Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The X Garden Update: May 2011

I understand some of Mr. McGregor’s consternation regarding rabbits in his garden. This morning I went out to clean up the X Garden and found Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail enjoying the greenest place on the property during this extended dry period. It looked like they’d managed to gnaw down at least two corn stalks. I’m pretty much at their mercy, I suppose, since they are present every day and I’m not.

We harvested a few more yellow squash, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and one small eggplant – not enough to live on. But hope remains. We planted relatively late, so our production is behind schedule. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Watermelons are just beginning to form on the spreading vines and the bees are doing their part pollinating the plants.

Beans look pretty poor for some reason and we may have crowded our corn plants a bit too tightly. They are still short and the ears that are forming seem small. We’ll have to wait until I return in three weeks for a verdict on that.

Tomatoes are covering the vines, but we have few red ones. Butternut squash are showing up, but are not yet ready to be gathered. The pepper plants are not making a showing yet.

Here’s what I think I’ve learned so far. The irrigation system is perfect (although a connection has popped loose twice and I have had to tape it). Despite less than two inches of rain in three months, the garden remains verdant. The mulching with straw has both preserved moisture and has prevented an outbreak of weeds. That seems to be working. I do believe it would have been good to plant a couple of weeks earlier. And we’ll need to consult a corn expert about density of the crop before having another go with that one.

I’m excited about the watermelons. A dozen little ones are forming; the plants look healthy and green and are covered with yellow blossoms. I’m forecasting an enormous crop. A single good one would be nice, however.

The next X Garden report will come in three weeks.

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