Sling for a Melon Butternut Squash [winter squash]
Leaving a second cup of coffee on the counter, I ducked outside–just to water the containers on the back porch, mind you… Two hours later, I am reheating the coffee in the microwave and wondering how my morning schedule was destroyed.
Watering the pot plants required starting the pump on the pond to refill the empty rain barrel. [We could use a good rain.] Since I already had the hose out and the pump on, I thought I should water the new starts of cilantro in the farm tub and the strawberries I planted last month. Well–I might as well water everything, I thought. The geese were cute as they tried to stay out of my way. I turned a light spray on them to see if they wanted to play but they rebuffed me. The yard is full of goose poo–it became a moral imperative to hose off the stepping stones to the garden so at least one path could take me through the worst of it. Goose droppings are a natural fertilizer, but when they begin flocking, the application becomes a bit overwhelming. Let’s just say there is no croquet in August and September…
The geese are having a regular pool party in our pond. Between breaks in water sports, they come into the yard to gnaw on fallen apples. I would estimate over thirty Canada geese spread out between the back yard and the Chapel garden where the fallen peaches are…
As I watered I noticed squash bugs on the pumpkin vines. I set the hose spray on the herb bed and returned to the lower level of the barn to get the Seven spray. I was wishing I had worn something cooler than jeans by this point, but then I wasn’t planning on staying outside, was I… I put on a Niki terry cloth sweat band that I kept downstairs as my face was beginning to perspire. Back outside, I moved the hose to another spot and began spraying Seven. The large sprayer would not work; I recalled Butch also had trouble with it. So…back inside to get the small hand-held sprayer. I used what was left in it and returned…again…to the garden room in the basement to refill the little sprayer from the big sprayer. Sigh.
As I watered, I spotted more cantaloupe than I thought I had. When I purchased my cantaloupe seed, I think there were winter squash seeds mixed in as I have Butternut squash everywhere. [See vine picture above.] There are so many squash vines, I have given up finding cucumbers. I didn’t believe I had any melons at all but found one vine with two melons on it a few weeks ago. Today, I found four more melons, only about the size of goose eggs. These are hanging from their stems on the rabbit fencing. I have already had squash that have broken from their vines and certainly do NOT want to lose any melons to gravity.
My grandmother would use her old nylon hose to tie up melons and squash–the old-fashion kind of nylon hose. I cannot see using my old panty hose for anything exposed to view but did resort to making slings with recycled plastic bags. If anyone had asked me what I would be doing today, making baby slings for cantaloupe would not have come to mind.
As I turned the spray on the green beans, I looked out at the Chapel Garden and thought the four large decorative planters should be watered as well. As I pulled the hose to fill up the water barrel, I remembered I should pick the tomatoes. While the barrel was filling, I waded into the tomatoes around the squash vines. The barrel was still filling so I filled three buckets in the back of our John Deer Gator vehicle and drove out to the chapel to water the planters. On the way back, I decided to water the pots in the front yard using the lake water and returned to the hose to refill the buckets–then drove to the front yard to water the four planters, two hanging pots on the porch, and the fern in the corner.
I refilled the two bird baths and decided the green beans could wait until later. The bed was newly watered and would be muddy anyway, I reasoned, making my excuse more palatable.
I really did intend just to water the pots on the back porch and finish my second cup of coffee. I’ll just have it with lunch.