There's an old joke in Louisiana-- Don't like the weather? Wait five minutes, it'll change. Well, it hasn't changed in a while now. I'm ready for my punchline, weather! Almost three full days of rain and strong wind has kept me out of my garden. I almost wish I hadn't gone in this evening, in between bouts of more rain.
The gorgeous tomatoe plants that were pushing 5' tall? They're all 5' wide now, lying sideways thanks to the wind and the fact that even the best cage can't stay in the ground if said ground is so wet it's about three droplets shy of liquid form. I'm learning, though: last year I drove in stakes, and the plants fell over. This year I used cages, and the plants fell over inside the cages. Next year I think I'm going to sink a 4" x 4" decking post two feet in the ground for each plant, and use some big barb wire staples to hold each branch on.
The squash? Loving it. I had squash out there that weighed in at three or four pounds. The problem being, of course, that at that size they're inedible. I had to toss three into the compost bin that were so big I could have wrapped them in newborn diapers and blankets and sold them to ignorant Holloweird stars as black market orphan Chinese babies.
The radishes and beets fared well as did the carrots. I mean heck, the carrots are so frail that a light watering knocks their greens over anyway, and like the beets and radishes all the important bits are already underground. The beans fared pretty well too, since they have all those curly tendrils to anchor them to the fence. I'm surprised the wind didn't blow the fence and all across the field.
The cantaloupes did okay, since they're not big enough to be anything but a mass of small vines, now all blown in the same direction like wet green dreadlocks. Same with the watermelon, only in more of a Parliament Funkadelic fro. The bell, banana and jalapeno pepper plants are all so short and stocky that they fared very well in their little miniature tomatoe cages, so there's a plus, and the birdhouse gourds are no more than three inches tall, so they just bent in the wind like the willow, or something equally Oriental and mystic.
In a very non-Oriental mystic way I almost broke an ankle trying to save myself from falling straight into the avocado plants after slipping in the mud. A couple of times. I guess the one good thing is that even after all the laying waste happened, there was still a pretty respectable harvest.
I'm ready for a dry few days, though, so I can get out there and repair the damage, restake the still-living, wind the cucumbers back onto their fence and maybe till out the five inch deep, size 12E footprints in the mud.