Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation and the Garden

I was on vacation for a week in Washington State, and while I was gone, it seems like all havoc broke loose in the garden. The first two days of my trip, it rained heavily here, and the last four days we had terrible heat. You have to ask yourself about global climate change when Moorhead, Minnesota, is the hottest place on the planet, with a heat index of 130 degrees between the temperature and humidity.

When we came back on Tuesday night I went out to the garden and felt filled with despair. It didn't help that it was 100 degrees, but how had this jungle grown up in my absence? There were a few rotten baby zucchinis on the vine and a few potato plants seem to have died, I think because the soil isn't draining and we've just had too much rain. Our local "truck farmer" Russ Willinbring in Cold Spring, where I pick my strawberries, said things just aren't growing in the waterlogged fields, and what is growing is late and stunted.

Now I have to admit that I asked my husband not to spray any weeds in the entire area surrounding my garden. So I should not have been surprised that the prairie has grown back around my raspberry bushes and apple trees. But I had kept on top of the weeding in my garden beds, and in my absence large amounts of grass have invaded.

The next day, things looked considerably more manageable. I easily pulled out many weeds and harvested the rest of the onions, which are drying on the porch. Blight has indeed begun on the tomato plants, but there are also lots of blossoms and green tomatoes, so now it's just a race for them to ripen before the blight kills the plant. There will be tomatoes. In fact, the cherry tomatoes, which were incredibly dissapointing last year and resulted in NO canned salsa, are flourishing and blight free, so there will also be salsa!

Here's another photo. I have a lot of these, but they all kind of look like this. Insane amounts of giant weeds as far as the eye can see.

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