squash and zucks in little containers outside in the sun and not under lights so I can transplant them immediately after I get the nerve to pull the peas.

I also planted all of my heavyweight bush beans and my KW beans in my hanging baskets. I'm going to try to grow those to trellis around my deck railing. My cucumbers in the hanging baskets are just about to sprout, and my peppers have a flower.

My experiment with the tomatoes in the hanging basket seems to be working okay for now. I took some smaller Juliet Roma toms and I think Sweet 100's and planted them at 45 degree angles in hanging pots. Yes, they're growing toward the sun a bit, but I'm hoping as they grow larger and fruit starts to ripen, they'll dangle down. it's the easiest way to get them away from the serial tomato killer (Gibson, the dog).
Other than that, the eggplant is looking good.
The SS peas are starting to climb back up after being cut down by the winds last week.
The blueberries have tons of flowers. Some flowers got knocked off in the winds last week. I suppose those bushes are done for this year, right?

I had to pull two incredibly small red onions this week because they started to bolt. Who would have thought! Then I went to the black radishes and found one of those had bolted as well. Most of the carrots aren't doing much of anything, but what's really odd is that there are two shaded by the black radishes and those are growing with a purpose.

I'm really thinking about only growing broccoli, lettuce and radishes next spring. Broccoli is looking great....

However, everything else doesn't seem to have the stamina to mature in time. That's a heck of a lot of broccoli. I'll have to do some soul searching to see if I can stand empty squares until mid April.

Speaking of squares, here's how I strung the beds the other day. You can see it's only one piece of string . I still need to get out there and bend over the nails if I'm going to leave the grid up.
Well, sports fans, that's it for me. 4:30 AM comes pretty early and I'm about to turn into a pumpkin (one unmolested by SVB if it's all the same to you).
Y'all have a good evening. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Hard to pull 'em, ain't it? Ha! I think last year, I got only 4 zucchini from 4 plants. If you'll remember, they kept getting drowned when it rained. It's weird that you had svb last year, because I only had squashbugs.

  2. Nope. Squash bugs and pickle worms got everything. The SVB come out in June, but knock on wood, I never saw them last year.

  3. Maybe you could harvest some of the peas as pea shoots. I haven't tried it myself (just read about it yesterday) but I think it could be good.

  4. So sorry you had to pull your peas right when they were starting to take off. I don't know why, but I never have to pull anything to plant something else. I guess I just plant so few squares of everything that it works. That and I have to plant peas and cukes at the same time to get either of them to mature before they die.

    Yep, that's our sad climate here. At least we don't have your bug problems. Sorry and best at luck beating those suckers!

  5. HI!! Things go from cool to hot here very quickly and hot brings the bugs. The peas could have stayed in for a while, but then I'd miss the bug-free window. I'll try the peas again in the fall. Your climate seems more forgiving in the growing season.

    Remember, this is really my first year with the garden. Last year it was all pots and I only got a handfull of cherry toms and one zuch out of 7 different pots. Even without production, at least I know it will grow.

  6. Try lettuce. I can tell you it's easy to grow but be careful what you asdk for.

  7. G.O. Thanks for posting a comment, my friend! It's good to see a new face. Lettuce has always been one of my "victory crops", one I know I can always grow successfully, but it bolts like crazy here in the summer. My lettuce on the front porch was vaporized a few weeks ago. Those in the shade lasted a bit longer, but wouldn't in the 90 degree July heat. I just have to bide my time until Ocober when I can get another go at it.