Friday, June 4, 2010

What Not To Do

When you have a vegetable garden with zucchini plants, don't go 4 or 5 days without checking for squash. I've been busy setting up a drip irrigation system in the big garden and did not tend to what was already growing in the little garden. There were so many strange looking parts in the irrigation kit that I spent several days studying how to connect the various parts together and planning a design set up.

Take a look at these: 1) the top one is about 17 inches long and 13 inches around, 2) the bottom one is about 16 inches long and 14 inches around. Remember when we had waist sizes in the 19-22 inch range? Unfortunately, when zucchini gets this big it is filled with seeds and bitter. I'm going to cut the big ones up and put out for the critters to eat.

This is the harvest from yesterday. I came across a recipe for zucchini bread and a recipe for zucchini and basil muffins, both of which should freeze well. Squash does not freeze very well unless grated, frozen and then used in soups, breads, casseroles, etc.

The first harvest of snow peas and green beans which were washed, trimmed, blanched, vacuumed packed, and frozen. I had no idea how easy and quick it is to freeze fresh veggies.

I did not pick the green tomatoes but they fell off as I was removing extra branches on the tomato plants. I read that if tomato plants have an abundance of foliage, the energy goes into maintaining the leaves rather than producing bigger tomatoes. So, I cut off a lot of greenery from each tomato plant and I think the tomatoes have grown considerably bigger in just 24 hours. Of course, that could be my imagination. Anyway, the green ones above dropped off in the pruning operation.

According to the Farmer's Almanac moon planting guide, tomorrow and Sunday are the best days for putting the seeds for vine plants (melons) in the ground and root plants -- I've some sweet potato slips to put in the dirt. I'll also scatter a variety of flower seeds in between the veggie seeds. Certain flowers attract or repel insects that normally go after the veggies or melons. Four rows of corn were planted about 12 days ago. Melons are a good companion to the corn. After the corn in the first four rows reach 18 inches, four more rows of corn will be planted along with either watermelon or cantaloupe or another companion plant.

The veggies are fertilized with the organic Lady Bug brand, a product of The Natural Gardener in Austin, Texas. After the first tilling of the big garden area, we bought 6 yards of Revitalizer compost from the Natural Gardener and tilled the area again with the compost. Before we could row up, three inches of rain came which flatten the soil. The rains brought out the weeds. So, I dug the 20' x 40' area up again with a spading fork while removing the weeds and then made nine rows. As mentioned earlier, 4 rows of corn was planted about 12 days ago.

I've never liked gardening but after the first harvest yesterday of the snow peas and green beans, I'm kind of excited about it. The motivation to start gardening came after the veggie recalls and then the increase in food costs. I got truly irked when I had to pay $1 for a green pepper and an outrageous price for one zucchini (I've forgotten the amount.). In addition, I'm on the South Beach diet and gardening takes my mind off the hunger. lol Actually, I don't eat all the food allowed and have only lost 2 pounds in three weeks! Gardening keeps me busy enough to not dwell on the fact that it is the dickens to lose weight. Utilizing veggies I've grown gives me a lift when thinking about how long it will take to lose 25 more pounds.

Well, I'm off to take a nap while the temperature is 96 degrees so I can work in the big garden this evening ridding it of weeds in preparation of planting tomorrow.

Until next time, God bless.


DJan said...

Did you read that gardening (getting your hands dirty) is actually GOOD for you? I read that bacteria in the soil that you inhale or generally get on you when your hands get dirty makes for some beneficial organisms to flourish in your body. And I do have to say that the South Beach does take more time. Did you start with that hard to do two-week part?? (I couldn't do it.)

Lynn said...

No, I haven't read that article re gardening. But just your recap makes sense. We are too santitized. lol

Yes, I did the two week starter and have to go back on it. I was in Phase 2 for a couple of days and gained 1-1/2 pounds; originally lost 3 1/2 over about 2 weeks. I eat no bread, potatoes, white or brown rice, pasta or even fruit. I took me stepping on the scale, going nuts when I saw the result, before I was finally willing to eliminate all those foods.

SquirrelQueen said...

Wow, those are huge zucchini. I haven't grown any here but I do remember how fast squash grows.

Looks like all your hard work is going to make for some tasty eating. Do you like fried green tomatoes?