Thursday, July 3, 2008

Planting in 110+ degrees

It seems strange to be planting things right now when everything else is wilting and having a hard time staying alive. We've had a heat wave this week, so it's been 112-115 with humidity. Hooray. Recently on a trip to Native Seed/Search in Tucson I picked up a whole bunch of native seeds, many of which are supposed to be planted during the monsoon, which is now. Theoretically rain (and big winds) will come, but maybe the rain forgot us this year.

I had gotten these seeds for my front yard native garden which I'm currently working on. I'm removing several island hills of planted (not by me) bermuda grass amidst a sea of big gravel and removing the plastic underneath the gravel. I thought that gravel part would be a little labor intensive but if we plugged away at it, it would get done, as opposed to the Bermuda which will be a several year affair. We got done with moving the gravel and removing the top layer of plastic in most parts of the yard, only to find another layer of gravel and another layer of plastic. This wasn't all bad, as I like this gravel better (it's smaller). However, I'm having a wall built to surround the garden and the wall builders found a THIRD layer of plastic when they were digging. Great. Three layers? Really? Who does that??! Anyway, I can tell it's going to be at least winter season before I'll be able to get planting out front so I started planting squash and black-eyed peas in the backyard.

The squash is Magdalena big cheese which look like funny pumpkins.

Right now it looks like this:
Magdalena Big Cheese Squash Sprouting

The second thing I planted are called Bisbee Red Black-eyed Peas, which will give me these:
Bisbee Red black-eyed peas
I planted them amongst my nearly empty corn stalks. The corn failed this year as the pollen came out just in the middle of a heat wave of 115 degrees.

I hope we get some funny pumpkins! I love plants that make unpredictable fruit. I will save the black-eyed peas for New Years, so we can have a homegrown lucky lunch.


spelled with a K said...

I'd love to grow black eyed peas but I don't think we have heat up here long enough. What do those squashes taste like?

rachelbess said...

This is the first time I've planted them, but this is a blurb I found on the internet about them (off the slow food site): "Resembling a ‘cheese wheel’, Madgalena Big Cheese squash produces large, flattened pumpkin-shaped fruits with deep ribs. Big Cheeses are related to butternut squash and are characterized by burnt-orange skin color and dense, meaty, bright orange flesh with a rich velvety flavor. Magdalena Big Cheese is found in the northern part of Sonora, Mexico where it is used in local dishes such as empanadas."