And a hush fell…

I apologize for the quiet as of late. I am currently out of town, travelling for seven days on business. I took pictures in preparation for the trip, thinking I would have time in the evenings to draft posts.

Silly me.

I forgot the camera at home, with the photos still on it. I have not had evening time like I expected, but for good enough reason. I was able to spend a precious three hours with a dear cousin catching up. I was able to catch up on sleep and beat off a bug of my own before it took hold. I was able to get lost in Houston traffic for an hour trying to find socks, only to find instead a travelling carnival, a helipad, a parking lot full of grass-filled cracks in the middle of pristine shiny glass and steel, and then finally – when I’d given up on the search and resigned myself to gladly wander: socks.

Tonight was a run. A glorious, much needed, too-long-put-off-for-no-good-enough-reason, run. Little did I realize I had picked just the park that housed the Houston Garden Center. Even littler did I realize I did such a thing until driving out of the park in need of a shower. Perhaps tomorrow when the work is finished but the Rockets game has yet to begin, I’ll have time to go for another glad wandering.

While I’m gone, DH is caring for the gardens for me. They’re almost to the Water and Wait Til Harvest Stage, but not quite yet. On Tuesday, he planted the last of the tomatoes and peppers. I lost two Cherry Chadwicks in the final transplanting process, and so picked up two transplants from Johnson’s Backyard at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday. A Green Zebra and a Cherokee Purple. I needed three peppers as well – having mis-planned my space for two, and lost just one in the transplanting process (it was a itty bitty wee one I would have been shocked to see survive.) Green and Growing set me up with two Purple Beauties and one Orange Bell (all bell peppers.)

And! He took pictures! Don’t those beans look promising?

I am blown away at how happy the squash look (and how big the leaves are already!)

I’ve been carefully checking the undersides of the leaves on each visit in an effort to find any Squash Bug eggs before they hatch. Last year I lost every squash plant to Squash Bugs (not knowing yet what they were.) This year I hope to lose less. I’ve also been warned by my neighboring gardener that the plots are susceptible to Squash Vine Borers, which are new to me. I’m keeping an eye out for any vine anomalies, but am not sure exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll have to read up a bit. I did find one squash leaf coated on the underside with aphids, and it was quickly pinched off and ushered to the trash bin.

Here are the peppers and tomatoes. The tomatoes are already needing more pruning than I’ve had time to keep up with. Next week when I’m home, I really need to get them staked before they completely go wild on me. There was a flower bud on one Sunday before I left, so perhaps when I make it home this Sunday I’ll have some flowers to tickle until the bees find their new buffet.

I planted some strawberries and sweet potatoes last weekend as well, but that will have to wait for me to be reunited with my camera.

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13 comments on “And a hush fell…

  1. Great start! The beans look amazing.
    With squash vine borers, you’re looking near the base of the stems for tiny holes with frass around them. They’re hard to spot, and most of the time you don’t know they’re there until an entire vine wilts. I’ve had some luck planting a “trap crop” designed to lure them out. Pull up the infested plants, bag them in plastic (burning isn’t an option for you, I know) and get rid of them. Set out new transplants, and hope you broke the cycle.
    Good Luck!
    (Driving in Houston – UGH! Worst. Ever.)

    • plumdirt says:

      Oooh! I’ll look for the tiny holes as best I can when I get back. I was looking,but not very hard, thinking they’d be like pencil eraser-sized.

  2. The veggie garden is looking very lush and green and the beans are so healthy!

  3. Louis says:

    Well done there. My zucchini seeds have barely started sprouting and none of the yellow squash (so I had to buy some transplants to put out). Your beans look great along with your tomatoes. My peppers look about the same so I don’t feel bad for them being a bit scrawny. I have a ton of cantaloupe and watermelon plants coming up so… I may be in trouble.

  4. Gorgeous 😉

    How is Houston? And Hermann Park sounds amazing. There’s a nice, thoughtful solitude when wandering through a huge garden.

    And summer squash sounds so good.

  5. Shannon says:

    Your squashes look great. I had a similar experience last year and lost my zucchini and pumpkins vines to a borer species (they simply bore out the stem…the whole plant wilts at once). I too never saw the buggers, but the drought was suspect (stressed plants).

    I’m enjoying your posts!

    • plumdirt says:

      I had one variety this year survive the borers. It vines more than bushes, so by the time the center stem exploded and died, its runners had created their own root system. Not that it’s made any full-sized squash yet (it has one smaller than my fist, though) but it may work out as an earlier sowing next year.
      Aggravating to me, was I saw this “neat fly wasp thing!” in my backyard garden a few weeks ago, and took its picture to identify it at a later time. Go figure that it was the adult of the squash vine borer larvae! And I didn’t remove it! Live and learn, eh? Those guys had better watch out next time I spot one!

      • Shannon says:

        Haha! It’s always us vs. the buggies, ain’t it? Alas, the flying variety are a constant nuisance, unless you can prevent them from laying eggs on your plants. Count your blessings — could be grasshoppers. Lordy.

        Best practice is to regularly walk the garden and not have so many plants that you can’t do a thorough inspection of the underneath of every leaf (where eggs are laid) of every plant — EVERY day. That’s how you “beat ’em.”

        Sorry. But I don’t have that kind of time. And I don’t spray. So I simply give some up to my arthropod neighbors. My birds love me for it (they get a fat juicy lunch too).

        It’s always something. Today, I’m sharing figs with our fawn of last year, who’s now a yearling, and apparently pregnant.

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