Tag Archives: Zucchini

Adventures in Gardening Part 32 ~ Goodbye Zucchini & Cucumbers

I have been so busy working on the inside of my mom’s house that I’m afraid I’ve neglected a few things on the outside ~ my garden.

And specifically my zucchini.  Just look at the size of these babies!I had to place that yardstick in the photo with them just to try and show how freakishly humungous they are ~ 20 inches!  But you still can’t really tell.  And they weigh a ton.  Heck, I could club someone to death with these things.  Not that I would mind you, but you get the point.  😉

Well these massive mutants will be the last two of the season because I decided to clear all my zucchini plants out of my garden.  I have bags and bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer for later use, and have eaten my fill of them otherwise as well.  I am very pleased with the bountiful harvest of zucchini I’ve had, but it was time to say goodbye.

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Once I got them all cleared out I was able to get a better look at some of the poor plants that had been crowded out by them for most of the growing season.

Look at this sad scraggly broccoli plant.It’s probably not going to produce anything, but it was still alive so I couldn’t bring myself to pull it out.  It wants to live!  😀

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And look at my beensie little carrots.  The poor dears never got enough sun to fully develop properly.~

My poor celery will be so relieved to be out from under the shade of those giant zucchini leaves.  I hope they perk up a bit now.~

Also, with the zucchini out of the way it’s nice to be able to see (and smell) my rosemary again.  Mmm…~

Even despite the zucchini crowding it, my jalapeno plant is still growing happily and producing its spicy little gems.I found a few new recipes online and made some jalapeno cheddar parmesan cornbread muffins and a different sort of jalapeno poppers.  Both were quite tasty.  🙂

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My bell pepper plant that was nearly destroyed by a storm a while back, still has one stalk that refuses to give up.  There is a nice big pepper on it that I’m anxiously waiting to have turn yellow.And new little ones are forming on it as well.I sure hope no more storms come along.

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I’m excited to see that my onions are poking up out of the soil and are almost ready to harvest.~

And my champ of a strawberry plant still has tasty little berries consistently coming, but it’s producing much smaller fruits now.~

I also have small bunches of tiny tomatoes growing, but I don’t think they’ll amount to much.  I just do not know what is the deal with them, they have not met my expectations at all.  😦~

Of course it doesn’t help that the naughty thieving squirrel is still raiding my produce at will and leaving his half eaten evidence behind.

And just look what the absent minded little beast is doing to my mom’s lawn looking for his nuts.  There are tons of holes like this all over her yard…

Here’s one of your stupid nuts you idiot!Found this in one of my pots and I’m stealing it as payback to him for stealing all my stuff all summer.  Starve this winter you horrible little creature!  Muwhahaha!  😉

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I also pulled out all of my cucumber vines.  They were looking mighty haggered and weren’t producing any new cukes, so I harvested the last of whatever cucumbers were still on the vines and said farewell to them as well.

My garden box looks sort of bare now…Especially compared to before, but it feels really good to have it all cleaned out, and I did enjoy a wonderful bounty of cucumbers and zucchinis while they lasted.  🙂

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The various blooming things around my garden are at a bit of a quiet stage at the moment, even my begonias have lightened to a softer shade of pink.~

But there are a few things blooming outside at my apartment that other tenants planted earlier in the spring that are looking lovely, so I snapped a few photos of them this morning.

Blue morning glories against a glorious blue morning sky.  Ahh sooo pretty!

And a creamy white Zinnia nestled in among some pretty pink Snapdragons.

Oh I do so love blooming things!  ♥

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It was really nice to spend time outside in my garden today.  Even though it was quite a bit of work, it was relaxing work ~ unlike the remodeling project going on inside.  😉

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 28

Everything is going well in the garden.  🙂

In fact… it’s a jungle out there!Haha it just looks like a mass of green foliage ~ you can barely tell where one plant ends and another begins from this angle.

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But upon closer investigation…

You can see that my pepper plant is growing nice and strong, and is completely packed full of peppers!~

And I’ve got tons of jalapenos too!  Although you can’t really tell from this shot. It’s getting quite difficult to get in there for photos because everything is so crowded.  🙂~

My cucumbers are exploding and flourishing upon the new lattice panels and wiring my sis and I put up.  There are so many little cukes developing all over these vines, it’s absolutely wonderful!~

We’ve been eating lots of them too ~ such a tasty treat!~

Unfortunately some critter has been sampling some of them too.  I found these two casualties laying discarded underneath my trellis.  😦  I was pretty ticked off about this too because just the day before I had decided to leave these two on the vine for just one more day to grow, and then I go out to pick them and find that something nibbled off the skins and ate the insides, then left the rest for the bugs to come and feast upon as well.  Grrr…~

And I’m afraid my tomatoes are in trouble.   I’ve never dealt with this before and I’m not sure why this would happen, but I think they’ve got something called blossom end rot.  I’ve been reading up on how to remedy it, so I hope I can.  Wish me luck.  Ew these look disgusting…~

But my beans are coming right along.  Although I don’t think they’re getting enough sun because their leaves are lightening a little.  Also, I had expected them to be ready to pick by now and they’re just not plumping up very much. ~

I blame the zucchini.  It’s such a garden hog.  But it’s hard to complain when we’ve been gobbling up zucchinis galore!  And if you’ve been reading my gardening posts, you know of my love for zucchini.  🙂
We’ve been eating them up so quickly in fact that I don’t even have a photo of one to show you…

(insert zucchini photo ;))

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And two blooming beauties that are at peak right now..

My mom’s wonderfully fragrant phlox ♥Happy birthday Mindi! ♥

And her hostas  I swear I’ve never realized or appreciated the loveliness of hosta as much as I have this year…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 27 ~ Crazy Cukes & Zukes

I can’t control my cucumbers!  My little A-frame trellis, although a clever device, can’t contain them.  I probably should have only planted them on one side of the trellis so they could grow up and then over the other side, but I was greedy.  I wanted as many cucumbers as possible growing in my little garden so that I could maybe get enough to can some pickles.  I also wanted to plant at least two different varieties so I could see which I liked better ~ not all cukes are created equal, and there are tons of varieties.

As it is, they now have nowhere to go once they reach the top of the trellis and will get too crowded if I allow them to grow over the other sides.  They are also growing outward horizontally trying to take over the rest of my garden, and hanging out over the sides of my box with nothing to cling to.  Don’t get me wrong… as I said, I want as many cucumbers as I can get, so it is a good thing that they are growing so well, but it also means I have to come up with something so they can continue to grow happily and healthily, and without taking over the rest of my tiny garden.

It’s been hella hot here and I hate the heat.  But what did I do?  I picked THE hottest day out of the bunch (102, which is not common here in Minnesota) and built a contraption to try and help my cukes along.  I enlisted the assistance of my sis (my partner in crime and gardening adventures ;)) and together we came up with a temporary solution.

It’s interesting the way your mind sorts through things and the ideas that come up when trying to figure out something.  Because it was so hot outside we wanted to find something that would be fairly quick and easy to do, but also something that would be a good solution and look semi nice.

So we popped into home depot and picked up a couple of wood lattices and tacked them to the sides of my garden box.  Then we took some of the leftover wire that I had from building my trellis and draped it over the top and down the sides along the outsides of them…

The thought is, that now they can grow up through the top, spread out over, and go down along the outsides.  They can also grab onto the insides of the lattice and then go through to the outsides and go up or down from there.  Hopefully this will do the trick.  I’m sure I’ll have to putz with them quite a bit to try and train them up in the way they should go so when they are old they will not depart from it.  😉  The little buggers really do have minds of their own.

A huge thanks to my sis for helping me with this.  It was unbearably hot out there and she hates the heat even more than I do.  Over the years she has taught me so many things and helped me with (and through) a lot, this is just one more thing to add to the list, but it is not taken for granted and is greatly appreciated.  She’s the best big sis in the whole wide world!   ♥

Here are just a couple of the gazillions of cucumbers that are growing on my vines…

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And I’m sure this guy (along with his friends and relatives) are one thing helping those gazillions of cukes along.  Sooo happy to see bees in my garden!  🙂~

In the subtitle of this post I also mentioned zukes and this is why.  Found this bad boy hiding under one of my zucchini’s giant solar panel leaves…My arms aren’t long enough and I couldn’t zoom out far enough to even get the whole thing in this photo.  So I laid in on the patio table, but you still can’t tell how big it is…When I brought it inside to show my mom she rocked it in her arms like a baby and kissed it!  Haha!  Guess who is making zucchini bread?  THIS girl!  🙂

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Aside from my crazy cukes and zukes, in other gardening news…

I was excited to see my first bell pepper developing!  I didn’t even notice as I was snapping this shot that there was a little visitor there on the stalk next to it.  That would have freaked me out!  I can’t tell what it is, but hopefully he’s one of the good guys…~

And speaking of peppers, I was also excited to see a few little jalapenos growing too…~

Look at my beans!!!  Not so tiny anymore.  I can’t wait to eat them!~

On the blooming front…

One of my garden’s companions.  Yep, it’s just an ordinary Marigold, no big deal, but I thought it was pretty.  🙂~

Found some sweet, pretty little buds developing on one of my mom’s phlox.

And one of them on the other side of her house is blooming…~

Gosh, who knew Hosta were so lovely…~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 25 ~ First Pickin’s

♫ “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.” ♫

Just picked my first zucchini!  It’s a bit odd shaped, but I’m sure it will still be yummy, and I can’t wait to eat it!  There are TONS more out there growing too ~  maybe those overly gigantic leaves of theirs act as some sort of solar panels.  😉~

I also picked my first handful of lettuce and used it in the BLT’s my mom made for supper!  It was pretty tasty!  And not an ant or an aphid were to be found.  🙂~

Finally… the first blooms on my jalapeno peppers.~

And look!  My cucumbers are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and hanging down through the trellis.  That’s gonna make for some easy pickins later.  It’s not so easy however, to get them to climb properly up my trellis.  I have a feeling they are going to become somewhat of a jungle and get completely out of control over time.  But hey, as long as they yield me some delicious cukes, I’m not gonna complain!   ♫ “I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” ♫  ~

Here are some colorful coleus that I have growing in one of my pots.  So pretty!~

And I noticed today that one of the varieties of Hosta that my mom has growing is starting to develop buds ~ looks like these are going to be a pale pinkish lavender color.  How lovely… ~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids

Ah geez just when things seemed to be going so well…

Absolutely gorgeous day, feeling on top of the world, humming to myself as I putter around my plants, lalalala… wait!  What’s this?!  ANTS!  Tons of them!  Everywhere!  Eek!

And what do you suppose there are all crawling on?

My beloved zucchini!!!  Grrr!~

I decided to dig around a bit deeper to try and check to see just what the heck they are doing crawling all over my zucchini and noticed it’s mostly on, in, and around the blossoms.But yeah, no idea what they are doing or why…

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So I go to my laptop and start looking stuff up on the Internet.  Conflicting information.  Something that I didn’t know ~ ants are good pollinators.  Really?  I’ve never heard that before.  Hmm.  So does that mean it’s good that they are on my zucchini?  Something about that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Something I did already know ~ ants are a sort of aphid farmer, but when I looked around I didn’t see any aphids on my zucchini.

But I did find some on my lettuce… Looks like whole families congregating and attempting to suck the life out of my lettuce!

And sure enough… there were ants on my lettuce too.  Lots of them…Yeah, lets have us a salad shall we?  A salad of ants and aphids = YUCK!

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I viciously sprayed them with the water hose immediately after taking these photos.  Not the right time of day for it, but there was no way I was going to let those ants and aphids just have their way with my plants for even one moment longer!

So now I need to decide what if any other actions to take.  I have my garlic pepper spray, but I don’t know if that will work.  Guess it won’t hurt to try.  I am open to any and all suggestions anyone might have…

On the bright side, I found my first cucumber!  It’s so tiny and cute!And somewhat alien looking.   😉

And there are lots of little curly tendrils developing for them to grab onto the trellis as they grow… Is it too early to start hoping for enough cukes for pickles?  🙂

Hope is always a good thing!

I also hope I win this battle in the attack of the ants and the aphids…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 22

Looks like we’re finally going to get a few dry days of weather here.  Just in time for the weekend.  I know what I’m gonna be doing ~ gardening!  🙂

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It’s so fun to see what’s new in the garden from day-to-day.  Now that the bugs have calmed down, that is ;).  When I went out to check on things today I was so excited to find a little Roma tomato growing on the vine!~

And there are blossoms on my beans!  Lots of them!~

On my bell pepper too!~

My zucchini is totally dominating this corner of my garden!  The leaves are so huge, it’s unbelievable.  When a friend stopped over today she even commented that she’d never seen them so big before.  Guess they’re happy!   I know I am!  🙂~

Remember those scraggly Impatiens I rescued?  Well it looks like they’re doing just fine in their little pot in their shady spot.~

I didn’t even know that my mom’s yellow lilies have been blooming for a while now out near her mailbox.  Guess I don’t go out front often enough, I almost missed seeing this bright lovely.~

And I thought her Mallow were long gone ~ it’s been quite a while since they’ve shown themselves in her flower bed, but I found this one blooming today.  So delicate, light and airy…~

Have a wonderful weekend and “may all your weeds be wildflowers!”

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 21 ~ In Between the Rain

It’s been storming and raining a lot lately which makes it a bit tricky to get out in the garden, but today while there was a break in weather I went out and poked around out there for a little while and was very pleased by what I saw…

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Man, I do love me some zucchini and was so excited to find this little bad boy shooting out from under the giant leaves of one of my zucchini plants!  There’s tons more developing too!  This makes me one happy gardener!  🙂~

And my one lone strawberry plant that I bought on impulse and stuffed into a random pot sure is happily doing its thing!  It was hard to even get all of the action going on with this little plant into one shot.  Too bad I don’t have more room in my garden so I could grow more of these.~

Everything else is doing well too and I’m just so glad.  It was rocky there for a while with the bugs bugging.  There is still evidence of them here and there, but nothing like the destruction I was dealing with earlier.  Hopefully it stays that way.

My Bee Balm got a little damaged by some of the strong winds we had a few days ago and lost one of its main stalks, but the rest of it is still blooming away beautifully…~

And my English Lavender is now blooming too.  Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE lavender?!  😉~

There are two different yellow flowering perennials that I put in for my mom ages ago and don’t remember what they are, but look at how bright and beautiful their blooms are…

Anyone recognize either of these?

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I noticed a couple of little mushrooms growing in my garden too.  I know they’re a fungus, but they’re still pretty cute.  It’s supposed to continue raining throughout this next week, so I hope my garden isn’t getting too much moisture.  That could cause all sorts of other problems.

But I’m gonna try not to worry about the “what-ifs” of tomorrow, and for now just enjoy the beauty of the present.  🙂

~Gardening is my therapy~