Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - Growing Pains

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

UPDATE from last week:   

My tomato plants have reached a little over five feet tall and over eight feet wide. What you see in this picture is two plants grown together, an Early Girl and a cherry. They are growing so thickly that I can't get at all the tomatoes and some are going to waste. I hate that. 

Time to thin them out. This is always risky as they could either come back strong or die out, and given how hard the heat has been on the rest of the garden this year . . .  


Crap! This has been a rough week. Among other things, my clippers broke. In the middle of thinning the tomatoes, my clippers broke! 

Because of nerve damage I have very little strength or fine motor control in my hands, so I need ratcheting clippers to cut many of the plants in the garden. For some reason the stores sell dozens of types of clippers, but not one pair of ratcheting ones, so I have to order them on line. And that takes time. And money. This will put a definite crimp in my garden work for a while. If it doesn't cut easily with scissors, it doesn't get cut.

What I really want to do right now, is go to bed after (while) eating 50 pounds of chocolate; but I will feel sorry for myself while drinking tea in the garden rocker instead. (It's marginally healthier.)

I am one
Who eats his breakfast,
Gazing at the morning-glories.
- Basho

The garden rule: 
“First year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap.”

I've started expanding two of my beds, the one under the crepe myrtle and one of the lilac beds, so that they join together to form one big bed. (And by "I," I mean the lucky family members I've roped into helping me.)  

My daughter's boyfriend spent several hours forking the soil and removing the grass and weeds, in spite of the 102 degree heat. By way of payment, I fed him spaghetti with meat sauce, made with the tomatoes and herbs from - you guessed it - my garden.

My plan is to eventually do away with the grass in the yard altogether. As you can see, it won't be a great loss. It's actually more like one piece of crab grass that covers most of the lawn, a yard toupee of sorts, and I would rather water beautiful things and things I can eat.

In the second picture you can see that the original two beds are now one. The border looks a little goofy because, at this point, it's just sitting at the edge of the bed, not yet seated. The new portion now contains the same plants as both of the old ones, lavender and lantana. 

I can't wait until my small plants mature and fill in. I will keep you apprised of the project's progress.  

By the way, the cat in the pictures is Eng, who is 21 this year, and a walking reminder of a Stephen King story. (Can you guess which?) Although sweet and loving, she is also really scruffy looking and (at least) one of our neighbors is afraid of her. 

Eng is also my garden helper. I call her The Garden Sage. She follows me around as I'm working and offers sage advice, criticism, and companionship.

I guess having a lousy camera isn't all bad; Eng looks pretty good in this picture.

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