Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's Vining Around the Gardens

There's a lot of things vining around the gardens right now. Here's a pictorial of some of what's vining around!

Three Sister's Bed "B"

Long Island Cheese Squash

Cantaloupe in slings

Gherkin Cucumbers at the plots.....planted late & poor germination. Hopefully they will catch up for a nice batch of gherkin pickles

Cucumbers at the Home Garden. They were also planted late.

But, the babies are starting!!

Three Sisters Bed "A"

Sweet Dumplings....Yum. these babies are good!

Purple Pole Beans...also planted late

The lone orange far

Little baby Sugar Baby Watermelon

White Pumpkin

So what's vining around your garden????

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The SVB's have arrived

It looks like the SVB's have invaded the Spaghetti Squash plants at the home garden. When the weather was "normal", I was doing a good job of inspecting them every couple of days for eggs and removing anything that I thought was an egg. However, once the oppressive heat set in and the plants got really big, I stopped inspecting the plants. So, I have no one to blame except for myself and of course that menopausal "Mother Nature"!

SVB damage.
I have only found damage in a few spots so far. I'm sure that they will take over the vines in a short period of time.

Not all is lost!!! I have three really nice size squash on the vines that are starting to turn!




Although I was shooting for 6....I'm in no way complaing at all! Last year I didn't get a single one!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Slicng

Sorry, for the delay in the big watermelon slicing. We were all tied up last night. This morning Laura, from The Modern Victory Garden stopped by for a visit at the plots.

I just got home from the plots and decided that I better break that baby open and see what the results are. I figured that everyone waited long enough and that "The Italian" will get over not being here for the slicing.

As you can see, the watermelon was not ready. I'm a little disappointed...but, hopefully there will be more. I don't know why it fell off the vine like that. It must have been this crazy weather.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ooops......look what I did!

Yesterday while I was at the plots, I picked up this little funny looking Moon & Stars watermelon to move it only a few inches.....and Ooops, it fell off the vine! It's small weighing only 2 lbs. 4 oz. I have no idea if it is ready. No, I have never grown watermelon before and I did not look at the tendrils. The bottom where it was lying on the ground is yellow.

So what do you think?

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Singing in the......


Just Singing in the rain! What a wonderful feeling, The Garden is Happy Again!

Harvest Monday ...............07/25/2011

The harvests this week were pretty good in spite of the horrible hot weather we had. I finally got around to harvesting the celery at home. I thought that I had left it in a bit too long...but, it was fine. 

Five nice bunches of celery. I think that there were originally 7 plants and two grew together.

After they were cleaned and cut I ended up with 6 lbs of celery. A lot of it was frozen and some was left in the refrigerator for daily use.

A basket of goodies from the plots on Monday. The first eggplant, Rosa Bianca, a couple of peppers,  a zucchini, red cabbage and the biggest and last head of cauliflower from the Spring planting. That cauliflower is supposed to be white, not yellow! It was even covered to blanch it for a couple of weeks. I guess it was due to the stupid weather.

The pepperoncini peppers are producing like rabbits!

and so are the blackberries!

The remaining onions were pulled this past week. Some of the other onions were ready for storage. But.....

we still have onions hanging around!

I pulled most of the carrots that were growing between the tomatoes in the one smaller bed at the home garden on Sunday. Although my carrots aren't as big as Granny's...I'm definitely doing much better growing carrots this year then in the past.

These carrots were growing in big containers. They were also harvested on Sunday. I still have quite a few left in the containers that aren't ready to be harvested. Now, if I could only get my fall carrots going!! The first planting failed due to the heat and the second one is looking too good either. I just may have to plant them that it has cooled down a bit!

Total Harvest weighed this week: 52.8125 lbs.

Blackberries - 76 oz. (4.75 lbs)
Cabbage - Red - 17 oz.
Carrots - 49 oz. (3.06lbs)
Cauliflower - 16 oz.
Celery - 96 oz. (6 lbs.)
   Rosa Bianca - 7.5 oz.
   Lunga Violetta Di Firenze - 6.5 oz.
Onions weighed:
   Red - 105.5 oz. (6.6 lbs)
   White - 56.5 oz. (3.5 lbs.)
   Cayenne - 3 oz
   Paprika - 2.5 oz.
   Pepperoncini - 20.5 oz.
   Marconi Bell - 8 oz.
   Orange Bell - 14.5 oz.
Tomatoes - 308.5 oz. (19.28 lbs)
Zucchini - 58 oz. (3.625 lbs)

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions our host of Harvest Monday to see what's happening in veggie gardens around the globe!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Being Grateful

As I am writing this post, I am somewhat disgusted with what this weather is doing to my tomatoes and some of the other veggies in the garden. I just finished canning what should have been 12 jars of tomatoes and ended up with only 6. They are not ripening correctly, trying to rot sitting on the counter and I have even found some blossom end rot here and there at the plots. The eggplant are smaller then they should be and I have had a few big peppers rot as they are ripening on the plant.

Although this heat wave is taking some what of a toll on the garden, there is a lot to be grateful for. I went to the plots this morning to water, trim & tie up the tomato plants and harvest what I needed to. There is an older Italian gardener there from Sicily who gave me these

Some nice fresh Peaches!

Then "Whitey", another gardener,  came over and gave me this

14 Beautiful ears of freshly picked Sweet Corn!

You know what this means??? Fresh sweet corn for dinner and some more baking tomorrow! What do you think I should make with those peaches......peach cobbler maybe?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot Home Garden Happenings

Here's what's happening at the home garden. Warning...lots of pics!

The Spaghetti Squash vines growing at the end of the herb garden are doing well so far. I counted 3 nice size squash this morning without looking very well. It's just too darn hot out. I will be pleased to get 6 nice squash before the dreaded SVB's decide to take the vines lives! Last year the SVB's were out of control and I got absolutely no squash of any kind!

Here's part of the Herb Garden. It's actually shaped in an L and goes behind the patio furniture. I really thinned it out this year and continue to trim the plants regularly for drying. I really should add some much needed compost to this bed....but, that will have to wait until things cool down a bit.

My first attempt at growing Rosemary from seed has been very successful. All of the plants are doing really well.

Here are Beds 2 & 3 which have 4 tomatoes & some carrots in each bed. If you look close, (click to enlarge any picture) you can see that I used a plastic fencing as bunny protection. This plastic fencing was around half the bed and I had chicken wire around the other half. Well somebody decided to stand on the posts lying there, pull the plastic fencing down and have a nice snack! After finding what is pictured below, I added some chicken wire to keep that hungry critter out! I didn't have any more chicken wire at the time I installed the plastic fencing since it was being used in the spring to keep the bunnies from eating the peas next door.

That was a huge Pineapple tomato (seed from Diana)! The hungry critter ate about 1/3 of the tomato and it still weighed almost 22 ounces!

Bed 1, which previously had the garlic, celery and peas growing in it is half empty. There are late planted cucumbers around part of the perimeter and dry beans in half the bed. I will plant spinach in the other half of the bed for a Fall crop.

The left side of the cold frame bed has a couple of peppers, some leeks, basil and I'm desperately trying to get some fall carrots going under those boards. You would think somebody would go out there and start picking that basil for drying!!

The right side of the cold frame bed is like a jungle. I have two tomato plants on the right and couple of peppers, some eggplants and some basil growing in it. The one tomato is a MWC and is basically free ranging right now since it has out grown the tomato cage. It will however provide some much needed shade for lettuce to grow under it. You would think somebody would get this plant under control!

Here's another angle of the two tomato beds and part of the cold frame bed. As you can see the tomatoes are doing quite well and have seemed to stay about the same height of 7' for awhile now.

Although the plants are doing well, the fruit is having a tough time ripening correctly. They are also cracking. I'm sure it's due to this horrible weather we are having. I decided to pick a lot of the tomatoes and bring them inside to finish ripening and avoid further damage. "The Italian" really needs at least 100 jars of tomatoes to get him through the year!

Well, it's about 10:45 AM, I'm eating my lunch and in need of a little nap before I tackle any canning in the kitchen! This weather and very early morning and evening garden chores really takes the energy right out of you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What to do when it's too Hot during the day to Garden

There are a lot of things you could do on a day like could

Relax on a nice beach in the Caribbean
This is where my sister in-law is right now and it's actually 10 degrees cooler then here!

Take a nice dip in the pool with your cat

Play in the water

Not me....I got up at 5AM, hauled water over to the plots, watered the garden as fast as I could and came home. Then I turned up the AC (sorry Jane) went outside and watered the home gardens and had some more coffee. Then I watched these poor guys a bit

Paving the alley behind our house

Then I

made some chicken stock and

a lousey loaf of bread that looks like this

which should look like

this.....even the bread wouldn't form correctly from the humidity with the AC on!

Then I decided to make more of a mess

Blackberry Jam in the making!

So what are you doing today in this oppresive heat??

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yesterday & Today

Yesterday was just one of those days. I went to the plots at 6AM to avoid the heat and water the plants enough to keep them alive. While watering I found this

The first two White Tomesol tomatoes had been nibbled! They were perfectly fine the night before and I had planned to pick them yesterday. That definitely is not nibbling from birds! I inspected the perimeter and didn't find any place where a rabbit or groundhog could have gotten in.

I came home and spent the day doing some canning and freezing. Yesterday was the first day that I canned any tomatoes and guess what???

A jar broke! I haven't had a jar break in years. OK, I guess it was due.

To make things worse, I couldn't find this

My ancient jar of course I burned myself! How could I misplace something so big and bulky?? I know that I put it in a safe place.....still can't find it.

Yesterday we were supposed to get some much needed rain in the form of severe thunderstorns.....NOT ONE SINGLE DROP!!

This morning I went to the plots to do my morning watering to keep the plants alive. Everything went well, no more nibbling and they just filled the water tank! Yippee!

I have to say that the plants are not doing all that bad considering the weather we are having. The tomatoes haven't gotten any taller, but they are holding their own. They are not setting any new fruit though. I think that the peppers actually like the hot weather....the strawberries, not so much. I'm still pulling onions over there and harvested a pretty big zucchini today. The Long Island Cheese Squash is not happy with the hot weather. The other squash & melons are far.

It's going to be a tough week keeping the garden over there in shape (alive). Here is our extended forecast. I guess that I better get over to the plots tonight and find Steve!!