Is Shrek a congressman in Florida?

I never thought I’d say it but I miss the car dealer ads on TV. Between David Maus and Bob Dance we used to see car ads on a saturation basis. But about 6 months ago the politicians bought up all the available ad space and since then it’s been almost nothing but election ads. For the primaries, the ads were all negative. I mean all and I mean negative. Now we’re into the fall election campaigns and the ads so far have been sickeningly sweet and wall to wall. I’m totally over it.

One of the most sickening is for a congressmen who is probably the biggest jerk ever to represent a District in Florida if not the whole nation. In fact I’ve been voting for almost 50 years and would put this wacko in first place over that span. That would include Florida, California, Texas and Utah. I mean California has a serious collection of losers but I’m putting our man up against all of them in the kook department. I don’t know what district he represents but know it’s not the one where I vote but he’s an embarrassment for all of us. I can only hope that the voters in whatever district he represents do the right thing this time and chalk it all up to a big mistake. The good news is that this character won’t have to worry about unemployment when he’s dumped. I would have to guess he comes from whatever district includes Disney World and would be welcomed back into his Goofy costume as a walk around character in the park. He has all the moves down pat so I would have to guess that was his profession before the folks in his district had a collective brain seizure. Nancy thinks he looks like Shrek and I do see the resemblance. I’m not naming this kook because it’s possible someone reading this blog actually voted for this character. I’m assuming they see the error of their ways, done their penance and will vote the opposition this one time.

Time for a garden update. Last season’s crop is down to eggplants, grape tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and basil, none of which is showing any signs of diminishing. With respect to the items I’ve been planting since mid August, it’s a mixed bag. This is the toughest time to do a garden in Florida since it’s peak critter season and the period of peak sun intensity. I try hard to prepare the soil, condition the plants before setting them out in the garden, and then shading and spraying them. And I start plenty of spare seeds to account for the fallout. With the exception of the spaghetti squash, all other varieties are doing well. I did lose a couple but had spares to fill the gap and those seem to be making it. That includes zucchini, butternut, and acorn squash. Two of the three cucumbers are looking good; the third one is on life support. I also put in a couple cantaloups against a background of bad history with melons in general. The plants do look good but I’m not holding my breath. So far so good.

So much for the good news. I knew the tomatoes were going to be problematic and I am down to 5 plants from 12 started. Two or three cratered the day following transplantation; the rest crashed after a week or so. I’m really not sure what’s getting them since they just roll over and give it up. I also had a 100% failure with my Kwintus pole beans. In that case I was working with old seed – I seem to recall buying them 2 years ago and planting half the pack back then – so somewhere along the line, they were damaged. Luckily I had a fresh packet of replacement pole beans, a variety called Smeraldo, so we still have a chance to supply the Thanksgiving green bean casserole.

Next up to hit the garden are green peppers and another round of cucumbers. I’ll give them another week in the peat pots with a daily increase in sun exposure – the mistake I think I made with the tomatoes. I have some cabbage and broccoli seeds in the germination stage which should be ready for the big time in early October. Other seeds in process include parsley, onions, and celery. These three have really hard, really tiny seeds that take forever to germinate and then grow very slowly. All are 120 day crops and won’t be ready for transplant to the garden until November.

Another observation regarding seed germination. I’ve noticed that when I start a row of hybrid seeds indoors, the seeds germinate literally within hours of each other. When I start a row of heritage, non hybrids, the germination can vary by days, if not weeks, from seed to seed. This was really noticeable with the cabbage seeds noted above. I had a row of hybrids and a row of non hybrids. I went to bed the other night and none had germinated; in the morning the entire row of hybrids had germinated. Over the following week, the non hybrids have popped up in what seems to be a totally random fashion. I’m guessing that means that after planting, in the case of the hybrids they will mature at about the same date making them good for bulk picking whereas the heritage variety will mature over a longer period and not create a cabbage overload.

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