After I Finished Bad Mouthing My Brussels Sprouts

After I finished bad mouthing my Brussels sprouts I went down to the garden and started breaking off the bottom leaves to use as a weed barrier. Lo and behold I found tightly formed, aphid free sprouts hiding below. Mid August in the middle of a heat wave and I’m picking Brussels sprouts. Contrarian plants for sure they are. It’s kinda like having a special needs friend. You give them lots of love but you don’t hold any expectations. I looked under the board covering my fall Brussels sprouts seeds and delighted in the row of little yellow BB’s. I’ll nurture them, molly coddle them, baby them along until November and see if I finally get it right. Why do we grow? Because it’s fun 🙂

I found four 8″ diameter cantaloupe hiding under the huge leaves (and weeds) of a massively vining plant. No fertilizer was required here. I treat each mound the same but they don’t all produce the same results. The smaller cantaloupe I found were on a mound that had zucchini last year, and squash bugs. The mound next to it did too and the vines flat out died. The soil is compromised somehow but I don’t know if it has to do with the squash bugs or not. My hippie gardening upbringing tells me to add compost because it’s the probiotics of the earth. Everything can get fixed when the soil has a balance of beneficial and parasitic microbes. My scientific side says I should treat a specific problem with a specific solution. My garden is art. Science is math. I’ll definitely add compost because that’s what I do at least twice a year. It’s free and plentiful. I think I’ll plant zucchini there next year 🙂

My carrots came up already. I was surprised. I only looked under the board to see if there were pill bugs or slugs hiding. It was more like 7 days than 14. Do the people at the seed company know this? Should I let them know? 🙂 Grampa gardeners can get cantankerous. We don’t have time for people’s foolishness. When we get tired, if we don’t sit down, we get grumpy. When I find pill bugs under the boards this time of year I flip the board over again in half an hour, away from the row, to make them leave the area. They can, if left under the board, demolish the sprouts as they emerge from the ground. They thinned my Brussels sprouts to 12″ apart already. Time for some diatomaceous earth.

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