Thursday, July 24, 2008

Aaack! Sorry...

Ooops, didn't mean to disappear on y'all like that! Doggoned hands just get so tired; this is the first carpal tunnel flare-up in a while that hasn't gotten better quickly, and I'm thinking it's because I can't find my wrist braces.

So, it's Kansas in July and it is HOT. I don't mind this too much, since where I come from--Phoenix--it was this hot in April already and has progressed on to the Mouth of Hell Itself by this point. I will take this Kansas relatively mild heat with gratitude!! And um, I will also sing the praises of whomever invented air conditioning. *eyebrow waggle*

Anyhow, summer is supposed to be hot, when it happens in July. BUT what this means for my teensy lil flower-pot garden is daily wilting and some plants dying. The purple flower (a friend identified it as verbena, thanks!) is suffering, the butternut community is down by half, even the jack o'lanterns and bell peppers are starting to wilt more and more. So I give you the above pic, my herb harvest before this latest heat wave hit. Wasn't it lovely?! It became the flavoring in my chicken stock! I didn't even strip the leaves from the stems; I just dumped the stems in whole and let them boil. The stock (and chicken!) tasted great!


Did you know *dismayed look* did you know that fresh herbs have a... um... well... a certain effect on chicken stock?

It turned GREEN!

*blinkety blinkety blink blinkblink*

And now you know I have always just used herbs from my spice cupboard, lol...

Anyhow, the greenness faded some when I strained the herbs out of the broth (thanks be!!) and the chicken was not green at all (BIG thanks be!!) (eeep!), so all is well. The chicken lasted us for several meals and I still have several cups of broth left for making rice... and amazingly enough, the leftover herbs are still fresh in the fridge, waiting for me to dry them.

The mint plant is fading away in this heat, but all the other herbs are still going strong. One of the weeds died... just wilted up and DIED... so its pot of soil went to cover the butternut roots (which regular watering had washed clean, eep). The other weed is happy, lol...

To think I worried about there being enough sunlight for vegetables in that location... the sun moved to a new position (as it does through the year) and all of a sudden the shade is gone for most of the day. It would be okay except for the huge expanse of concrete which glares the heat and light right up into my plants, even long after the sun has moved on and my plants themselves are back in shade.

I haven't decided yet whether to give up on the butternuts--which opened FIVE big glorious blossoms this morning, valiant plants that they are!--and fill the pots with green beans or not. I did rip up a couple sheets of newspaper that were wrapped around a thrift store purchase and use them to mulch the pot; it may be too little, too late, or it may be just enough to make a difference, who knows?

This morning's gallon of water was the fertilizer mix. I'm using Miracle Grow's tomato food since that was all I could find at the hardware store (they had nothing organic) and quite honestly, if anything has a chance of saving these plants, that would be it. When potted plants get two to four gallons of water a day pouring through their soil (it works out to about half a gallon per plant per DAY), they need those nutrients replaced pretty often. I fertilize once or twice a week right now, depending on how sad they look.

I dreamed last night that someone handed me an umbrella and yanno, if I had an extra one, I would CERTAINLY stick it in the butternut pot! lol!

Oh, Dawn, your comment/question about celery? I think it is a springtime plant in most of the country; it does like water, it doesn't like heat. In desert gardens, it is a fall plant. I'll look it up for you in a little bit.

Back later with another post,


  1. Those herbs look so good and fresh. I bet that stock was delicious, despite it's green color - lol.
    I hope you have that carpal tunnel under control, what an annoyance.
    I'm sure any mulch for the butternuts will be appreciated. I had a little butternut growing. It was so cute. Then when I went to look for it, it was gone. Eaten prematurely by some beast. I felt such a sense of loss and hope the little plant can give me another one.

  2. Hi Cindy! It was delicious, lol, just a little disconcerting at first. *wink*

    Sometimes baby squashes will grow for a while and then fall off if they didn't get pollinated. You can tell the difference between female and male flowers because the females have the babies behind the flowers; when the next flower opens, pick a male flower that's on a straight stem (no babies), peel the petals back, and rub the pollen into the center of the female flower. You should get a healthy squash from it then.


So... what do you think?