Thursday, August 18, 2016

Impressive Squash Vines

The current status of our two hills of squash and pumpkins is impressive.  A single hill of  Waltham Butternut squash containing three or four plants is growing through the fence and across the center path.  We claim no responsibility for the vigorous growth as it is entirely weather related.  Planted during the first week in June, dry weather necessitated carrying water to keep the seedlings alive.  Growth was stalled but the plants did cling to life.  Then the rains and hot daytime temperatures ruled.  Fruit is just now beginning to form and we enjoyed our first meals featuring stuffed squash blossoms.  Actually it was stuffed pumpkin blossoms.  Pumpkin blossoms are a deep appealing orange while the squash blossoms are a weak anemic yellow color.

The view from the opposite corner shows the state of the potatoes and next season's garlic bed.  What appears to be bare ground is actually heavily covered with emerging weeds.  This would have been where the corn grew but we did not bother to plant in light of the grossly unfavorable dry weather.  The missed potatoes have been dug and screened compost has been spread.  We will continue to stir the soil intending to kill the new weeds.

Our grand plan is easy to see now.  Planting beds are five feet wide and eighteen feet long.  Stone filled paths are three feet wide and end five feet short of the end fence.  The reground bark mulch filled central path is four feet wide.  Path stones are so few in number here that we were forced to use bark mulch.  This great difference in soil components between this garden and the garden near the house points to glacial deposition at slightly different times under different conditions.  Soil here contains more clay and far fewer stones than the main garden.  There sand and broken stone chips are dominant soil components.  An advantage of the clay soil is that it holds water longer between rainstorms.  Our house would have been built into the bank between the garden and the pines if money had been limitless.  Here electric power is far away and the driveway more than one half of a mile long.  Still, an earth bermed solar heated house here would have been a wonderful place to live.  When age related decline forces us to live elsewhere, we may retain ownership of this land near the ridge and use it as a camp.

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