Let me start this post by saying that it was recently my birthday, and my awesome partner bought me a new set of bamboo gardening gloves. They’re so great. I love them because the arthritis in my hands makes a lot of gloves feel uncomfortable, and I already have limited dexterity at times, so really bulky gloves make movement very difficult. These gloves are thin and the fabric is soft, which makes my fibromyalgia happy, since my overactive nervous system is very sensitive to rough things.
These are the nifty gloves…
Now, onto the garden. My knee is definitely not healed, and while I’m off crutches, I’m still hobbling around on a cane most of the time unless it’s a really short distance. I just couldn’t stand to not plant my sugar pumpkins, though, so I decided that I’d go outside today to get them in the ground. I can’t bend my knee very well and I definitely can’t kneel, so I brought a beach blanket type thing outside and set it up next to the area where I was going to work. Then, even more slowly than usual, I dragged all my supplies over to where I’d be working. Instead of standing to till the soil like I usually do, I used a short cultivator and was able to still get the work done fairly quickly. There were awkward moments, sure, and I definitely was in a bit more pain than I would have liked, but I’m thrilled that I got some planting done.
Here’s a tour around the garden. Nearly everything is either flowering or fruiting, and it’s pretty awesome.
The eggplants, as I’ve mentioned before, were seedlings from our CSA. They’ve been doing wonderfully and at least six eggplants have started to take shape, with more flowers closing and looking like they’re going to be eggplants. I’m hoping to serve grilled eggplant at a BBQ this weekend and impress our guests!
This kohlrabi might be one of our most successful plants so far. It’s just about ready to harvest, and we started it from seed!
I really thought my shelling peas were a lost cause. They weren’t doing well, they weren’t climbing up in the three sisters plot, and they just looked kind of ratty. Lo and behold, however, I straightened this guy out and tried to help him back onto a stake, and he was flowering! I may try peas again for the fall, but in containers so that I have a bit more control over them.
These crazy vines are all are all a result of only two honeydew plants. (They end about halfway down the row, and that’s where the kohlrabi begins.)
It looks like this flower has closed up and is trying to start a honeydew!
This next one I just can’t get over. Our watermelon vines are growing all over, though they don’t have nearly as many flowers as the honeydews. This is so freakin’ adorable, though, and you can totally tell that it is a tiny, tiny watermelon!
And finally, my pride and joy: my corn. It got pretty trashed in a terrible thunderstorm we had the other night with winds up to 60mph, and I didn’t think any of it was going to survive. We watched out the window as stalks just got smashed down. We picked the stalks back up a few days ago, though, and a few of them didn’t get wrecked to begin with… and it’s starting to get somewhere! I believe “tassling” is the correct term.
It is so incredible watching all this stuff grow.
I got started on my plans for my fall garden today, too. Sugar pumpkins have been a high priority, since, well… they were the first thing I tried to grow, and that was a year ago! I planted late last year, though, and we had an early frost, so I wasn’t successful. I’m actually a bit late again this year with them because of my knee injury, but our vining plants have been growing like crazy because of the heat, so with any luck, they’ll catch up just fine.
I got the sugar pumpkins in the ground today, and I evaluated the seeds that I had available for what would be good to plant for a fall harvest. Some crops, like kale, are even more delicious in the fall, since the cold weather makes them a bit sweeter.
Kale is definitely on my list of things to plant, and I’ve been looking forward to planting it (and Charlie’s been looking forward to eating it!). I think I’ll also try to do some lettuce, though I don’t remember exactly what variety I have seeds for. I’m going to put that in where the kohlrabi is now, as that is just about ready to be harvested. I have plans for a small area of cabbage (maybe 3 plants) and a small area of winter squash.
The winter squash that I have is a bit of an experiment, really. It’s called Butterbush, and it’s a space-saving variety. It’s a vining plant, but it’s compact and will take up about a quarter of the space of regular vining squash. I’m particularly interested to see how this goes because, as you can see, our vining plants got really out of control this year, so I might be interested to try some of the compact varieties of melons next year. As I may have mentioned, though, the seeds that I have were seeds that I bought when a Cost Cutters was going out of business, and the seed packets were 20 packs for $1! I just bought whatever varieties they had that I knew we would eat, and that’s what I’ve been growing.
Spinach! It just occurred to me. Spinach is what I’m missing. I don’t think I have any seeds. Perhaps I’ll go out and buy some. I have one row of unplanned space (plus whatever frees up when these monstrous melons finish), so I’ll be able to stick some in there.
Next on my list? Figuring out how to get that pesky groundhog that’s been eating everything to leave my veggies alone!