So in May we had temperatures in the 80’s for a stretch. I was ready to plant the garden long before the typical date. Now that my melons, which I have tried to grow three years running without success, have been in their beds for a few weeks, we have temperatures in the 50’s at night, every night. Today is was so chilly I wanted to light a fire. If I hadn’t have been too lazy to move the potted plant from the top of the wood stove, I would have.
The melons don’t look great. They are sensitive bastards. They have not grown a whole lot bigger in the past month and one of them looks like it is ready to pass out. Maybe they have been staying up too late since they left the pot. Maybe I was too rough with them when I transplanted them. Maybe it is the cold. And maybe, and I shudder to put this in writing, it is the beetles.
I have not seen any cucumber beetles yet. Why would I? They are perhaps happily munching away at the roots of my poor little melons. Or they might be victims of the nematodes I spread this spring. I won’t be able to tell for a bit. The cucumbers don’t look great either, however. And the pumpkins’ growth has slowed. I was really hoping the beetles would be slain by these tiny little animals. I have not given up hope, but I am thinking the damn hole may not be plugged.
I worked at home today and shivered. I wore a hat–the winter variety. I drank hot beverages. I couldn’t get warm. That doesn’t help with the old productivity. But I got work done nonetheless. I made about a zillion phone calls and that kept me mostly distracted from the 50 degree temperatures. Plus, it was overcast, then rainy, and windy. The highest temperature I saw was 63 degrees. Summer in Vermont.
On Friday night I will wake in the wee hours again and head up to the mountains to see if I can find some birds. Take two. It may be chilly then, but I will be prepared for that, and hiking tends to raise one’s body temperature anyway. The birds like it better when it is warm as well, but they are not as wussy as melons. A few cool nights, a few bugs, and those suckers just can’t take it. I’m going with the tough love approach at this point–no dessert until they start to green up their act. I’m the one whose a sucker when it comes to the birds. They sing to me and I’ll praise them all poet-like. If my melons would sing instead of produce fruit, well, at least then I would get something sweet.