Saturday, July 23, 2016

Harvest Time!

It's been, eek, over 2 months since I posted here.  Life has been busy, the garden has grown insanely well, and the harvest has been starting to come in.   Aside from the occasional GIANT zucchini, the theme is primarily tomatoes, with a secondary note on eggplants and peppers.    Here's how we've been doing so far:

  • Tomatoes: OMG, drowning 
    • I have 6 quarts of early girl and black krim in the freezer, 
    • and two gallon bags of sungold cherry tomatoes.


  • Peppers: doing great!
    • none of the italian types are producing yet, though some peppers are on the vine
    • but the yellow bell has yielded two yellow and 5 green bells, all as big as a fist or bigger.

  • Eggplants: galore! 
    • Several softball-sized rosa bianca, 
    • several large ping tung long and japanese long, 
    • and a double handful of fairy tale.

  • Beans: not so good

    • oops, I didn't pick the gold of bacau pole beans in time, so I've let them dry on the vine for dry beans
    • the golden wax beans got buried by squash growth and were deemed too hard to pick because of that
    • the roma beans yielded very well, but because I'm not used to them I didn't realize to pick them small and white, not large and green, so they were tough and they didn't all get eaten

  • Turnips: meh
    • white ping pong ball salad turnips produced well, but were bland, mostly tasted of salt, pepper, and butter when eaten
    • yellow turnips didn't do well (probably a better fall crop) and had a bitter aftertaste

  • Zucchini: we're keeping up
    • A number of large and a couple of GIANT WE BLINKED zucchini
    • The spiralizer has been helping tame the giant ones, we've had sauteed zuke "noodles" in pesto a couple of times and really enjoyed them

  • Winter Squash: promising!
    • Several sunshine kabocha on the vine, small compared to store bought ones but likely to weigh in at the promised 2 - 3 pound average
    • Two large emerald kabochas ripening
    • Georgia candy roaster: only one so far, but it's about two and a half feet long and 4 -5 inches in diameter; I'm eagerly anticipating it being ready; it's doubled in size since the picture!
    • Kamo kamo: I haven't seen any of these ripening, and it's gotten powdery mildew something fierce.  Going to pull it out soon and put in a second bean crop I think.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Flower Time! and Pinching Basil

Things are starting to flower in my garden-- the alyssum has expanded to fill all available space, thwarting my hopes for zinnias to come up between the clumps.  On the right, the dark foliage is my lone dahlia that survived the ravages of the snails this spring.

In the neighboring planter, the feathery foliage of the cosmos can be seen, with a few catch-up planting zinnias peeking out between the cosmos.  That bare patch on the top right needs another catch-up attempt at zinnias.

The Japanese long eggplant has started making flowers, and I'm really excited to see them!  It's the largest of the four eggplants that I planted around the same time.

The Sungold cherry tomato is also flowering prolifically, and I look forward to sprays of delicious orange cherry tomato!  The other tomatoes are also flowering but not so spectacularly as the Sungold.

The lemon basil is also flowering, which we don't want, because then it will get all woody and make seeds instead of more yummy basil for cooking with.   All of the tops were turning to flowering stems like the one on the left, and I pinched them off.  Pinching off makes the plant get bushy by encouraging side stem growth.  Pinch or snip right between the next set of leaves, as you can see in the picture on the right.  I had to pinch off the Genovese basil and the lettuce-leaf basil as well.

Our first strawberries are starting to ripen!  They're small but we hope they'll be extra sweet and delicious.

Last but not least, the rhubarb-- it's really taking off!  From a fist-sized lump a few weeks ago, it's gone to a huge leafy plant.  New leaves are coming up from the center as well-- I might dare to pick a single stalk if this keeps up.   No heavy harvesting until the 2nd year though.   I will probably transplant into a half wine barrel this winter, to give it room for next spring.  A friend suggested I save the first handful of strawberries and cut a single small stalk of rhubarb to make a teeny tiny strawberry rhubarb tart.  I just might!