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Mid-Atl - Jul 2016 - Wwwwaaaaahhhhh!

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/6/2016, 6:11 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Ah, kids...  They do the darnest things!
Yes....good thing they are cute, otherwise they would be extinct!  LOL!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/20/2016, 9:09 pm

I went on a family vacation near Torrington, CT for a week. I got back Sunday. I expected some bad things:  the bush zucchini died (too much SVB-surgery), the cuke plants are almost dead, the butternuts got CMV, there's bug damage (including a new-to-me pest, the cross-striped cabbageworm,) some transplants/seedlings died, some sown seeds either didn't germinate or didn't survive...

I thought I had left good enough instructions for my inexperienced garden-sitter, but I was wrong. Watering seems to have gone as planned but harvesting sobbing
I checked the garden and went straight to... ...my large winter squash were gone.
Apparently one got harvested like zucchini. I retrieved that one, a Lakota, and it looks mature (skin is hard to fingernail), but I don't if it will keep, and it's not the right color yet. The other - my Tetsukabuto that I was really REALLY looking forward to, was described as having been attacked by a rodent, and the remains chucked somewhere into the grassy wetlands at the edge of the property - so I can't sleuth the rodent size. My best guess is a squirrel dared venture into the fenced in garden due to me not being there frequently enough, and somehow managed to escape without getting stuck in the fence.  Perhaps I have an overhanging branch that should be trimmed.

The vining zucchini got picked very large, and I think the vine is on hiatus for producing female flowers as a result - or maybe it's been the cold nights - several below 55*F... or maybe both. The plant is also quite mildewed, and I pulled another big SVB out of a leaf stalk today; stress doesn't help flowering either.

The Neckargold pole beans didn't get picked (though they are getting obnoxiously hard to reach, even with the step stool provided.) I had them in dinner and I'm amazed they were still edible. When bush beans get that mature I've typically found them unpleasantly/inedibly fibrous.

The cantaloupe didn't get picked, but I suspect it dropped between the last garden-sitter visit and when I came home.

The tomatoes got picked as intended, but the singular Lucky Cross tomato I wanted to taste so I could decide whether to consider the variety for next year seems to have vanished.

To top it off, it looks like someone hit the mailbox. Evil or Very Mad It's propped mostly upright now, but the post needs to be repaired/replaced.
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Post  sfg4uKim on 9/20/2016, 9:29 pm

YIKES!   Shocked

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Post  countrynaturals on 9/20/2016, 9:55 pm

That's a sad story. Sad Somebody should start a garden-sitting service. It would be well worth a few $$ to come back from vacation to a thriving garden.
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Post  sanderson on 9/21/2016, 3:40 pm

Oh my gosh!


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Post  Mimi2 on 9/21/2016, 9:27 pm

I had double back up when I went on vacation- which was lucky. Because when I asked the one lady about how it had gone, she said: It rained lots so I didn't feel the need to water. Yeesh!
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Post  Kelejan on 9/22/2016, 1:02 am

Beetles, that was a disaster for your garden.  It is so hard to get people to look after things as mostly they mean well but do not listen to instructions and often are not reliable anyway.

Many will happily water, but when it comes to harvesting, forget it, unless they are gardeners like us. They do not know that harvesting on a regular basis is as important as watering.

Better luck next time.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/24/2016, 8:03 am

Thanks for the sympathy/empathy, all. I do wish garden-sitting services were a common thing! I know of someone locally who basically gardens for people in their yards, but I suspect I'd just have different problems if I tried to hire him as a sitter because my garden/gardening style is quirky. Row gardens are more common here, especially in my neighborhood. It looks like there was a event or group and they all got the same instructions and have the same fence, but very little walkway between vegetable rows.

There's plenty of good things still happening in the garden, but I've been pouting and having a hard time convincing myself to go out there. I'm trying to psych myself up to go do a thorough watering before the sun comes out from behind the clouds.

I'll eventually get my garden-sitter trained. She has very little gardening experience but plenty of enthusiasm. I talked her through setting up a little SFG this summer and gave her some leftover plants. Her garden has done quite well considering her experience. Since she bought seeds last week I'm pretty sure she's eager to grow again next year!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/25/2016, 6:07 pm

Sorry about the failures, but in the long run, ya gotta go with it, baby!  I had a friend water, but no harvesting late ?July.  Catastrophe for 3 of the tomatoes, too heavy, broke supports, and plant too.  

Plus stuff that turns off unless you are pulling regularly.  Beans especially.
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