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Minding the Patch: Taking Advantage of a Lull in the Heat

Weeding seemed to be the best way to take advantage of a not-so-hot day.

Major weeding was on the agenda for Tuesday. During all our recent heat, I really only paid attention to the weeds right near my plants, so I spent about three hours in the patch weeding with Faith (my action hoe) and surveying the situation. I'm done feeling pathetic that my garden isn't anywhere near the level of other people's--they started earlier than I did. Big whoop. And there's two to three months of growing time left (heck--maybe more with the heat we've been seeing), so there's no telling what my garden will look like in September. In any case, I'm working with what I've got and I'm proud of the work I'm doing and the things I'm learning. 

What I learned yesterday is that my strawberry plants are dying. One of the four is most certainly gone and two are in rough shape. I called  from the patch to see if Plant Maven Jane was working. She was not, but they put me on the phone with another employee in the nursery. She didn't say anything about an infestation but instead said it sounded like the plants weren't getting enough water. Since they are perennials, and the folks at Lincoln-Way East will till up our gardens in the fall, I may as well try my hand at growing them in a container at home. In a container, I'll be able to keep a close eye on them. I've been reading up on transplanting strawberry plants, and it isn't best to do it in the hottest time of summer, but it's either now or continue to watch them die. So I know my project for the next day or two.

I noticed that the okra plants got much bigger in the last couple of days, so much so that I had to move a couple cramped ones to other places in the garden. I'm optimistic about the okra, as well as the acorn squash.

While I was working, a fellow community gardener asked if I could use some zucchini. I gratefully accepted, and she handed me two. Two gigantic zucchinis. When I put them in the car, the passenger side dipped about two inches. She said she went on vacation for two weeks and came to find them. I had never seen zucchini that huge before. One's as fat as a mango and the length of a cat. (See photos). The only thing to do with zucchini that ginormous, I think, is to shred it up and make zucchini bread. Dozens and dozens of loaves of zucchini bread. I suspect I'll freeze a couple gallon bags of shredded zucchini. Perhaps I will invent a zucchini Christmas cookie.

Got a good zucchini bread recipe? Or have any tips how I can save the strawberry plants? Send them my way!

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