Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wolverine, Peas and Barbecue

Wolverine, the boy's Venus Fly Trap, has flowered. We've watched the flower stalks grow for days now and the boy was so happy to see that flower yesterday morning. Being that we know absolutely nothing about carnivorous plants, we never knew he would flower.

Again, since we knew nothing about it, we decided to look it up. It's pretty isn't it?

It's going to die now.

Apparently you should do everything you can to keep it from flowering and at the first sight of a flower stalk, you need to cut it off immediately and the plant may recover. Now that it's extended this energy to flower, and they're apparently pretty fragile plants, he's not going to make it much longer.

I'm having that "parent" moment when you feel like you need to run to the store for a replacement goldfish. It's silly, but he's really attached to that plant. He talks to it and tries to catch ants and flies to feed it. Maybe we can convince him it's a seasonal thing, but with his recent fascination and fear of death and dying, I'm not looking forward to it.

In the garden world:

The eggplant did not like the heat of June one bit and died back. They were in larger pots than the blueberry bushes were, so I transplanted two blueberry bushes to those large pots and then a third into a pot they vacated because it was larger than the pot the third one was in. Hopefully if I baby them during the next few days, they'll do well in their new homes.

I went ahead and planted some zipper peas where some of the zucchini was. I think I have until Aug 30 to plant peas and these are supposed to be rather tolerant of heat, so I think the rest of July and early Aug should be fine for them.

On a lark, I put some more beans in the side bed where the bush cucumbers and purple beans were. They're pole beans, so we'll have to rig something up for them directly, but I think they'll do fine.

The sweet potato vine is sprinting to fill the space the zucchini vacated. I'm finding differing bits of advice as to whether you should cut the runners of the sweet potato vine to make larger tubers under the main plant or let them grow and have many smaller tubers. I'm letting them run for now, but maybe I'll snip them closer to harvest time? Goodness, when IS harvest time for them?

I'm thinking the cucumbers are going to come out sooner rather than later. They aren't flowering anymore and the last 6-7 I've pulled off are bitter as the day is long. That's not good for the bread and butter pickles I made last night. I thought I smelled a bitter one, but dumped it in the bowl with the rest. Then the whiff hit me. I dug out as many as I could find, but someone ins going to have a few bitter bites. I don't think even pickling will save them.

I did, however, find peaches for next to nothing and canned some spicy peach barbecue sauce. I can't wait to try it.

Garden pictures coming tomorrow!

The end :)

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Well, I learned something new today thanks to your blog! I know NOTHING about carnivorous plants and so I would have made exactly the same mistake.

  2. Hm, I never knew they flowered either...hope your son can relate that to veggie plants producing, then dying. Then you just plant more.

  3. I too, am finding out new things from your blog. I am realizing I need to remember to plant where I pulled old stuff out. And I hope your cukes produce something tasty for you. I can't eat those bitter ones.

  4. I finally got some time to look back and read your blog, awesome! I am in love with "The Girl has Eaten:" counter!!!! Hilarious!

  5. I absolutely love "The Girl has Eaten:" counter on your sidebar...hilarious!

  6. Hi Erin!! You will have noticed, I'm sure, that the girl's side is noticeably blank. She's not much of an eater. Glad you got a chance to read back and I hope you come back again.

  7. Rosey, those bitter ones are nasty, aren't they. I've found they're rather slippery to the touch and if you rub two slices to gether, they have a milky, stringy residue. I should have thought to do this to all of the cucumbers before I threw them in the brine.

  8. kitsapfg and sb158, the boy just loves that plant. I'm hoping it will help that he watched me pull out the zucchini earlier. If it does die, I'll see if he wants to 'blog' about it. So far, we're holding our breaths that Wolverine will come through it all okay. :)

  9. I've had venus fly traps before, but (this will SHOCK you) they've always died well before the flowering stage. I get the whole replacement plant issue - kids get attached to things and explaining death is not an easy thing. Maybe if he realizes he can go and get a new plant, it won't be as bad????

  10. I'm actually surprised by what I was reading that he's lasted as long as he has. Apparently they're very fragile and if you can keep them for a year you're a super hero.

  11. Ribbit,

    I LOVED the post abot the Venus Fly Trap almost as much as How does Chicken make Chicken.

    But the reason I'm posting a comment is what you said about pruning the sweet potatoes. As it happens, I was listening to the radio Saturday Morning and Walter Reeves took this very question. I know you're from the Atlanta area like I am and so should know who Walter is. Anyhow, Walter is definitely anti-prune with SP's. He says the plant only makes potatoes directly under the central plant, not under all the vine, and that the more leaves there are, the more is being fed to the sweet potatoes. So just try to move the vines around to contain them to one area, but don't prune them.

    Hope that's helpful.:)

  12. Susanol, you're amazing! Yes, I know who WR is and I listen to him when I get the chance. I'm so glad you heard that question. I haven't trimmed them yet and now I most certianly won't. Now that the zucchini's gone they can travel over that entire bed if they like. You can already see that they've "stretched out".

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.