We have several gardens that we put together last fall and planted this spring. Prior to our vacation in July, the gardens were producing beautifully on a daily basis. At least as far as the cherry tomatoes go. Those things were crazy prolific. I'm talking three or four dozen tomatoes every day. And they were awesome. I don't know about you but I've never thought store bought tomatoes were all that great. They're okay, but they're fairly nondescript. But these things were downright spicy (comparatively speaking). Long story short, Mister C was thrilled with his daily allotment of cherry tomatoes and I was eating them every time I walked through the kitchen (which is apparently a lot since my weight loss is at a standstill, but that's another story.)
Anyway, other than the cherry tomatoes, the only other pre-vacation producers were the cantaloupe and watermelon plants and there were just a few of those. The strawberries had been fairly choked out by the cantaloupe vines from hell by this point. The red and green pepper plants were about three feet tall and had several small peppers on each plant. The day before we left on vacation I had decided to pick the sole cucumber even thought I didn't think it was quite ripe. My assumption being that since we were going to be gone for nine days it would go to waste if I didn't pick it. It was actually pretty good, although fairly small.
Upon returning from vacation, the first thing I did was head to the garden to see what remained. I gleaned several dozen cherry tomatoes, two cantaloupe and several watermelons. The peppers weren't doing well at all, most of the fruit had rotted on the plant. There were also several cucumbers. Or at least what were supposed to be cucumbers.
Instead of the cucumbers being a nice, dark green and of reasonable size, they were huge, yellow, slug-like things. I'm not even kidding, I was looking at those things trying to figure out where their eyes were. They were downright horrifying. So I pulled them off the vine and brought them into the house for an autopsy.
I've been watching a lot of "Dr. G, Medical Examiner" on the Discovery channel and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing here. So I take my alien cucumber and I make the classic Y incision in it's...chest...in anticipation of figuring out what went wrong with the little bastard. Instead of nice, firm, cucumber flesh, I have mushville (it's a word.) An "off" scent came rolling off the deceased (I can only assume the cucumber was using some sort of illegal fertilizer) almost knocking me off my feet. And then my beautiful Y incision kind of collapsed on itself due to the mush factor. I'll be honest, I didn't see a need to continue the autopsy at this point since the end result was that this particular vegetable was uneatable (and that actually is a word.) So, into the compost it went.
We've now been home for just over three weeks. I've pulled a few more cantaloupes and watermelons off the vines and they've been awesome. Nothing else seems to be producing right now (no berries, no grapes.) The cantaloupe plants current have a half dozen more melons getting ripe which is great, although their vines have gotten much more aggressive. Several of the vines are aiming for the air conditioner (it has been consistently over 100 degrees lately) and one pioneering vine has made it's way over to steal nutrients from my orange tree. But that's not all...
This morning I went out to see if anything was available and after picking another dozen cherry tomatoes, I thought I would check to see if any new cucumbers have shown up. They have...
Thank goodness we have them caged!