Monday, July 10, 2006

Peppers everywhere, hoping against blossom rot, the grill: midsummer reflections in the backyard I

I'll admit that as I began my summer vacation, I wondered how much I would enjoy it. For the previous three summers, I had a great job where I traveled all over the country and got paid to do it, (best paying summer job ever.) Unfortunately, it didn't happen this year. It was a great job in that it wasn't just about the travel. I got to be great friends with my co-workers and certainly started feeling a sense of entitlement at having the experience every summer. While I miss it, the regenerative powers of summer have the karma balanced properly.

I'm back on good terms with my backyard. It's all about 200 some square feet behind my condo closed in by a privacy fence, but I'm glad to be reaquainted with it. Staying away from home during the summer can put you in a landscaping hole. A months worth of unchecked weed growth presents the most daunting of tasks, especially for a classic procrastinator such as myself. This summer I'm able to stay on top of the yard and I'm a better man for it.

I've set out about 20 pepper plants and four tomato vines. The jalapenos and Anaheims have been going strong for more than two weeks. I set out the tomatoes a little late, but they look healthy and are filled with green tomatoes. I am wary about several reports of root rot in the area. With root rot, everything looks good until the tomato starts to ripen. Fruit on a plant with root rot will cave in from the bottom about the time it starts to redden. The weather is to blame. This year we've had extended dry spells followed by excessive rainfall, a potential deadly combination for tomatoes. I hope to dodge that bullet.

A return toward mastery of the backyard has brought a reappearance of the grill, actually it's my neighbor's grill, but it's in my backyard. With the overflow of peppers, I needed to use them fast. Fresh salsa didn't make a dent in them. I gave away a few, but they still covered my kitchen counter. It was time for a cookout. I first wanted to do it Friday, but it seemed too rushed. Nonetheless, people started dropping by, it's alluded to here, and the party was on. Saturday rolled around and the cookout was on. I told several people about it and most of them showed up along with a few they'd talked to and I hadn't. Party on once again and all of it spent in the backyard.

Great to back on good terms with the backyard.


Blogger Roch101 said...

You may know this already, but that thing with tomatoes caving in at the bottoms? It happened to mine one year. An application of lime (lightly till it in and water) fixed it for me. Some of the fruit I thought was gone even recuperated.

Blogger Glenn said...

Appreciate the advice. I have heard of that. I've also heard that lime is most effective if you mix into your soil during the winter.


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