Monday, May 30, 2011

Cockle Shells

 For the first time in 6 years, everything I planted in my vegetable garden is growing strong.  Usually, after the starts have been in the beds for a month or so, I take pictures and think, "Well, this isn't working." It's only when I've compared the new photos to the ones I took on planting day, that I actually realize something is happening.

Not so, this year!  Three weeks after I started the beds, I went to water and thought, "Holy cats!" I mean, even to my (oh so critical) naked eye, the garden was growing strong and rapidly! Which should prove to be interesting. I normally overplant a bit, in anticipation of, if things proceed at the same pace, it looks like I'm going to have 6 honey dew melon plants (was hoping for? 2) to deal with. I didn't even stagger the plantings, so at some point, I will have to deal with a hojillion melons, all ripening at the same time.  Also true about the dozen tomato plants, the half dozen cucumbers, the half dozen eggplants, and the trio of zucchini/squash I planted (nobody needs more than one, I can tell you that for free). I think in June I'll still plant a couple of pumpkin starts though.  I LOVED those pumpkins, and the sheer volume of pureed pumpkins (and, thus, baked goods) that came from them is enough to bring a tear to my eye.

Sometimes, people in my life (Erik) roll their eyes at my hand-weeding habits. It's how my mother does it, and how her mother did it. I could go on and on about why I think it's so great (no pesticides! learn your soil! who's making that part of your yard a home?) but the number one reason I can highly recommend hand weeding is that you are in total control of what stays, and what goes. These are I don't know what but I like them. They spread all over, naturally, and grow beautifully.  That pile I pulled on the left in the photo above was growing in the walkways between the beds.  We're calling them weeds. The bunch that started growing themselves in a galvanized steel tub got to stay. We're calling them plants.  See how that works?

My entire front yard is covered in volunteer hollyhocks and volunteer these yellow things.  If I had just mowed down or weed whacked everything, I never would have benefited from this mini-meadow in my front yard.


  1. What? Who doesn't hand weed? What else is there (besides the weed torch, I mean--its for winter use only)? I think the yellow volunteers are coreopsis.

  2. @Kelly ~ Yes! coreopsis. For jakes one day, you should google image "yellow flower". haha Not too helpful, honestly. lol So I had planted one, several years ago, near the driveway, on the sloping part of the hill. It got strangled out by some IVY THAT WOULD NOT DIE (if ever a weed torch was needed....who likes ivy???) but suddenly, this year, I have a million of them. LOVE : )