Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am so tired of the humidity. OK, I am looking forward to a few days of good rain, as forecast ;) and I do not forget last summer's extreme drought, but it should be comfortable to go out at 7am to the garden, not drippy. *sigh*

However, last week's rain has produced a lovely thick flush of rain lilies, and the vegetable garden is happy. I have lots of flowers, lilies, cannas, skullcap, daylilies, and more. Not to forget all of the scarlet runner and painted lady beans. In theory those produce green beans, but mine are just flowering. I have some asparagus beans planted in with them, though, and am getting beans on those and on the bush romanos in he cinder block bed. The tromboncino has a large squash hanging from the trellis, and I am trying to extend the life of my squash by burying the stems in mounds of dirt, to form new roots. A few of the vine borers finally got through.

With the impending rain I got out there and dug the potato bed. With one exception all the vines were essentially killed a couple of weeks ago by an overnight defoliation of hornworms. Hey! I think I just came up with a new term of venery: a defoliation of hornworms!

Anyway, it was fun digging them out - I kept going over the beds and finding more. I am sure I missed some. There were 4 with pitchfork wounds which I will cook today. None are large. A few had rotted - the reason I wanted to dig them before the projected rains. I had planted the aged sprouted remnants of a bag of russets, too soft to eat, so anything is a bonus, and the new potatoes taste so good, a different texture, yummy.

What really made it fun was deciding to let the puppies help. Probably a bad idea in the long run, as I have been trying to keep them out of the garden, but I removed the little (pitifully inadequate) wire fences first, and did keep removing them from the remaining fenced areas. They can walk through those little fences, so they are meant more as a deterrent/learning tool than a real block. I had to be very slow and careful with the fork, sometimes lifting them with the pile of dirt! They had a blast. Dig dig dig - they are doxies, after all - getting gloriously dirty.

Now that the bed is well dug, I will add in a little fertilizer and plant okra. I have been eating mostly out of the garden for a while, squash, green beans (usually eaten right there as I pick them) some tomatoes - lots of green ones coming along - as well as cucumbers and eggplant. And a few late snow peas. Between the yard work since I was laid off in February, and especially since I got the puppies, I have lost 15 pounds by eating better (lots of veggies and fruits), more outdoor time/exercise, and being too busy with puppies to remember to eat. It is 11:30am and I am just now finishing my morning oatmeal. It is a drop in the bucket to what I need to lose, but every drop counts.

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