Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stress stress stress

I thought surgery was stressful. Today, I did something that made me sweat and tremble.

I trellised my cukes, squash, and added support to my tomatoes. PHEW. Talk about stressful. And yes, I am serious.

It's no secret that I am a total noob to the world of gardening. I'm learning as I go. Let me share what I have learned thus far:

1) Cucumbers and squash really like to grow here. If left to their own devices, they will grow out of the garden, along the ground, and start to invade the neighbor's fence. Give your cukes and squash a trellis! They will also out-compete nearby plants. I had to trellis the vines today, because the red peppers had disappeared under the huge cuke/squash leaves (you can see this in the picture up there). Do it early, before the leaves and stems are huge, or else you're going to be messing with adult plants and breaking stems and freaking yourself out.

2) Tomatoes really like to grow here, as well. They need support...and measly green plastic sticks ain't gonna do it. Not when your tomatoes are 3.5 feet high. Stake your tomatoes EARLY. If you do it late - when they are huge, it's stressful. When I got to the last of my 3 Big Boy tomato plants, I was wracked with fear. This was (is) Steve the tomato's bush, and I was terrified to disturb it. Alas, I think all went well.

3) I used a mix of potting soil, topsoil, and composted mulch. The potting soil and topsoil were 50/50 - with a thin layer of composted manure on top. It is a rich, dark soil, and the plants are thriving.

As for an update on the garden, I have counted a half dozen or more baby tomatoes. Steve continues to be an overachiever. He is fat and plump. I've decided that I might not eat him. He's working so darned hard at growing, and I feel that my plants are going to thrive. So I might grant him a pardon. On the other hand, I don't want to see him descend into rot and dissolution, so he might be salad garnish...

A few people have asked me where I got the name I will send you to this website. I warn you, if you read this, you might laugh so hard you'll lose bladder control.

In other news, I baked 3 loaves of bread yesterday in preparation for my mom and grandparents coming to stay on Friday. I have to work all weekend, but it's the daytime shift, so I will get to be social at night thankfully.

The pictures of my Sennie are what she was doing while I was bread baking. She kept me company.

Back to work tonight. Some interesting veterinary stuff will likely come your way shortly.


Elizabeth said...

This is so helpful, thanks! I'm starting a garden this year for the first time and I had no idea that you can attach squash to a trellis. I live in Utah and we are probably two months behind your growing season so I'm really happy to learn these facts in advance.

The Homeless Parrot said...

Elizabeth - feel free to email me if you have questions. I am NOT a garden guru, but I have learned some useful stuff as I've gone. It seems to be working, thus far.

The Homeless Parrot said...

Some people suggest using pantyhose to tie the squash/cukes to the trellis - it stretches as they grew and doesn't impede them. I used plant training wire - but loosely, to give the plants room to expand.

Elizabeth said...

I am jealous of those tomatoes.. we are still weeks aways from even putting ours in the ground.. You are doing great with your gardening..

belovedparrot said...

Your garden is amazing, and so are your birdies!