Green Thumb Up My Nose

Garden Report for 120903

The weather continued cooler, after having come within a biscuit toss of 90F on Monday. Down to 70’s by midweek, then back into the 80’s but with no enthusiasm behind it — enough of a breeze that it was possible to sit in outside in the shade of an evening, reading gardening manga on my Nexus.

The beer trap approach to slug control didn’t catch many slugs (as in one teenage-looking slug that was evidently too young to know better), so I went out and bought some slugbane. Don’t know if it will work any better, but we’ll see.

Well, I was right when I said we’d have to wait ’till September for ripe tomatoes.

So far so good.

No sooner had I filed last Monday’s report than a few of the container plants started turning, but by then it was too late — the date was the 29th and there wasn’t enough time for full ripening before Labor Day. We got two ripe tomatoes over the weekend.

We also picked one of our buttercup (cup, not nut) squash this week. Six or seven inches in diameter, maybe three pounds, with a big button on the flower end. Flesh was very like an acorn squash, but milder, and because of the structure, harder to get at. We weren’t impressed.

Buttercup Squash, a few weeks away from harvest-ready

Given that a single vine only produces four fruit or so, and that our current vine is now approaching 40ft in length, we probably won’t plant them again next year. Acorn squash will do fine. Which makes me think that much of the reason Americans only eat a small fraction of the variety of foods that are out there is due to the fact that we’ve tried them over the years, and are concentrating on the ones we like. There’s another couple on the way, so it will have a chance to redeem itself.

Whatever it is, it chews through the stem a few inches off the ground (Click to expand).

Something’s been at my corn. I think it’s squirrels. Chew through the stalk a couple of inches up. Doesn’t look like insects, and I found a typical peanut bury hole nearby. I planted probably 50 plants, and they’ve killed ten.

I’ve bought some critter repellents — stinkyblood for the ground and hotpeppers for the stalks — we’ll se if that helps. I don’t plan on building a cage this year.


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