[gardeners] this morning

Margaret Lauterbach (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 08:44:06 -0600

My first outdoor excursion of the day is usually to pick up dog poop.  He
goes with me to see if I can find it all, and after using one area for
months, he makes a deposit at the other end of the yard.  Husband has been
cleaning out tool sheds and garage, and this morning I wondered what it was
he had dropped in the path.  It looked like a squeegee blade.  Yikes!  It
had tentacles.  Biggest slug I've ever seen, about 8 or 9 inches long!
Eeeuuuuwwww.  Cut it in half with the poop shovel, then buried it in what
used to be the Yukon Gold row (I dug those already)I didn't exactly make
rounds in the garden, partly because I planted it in such a way it's tough
to get from one area to another.  But I have finally figured out how to
plan the garden prior to planting time.  

We use soaker hoses, and you're not supposed to exceed about 100 feet of
soaker hose per connection.  We used to lift them in the fall and store
them on the kiwi arbor (the kiwi vines died with my blessing after I found
out the blossoms would frost and we wouldn't get fruit anyway), but sorting
them out in the spring was quite a hassle.  My garden is a long triangle,
about 40 feet deep at one end, 6 feet at the other.  The soaker hoses are
accordingly different lengths.  I finally have the record of what hoses go
where, so I can plan where I plant.  Furthest west are two hoses (one
connection), next are two more that connect from the south side of the
garden instead of the north, etc.  

In making my rounds, though, I found we have three zapallo del tronco
squash ready to pick, and the plant is making a run.  Zapallo has never
done that to me before.  It really likes its present location, though, in a
small garden to the east of the regular garden.  It shares that with a
single zucchini survivor, that is not exactly overwhelming us with squash.
Also, early morning shafts of light into the tomato jungle speared a red
blob.  A ripe tomato!  Voila!  First one of the season.  Day before
yesterday, I saw wasps gliding through that jungle, seeking small tomato
hornworm larvae for their nests.  (We had no tomato hornworms last year
except for one lost soul who ate much of a tomatillo without discovering
his mistake.  He shoulda asked directions).  

Now I've got to whet the machete and clear a path through the tomatoes that
have overgrown the main pathway to the south side of the garden.  Sigh.
Temperature is fine now, probably in the 70s, but will get up to 100 or so
this afternoon.  Boo slugs!  Yay fine days!  Margaret