Garden update: Cukes & growth

TomatoesIn the garden, we are entering the exciting Stage 2, where the plants are *visibly* growing.

Stage 1 is “everything is in the ground and it’s just sitting there!” Impatient people such as myself get very irritable with Stage 1 … even though we know, intellectually, that while the plant “just sits,” it is doing important work like Getting Used to the Sun and Growing Roots.

Now, many plants are really growing, like the tomato to the right, which is setting fruit and gaining scale relative to the welded-wire cage it will live in until October. Now the plant is around two feet tall. By October, of course, it will be six feet tall, god and hailstorms willing. It will have given us many more than the one or two little green tomatoes it’s currently bearing. But for now – it’s growing!

The butternut squash are really starting to take off, too. (Be afraid … be very afraid.)

butternut squash

At long last, the cukes have sprouted where I planted them:

And some are growing where they weren’t invited. I have this volunteer from last year, and two more volunteers springing up near the compost bin. The only question? Did I grow hybrid cucumbers last year? If so, they may turn out funky offspring. If not, I love a volunteer to save seeds from and grow bigger-and-better veggies, already acclimated to our harsh environment (dry air, clay soil, hot, hot sun).

You can see the friendly environment this volunteer chose:

We also have numerous tomato volunteers, but those are likely offspring of our despised yellow tomatoes last year, which were (a) mealy, (b) frighteningly prolific, and (c) a hybrid, so this year’s babies likely won’t be any good. That said, watch us let one grow and it’ll be our favorite this year.

Finally, even our basil has sprouted at last. We planted seeds weeks ago, but here it is:

Each of those little babies is perhaps an inch across.

Out front, we’ve taken the pumpkin out of the wall of water, and our cantaloupe is striving to thrive. Those are both in eked-out sections of lawn. In our barrels, our little roma tomatoes are growing beautifully. Mr. Cheap has replanted some scarlet runner bean seeds because ours stayed inside too long and are not happy in the hot sun.

What’s up in your gardens?

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7 thoughts on “Garden update: Cukes & growth

  1. Megan says:

    We’ve been harvesting greens like crazy this past week. The peas have just started coming on so every day the kids insist on seeing if there are more to eat. We’ve gotten one strawberry so far but the berry bushes are going crazy. The fruit trees are also covered.

    I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities.

    Also, our growing season here in Idaho has been so strange this year!

    We had a really really long spring which is really unusual and then summer has come on with a vengence. So everything is a little screwed up and not quite where it normally is in the growing season.

    Oh well. Here’s hoping that it all works out.

    Oh, and this is our first year trying square foot gardening. So we are having a blast! Yay for almost no weeds!!!

  2. Margaret says:

    Love your garden pics! We have a bunch of varieties of lettuces, a mountain of tarragon, thyme, basil, chives, the garlic (Roja, Music, Georgian Crystal) is about 30″ tall, we’re on the second cutting of strawberry rhubarb, tomatillos are just starting to set their first flowers, and the collards and kale are just starting to grow in earnest. Can’t WAIT ’til those puppies are thinning size! I love this time of year.

  3. cheaplikeme says:

    @Megan – Neighbors down the block have a tree loaded with ripe cherries! I left them a note last night asking if we can have them if they aren’t using them. Which is the greater crime – stealing their cherries, or letting them go to rot?

    @Margaret – Ah, tarragon, why growest thou so huge? Who the heck needs that much tarragon? Hopefully you do … But it is not as useless as our huge horehound plant, which at least attracts native bees!

  4. Me says:

    I was going to grow butternut – never got it planted this year. 😦 Soo busy.

    I think your plan for saving seeds from that crazy cuc is spot on.

  5. Rachel Wynn says:

    We rent so I’m playing with container gardens. Right now it’s just tomato and basil. The basil is doing great but the tomatoes are really slow right now. I planted them from seed a few weeks back and I’m not sure how they’re going to hold up. We live on a tiny lot without much sun.

  6. Margaret says:

    @cheap – I know, the tarragon is more like a shrub now than a nice tame little herb plant. But the worst part was discovering, on one of the walks around my foothill neighborhood, that everyone in town seems to have wild tarragon growing in their driveway, front yard, etc. They weed-whack it, pull it out, mow it….and me tending my monster shrub so lovingly. Sigh. Best thing to do with tarragon is make veggie shepherd’s pie with it….that uses up at least 1/4 cup at a time, and I can eat that every week and never tire of it.

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