Growing stuff …. Or stuff that is actually growing

So this spring we planted a garden and got some good tomatoes, but all in all, the garden was a bust.  See this post about the harvest.

We finally, and I mean FINALLY have ONE pumpkin.  ONE.  It is moderately sized now, so I guess we get one of our own pumpkins to decorate with this fall.  Sad.  The pumpkin plant was actually the plant I wanted the most; I really wanted the boys to have their own pumpkins.  I thought that would be something the boys would fine cool and fun.  I thought we’d have enough veins that on one we’d trim off all but one pumpkin and see how big we could get it, and other than that we’d end up with enough to paint into jack-o-lanterns and may even try carving too.  Sad.  Looks like we get one for a pumpkin for a whole, package of seeds planted.  Sigh.  But, I guess that is something since up till this week I thought the pumpkin planting was a total bust as we had NOTHING.

We now have 5 watermelons.  The biggest is only as big as a softball and it has been this size for 2 or 3 week and simply does not seem to be growing.  So again idea busted.  All three of the boys here love watermelon and I thought the two younger ones would get a kick out of eating something they grew.  Maybe we will manage to eat one or two if they get any size to them?

The volunteer squash plant seems to be the best food producer I have – 7 squash now – and I didn’t plant it.  The volunteer gourd plants are still going strong and I love them.  I am considering planting them intentionally in 2011 but, the fact is, most likely, if I do that, they will not grow.  I have over 60 “full grown” decorative gourds off the volunteer plants / veins.  I also have at least 15 to 20 more small ones on the vein; and still some gorgeous big orange blooms.  I have to say I am having a blast with the volunteer gourd veins; so much fun to go seeking and see if we have any more gourds ready to be harvested.  I am going to really enjoy decorating this fall with our own gourds – and I have enough to share.

The sunflowers got a late start and we feared they were going to vote with the majority of the plants around here and simply be a no-show but they have turned out nicely.  It is interesting to me the vast difference in the sizes of the sunflowers – all planted at the same time, same package, but some are so much larger.  Another interesting observation, none of the sunflowers – not the ones we planted by the house nor the wild ones by the driveway have been rotating with the sun.  My understanding of sunflowers has been limited and I am learning more.  I spent all season expecting the flowers to rotate to follow the sun.  Really I did.  I thought something was wrong with my sunflowers – wild and planted were not healthy because they were not doing so.  Come to find out sunflowers don’t really do that!!!

When the plant is in the bud stage, it tends to track the movement of the sun across the horizon. Once the flower opens into the radiance of yellow petals, it faces east. No one knows why. However, it is likely a defensive response. Facing south or west could result in sun-scalding of seeds during very hot days.

Last years we planted some mums in a raised bed by the front porch, forgot to cut them back / mulch them but they are now huge.  Big plants.  They have blooms all over them, but have yet to bloom.  This year we bought 2 new mum plants to fill in the rest of the space.  If we manage to keep these alive too next year that raised bed should be full of mums.  I see a pattern here – don’t you, the plants we take care of fail, the stuff we either forget to take care of or just flat out have nothing to do with takes off.  Humm.

In VBS back in June Big Brother planted a plant.  It was in a cute little pot he had painted in art.  That day they had discussed the parable of the seed, and of course, they had to plant a seed.  Now we all know I have a black thumb but we have cared for this plant so carefully.  We took the plant with us to see the grandparents’ in July; it got to ride in the cup holder all the way.  I knew it would die if we left it here.  While there, Grand Pat replanted it for him.  I am happy to say the plant, that turned out to be a bean plan, has grown up quiet nicely.

All in all I’d rather grow babies and kids.



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3 responses to “Growing stuff …. Or stuff that is actually growing

  1. Crystal

    I wish I did a garden this year. I bet your boys enjoyed doing it!

  2. I will give you the recipe my farmer friend gave me to “feed” the garden. My tomatoes were hanging there all green for MONTHS and I fed it this combo and lo and behold- they were red just 2 days later!! You can buy bone-meal too to mix in with the soil. I think it’s probably that the soil is so stripped from nutrients that the things that volunteer do it because they have found a really good healthy spot by happenstance, versus us trying to force things where they don’t want to be. Nature/God will always outsmart us 😉

    I think you did very well for what you planted, actually. My pumpkins flowered very beautifully and then all the flowers dropped off one by one. I finally got frustrated and ripped them out so the other things could have the nourishment instead.

    Your squash/gourds are TOO CUTE!! We started gourds too late 😦 I am still learning and the climate baffles me too! I’m so jealous of your gourds and sunflowers though! My MIL buys sunflower heads and cuts off the stems entirely and floats them in a big decorative bowl for Thanksgiving and it is sooo pretty.

    • well we planted the sunflowers and we really did not think they were going well, but the did a lot better than we thought. the gourds that have done best, i had nothing to do with and to be honearted!! LOLst i was very very annoyed when the veins started

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