Those of you, who read our ramblings, surely remember our recent post about the "volunteer" Butternut squash that took over Peggy's new garden bed, as well as a chunk of our back yard play area.
We deliberately planted all kinds of things in our regular raised bed gardens, then worried and prayed and sweated and toiled over all of them, and for all of that, they did manage to give us a few measily bits of produce. We didn't complain. Now, meantime, here comes this interloper, uninvited, who not only pranced all over Peg's 'shade' garden, but then hogged the whole thing, and meanwhile, while we kept a jaded eye on it, as to its intent, it started making tons of squash. This was last month; it's still producing big luscious beauties! These volunteer invaders are, far and above, the best producers in our whole yard. Now, we are casting a jaded eye on our regular raised garden beds, wondering their intent. We have some bell peppers, who are...well, I suppose, doing the best they can. We got no cucumbers outa da deal this year at all...not one, for all our efforts. We got a few green beans.
Now as far as July, one of the hottest months down here in the south, we are not sure about the squash. The heat does seem to be hurting their lush leaves and stems, so they are slowing down a little bit in their zeal, and maybe a little disturbed that I had to take back some of my lawn with the mower.
They do have a little competition from the far raised bed, too. The yard long ('asparagus') beans are starting to produce, (they are a new item for us) and the longhorn okra stalks are slowly working their way up to the sky, where, from there, they will (should) put out some beautiful flowers, followed by the long, pale green okra. Getting a little ahead of myself there, and that will all be for another update, later on.
So, getting back to the point, here is a "squash picking video" from our THIRD picking.
This was our first picking:
And this our second.By the time we took this picture it became obvious that my ol' digital camera had finally had it, so we retired it and went with a new video/still camera for future stories. It made the video and the following pictures of the last picking,
and one of the many meals we got from some of these, now, Wonderful volunteers.
As the Summer starts and, sadly, the squashes begins to retreat, we are happy to report that this invader didn't "squash" every thing in the garden. A few things survived the onslaught, like this lavender chiffon hibiscus, that Peggy has been daily uncovering from the shady squash leaves, and has just bloomed next to the croton, which has increased it's size four-fold. I didn't think this was possible, but our Rosemary, didn't make it this time. Next time we'll have to be more diligent with another 'her'.
As the uninvited volunteer withdraws, as quietly as 'he' came, who knows what else may be hiding under his large squashy leaves? The giant Invader from the Compost Pile had his day in the sun. And to this we say, "Well done...you are welcome back for dinner anytime."