Monday, August 7, 2017

The Mid-Summer Slump (not)

The mid-summer slump is late.  My garden looks far from slumpy.  In fact, it looks pretty fresh and new.  Maybe not June-new, but still pretty good.  Despite the fact that in July we went almost three weeks on only 1/4 inch of rain.

Shabby old vines
 The first planting of cucumbers was dwindling off and beginning to show signs of age.  Instead of letting the leaves deteriorate and foster diseases, I pulled them out.  I  have a row of Goldmine Bush beans planted there.

Cucumber bed before removing old vines

The Goldmine Bush Beans now have the bed to themselves
The second planting of cukes is just coming on.  This plant was a spare from the first planting which I kept in a pot until the peas were out and the second planting was ready to go in.  It has already been a great producer and will bridge the gap between the first and second plantings.

A perfect Cucumber

Second Cucumbers and Bush Beans
I am still waiting on my first ripe tomato.  It is WEEKS late.  I have been getting one or two ripe Sungold cherry tomatoes each day from each of my two plants.  Which is barely enough to garnish a salad.  I am waiting for the time when I have handfuls to make tomato, cucumber and feta salads.

The tomato bed is NOT a jungle this year.
It is also not blighted yet

Celebrity Tomatoes
The bell peppers that were setting as I planted them this spring are beginning to ripen.  The plants that I pinched back pretty vigorously in June are setting a good amount of fruit.  Luckily these are in containers so if it takes them forever to mature, I can protect them from frost.

Baby bell peppers

Powdery Mildew
We have had dry weather, hot weather, cool weather, damp weather and still the garden is weathering it all.  There is a little mildew showing up on one of the yellow summer squash plants, but nothing to be alarmed about.  As I've often noticed, it is the varieties with plain green leaves that succumb first, and squash with lighter lacing running through their leaves hold out the longest.  If it gets too bad I will just pull it out.  We've had very few bad bugs this year.  So all in all it has been an easy year so far.

The Dunja squash has lighter lacing in the leaves
and will be the last thing affected by mildew

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The thing about bush beans...

The thing about bush beans is that you always get one smart-alec in the group who thinks he's a pole bean.  These are the neighbor's green beans this week.  I think they may be Burpee's Tenderpick.  I've had bush beans do that every year, but it is usually the Purple Queen.  It is interesting to see that I am not the only person who has run into this.

Purple Queen "bush" beans on pea-fence.
Goldmine beans to their left
The plant specs say that they should grow to 15"-20" but taint so.  They will be 24"-36".  So I always plant them around pea-fence, and the neighbors also planned wisely this year and did the same.  Normally, my Goldmine bush beans do not get as tall, but this year they are also getting way too tall and flopping over.

The reason this is undesirable is that the plants cannot support a heavy load of beans and they will stub the beans against the ground giving you curly, unattractive beans instead of long straight bundles of beans.  That will be particularly true if you have enough dry heat to cause your plants to wilt each afternoon.

See, that's the thing about bush beans.  They don't know they're supposed to bush.  They would always prefer to climb.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Not My Broccolli

We have a friend who grows the most perfect broccoli I've ever seen.

Most years he will call and offer us broccoli and/or cauliflower 
(which will be even bigger)

This broccoli was a work of art
I think it is a point of pride.  
The only way he can show off his awesome produce is to bring me some.
Tim sent him home with some equally nice zucchini.

It was beautiful from every angle

Next week the cauliflower should be ready.