Frugal Gardening Update – First Day of Summer!

***Don’t forget to check in with Smockity Frocks (The Importance of Compost) and Getting Freedom (Summer Planting) this week.***

Happy Summer, everyone!  Were you out in your gardens on the longest day of the year yesterday?  I was, and this is what I saw.

This monstrosity, whatever it is, has taken over a large part of the garden.  This is what I mean when I tell you that some of our most prolific plants are ones we don’t plant at all! I nearly pulled it up a week ago, because although it was so big and beautiful and flowering, I only saw male flowers.  (Is that right?  The male flowers don’t have the fruit/veggie attached?)  Then today I got a close up look:

What do you think they are?  I’m hoping for pumpkins!  (I know it’s not zucchini, thank goodness, because I have tons of that already!)

I also picked our first lettuce today!  Look at how pretty it got after I pulled the weeds!

I’ll admit it.  I’ve never grown lettuce, so I had to search on Swagbucks to make sure I was doing it right.  From what I gathered, if you’re careful to not pull the whole plant, more lettuce will grow after it’s been picked.  Is that right, veteran gardeners?  Here’s what mine looked like when I was finished.

I also read that it’s best to pick it first thing in the morning before it wilts in the heat.  I set the leaves in a big bowl of water and swished them around a bit, then let it sit for awhile.  When I pulled the lettuce leaves out, a bunch of the dirt had sunk to the bottom, so I dumped the water and filled it up again.  I don’t have a salad spinner, so laying the leaves out on a towel is gonna have to do for now.

Well, what do you think of my mystery plant?  Pumpkins?  (Please tell me it’s pumpkins!)  Did I harvest my lettuce correctly?  What does your garden look like this week?


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  1. I definitely say pumpkins!! And…my grandpa always picked his lettuce early in the day for the very reason you mentioned.

  2. I think they’re pumpkins. They look just like ours did a few weeks ago.

    Thanks for hosting. I love seeing what others are growing each week.

  3. charity crawford says:

    The lettuce looks beautiful! Hope you got pumpkins to love some roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh pumpkin pie.

  4. I’m not sure about yoru mystery plant but isn’t it early for pumpkins? Maybe it’s just early in my area because it gets too hot this time of year. As for the lettuce, when our spinach was growing I did a search and read the same thing. Just pull what’s ready and not the whole plant and it will keep growing more leaves in turn producing more. Our garden is overtaken by watermelons and cucumbers. LOL

    • Well, they’re really small right now, so hopefully they’ll just continue to grow and then turn orange in the fall. {fingers crossed} Enjoy your watermelons and cucumbers! We have a whopping total of ONE cucumber so far.

      • Well I hope that it turns into pumpkins for you since you want them so badly. Jeez cucmbers, we are getting 3-4 almost everyday. I bet you will have tons of them soon.

  5. It looks like my pumpkin….. We got a late start to ours with all the crazy weather we have had this year. Got things planted May 21, the day before getting 9 inches of rain in 24 hours thanks to the tornado. But most of our stuff came up and is doing well. Had our first cutting of my mesculun mix and it was really hot! We have roma tomatoes, but no other visible fruit yet on anything. This is my first year for herbs and the cilantro amd basil have my garden smelling wonderful!

  6. Yep, lettuce will always grow again after you’ve cut it. I making my own garden for the first time this year (first summer after we got married I was pregnant and the summer after that I gardened with my mom) but I’m so blessed to have a mom who’s done it for 22 years now. She’s an expert ;).

  7. I “cut” the lettuce leaves near the bottom of the plant by using my thumbnail and index finger. They definitely keep growing back! And if you forget to pick them in the morning, they won’t be bad later in the day. If they’re wilty, just put them in a bowl of water and they’ll crisp up.

  8. They look like my pumpkins. Hope for those cause there are so many yummy things to make with pumpkin and it freezes so well. And then there are roasted pumpkin seeds.:)

    • I know! Last time we had them I stored several bags of pumpkin puree in the freezer. Those are LONG gone, though, so I need some more. 🙂

  9. Rebecca L. says:

    They look like pumpkins but my comment was more about the lettuce. We live in east TN and the hotter and more humid it gets, we have discovered that the lettuce tastes sour. Lettuce is more of a spring/cool climate product and it grows bitter with the heat. We actually have a hard time getting it harvested because it usually jumps from winter into summer right away around here, leaving only a few weeks of spring. I didn’t even bother with it this year, what with the rain and having so much trouble getting things planted.

  10. Is lettuce a fall crop as well? I think I’m able to get most of my lettuce from the spring crop (actually I think I’ll give it 1 more week) but wondering when I should replant it, if at all this season.

    • I *think* the best times for lettuce are spring and fall, but I’m a total lettuce newbie. Hopefully someone more experienced can answer that for you!

      • Rebecca L. says:

        That’s the only time we plant lettuce, spring and fall. We usually have a longer fall than spring so we have better lettuce in the fall. That’s the way I was taught from my parents and their parents before. I guess it all depends on the climate. It would be great to have fresh, from the garden lettuce all summer long! I wouldn’t know what to think about that!

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