I think the blog needs a name change, to “Weeded.” Or rather, “Unweeded.” Did I actually do weeding last year? I can’t remember, but I don’t think I let things get this out of hand. Of course, things didn’t start this out of hand last year either. I hope I’ll get a few carrots from between the clover and pigweed and grass. I hope I’ll get a few heads of garlic, too. (Some scapes have finally appeared–yay!–so at least I shouldn’t have too terribly long to wait until I can find out.)
I didn’t actually tie up the tomatoes when I said I would; I was too indolent and hot, and then it rained and so on. The usual. Also when I get home these days I change into shorts and it’s annoying to have to change into long pants to go out into the garden to guard against mosquitos, especially since neither of the two pairs of maternity jeans I have particularly like to stay up, even at this late stage, and nothing thinner will keep out the mosquitoes. So I went out to do it today. Idiotically, I didn’t change into jeans. “It’s not very late,” I reasoned, “so maybe they won’t be out very much. I’ll only go out long enough to tie up the tomatoes and come back before I get so hot that they can find me easily.” Idiot.
I should probably learn my lesson about tying up tomatoes and just lay out the cash for some halfway decent cages. At the least, I should have tied them up earlier, before they and the parsnips blew up. My clump of parsnips in bloom is a gargantuan joy, but it’s now impinging on the tomatoes and the strawberries and has thrown pollen everywhere. You can get some idea from this picture, but it was taken two weeks ago and it’s grown as much as the weeds in the intervening time:
So the tomatoes are all big and sprawling, and the parsnip branches are bending over them, and the beans I planted by the tomato stakes have shot upward, and the weeds are tickling my calves. I started out with the tying and realized that I wasn’t going to have enough twine to finish the job. I couldn’t stop myself from pulling weeds, especially the ones in the strawberry bed which I weeded clean not long ago, even though it was clearly hopeless, which increased my time. I couldn’t step across the raised bed and going around meant I had to take extra time to pull the twine tight. The tomatoes are used to being on the ground now and I had to tug them upright. I was on my second row when I tugged too hard and heard a crack. I wailed, “No!” but it was too late; I had snapped off most of a tomato plant. Then when I faced this fact and pulled at the snapped-off top I ripped the rest of the plant out of the ground, losing any possibility of getting the plant back on its proverbial feet later in the season. I suck so much.
And the mosquitos weren’t leaving me alone at all, of course. After tossing the tomato plant in the compost bin (which is surrounded by tomato volunteers; I suppose I’ve got replacements for the one I pulled, whichever it was–I have them written down but I don’t care enough to look it up) I tied until I ran out of twine and went inside. I did pick four fat cucumbers before I went, so it wasn’t a total loss.
I’m dangerously close to giving up for the season, though. How am I ever going to keep up with the weeds? Are my tomatoes going to be any good if I can’t keep them off the ground? Is my pregnancy-induced immunosuppression causing my numerous mosquito bites to become big pancakey welts or have the mosquitos actually gotten more toxic? Is it reasonable to pretend I don’t have gardens anymore–or at least do no more than harvest whatever survives–and kill everything in the fall and put down grass?