We moved into a real house earlier this year, complete with a large back yard and an uncultivated flowerbed on the South side of the house. With all of the new real estate, the girls and I decided to get on the vegetable garden bandwagon and see what we could do. I also wanted to see if I could convince Mini-K, the pickiest eater of all-time, to try a vegetable. All of those ridiculous parenting e-mails I get everyday tell me that kids who garden are more likely to try what they’ve grown. (It’s a lie, by the way. Kid will happily wade in the dirt all day, but absolutely will not try a bite of ANYTHING!)
Mini-K and I went to our local home-improvement store and picked up two cucumber plants, a yellow squash plant, a zucchini plant, a yellow bell pepper plant, and two Gerber daisies (Mini-K’s pick…not quite clear on the “vegetable” aspect of things). We also started growing tomato seeds and banana pepper seeds in little cups in the house. Oh, and we got a pumpkin plant, just for fun.
We bought a little six-inch plastic fence and made ourselves a neat little 4ft square, raised bed. We planted everything in three neat rows, appropriately spaced. We even put one of those wire cones around our fledgling tomato plants, just in case they got tall enough to require some assistance in growing up. We watered for the first week until Mini-K got sick of it. Then we kind of just let things go.
Well…. Our garden grew, and grew, and grew, and GREW. The squash and the cucumber overtook the entire bed. The zucchini, left with nowhere to grow, began growing OUT of the bed. The pumpkin spread out feelers and is now at least 20 feet long. The bell peppers and the banana peppers, well, they are holding on, but I’m not sure how they get any nutrients with the other plants around.
And then we went to England. By the time we got back, the tomato plant had completely toppled over. It’s too top-heavy and massive to even pretend to fit it into the cone and is lying on its side. I have no idea if that is bad, but at some point I’m going to try and figure out how to prop it back up! The squash on the vine was at least 16″ long and 5″ wide at one end. The cucumbers were almost 3″ thick. There is just massive plant mess EVERYWHERE!
On the plus side, our cucumber harvest did enable me to try Idgie’s cucumber salad recipe, and let me tell you, it was absolutely delightful. I ate two entire cucumbers by myself on Saturday.
On the downside, by Halloween we might be looking at a Charlie Brown situation. There’s one pumpkin on our vine and it’s already about a foot in diameter….
We are --
We work hard; we play hard too.
And we drive our husbands crazy --
We can't all be trophy wives.