Early-Mid July Garden Update

Calendula

Sunny, day-glo greetings from Plot 206! I know I just did a general update a couple of weeks ago, but as every gardener knows, at this time of year so much is happening. The Calendula are blooming, for example. This hot orange beauty was self-seeded from last year’s. I just moved around the seedlings I found as needed and it turns out they’re all this bright, happy orange. Much as I like the color, I’ll try to remember to start some more for a mix next year. Not all insects might be big fans of this particular shade.

Romaine

And now for some bad news. We left town for a long weekend and took a head of our awesome Romaine lettuce with us expecting to come home and enjoy the remaining three heads. Not to be. They’re bolting so into the compost they went and beets were sown in their place.

Beets

And speaking of beets, look at these! I pulled a few of the red and gold to roast for a salad. I love beets.

Carrots

Further on the subject of colorful roots. I pulled a few carrots, Yellowstone and Atomic Red. The color of the latter so far appears to have been greatly exaggerated in the catalogs. I’ll let some get really big and see if that makes a difference. To be honest, the flavor of both of these is unimpressive. Carroty but not especially sweet. Might do better cooked.

Blueberries

Ready for a break from the hot colors? How about these blue beauties? The blueberry bushes were looking a little peaked so I gave them an acid boost a while back. It will be a while before they’re back up to snuff but thanks to the row cover to keep the birds off we were able to harvest nearly a pint. Not a lot, I know, but they’re OURS.

Let’s see what else is going on…

Bush Beans

Pole Beans

Peas

The pole and bush beans are going crazy and the peas are on their last pods and starting to brown. Again, loving the Sugar Snaps. Even when they’re filled with full-sized peas you can eat them pod and all and they’re crunchy and sweet with only a little, easily-removed string.

Caterpillar

The peas are host to this fuzzy visitor. It doesn’t even matter if he’s munching the plants because they’ll be gone soon. I suppose for the sake of science I should make a little effort to find out who he is.

Cucumbers

This was a big surprise. Seven-inch cucumbers! The plant itself is not much bigger than a dinner plate at this point so I wasn’t checking it for fruit yet.

Onions

Over in the onion bed every yellow onion was laying down and every red one still standing. Uniformity in a cultivar, I guess. We pulled all the yellows and they are now happily curing on the patio. I’d like to add, we’re still using last year’s onions, one went into tonight’s dinner, in fact. It’s just cool that we’ve done a year without having to buy onions. I think I planted fewer this time so we may not be able to repeat that accomplishment going into 2015, but at least we know we can do it.

Malabar

The Malabar spinach is coming along suddenly, or one plant is. I’d be interested in hearing what other people’s experience has been growing and eating this particular vegetable. They’re on a three-sided tee-pee around the squash with the idea that they’d grow up above it and not be shaded by it but the squash is growing much faster…

Squash

The Bush Delicata has had several blossoms and is forming its first fruit. Like most plants it kind of poked along and then, seemingly overnight, doubled in size.

Tomatillo

A favorite crop I forgot to mention last time is the tomatillo. Since it got so wide and rangy last year I’m confining it in a light bondage contraption consisting of a tomato cage and bamboo. It doesn’t seem to be suffering from the treatment and is covered with blossoms and swelling husks. I think we’re eating out of our last jar of tomatillo salsa so we should be getting fruit just in time. Salsa, enchilada sauce, curries—I can’t wait!

Tomatoes

And now the excitement builds…Red tomatoes! They’re not fully ripe, but this small handful of Honey Bunch counts, in my mind, as the first tomatoes of the season. (I need to find a more convincing garden hand model. Those callus-free hands are just not doing it.) But is this the MOST exciting development? Perhaps not…

Neighbor

Yup, this is half of the neglected neighboring plot with waist-high weeds going to seed all over the place. While we were out of town it was surrendered, divided in two and reassigned. The gardeners with the half next to us (you can see our Malabar spinach tee-pee there on the left) got to work right away and I couldn’t be happier. OK, I could be a little happier. Someone was there when I went up last evening and had borrowed my hose without asking. She was apologetic and I was friendly and complimentary of the work she’d done even as I commented she’d be getting her own hose soon, no doubt.

Thanks for coming on this little tour with me. I hope the mosquitoes weren’t too bad. Surprisingly as they’re horrible everywhere else this year I hardly get bitten while in the garden. I do appreciate that you take the time to stop here and read and comment and I enjoy my (almost) daily ritual of catching up on all the gardening blogs I follow. I think we learn so much from each other and as little as I get around to doing it, I appreciate the work that goes into these things. Keep up the good work and happy gardening!

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4 thoughts on “Early-Mid July Garden Update

  1. Looking good Grower! Plot 206 is a might productive place. How large is your plot? Due to a change in dog circumstance around here, I am now able to transform the area outside our kitchen door from dog yard to edible garden. I miss the old dog, but boy-howdy, I’m looking forward to the carrots. Next winter I’ll study on blogs like yours to help me know how to best proceed with developing this particular spot. So thanks for sharing your updates. 🙂

    1. The plot so roughly 25′ square. I can squeeze a surprising amount out of it by planting closely and going up whenever possible. If you plan to start planting next year, you might look into staring to prepare the area this fall with a cover of cardboard and compost or some such. Then come spring you could dive right in.

  2. Your vegetables are really impressive. I’ve never managed cucumbers over here as I think our temperatures fluctuate too much, so I am very impressed. I agree about the sugar snaps, I’ll probably plant another sowing to follow the first, next year. Amelia

    1. Thanks, Amelia. I think no matter how skilled a gardener is, if they’re working with difficult climate, weather and soil it can be a serious challenge. I’m lucky to live in a place with decent conditions.

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