Toast, It's not just for breakfast anymore: July 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Problem with Watermelon

Growing a ~50 foot row of watermelons has a serious drawback. Besides the horrible job of weeding the damned things, you have to figure out what to do with about 40 watermelons. And they all ripen at the same time.

Of course it's impossible to eat so many melons in a one month time frame. So this year, we interspersed regular (charleston grey) watermelons with some tiny (sugar pea) 'icebox' type watermelons so we'd have a mix of big and small to satisfy any family in town. That way, we could give them away to everyone, regardless of family size. A good side-effect was that those tiny watermelons produce, I'm guessing, three melons per vine. We've got well over a hundred watermelons sucking up the sun right now, all within a week of being ripe. Check out the difference in the size of the finished products:

Quite a difference! The little ones are a bit hard to find because of the stupid way I planted them among the regular sized watermelons, but they are exceptionally flavorful, and have just a tiny rind.

So what should you grow? Big ones or little ones? The big ones definitely give more eatable watermelon per square foot, but the little ones are pretty cool. Plus, you can grow the little icebox watermelons in a 10 gallon pot, if you're willing to water them every day. It's up to you!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

This is Getting Old

Now it's breaking 100F while being partly cloudy! While friends and family in NJ. MA and Minnesota report ridiculously cool weather, friends in MS, AL, and FL are suffering through equally ridiculous heat... and no rain for over a month. *whine*

Regardless, we've got people showing up in 2 hours to eat some fine barbecued Independence Day brisket, chicken and ribs. It's uncouth to whine at a party, so I'm whining on the internet instead. FWIW, I think we'll all be hanging out inside :).

Happy Fourth!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Bane of the Southern Gardener

The stink bug. So called because it bears the abhorrent scent of cilantro. They make tomatoes un-give-away-able because their stings mottle the skin and make rock-hard bead-like structures beneath it. They make cucumbers grow misshapen. They make bean and pea pods come in missing half of the beans/peas. They even discolor corn kernels if you aren't fast to harvest them.

There used to be a pesticide that would eradicate them - Thiodan. But the EPA, being a bunch of whiny ^%$#@$es, banned it in America four years ago, simply because it looks a little like DDT chemically. No studies. They just said 'it might cause cancer', as if anyone was eating the stuff. The EPA is nothing but a bunch of hippies, which is doubly sad because it was created by Republicans!

But I digress. I'm writing this to let you know that there is a new (~2 yrs old) product that treats stink bugs like the cilantro smelling scuzzballs they are and knocks them out, and then kills them - for about 5 days, rain or shine. Then, you've got to pick all the veggies and spray again.

Bayer Triple Action Insect Killer. Buy some today. I haven't found a bug that it won't eradicate. Buy some now before the EPA randomly selects it for the chopping block.

Update: It works on azaleas and rhododendrons too.

Listen to our anthem

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