Saturday, August 18, 2012
My Squash Runneth Over
For the first time since the drought ended, we have had some generous regular rain. I drove the tractor to the back to take a look at Ed's wilderness garden. Since there is more clay in the soil in the back, with the help of Ed's watering the vines were doing pretty well. But since the rains have arrived, the butternut squash, pumpkin and watermelon vines have exploded with growth.
No longer willing to be confined, the vines climbed right over the top of the four foot fence. I find this kind of rapid growth amazing. Ed tried to train the vines to grow around the inside edge of the fence but they would have none of that.
Pumpkins and squash hang from the fence beneath dense vines with huge green leaves.
You might think the vines would stop there, but they did not. Some went up and over the fence like a green waterfall. Others simply grew through the fence. Now pumpkins, squash and melons grow outside the fence. Who knows what fate will befall these now "free range" fruits. We try to keep them inside a cage for a reason. We have wild neighbors back here. In past years we have found squash bearing coyote teeth marks scattered about in the grass.
This is what our "free range" watermelon looks like right now. I know I have to wait to pick it when it is ripe. The seed package told me that much, but how do I know when it is ripe? Will it still be there when that time comes? Perhaps the scariest question of all is will it stay warm enough for all this bounty to ripen before we get a frost?