Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We have reached my former standard operating temperature, highs in the low to mid eighties and lows around seventy. At first this was a shock to my system. After seven months of cool, cold and cool, heat was a strange jolt.

Regular thunder showers have added a steam to the heat that I did not have in the dry desert air of Kihei. It's a jungle up here, a regular rain forest and things have cranked up their growth a notch. Perfect timing for potting up tropical Alocasias and Colacasias.

After my impatient impertinence of planting out warm season vegetables on a frigid Mothers Day and waiting and waiting, the plants have finally begun to grow. They are still dwarfed by the wildflowers that protect them. There is a nice mowed grass hill across the road that allows me this aerial view of the garden.

I have not grown a dedicated "vegetable garden" in over fifteen years and certainly not in this climate zone. This will be a learning year. There is room to expand in the future, but I would always leave it encased and protected in a necklace of wildflowers for the vibrant and balanced insect population it will generate. They can keep each other in check and any insect problems can be dealt with on an individual basis.

Another form of protection may be a work in this garden. A split rail fence on one side is hardly adequate to keep out any varmints of which we have plenty potential diners; deer, turkey, voles, wabbits, possum and raccoons, to name a few. The fence was intended to keep out the cars.

There has been zero sign of vegetable disturbance so far. I am hoping some other force is at work here. I hear the coyotes often enough and I see their tracks almost daily in the cut bank along my driveway. I believe we are on the regular nightly route. There are at least three maybe four owls that live in the vicinity. I have seen hawks, Peregrine Falcons and bats. The ravens abound. Domestic cats have been spotted on a recurring basis. We always try to feed them. Someone here wants a kitty. Stories abound of Bobcats and even a cougar. No not that kind of kitty.

A few days ago I found some intestines and a speck of fur along my drive. Something ate somebody.

So far the vegetables are safe. We'll see what happens as they grow produce. The first yellow squash have set. Flowers are forming on the still fairly small tomato, pepper and cucumber plants.

Despite the threat of the coons, I went ahead and seeded sweet corn between the cantaloupe in the foreground (a second planting, the first batch died of hypothermia) and the Hubbard squash in the second row. Maybe I'll get me some sweet corn and maybe I won't.

I've been picking spinach and lettuce. The radishes bolted after only eating a few. The sugar snap peas have decided to grow. The broccoli is gaining some heft.

It just takes a little steam to get the vegetable garden cooking.


chuck b. said...

Add some beet greens to that salad!

Every year is a learning year in a vegetable garden.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your veggie garden sure looks good. The mulch is doing a good job keeping the weeds at bay. Steam is good for veggies from seed to plate.

Anonymous said...

Great job on the veggie garden. I hope you beat the raccoons to the corn. I am still reeling from that line 'Something ate somebody'! Ick! Gotta love nature.

Christopher C. NC said...

Yes Chuck, beets. I will need to do some root crops for winter storage. Next year the garden will be bigger when I know more about how things are going to go down here.

Lisa the mulch has reduced the weeds by 95%. I do a little hand weeding in the rows and anything that may come up through the mulch.

Layanee it is a jungle up here. I was sitting on the deck one day when a Peregrine Falcon swooped in and snatched a smaller bird in the bird feeder area.