Thursday, July 12, 2012

Harvesting. . .

Every day, when I check on the garden, it is buzzing with activity.  Literally.  I have the big bumble bees (they're actually carpenter bees) that love my Rose of Sharon bushes and smaller honey bees buzzing from flower to flower.  They all seem to like the big orange flowers produced by the cucumbers and squash, including the pumpkins.

I've been getting grape and cherry tomatoes randomly for a couple weeks now, but my first real harvest was a surprise.  Pickling cucumbers and squash I had checked on two days previously were now huge.  That first harvest yielded two yellow squash, four zucchinis, and an astounding thirteen pickling cucumbers.  Two days later I got six more yellow squash, two more zucchinis, and one cucumber.
First Harvest

In the sweltering heat and humidity that defines summer here in the Chesapeake Bay state, I trudged out to the garden, dragging the heavy hose behind me.  Two fifty-foot hoses together will only reach the first tomato plants in the two rows where they reside, so I fill the watering can and laboriously weave back and forth through the jungle that my garden is becoming.

While I was out there that Sunday evening, I checked for everything from pests to flowers to fruits.  My efforts were rewarded with several discoveries.  I found another large hornworm amidst some significant damage.  I also noticed that those little devastators we call cucumber beetles are out, too.  I realize these are not positive findings, but I've got some good news too.

The first flower I saw on the watermelons was a prize. . .
First watermelon flower I saw.

. . .but not as exciting as this. . .

First Watermelon
By the time you read this, this little watermelon will have doubled in size.  And several more are starting, too.

The first gourd flowers graced my garden that same evening.  Gourd flowers only open at night, and only for one night.  I will most definitely devote an entire entry to these magnificent, if slightly high maintenance, plants.  They deserve the attention.  
First Gourd Flowers
Those tiny, Autumnal joys that are Jack-B-Little pumpkins (actually gourds) are thriving at the top of the garden.  For such small fruits, they have huge orange flowers much like other pumpkins and squash.  I delighted to see the first one plumping up below its birthing flower.  

First Jack-B-Little
On the deck, I was please to see that my "cut and come again" mesclun lettuce is truly that.  Where I have cut older heads off, the tips have blackened and new leaves are sprouting just below.  The green ice lettuce needs to be planted again.
Mesclun Coming Back

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you need to set up a drip system for your tomatoes (and any other veggies) so you can just plug your hose into it when you want to water. Nice photos, though. It's always fun to go out to the garden and find new veggies coming in!