Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bitch is Still Gardening....a long overdue update!

Hi all. I know you've been chomping at the bit to find out how my gardening is going, especially after I left you hanging with my previous riveting posts about my Adventures in Gardening. Okay, I admit - this might be a bit of an exaggeration. But, I'm dying to tell you, so here you go!

I've decided I will never grow a viney or bushy squash-bearing plant ever again. Sorry zucchini, sorry summer squash. I do love you so, but after being plagued by the absolutely nasty, totally disgusting, worse-than-anchovies Squash Vine Borer, I have left the squash business forever. Seriously, the "frass" (poo) they leave behind is gross enough to make me want to stop gardening forever. Anyone out there agree with me? Ugh! I'd rather look at a potato bug all day. Hmmm...actually that's a toss up. Those Jerusalem Crickets (another name for potato bugs) are pretty grody. See for yourself (if you dare.....).

Okay, moving past icky bugs (and I'm the resident bug remover in our house so you know these bugs must be pretty nasty for me to be bothered by them), another reason I am never growing any kind of viney thing is that my garden doesn't have a lot of ventilation because of the wooden fence around our yard, so plants that are prone to getting powdery mildew get it with a vengeance. I know there are actions I can take to take to help control the pesky whiteness that took over the leaves of my cukes, mystery winter squash and summer squash, but I am more interested in low-maintenance gardening. With a little one scampering around and getting into everything, the last thing I want to be doing is spending half my day washing my plant leaves. I'll leave the squash growing up to my neighbor, Milt. He has quite a green thumb when it comes to squash and a much better ventilated garden.

So, the powdery mildew led to a cathartic 10 minutes pulling out my squash/cuke plants and chucking them over the fence into the arms of my amazing husband who didn't know what he was getting himself into (when he happened to walk by the fence, not when he married me, which is what you were thinking, right?). Now, I have a lovely 3'x5' area in my garden ready for some late beets and peas (if I ever get around to planting the seeds!). Speaking of beets, I just harvested a few this week. My hopes for a bumper crop of beets were dashed when I discovered that most of my beet plants were mostly just leaves with these piddly little "beets" for roots. About 1/2 wide at the most, my beets were a big disappointment. I was able to get about four that were about 2 inches across. When I cut into one this week, I discovered one of the most beautiful vegetables I had ever seen. Check it out!

I also grew potatoes this summer and last week, I harvested about 15 potatoes from 5 plants. I expected to get a lot more, but I recall saying that I would be happy if I only got one, so I'M HAPPY! My carrots are still growing, but I did pick a few this week. Tasty! I roasted the beets and some of my potatoes and carrots. Roasting vegetables and potatoes is fun because it's easy, it smells good and seems really fancy so you can impress your eating partner. It's a great way to cook if you're just starting out. Just chop 'em up, throwing on some olive oil and seasoning and pop 'em in the oven at 400 degrees until they're done (usually about 15 - 30 minutes depending n what you're cooking). Here they are before I roasted the heck out of them.

Well, that's it for the gardening update. I hope your gardens are happily producing. I'm off to see about harvesting my peppers. Fun! I'll leave you with a few pictures.

Cubanelle peppers enjoying the sunshine.

Some flowers living up to their name.

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