It turns out that the chickens aren't the only things that grew with reckless abandon during our vacation - the garden went ballistic too. I wish I had footage of us all dashing out into the yard to oogle everything we'd left behind. After being beyond shocked at the size of the chickens, we glanced over to the garden and we were all gob-smacked by the size of the plants. Aidan raced over to the garden and was dancing around and pointing and screaming "Look! Look! We grew tomatoes!"
That was the understatement of the year. Not only did the tomatoes grow insanely fast and large, but everything else really packed on the pounds too! When we left we had lots of small droopy sad-looking plants. We returned to the healthiest-looking garden we've ever had.
Now I know what you're thinking. I know this because Farmer B already said it to me. And I quote "Wow - the best thing to happen to the garden was YOU LEAVING!" Well he's right. Apparently the gardening gods noticed that my two black opposable thumbs were far enough away to allow major sproutage and growth to take place in my absence. I'm okay with it, no matter how it happened.
Look at the leeks too! They're very strong and getting quite large. The transplanted leeks are about 1/3 the size of the "original" leeks, but they appear alive, so that's all I can ask for. I feel like these leeks have been in the ground for a year and it turns out that I have no clue when they're ready to be picked. I think the package said when they hit about 1" in diameter, but what if they never get that big? How will I know when it's time? In my world, it's usually time to pick things when they're not quite ready or when they're completely overdone.
The corn is growing well. At least I thought so until I drove out of the neighborhood and saw the garden of my gardening rival "Mr. Miagi," as I call him. His corn is so big and strong that they could film the third installment of Children of the Corn in his garden. I'm convinced he has some magic potion he sprays on the garden late at night, but that's another story.
I have two zucchini plants in the garden that are doing really well and the one on the screened-in patio is outstanding too! I have no clue if the one on the patio needs to be put in the garden for pollination purposes. I'll have to look into that. Although I fear that putting this really healthy-looking plant too close to the garden will be like bringing a lamb to slaughter.
My green beans and peas have started to grow and appear to be thinking about climbing up the teepee and trellises that we set up. I just know that as soon as they start climbing up the teepee and Aidan catches sight of them that I'll hear a crash and a snap as he tries to climb it on his way to reach the ogre. I know this because he talks about it constantly. Daily we have this conversation "Is it big enough to climb yet mommy?" "Um, no Aidan. Don't climb anything in the garden unless you want to see Mommy cry." Repeat this everyday.
My row of Jack Be Little pumpkins is looking healthy, but I think they should have been thinned. I worry they're too close together, but I'm running with it now because they all seem like they're doing fine and last time my problem was not enough flowers for pollination - well that and my complete lack of gardening skills, poor watering plan, craptacular soil, some sort of mildewy disease and oppressive heat.
My one green bell pepper plant managed to sprout a bell pepper while we were gone too. I have to figure out when you can pick these because I don't know much about how bell pepper plants work.
I have a handful of other things that aren't photographed that seem to still be clinging to life, which is a shocker. I have some okra and carrots that aren't dead and I have something green sticking out of the soil in my potato row. I have no clue if it's a potato or a weed. I'm famous for babying weeds like they're a priceless heirloom only to discover it's a big, fat dandelion, so I'm not sure if I have a potato growing or just an evil weed. I'll research this further before I claim potato-growing prowess.