Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mid-July Update

 I've spent the past few days just puttering around the garden trying to help the plants recuperate, and my own mood rebound.  It rained again last night, but only a little bit.  The weatherman says we are on track for the wettest July on record.  

My Dahlia bed is high and dry and the plants continue to thrive.  In the new bed just across the walkway the plants are showing a little water stress.  The dahlia plants in there are getting a little pale.  I added some slow release fertilizer to help replace the nutrients that are being leached out of the soil.

Lady Darlene

Cafe Au Lait

The Lima Beans (above) are showing some yellowing but they are looking healthier overall than the bush beans and pole beans.  The pole bean plants aren't going to win any beauty pageants but they are producing.

I keep contorting myself to look up at the tomato bottoms to spot Blossom End Rot without handling them too much.  Since I have more than enough tomatoes in my future, I have a zero tolerance for misshapen or damaged fruit.  They come off right away as soon as I spot them.  I've probably lost 10% to 20% of the fruit to BER.

The Cauliflower bed is a bright spot in the garden.

The past two years our favorite has been the mild and sweet Flame Star.

Last year I grew the purple variety Graffiti.  I decided it was a little strong tasting so this year I tried Mulberry which is supposed to be milder.  I've harvested the first head and I agree that it is a nicer tasting purple.  We prefer our Cauliflower raw with dill dip but I also love making a Cauliflower cheese soup.  Can you just picture that with purple Cauliflower?  Dear Me.

I cleared out the last of the peas, setting aside all of the seeds for next year's garden.  In its place I transplanted Violaceo di Verona Cabbage. It was either that or more Cucumbers.  And I'm not very positive about Cucumbers in this cool damp weather.  I think Cabbage will do well for autumn.  These wire cloches will keep the cabbage moths out for now.  When the plants get bigger they will need a row cover.  I've heard that cabbage moths don't like purple Cabbage but I'm not sure if this variety is red enough to fool them.

I'm having a little trouble with cucumber beetles so I've decided to keep this planting of pickling cukes covered as long as possible.  So far the plants are doing really well even through the monsoon.  Which is more than I can say for my early planting.  The Cucumbers above were the nicest rooted transplants I could ask for so I am hopeful that this bed will do well.  The ones below which I seeded the last week of May and transplanted two weeks later have been a constant challenge.  I lost half the transplants to wet soil (they damped off) so I direct seeded another batch.  Now I've been losing the Picolino vines one by one to bacterial wilt.  You can see the wilted one on the below left.

Now as a seasoned gardener, it takes me about 30 seconds to see that wilted vine and go get the scissors.  I know I can't save it and I know it can ruin the next plant.  So out it goes.  The three remaining vines  are Bristol, Picolino and Bristol.  And they aren't award winners, but they are alive and healthy and covered with little tiny fruit. The Bristol are quite disease resistant but they will succumb to wilt in the end so I can't risk it.  And this is why I almost always plant multiple varieties, multiple beds at multiple times.  I have options.  It might be a bad year for one crop in general, but I am more likely to get some instead of none. 

For a parting shot, the Bloody Mary Nasturtium beneath the tomato plants.
I'm really enjoying the colors as a change from the Alaska.


  1. Your garden is suffering from too much water and we're in a huge drought. Your green things are looking great!

    1. it seems unfair doesn't it? I wish gentle evening rain showers on all my drought stricken friends