This year I ordered the seeds for the garden. I ordered things we actually like to eat. I was clear that ordering novelties was not the most practical approach to feeding ourselves. I wanted to avoid a bumper crop of something we disliked that we would have to lob at passing cars because absolutely no one would eat them.
I ordered lemon cucumbers. We like cucumbers. They are good in salads. Tzatziki is good.
The seeds germinated, plants appeared. Plants started to take over the whole bed. I would tell Dagwood how well the squash were doing. His reply, "You mean the cucumbers?" Yes, I mean the squash plants. Back and forth....cucumber, squash, etc. He was adamant that his was the correct way of refering to the plants in question. I didn't agree. Cucumbers are squash. Cucumber and sqaush are cucurbits, whatever.
If you must know, Cucurbitaceae is a plant family commonly know as melons, gourds, or cucurbits and includes cucumbers, squashes, luffas, melons and watermelons.
No matter what you call the dang things, they are growing like crazy!
My approach to growing things in Albuquerque has never been scientific, based on research, gleaned from books, approved by other gardeners (namely Dagwood) or sensible in any way. It has generally been wrong-headed, hard-hearted and some might consider it cruel.
I like to think I am a good gardener. I want to nurture the plants. I want to eat fresh tomatoes and have big bunches of basil.
Here's the problem. Historically, I haven't really spent any time doing any gardening. To be honest, the only real gardening activity I engaged in was of questionable value. I figured, since we live in the desert, and plants do need water, that the more water you applied the better. I was truly committed to watering the plants-- in as short a time as possible. So, I would turn the water on maximum pressure and water the shit out of those plants. Dirt flew from the pots, plants bent over double... it was what Dagwood refered to as a plant beat-down. I can say this now, but mimicking hurricane conditions on a daily basis may not be a nurturing behavior.
My approach to gardening caused some domestic disagreements. Dagwood pleaded for the plants. I continued the beat-downs.
After much discussion, we agreed to select one gardening book for advice. And I swore to abide by the suggestions and strategies outlined in this book. We built raised beds with a drip irrigation system and customized screens to protect the plants from the hell beasts (namely our pets).
It seems to be working!