Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For all you conspiracy theorists out there

I'm not starting out here to be a naysayer. I firmly believe conspiracy theories have their place in our knowledge and blame seeking society. There are some conspiracy theories, which everyone knows, that shriek of lunatics in suits of tin foil and duct tape; there are also theories no one wants to admit that they, themselves, are a subscriber of.

As the man and I sat down to dinner last night, in front of the salad I picked out of the garden that evening, I realized how loosely I had to use the term "salad." Why is it that when your lettuce is in full regalia, your tomatoes and cucumbers aren't even at the starting block. It works the other way as well. Now that my tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit and the first true leaves of the cucumbers are emerging, I come home to see that my lettuce has been next to incinerated by a traveling death-ray. Wilted might have described it's condition for merely the hour after sunrise. This, my friends, was an annihilation.

It's a full blown garden conspiracy. There is someone out there, I tell you, who is determined to prevent us from commingling our homegrown vegetables. I feel like a traitor to my summer garden when I handle the produce at the grocery, and yet I want a fully integrated salad.

So it's off to the grocery I go.

In other garden goings on, the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in pots are just LOVING the warm, sunny weather and cool nights. The toms are dark green and as bushy as can be, the cayenne pepper has more open blooms than I can count, and the eggplants are a rich purple and sprouting new leaves each day. They're only being outdone on the flowering point by the ones in hanging pots. I've never seen so many flower clusters on one plant before, but you know they're going to get root bound soon, so the glory days may not last. The toms in the back yard SFG are struggling a bit because they don't get as much sun, but still doing well. The peppers in the SFG also have blooms on them.

The carrots must have taken my threats to heart. They're making progress. Most of the pole beans and cucumbers (bush and vine) have sprouted, but the germination on the bush beans leaves something to be desired. I'm wondering if the little buggies that are still crawling in the compost are affecting the germination of the seeds. I've never seen them on the plants, but they sure are running around in the soil something fierce.

The SSpeas, however, are not taking the warm weather too well. They never grew much when it was cooler, but now that it's warm, they're growing upwards, but also loosing their verdure and becoming more of a very light mint green. There are no signs of blooms yet, either. Looks like those are going on the "try in the fall" list.

As much as we all love and devour broccoli, six heads pulled within two days are a bit much. I'm hoping some will keep in the fridge for a while. I had to take them off since they were beginning to loosen. I wonder if that's the garden gnome in charge of the salad conspiracy's way of making you forget you're missing half of the ingredients to your salad....

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Ribbit, your garden sounds as though it is growing great guns!

    I had really good luck extending my greens season by putting a sheet of white lattice over the bed (about a foot above the vegetation). It provided shade without cutting out all the sunshine, and allowed the sprinkler to keep it irrigated.

    I noticed the leaves of my snap peas are turning yellowish, as well as my green beans. Both are in newly purchased compost, so I think I'm going to have to give them a bit of nitrogen.

  2. Ribbit, maybe you can blanch and freeze some of the broccoli?

    Granny, I love the lattice idea. I'll have to keep that in mind.

  3. You could freeze the broccoli for cooking later. Just wash, blanch for 3 minutes, ice bath for 3 minutes, then freeze. They keep for about 6 months.

    Your garden sounds wonderful and I am very envious!

  4. I just set four buckets at the outside corners of the mesclun bed and laid a couple of boards across them to hold the lattice up. It worked like a charm on greens that were planted early in July. They grew through 100+ temps and none of them bolted or turned bitter. They were still growing well at the first freeze. I used a piece of white plastic "privacy" lattice that I had on hand. That stuff costs over $30 a panel now, I think. Wood lattice, painted white on one side, would be less expensive.

  5. Thanks for the blanching ideas...I'm sure (or rather hopeful) we'll have to do this with the green beans, although I have some sprouts that won't come up. Mary, thank you, thank you for letting me know how to do that. I was wondering. We only have two heads left, so I'll make those tonight.

    Granny your shading idea sounds fantastic, and you know, you're right. The ones that were fried were on the front porch, the others in the back are still looking good. Makes me scared the other sun loving things back there won't fare so well in the summer since the oak tree has filled out.

  6. I agree about the conspiracy. I cringe whenever I taste a lifeless tomato in a salad, only to know that by the time tomatoes are ripe the lettuce is toast. Where's the justice in that?!