I've been carrying on about what TS Fay did to our already failing garden, but now it's time to belly up and show some pictures. It wasn't pretty before, but the saddest part for me is that we had beautiful green bean plants, pumpkins, sunflowers and peanuts starting. They were the only plants that were a nice shade of green and actually looked promising. Now even they don't look so hot.
I think I've figured out why we have so many beautiful dragonflies in the garden. Did you know they eat mosquitoes? Yup. They usually eat other flying insects, particularly midges and mosquitoes. The fact that I can't even go out in the garden to weed without being overrun by blood-sucking biting mosquitoes makes me welcome the dragonflies.Back to the plants. Fay's flooding killed off the rest of the tomatoes that were clinging to life. They are just brown sticks now. I do have one tomato plant in a cage that is still managing to grow, but it's not a pretty shade of green at all.
Oddly there are nice green tufts on the carrots, so I'm still wondering if they'll grow into anything. Is it allowed to annoy me that I accidentally planted the carrots out of season and they are the greenest thing in the garden right now? The peanuts look all right, although they aren't great - the sunflowers have yellowed and are drooping. I hold out hope that a few may pull through.
The pumpkins are the worst part for me. They were so green and leafy and promising. Now they look just plain sad. I'm clinging to hope that at least one will pull through. Here's the before and after pictures of my best pumpkin plant.
AfterI did learn something new about pumpkins thanks to a highly credible source on gardening: the Halloween issue of Highlights magazine. They did an article on a little girl who grew a monster pumpkin that won a biggest pumpkin competition in California at 948 lbs. Apparently this little girl has more mad skills than I do. "Amber" says that the best way to get a pumpkin to grow better and bigger is to bury the vines as they grow. She carried buckets of dirt from other parts of the garden and scooped soil around each leaf joint. If the vine stays buried, a new root grows down from each leaf joint and sucks up extra water and nutrients for the pumpkin. She says that the big leaves are like waterspouts that channel water right to the root. I'd like to bring that little girl down here and watch her try to grow a one-pound pumpkin in our death dirt and then I'd send a hurricane or two her way and see how she rolls. Hmph.
Oh, I also read a very interesting pumpkin fact - a giant pumpkin can gain 25 lbs in one day. Fascinating. Not that I'll ever need this tidbit, but I liked it nonetheless.
So there you have it. The best pumpkin advice I've read so far. Highlights magazine. Go figure.