Saturday, July 31, 2010

In-Laws Balcony Garden Update #4

My in-laws are very happy with their balcony garden. They are harvesting enough tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for eating. My father in-law had purchased a couple of eggplants and planted them in the swc. He did not save the tag. So, we don't know the variety. I have never seen this variety of eggplant before. It is big and beautiful!

I forgot to bring my camera to their house the two times we were there this week. He e-mailed this picture to me today.

The Eggplant with no name...weighing in at 20 oz!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I won the prize.....for

... the SMALLEST onions!! This is the first year that I grew them from seed. They are pretty pathetic. I usually plant some sets and some purchased plants. Nope, I decided to plant all of them from seed!! Hopefully, the potato onions I planted in the fall will do much better.

Wow, look at that weight!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canning Salsa Recipe

This is the canning salsa recipe I have been using for a couple of years now. In order to can salsa you must have the correct balance of acid to avoid contamination. Although this recipe has hot peppers in it, it is not what I would call a "hot salsa". I would categorize it as a "medium salsa".

Canning Salsa

5 Cups peeled, chopped tomatoes (I use Amish Paste Tomatoes)
3/4 Cup seeded, chopped green peppers
1/3 Cup seeded, chopped hot peppers ( I use serrano & jalapeno peppers)
1 1/4 Cups Chopped onion
1 Teaspoon salt
2-3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Cups cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids; process 30 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes about 3 pints.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Harvest Monday.........Seeing RED & Green!

It was another great week for tomatoes! I harvested 34.75 lbs. this week! Although the harvests are abundant, the tomato plants themselves do not seem to be growing much. They also have more yellow leaves then I would like and some of the flowers have died. I think that it may be due our excessive heat and lack of rain. Our weather is supposed to cool down a bit, to more seasonal temperatures this week...hopefully that will help.

I am starting to harvest some hot and spice peppers. I am trying to leave the bell peppers until they turn their designated colors of red, orange or yellow. The Alpine strawberries are starting to produce nice size fruits and the cantaloupe and muskmelons are getting bigger!

The cucumbers are coming in like crazy. I harvested almost 11 lbs of them this week alone. I started a small batch of dill pickles yesterday. It will take about three weeks until they are ready to be processed.

This is what the kitchen island looked like this week!
As soon as I would get it almost cleared off....there would be more!

The Largest Tomato - a Brandywine
1 lb. 7 oz.

The Ugliest Tomato - also a Brandywine

The Prettiest Tomatoes - White Tomesol

The canning of Tomatoes
I have been canning tomatoes plain and have also been making salsa.

A sampling of the cucumbers harvested this week.

Dill Pickles

Harvest Total - 49.875 lbs.

Cabbage - 2 lbs.
Cucumbers - 10.9375 lbs.
Eggplant - 6 oz.
Onions - 12 oz.
Peppers - 11 oz.
Strawberries - 6 oz.
Tomatoes - 34.75 lbs.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions the host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Update

The garden is growing like crazy. It took me a couple of days after coming home to get it under control. The beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and cantaloupe had grown so much that I could not get between some of the beds. The excessive heat we are still having made it difficult for me to go out and take care of everything in one day. But, it's under control now!

I harvested over 7 lbs of cucumbers in two days after throwing out at least a dozen that got too big while we were away. The Alpine Strawberries are starting to produce very nice size fruit. It's hard for me to keep track of the strawberries harvested. My "Little Garden Helper" tends to wander over there and eat them.

I finally harvest a head of Savoy Cabbage. It weighed 2 lbs. There are two other heads in the garden that  are much firmer, but not as big in size. We will see how they do.

I also harvested a couple of Hot Cherry, Jalapeno & Hungarian Paprika peppers on Wednesday. I have the paprika peppers hanging up to dry. I am excited to see how the ground paprika turns out when they are dry.

The tomato haul for the week will be announced on Harvest Monday!!

Cabbage, Peppers, Cucumbers & Strawberries from Wednesday.

Cantaloupe are starting to grow!

The Lone Artichoke is coming along nicely.
I am hoping that the other plants start to produce as well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Harvest Monday

Well, we are home. I didn't think we would be home until later today or tomorrow morning. The garden has grown so much in the past 8 days. I did mange to pick some tomatoes and an eggplant this morning. There are a lot of other veggies to harvest. However, I will do that later today. It was quite a week for tomatoes. 28.75 lbs harvested!!!

A sampling of this weeks harvest

Harvest Total: 30.25 lbs.

Herbs: 4 oz.
Cucumber: 5 oz.
Eggplannt: 8 poz.
Onions: 6 oz.
Tomatoes: 28.75 lbs.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions, the host of Harvest Monday, to see more harvests!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvest Monday

This week's harvest was mostly tomatoes. I also harvested a couple of bunches of celery and 3 green peppers that we need for our week at the lake. Have a nice week may hear from me and you may not.

Harvest Total: 6.0625 lbs.

Tomatoes: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Peppers: 13 oz.
Celery: 1 lb. 14 oz.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions, the host of Harvest Monday, to see other harvests.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's Going on around the Garden

The garden is progressing quite well, despite this extreme heat wave we are having. Much to my surprise, the tomatoes seem to be continuing to set fruit. There are many small cantaloupe and muskmelons on the vines. I have yet to see any female zucchini blooms though.

There are a couple of baby Spaghetti Squash growing on the side fence.

It looks like we are going to have 3 heads of Savoy Cabbage.
The plants had bolted in the spring due to a previous heat wave. Therfore, I had to pull 4 of the plants.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I found a bud on one of the Artichoke plants this morning! The outer leaves have been turning yellow due to heat....I guess.

All of the pepper plants are producing like crazy.
This plant has a couple of large peppers that have yet to change color.

Tomato Beds

The photo on the left is the front tomato bed and the photo on the right is the two back beds. The back beds were planted three weeks earlier then the front bed. Most of the plants in the back beds are nearly 6' tall or taller. While the plants in the front bed ranges from 3' to 5'. I tested the soil a couple of days ago and the nitrogen is lower then I would like it to be in all 3 beds.

The cucumbers are really taking off. The vines are just loaded with baby cukes.

These two photos are of an unknown tomato variety. The seeds were given to me by my in-laws 4 years ago. They got the seeds when they were in Italy.

I am very concerned about this plant. The leaves and stems have been turning a very bright yellow. I remove them and then more turn yellow. I have had problems with this variety in the past. Two years ago it developed blossom end rot. Then last year, it was the first to get the blight. I have been thinking about removing the plant. There is another plant of this variety in the front bed.....which is doing well.

The "Early Pack 7" variety from the Italy seeds this year.

This is the sturdiest plant for it's size that I grown this year. (This plant was germinated very late in the season).  It looks like I will have to take it out of the pot and put it in the ground somewhere.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In-Laws Balcony Garden Update #3

Sunday, the 4th of July, we went to my in-laws for a family picnic. As usual, the first thing I did is go up to the balcony to check on his veggies. Everything is growing quite well. All four of the tomato plants have set fruit. The cherry tomato has even provided some fruit for their salads. There are  peppers in the swc that very large and almost ready to harvest. Although the plants in the containers are growing well. There is a definite difference in the size and color of the plants in the swc.....they are huge and a much deeper green. As the season moves forward we will see which method is more productive.


As you can see from the last photo. Their backyard garden space is almost completely shaded all day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Harvest Monday & Happy 4th of July

We hope that everyone had a Happy, Healthy & Safe 4th of July. We had a small picnic at my in-laws in the afternoon. The heat was so oppressive that we had to eat inside!!  Then we came home and watched the fireworks from the comfort of our back porch. My "Little Helper" really enjoyed them. I was amazed that he wasn't afraid....he wanted more!

It looks like we are at a turning point in the garden right now. The harvest this week was light.... it did put me over 50 though! I pulled the carrots and will be planting some more as soon as the heat wave is over. Also harvested: the balance of "Little Marvel" peas, some scallions, a lone potato, the last head of cauliflower and two more small CP and a large Tiffen Mennonite, weighing 10 oz.

These are the nicest carrots I have grown to date.
We ate a few of them with the peas and a nice steak on Thursday.

Tiffen Mennonite
This tomato is a beautiful rose color. The picture makes it  look a little more red then it actually is.

Harvest Total: 3.25 Lbs.

Carrots - 15 oz.
Cauliflower - 12 oz.
English Peas - 6 oz.
Potatoes - 2 oz.
Scallions - 3 oz.
Tomatoes - 14 oz.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions, the host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The MISSING!!

This post was supposed to be about how well the beans are doing. After watering this morning. I went out to take an updated photo of my "Little Helper's" beans. They have been growing so fast. To my surprise, over half of his beans were gone! Somebody had a nice 4th of July dinner! I can only blame myself. I did not put chicken wire around this bed and have not sprayed it after watering.

"The Good"
The pole beans are towering at 7'. They are just getting ready to bloom!

"The Bad"
Some of my "Little Helper's" Jacob's Cattle beans have been eaten.

"The Missing"
All of my "Little Helper's" Great Northern beans are gone!

Well, at least there is enough time left in the season to plant more.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blossoms & Blushing Brides

There are a lot of blossoms and blushing brides in the garden!

The eggplants are finally blossoming

It looks like the zucchini boys are the only ones coming out to play so far.

There are a lot of blushing brides in the tomato department.
These are Tiffen Mennonite tomatoes.

Is it a blossom or a blushing bride?
I think we have a baby!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Daylilies Part 2

Here are some more pictures of my beloved daylilies.

Medium/Tall height

Medium height

Very small short lily

 Medium/Tall height

Medium height

Medium/Tall height

Medium height

Medium height

Short height