Before the rains started in a week or so ago, my peas looked like this:
You’d think peas would welcome lots of rain, but a tropical storm is more than even they can use. Follow that up with daytime highs in the upper 80s (30+ celsius), and they quickly gave up. By yesterday they looked like this:
Never has my garden given me such clear signs that It’s Time. I usually nurse the pea plants along, watering every morning even as the foliage fades to light green and the production dwindles. Not this year. Though a few plants still had nice green foliage, there wasn’t a flower to be seen, which means no pods anytime soon. And now our temperatures are supposed to climb into the 90s, so their season is clearly over.
Which means that it’s over for the broccoli, too. I cut the last main head this week, and have been gathering the secondary ones from the other plants, but they too were dwindling in production. They never did all that well; we had a freak week of 90-degree temperatures in March which confused the heck out of ‘em. Even though I didn’t get much from the broccoli, I still managed to freeze a few bags of my spring crop—which is the first time I’ve had enough to do so.
I weighed them—18 ounces of each. Not enough to see us through the winter—or even the summer—but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Good thing I’m not farming to feed the family!
Anyway, my main point here is that for once, I pulled out the spring plants before they became sad and decrepit looking. I still had a little bit of a hard time with the peas. The nurturing side of me hated to tear up and kill these plants I’d babied along from seeds to sprouts. But once I got started, it was nice to clear out all the dead and dying foliage, making room for the summer plants to spread out.
Ha, I just noticed Rosie wandering around in the background. She finds my obsession with the garden strange and boring.
The bed looks pretty boring, now, without the structure of the trellis. Maybe I should put a bench in there. Or a giant metal chicken one of my friends recently found on a road trip.
Miss Chef would probably make me sleep out there if she came home to this!
In truth, my plan is for the squash and beans to fill in that space, though I’m not sure they’ll go the direction I’d like them to. Now I’m also interested to see what this guy will do.
This is the third squash plant, the one I didn’t really want. Since I hadn’t planned for it, I stuck it in the middle of the broccoli, which I knew would be pulled out at some point. Apparently broccoli provides good cover shade, because look at the difference between that plant and this one:
There’s an object lesson on “right plant, right place.” I’ll be keeping an eye on the little one to see if it manages to thrive, now that it’s got its own space. Something of an experiment, though I wouldn’t mind if it continued to struggle, to be honest.
The broccoli and pea plants are now stashed in our compost areas (broccoli stalks are very woody, so they went on the brushpile in the back). But as I was gathering up the pea plants into a bundle to carry them off, I noticed a single plump pod. “Oh,” I thought, “You weren’t quite done.” And then I started pawing through the foliage and found a second and third. And by the time all was said and done, I had one last, tiny, harvest.
And now, it’s time for summer!
Oh, and I’ve also finished up the quarter, with no class scheduled for the summer. I have plans for travel in the next week or two, and then who knows what I’ll get up to? Guess you’ll have to stay tuned.
I went ahead and harvested the two biggest squashes (still babies), and along with the first week’s worth of beans and some chicken from the farmers’ market, I grilled up a delicious, healthy meal for one. (Miss Chef is traveling this week.)
Phew, I almost left you without making you hungry!