After a desultory June, a ragged July, four bouts of hail and The Great Ape Rebellion, we are finally on track to grow vegetables -- the first fruits of the season should be in by November 3.
The peppers, some of the peppers, are doing well, both the Oaxacan and the Hatch varieties. As with everything in the garden now, however, we're finally getting growth and flowers, but no fruit.
I'm not sure what's going on, but the plants to the south are doing well (more sun?) while the ones in the center and northern portions of the garden are struggling for size, something I've done my entire life. (Important safety tip, kids: Don't mix up any one of those water soluble fertilizers -- 1) It won't make you any taller, and, 2) It will not taste like Tang.
I do have to say that the beans are going gangbusters, from the Coronas to the Christmas Limas. After the bunnies stopped eating the sprouts, things started taking off.
The Purple Petite Potatoes are also doing well. I've never grown potatoes from seed potatoes before and this was fun. Now, I just have to be careful to make sure none of them show themselves above ground as they could become toxic. That's what the label said, at least. Appears they are a member of the Nightshade family. As are Tomatoes and, yes, Nightshade.
Once again, the sweet potatoes are going gangbusters, which is wonderful. Originally, we thought we'd lose them to a late frost, but they survived and have taken over entire sections of the garden.
More Petite Purples … Nightshade, I tell you! Nightshade! Mwwwwwahahahahahaha! (Sorry. That wasn't me. That was Mr. Bitterman.)
Cabbage, Christmas Limas (in the back) and two cucumber plants, the larger of the two the producer of the single little cucumber we've grown so far this year -- the one mentioned in the title. (I mentioned it in the title in the hopes of boosting its confidence and it growing into something other than a gherkin.)
Honestly, not quite sure what this is ... Things got pretty frantic when it came to planting after the last hailstorm, so it didn't get marked. Whatever it is, it is doing well, has flowers and still no fruit. As long as it isn't goddamned zucchini, I'll be happy.
If you look closely in the above picture, you may be able to pick out three, count 'em, three tomatoes. They are the Sweet Hundreds variety. By this time last year, we were awash in them.
Once again, great growth on the tomatoes, even flowers, but very little fruit.
In Asta, the new garden, with the new soil, things are going very, very well. Acorn squash, pumpkins and three small Oaxacan chile plants are making themselves known, while the Corona beans are taking off after sacrificing two of their kind to the Rabbit God.
Once again in Asta. Note the edge of Bitterman's head in the corner of the shot. He's been all about photobombing me this season. He must have learned it from one of those evil Panoncillo children.
An evil Panoncillo Children ruining another joyous family moment. Well, I dunno. Justin was just standing there and nobody was drunk enough to be joyous, but there you are … ruined by another damned millennial. Just like they're ruining Dizzyland!
Another shot of Asta. Note the pumpkin and acorn squash tendrils running out into the yard. They've been snatching at Roscoe all day and Furious George actually had to dig Sadie out of the mass of leaves late yesterday. (We could hear her in there, we just couldn't see her.)
Roscoe celebrating his escape from the evil pumpkins.
Furious George pretending to receive congratulatory phone calls for saving Sadie from the Curse of the Killer Acorn Squash.
One last thing: Bitterman dressed as a bee in the hopes of encouraging pollination among the Sky Raisins (honeybees) of the Yard. Sadly, we seem to have more Jalapeno Sky Raisins (Yellow Jackets) than the good kinds this year.
It has been a very strange growing season this year. We got plenty of moisture, including hail, but we didn't get much in the way of heat until the end of June, while I figure some problems with depleted soil have not helped the growth situation at all.
The pea-sized hail we got did inspire me, however. This year, including the regular crops, I also put in a section of hail-sized peas. Because this IS Colorado, it will be a bumper crop, I'm sure.
Anyway, with our slow growth problems, I decided to hit the gardens hard with a regular dose of Miracle Gro LiquaFeed. I'm hoping it helps the peppers to decide to actually grow. We are way behind, especially in Nick, the upper garden.
A couple of the Oaxacan Chiles are going okay, but the Hatch are lagging. And we've got to get out there and weed again. The regular rainstorms have been outrageous in weed production.
The chiles (Hatch and Oaxacan) had some growth, but they're really lagging. I'm wondering what I fell short on during the off season? Maybe I just have to do more in terms of rotation and letting the ground lie fallow for a year.
This is our first year of working with cabbage. I'm not sure what we've got here. Mr. Bitterman is convinced we're growing something straight out of "Stranger Things 3."
I am, however, very happy about this -- we had some real frost damage on the sweet potatoes early in the season. I thought we were gonna lose 'em, but they came back magnificently, both pots. They have become one of the best tasting things we grow.
And, the Purple Petite Potatoes have done very well this spring. Grown from seed potatoes, it really did make me feel like a real live farmer.
Nora is growing slowly as well. We have beans, cabbage (Or Demigorgons, take your pick) growing, as well as either cucumbers or acorn squash. In the frantic days after the third hailstorm and the third replanting, I'm not sure what went where or why. Hell, it might even be zucchini again if those damned kids changed the label on the plants.
Nora is also home to this year's tomato crop and it is slow going. I've got to figure the soil is tired, so I'll have to come up with a plant to rebuild over the fall/winter. It doesn't help that we have a ten minute growing season around here.
On the other hand, Asta, the small garden, the new garden, is going gangbusters with beans, pumpkins, acorn squash (or is it cucumbers again -- same problem: last hail, no markers). Some Oaxacan sprouts I've got in the kitchen will go in there soon.
As you can see, I'm also growing Boston Terriers this season, hydroponically. They are a treat to have around, but they are noisy and can have gas that could clear a small English village.
And, then, of course, I had to accidentally spray myself in the face with Miracle Gro LiquaFeed while taking it off the hose. I got it out of my eyes, but I'm leaving it on my skin. I've shrunk to 5'4.5" from a high of 5'5.75". I figure this might be able to turn it around. If it works, I may spray it around other parts of my body, but I'm told that's against the Laws of God and Nature.
Incidentally, Furious George was honored with his Maine Master Gardener Certificate for his six weeks of training on a salt water farm just outside Brooklin, Maine. None of it will do him a damned bit of good here, but it hasn't stopped him from sitting on the porch with a beer and shouting orders to everyone.
Mr. Bitterman has about had it and says Furious will likely find himself six feet down in a salt water farm of his own design..
Ah, the joys of farm hands.