Monday, September 12, 2011

Busy as a Bee

The summer heat finally arrived - we've had multiple days in the high-80s and low-90s in a row - and all the plants are growing like crazy. There are hordes of butterflies, honey bees and bumble bees buzzy through our backyard. I know hordes sound like a scary term, but I mean this in the most "action-packed, productive" use of the word.

My volunteer zucchini are growing into monsters. I've had to trail them out into the open area of the garden (where my future green house will be), and into the walking row. They were beginning to attach themselves to son's bike, so we needed to move that out of the way.

The head lettuce have grown fuller and rounder and I managed to harvest all five heads before all the slugs found them. And the potato plants are looking really good. The tomatoes plants (my only two of the season) are growing taller and taller. I'm finally now seeing the fruit grow and ripen. The day after taking this picture, the vines have bent over and are now growing horizontally along my make-shift support.

I need to figure out a better support system for the dozen+ tomato plants I'm planning for next spring's garden...these determinate variety just keep vining. I see some research in my future this fall.

Good tomato...
Unfortunately, the soil I have these plants in had a calcium deficiency (at least that's what all my books say), given the blossom rot several of the first fruits had.

I've been picking off the really bad ones and tossing them into the composter. I figured I didn't want the plant wasting energy ripening a fruit that is lost to the rot.

Bad tomato... =0(
Now I know what to prepare and look for, for next spring's garden. This is the part of gardening that I find so fascinating...that I am constantly learning and surprised by new discoveries.

With all the growth and all the plants blooming, the bushes are heavy and hanging down across the walkway and into the walking spaces. And as busy as everyone is in my backyard, I end up doing a funny little dance and I weave past various plants, trying hard not to knock into the fat bumble bees or interrupt the honey bees. Bob and weave...bob and weave...
Busy, busy bee.
One of several very thirsty butterflies.

I love these little "mini-carnations"
they smell like perfumed cloves.
I'm think that I may be spending too much time in my garden...I'm beginning to see faces in all my plants and produce! Here's one I pulled off our tomato plant. I swear, it looks like one of the characters in the Veggie Tales cartoons. When I went to cut it up for our dinner salads, none of the children would stay in the kitchen! They said it made them too uncomfortable to cut up something that looked like a cross between Bob the Tomato and Mr. Lunt the gourd! 

Off to other chores...planning on canning tomato sauce soon.