I think we should have some time apart; I’m sorry you’ll have to be spending it in the dumpster.
Yes, after four months of coddling my zucchini plant, it was time to finally give up. The end probably came in July, when I went away for a few days and didn’t water the zucchini (I did give it a healthy drenching before I left). It stopped growing, stopped producing fruit and generally looked pretty sad. Today, of course, the plant looks even worse, with most of the leaves completely dead. This plant was beyond saving.
At my local farmers market a vendor was selling seedlings and I asked for his recommendation. He suggested green beans, because they produce fairly quickly. Green beans come in two types – bush beans and pole beans. I didn’t want to be staking my beans, so I opted for the bush variety. The bush variety also produce their whole crop at once, so hopefully I will be able to squeeze a full season of beans out of my plants.
Before planting, I bought another bag of planting soil, plus a bag of water-storing crystals. These crystals are mixed into the soil and expand with water. They are designed to help regulate water content in containers. I was pretty sure my watering practices are what doomed my zucchini. When I stirred up the dirt in my container, however, I was surprised to find one inch below the surface, the dirt was very moist. It wasn’t a water retention problem after all.
I hope my mistake was that I wasn’t precise enough with my watering – wetting down most of the dirt without a concentrated watering at the plant’s roots. With my new green bean plants I’m going to be very careful, and make sure to water every-other day.
I stirred in some time-release fertilizer, then planted my baby bean plants. Green beans are supposed to be a low-stress plant. They are hearty, and aren’t susceptible to many diseases. Of course that’s what people say about zucchinis, too.
Now that I’ve planted the beans, all I can do is wait. I’m also hoping that I bought the right type. The blue lake seedlings I purchased come in both the bush and pole variety. I suppose if I’m shopping for 8-foot bean poles in the future, that will be something else to write about.