garden innovation

I know you’re getting tired of reading about my butternut squash but since we’re on the edge of greatness here and events change daily, I think you need to be kept current. I really got down into the plant today and noticed that there is not just the single vine but rather 4 vines that split off some time back. End to end the length is now 18′ so that would be four 18′ long vines. In the last couple of days, many of the squash have started putting on some heft so it’s easy to spot the ones who are going to make it and the ones who probably won’t. Note to my Arcadia field consultant – I took your advice and start cutting off the runts of the litter. Today that meant culling about a dozen squashlettes. I’m actually starting to think there are some butternuts heading for the table this year. I planted the seeds August 10 and my home grown garden calculator program is telling me not to expect squash before Nov 23 but I’m betting I beat that by a couple of weeks. Not the first sign of any nematode action which by now should have made their presence well noticed.

Another garden innovation – where innovation means something I’ve never tried before but probably read about somewhere. I’m taking one gallon milk jugs, although any one gallon plastic container would probably work just as well, drilling a few tiny holes in the bottom and burying them with the top 20% above ground in the center of groups of four plants. The idea is to get water to the roots only by filling the jug occasionally with water and letting it seep out about a foot down. I could occasionally mix in water soluble fertilizer as well if the plants start looking motley. I’ll do a dozen or so and compare as the season to progresses to see if this approach is any better. I know if we were paying for water, it would be the way to keep watering totally under control. My sister last year tried growing some tomatoes and her water bill went totally out of sight.

The weather is nice enough to actually go out fishing in the middle of the day. I took the boat out and decided to just troll around dragging for anything that might feel like hitting my lures, not really expecting anything – just a lazy, peaceful afternoon. I actually caught a decent bass, nice enough to consider grilling whole on the Holland. We’re probably 6 weeks early for the spec’s to start but an occasional bass is not all that bad. One thing quite noticeable is that the lake has dropped about a foot in the past month – don’t think we’ve had a drop of rain in about that long. The bad news is that we’re entering the dry season with the lake already down whereas normally it’s peaking this time of year. Not only didn’t we have anything resembling a hurricane or tropical storm or depression, we just didn’t get much in the way of good old frog pleasing hard rains. Bummer. This time last year my concern was too much water in the garden and I was vowing to elevate all the rows to keep the roots high and dry this year. Not to worry – high and dry and burying milk containers to water the roots.

New watering system
New watering system

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