Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When Intensive Planting Goes Awry

This spring I had the bright idea to plant a hill of zucchini plants on either end of one of our 4 x 8' raised garden beds with a trellis across the middle of the bed that I would plant sweet peas on either side of. (I'm sure you'll understand that sentence after the third time you read it.)

In a normal (Ha. Ha. Ha.) year, the sweet pea vines (since they were planted much, much earlier than the zucchinis) would have grown tall enough and made their way up the trellis before the zucchini plants got so big. This year these sweet peas, and another trellis of them I have in the field garden, don't seem to have any motivation to grow. I think it's got something to do with lack of sunlight and warmth.

As you can see by the above picture, the monster zucchini plants (no zucchinis, just monster plants) are fast encroaching on the personal space of the sweet peas.

Same bed taken from the other end. The lowly (literally!), little sweet pea vines are actually starting to turn yellow and die. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I took garden scissors in hand and after apologizing to said zucchinis, did a little judicious pruning.

Now at least the sweet peas will stand a chance . . . and I'll know not to try this planting configuration again. Next time around the zucchinis can have the bed all to themselves and I'll forget the idea of the lovely sweet peas rising up in the center.


Fiona said...

Hang in there Mama Pea -- you sound so sad & despondent whenever you write about your garden. I think it looks amazing!! And it's not you -- it's the weather, really! That's been my personal mantra lately :) BTW, I had a similar idea to have my sweet peas trailing above my zukes but they met a similar sad fate (the yellowing though mine eventually died out) and that was before my zukes even leafed out!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Fiona! Guess I need to put a little "spah-kle" into my written word when speaking of the garden 'cause I'm truly not down and depressed but actually quite mellow about it . . . now. I "fought" the weather for a while but then realized that was downright stoopid and am now just goin' with the flow. It's sure interesting to watch the way the different crops are reacting to this crazy weather.

But I am missing my sweet peas. (Sob.)

RuthieJ said...

My zucchini looks about the same--the leaves are huge and the zukes are small. I cut off some of the leaves too in an effort to get more sun where the zukes are so they have a better chance of growing and ripening.

Mama Pea said...

Ruthie - By now I should have made all the zucchini bread and relish I wanted and be tossing over-sized zukes to the poultry . . . but I'm still talking to itty-bitty guys when I walk by telling them they can do it! Reach for the sun (sun? what sun?) and grow!