My daughter is growing gigantic sunflowers in a bid to win the 'biggest head' in the sunflower category at the county fair. The competition is pretty stiff, and even though she researched giant sunflower seeds, ordered them from some obscure catalogue, planted them early, watered, fed and lovingly cuddled them in her arms while crooning ancient plant-growing ballads, and transplanted them under a full moon, I don't think she'll win.
The problem is, first they had to grow about seven feet tall. Then, about two weeks ago, teeny tiny heads began to appear, and so far, they only look to be regular-sized. Perhaps with sheer luck and a blast of sunshine, they might grow to be gigantic heads. But I highly doubt it.
My tomatoes, on the other hand, are doing quite well. There has been a blight which has killed many local tomatoes, but mine have escaped. I'd like to think that this was due to my sharply honed and refined gardening skills, but I'd be lying. Mostly I think it was due to an overabundance of horse manure-which is magical stuff by the way. But I don't want to be seen as bragging too much about my tomatoes.
Because I mostly want to brag about these:
Never have I produced such an abundance of large butternut squash. We'll be eating those 'till we turn orange, I suppose. Can't wait.
Every summer is a gamble, in terms of vegetable-growing pursuits, isn't it? Ah well, it's not about the glory of winning the giant head competition, or the fabulous eight-dollar prize (yes, that's right, eight big ones-and I think cost of admission is twelve). It's about seeing how much edible stuff you can grow with a minimal amount of effort and and healthy dose of neglect. I'm surprised every year.