Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Cautionary Tale...

Madam Kjeldsen was right, when I first mentioned the garden she said "start small", but by then I had thrown caution to the wind and planted almost every vegetable known to man.

I particularly counted myself lucky after sampling some Spaghetti Squash and saving the seeds to try growing that as well. As usual click each photo for a better view.

Spaghetti squash is wonderful in that you bake or steam it and then it flakes out just like pasta. Any dish where you use pasta, you can substitute spaghetti squash and it tastes almost the same with fewer calories and lots of nutrients. That said I planted every seed I harvested from the tasty meal and was more than happy when they began to rise from the soil. Visions of wonderful cooking sessions danced in my head and it would not be long now...

Just in terms of an update: The garden is progressing nicely, I pick about two tomatoes daily for salads or sandwiches and Daddy is on the defensive in our competition because I have collected "style points" by planting such a diverse crop. But what has pushed me ahead is that I am already harvesting. Eating is 9 /10ths of winning!

But, dear reader I am on the verge of an ecological nightmare! I started doing a little reading on the Spaghetti Squash and found out it is a monster crop, and I have planted tons of the the seeds I saved!

One man started out with this, which seems harmless enough...

and ended up with this!

One woman even went as far as building a cage for the monster and still could not keep it contained! Another man said he had to daily check his corn to make sure the vines had not attached themselves to his corn stalks. Notice how the vines have grown over the chicken wire and in some places have managed to grow in between the spaces.

And, this growth was from about 10 seeds... I planted at least 30!

My one hope is a suggestion made by another gardener to build a climbing cage so that the vines will go up and not out.

Funny, but I see another visit to the gardening store in my future for chicken wire to build a barrier and a lot of those climbing cages.

And so I end this cautionary tale by repeating Madam Kjeldsen's warning to "start small".


  1. I will never forget when my grandfather planted zucchini...omg... pumpkins too..I didn't think leaves could get that huge nor take over his yard...Looks like u may have a monster being created in your
    I don't know if u have heard of this concoction to help your plants grow- take your eggshells, put in a container and fill it w/water... Water your plants w/it and your plant leaves will be greener ... I would water mine w/that eggshell concoction and not only the growth was great, the leaves were greener... I'm sure this would work on your veggies... a friend told me that mixing eggshells into the soil helps, and keeping that filled jar will keep 2/4 legged creatures away from your veggies.. Hawaiians will keep a jar of water on their lawn to keep dogs off of it...seems to work..

  2. Chrissy,
    I don't have to worry about dogs because I have a privacy fence around the backyard, but the eggshell concoction sounds interesting. So far I'm doing pretty good in that despite the s. squash I have buds for watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, summer squash, two types of greens,loads of carrots, and Alaska shell peas, in addition to corn.

    If the cages do work, the spaghetti squash that is not on one side of the garden can be contained. The barrier should also keep the majority of the s. squash separated from the rest of my crop.

    But, the s. squash is exciting because it will continue to grow through the late fall here in Florida and from the reports I read will last up to six months if stored in a cool place. I will be trying recipes all winter!

  3. Summer squash was a fave of my grandparents..Have u seen where u can plant tomatoes upside down in those hanging baskets? that is truly wild, have never tried it but supposedly it works.If the cage doesn't work how about a trellis?

  4. Chrissy,
    The trellis will be the barrier. I will put up two big posts to separate the s. squash from the rest of the garden and let it grow as much as it wants on it's side of the plot. The cages will be for the one or two that I threw in odd places. It is worth a try because one of the other gardeners said the s. squash will shade out everything else, so if I can keep it under control but wild on one side it will be worth it for all the s. squash I will get. Stay tuned!

  5. They're fantastic.. And already harvesting tomatoes, you lucky thing..
    We have the coldest month of May I can remember, rainy, windy, brrrrr... so no tomatoes yet, but I shall buy a tomatoplant in a pot and some q-qumberplants for the small balcony we have as soon as I'm confident there'll be no night frost.

    Best of luck with the rest of the garden. You are doing really well :)