Monday, August 07, 2017

What's growing on....

 I feel like its been a little bit of a slow summer garden wise. I don't know if its because I'm busy and not spending enough time in the garden or because the weather keeps going up and down.

Garlic.... so I had this not so brilliant idea to let a pumpkin volunteer grow in my garlic patch with the logic that the pumpkin could take over the patch once the garlic was cleared. Big mistake.... the pumpkin took over well before most of the garlic were done. My russian inferno did great (first year ever, they are usually very very tiny!). This is a picture of my music garlic which I consider to be ok. The others are really small.  Then I went and mixed up my german reds and inchelium reds.. uuuugggghhh (my mom got a nice pile of garlic though).

Anyway, so I have saved seed garlic from: music, russian inferno, spanish roja, and chinese pinks  (the last two are abnormally small but I'll deal).  I am giving up on kettle river giant... it never grows more than once head... which I then replant... such a waste. And I bit the bullet and ordered some new seed garlic, specifically german red and inchelium red. Of course since I am ordering garlic I ordered a few more varieties specifically: Thai fire, Chesnok Red, and Asian tempest. So next year I will have 8 types of garlic.

Tomatoes.... Top left is a new variety for me, Oregon Spring. It is the first determinate tomato I've ever grown. You can actually see in the picture that it is starting to die, but it has put out a lot of tomatoes (I have about 2 dozen more that are ripening in my kitchen). The flavor is good but it is smaller than I'd hoped. Next year I may try growing this one in the ground, definitely a keeper though.

I am growing all of my tomatoes in grow bags or containers this year. It is always so hard rotating my tomatoes. They have very specific space requirements 2-3 sq. feet of garden space and then they grow at least 6 ft tall (on a bad year... much more than that on a good year).   So my logic is that I can keep the tomatoes in the same place year after year and just  dump the dirt from the tomato bags/ container into my pepper bed (they are both nightshades) and refill the bags each year. I don't know that that will work that smoothly (its a lot of soil!!!). Lets see.

Not sure if its the grow bags, the mix I put in the bags or the weather but my big indeterminate tomatoes are still ripening. I am growing: Red Rose, Kelloggs Breakfast, and San Marzano. The tomato on the lower left is the San Marzano. These are my first big tomatoes to ripen. I saved these seeds from a San Marzano plant my neighbor was growing last year. This plant is really doing so well. I'll save more seeds this year.

This year I limited myself to only two small tomato varieties: sun gold cherry (pictured lower right) and Mighty Sweet hybrid grape tomato (pictures upper right). The mighty sweet hybrid is doing really well. The sungold is producing but not as well as it normally does. My guess is that it doesn't  like the grow bag.

Indian Borage... this plant is doing so well. I really need to figure out what to do with it.

Mexican lime... is slow to develop fruit but it has fruit. (Sorry bad picture)

 My gotu kola plant has a lot of weeds this year. I need to figure out what to do about that.

Eggplant... This year all my eggplant are in containers and they are all doing great. I have decided that I am not going to bother starting these from seed any more. Like onions their seeds are too finicky in my hand and better starts are available in the store. I bought these as seedlings from Home depot (may have been during their Black Friday sale).

Cucumbers.... So I did some unintentional succession planting with my cucumbers.  I started my cucumbers under floating row covers outdoors. Every week or two if a seed didn't sprout I would resow the seed, I did this about three times.  It worked out in the end.

This year I tried one new cucumber variety, the Green Finger Cucumber from High Mowing organic seed.  I found these seeds at Wegmans. Love these don't they look beautiful (cucumber on the left)!!! Something has killed off my other two cucumber varieties (I assume its cucurbit downey mildew) and this one is still going strong. Not sure why but if this holds up we have another reason to grow more of these next year.

I no longer seed my Mexican Sour Gherkins they just come up as volunteers. I have two that are going strong, one I've trained up a trellis and the other one is choking my lemon balm (pictured on the left). I don't feel bad for the lemon balm, I was actually contemplating pulling it out (I have two and don't need two.).

Basil..... This basil is one I propagated from my hydroponic winter garden (my aerogarden). Definitely doing this again next year.

We interupt this blog post to give you an adorably cute picture of Lua. She was visiting us this weekend. She likes to look for "cave-like" spaces to relax in. This was one of her favorite spots yesterday when I was gardening.

Malabar spinach.... love the growth habit of this plant. It grows vertically, looks pretty, likes warmth but can take the weather fluctuations. This is my new green of choice in the garden.  I bought these as plant starts from a local nursery but I have one that started by accident. The seed fell into my lemon grass plant when it was indoors and when I planted it out it just took off. So I really should try direct sowing next year.

Peppers... Peppers are coming along slowly. I have added fertilizer, kept them watered, but its a slow season for these in my yard.  The chilli pictured on the right is a new one to me, its a Hot Lemon. The plant itself is double the size of all my other plants. I am waiting for the chillis to turn yellow, but I am excited about this one because the plant is gorgeous (next time I'll try and get a picture of the plant)!

Herb Garden... my son wanted to grow different kinds of mint. So he has been propagating various plants from cuttings. I am letting him plant them here in buried buckets and hoping to keep on top of them so they don't spread. (hoping!!!) I've also decided to add a few plants to bring in butterflys. I have a butterfly weed (aclepias tuberosa) and will move my butterfly bush here (it needed more space). I am also trying to start Egyptian walking onions here (not picture)... they are not doing spectacular... I will keep trying though.

Shiro Plum.... OH MY GOODNESS....  so excited about this. We had about 2-3 dozen plums this year, we picked the last of them last week. Actually I am guessing the birds picked the last half dozen last week but thats ok. We were able to eat most of them, so I am happy.

Not pictured... The one thing I am pretty disappointed about is that I have no cantaloupes this year. I love eating cantelope. My seedlings died from the cool spring, and I direct seeded a cantaloupe in a clear corner of the garlic bed but once again... the stupid pumpkin volunteer blocked it. Oh well, definitely learning more about how to use my space the better. No more squash or pumpkins... I don't have enough room for them.

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