Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

To everything there is a season, and in the past two weeks I have bid goodbye to the spring delicacies and hello to new summer life. We are in the throes of a heat wave. In the past three weeks, we have gotten a scant quarter inch of rain.

The lush, sweet, garden peas were pulled out and composted

leaving the summer cucumbers and carrots behind (yes these carrots and cucumbers were hiding in that mass of peas. On the left, my second planting of bush beans is a week old and beginning to fill in. The Sweet Success cukes are larger than a finger and should be ready in another week. The first planting of Marketmores are still thriving with still no sign of powdery mildew.

Leafy green salads have made way for sliced cucumbers garnished with bright cherry tomatoes at the table. I sure miss that lettuce, and when it began to bolt I taste tested each variety to make sure it was beyond hope before I pulled it by the armload and carried it to the compost. I will be able to replant for fall.

Bright Lights chard and borage sentinels are left behind with a small stake marking where I planted the Eight Ball zucchini. Just past the borage, in the second bare spot, you can just see a young zucchini. Not that I need more summer squash. I have 6 Magda squash stacked up on my kitchen counter right now. From one plant.

The onions are ready to pull.

And the potatoes are doing fine despite the fact that I have been not been generous with water.

This beautiful, creamy White Lightening eggplant could be eaten now.

But despite being in the ground a full week earlier than last year, the tomatoes will not be breaking any records for earliness. Last year I picked the first Jap tomato on July 22nd. This one isn't even beginning to blush. On the flip side, the plants are more productive. The dry, warm weather and mild night temps have been perfect for pollination. Just my luck, they will all ripen at once.


  1. Very nice =)

    Thanks for the updates... One day I will try my hand, and I learn so much reading this blog.

  2. Love looking at pics of your garden, you are such a green-thumb inspiration!

    It's so interesting to see how much further behind we are up here! My onions are nowhere NEAR ready yet and my carrots are still pretty petit. I had bad luck with the radishes, hardly any plumped up before they bolted and had to be pulled. We *just* had our first salad of lettuce the other day and it was so good! We do have zucchini and squash that could be picked at any time and there are pumpkins forming!

    My tomatoes are out of control! They are up over the top of the spirals and bushed out all over the place. The first ones are starting to ripen too. I have a feeling I'm going to be over-run with tomatoes!

  3. It is interesting to see how the climate is affecting the growth rates. I did not keep track of rain last year, but I know we had a lot more last June, and now we have had virtually none in July. The temperatures have been higher, especially at night.

    As a result, I have a lot less foliage, and more production. By this time last year, my tomatoes were such a jungle that I had a hard time finding the first ripe ones. This year, everything is very subdued and controllable. It is hot hot hot, and I am watering everything once, sometimes twice a day. Heck, I've even seen weeds wilt.

    My summer squash has powdery mildew (albeit minimal) despite the hot dry conditions, and I haven't even been watering her, because zucchinis don't need that kind of encouragement. On the other hand, the cukes, which are getting their roots soaked once a day, have stayed green and clean.

  4. We've had piles & piles of rain and only a few days here near 30 degree (celcius) weather. It's amazing how much everything SHOOTS up when we do get those few days of heat! I think my tomatoes must look like yours did last year. There are huge suckers coming up from the bottom that I have no idea how to support!

    Can't wait for all those YUMMY tomatoes though! Found a good recipe for a brushetta and salsa verde and I'm sure i'll have fresh tomato sandwiches almost daily!

    Can you do a post on powdery mildew & what to do about it? I've heard of it but don't know how to treat it. Cabbage can get mildew too right?

  5. I just discovered your blog...or maybe re-discovered it, I think I visited before and since I didn't bookmark it, I forgot! That won't happen again!

    I absolutely love everything about it! I just put my first batch of cucumbers into brine, I'll be pickling tomorrow :)

  6. Everything is growing fast in my veggie garden as we're having lots of rain and sun. Everything has suddenly doubled in size over the last few weeks.

    Just pulled up several varieties of lettuce for dinner, together with turnip and beetroot. The sugar snap peas are almost ready - can't wait!

    Also, I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts on Too Many Tomatoes (I've been leaving a few comments).

    I wanted to let you know that I'm linking to your site and have been for some time. You have an excellent site and I would be honoured if you would consider linking to my site as well.

    My site, which is called Hard To Beet, charts my trials and tribulations in my Yorkshire vegetable garden as well as my attempt to live a greener, more self sufficient lifestyle. It can be found at http://www.hardtobeet.com.