Monday, July 21, 2008

In Which We Unearth A Surprise.....

My garden has been doing fabulously this year. The plants are lush and green. There have been blooms all over the place. Bees are buzzing around pollinating plants and baby veggies were abound when we left for camping. I actually harvested a zucchini the day we left, because it grew so fast the last few days it was on the plant, I was worried it would be too big and bitter by the time we came home. I only planted one zucchini plant this year, due to space constraints, and then later read that you need to have two plants for cross pollination to get any decent kind of harvest. Well, I've had plenty of male blossoms, and unfertilized zukes, but there appears to be 2 more of those suckers out on my plant now, so I'm not too worried about it. I was going to try a new Zucchini-Orange bread recipe with it, but we're going to have it grilled with some summer squash to go along with a dinner this week, and we'll save the bread making for when it's not so stinking HOT!

My tomatoes are doing splendidly. I bought two of these smaller vine-type tomato plants, one roma plant and one regular large tomato type. The smaller vine plants have the most tomatoes on them at the time, and I've already picked off about a dozen of them and they are just delicious. They are the two plants closest to the front in the photo, that have vined their way up the trellis. The other two were bush plants and have stayed pretty small, but bushy. I have cut off some yellow leaves near the bottom, and one of the leaves had that tell-tale brown circle of doom on it, but I'm not worried yet, as my plants are MUCH healthier looking than last year at this time. It could've just been sunburn, but I'll keep an eye on them just the same.

I plant green peppers every single year, and every year I get small peppers that don't really do very well. This year I have a bunch of small buds on all my plants, and this lovely thing on one of them. That photo is a close up, it's still rather small, but I have big hopes that this will be the year I get some good peppers. One of my plants is being shaded by the zucchini, and I'm not sure if it's getting enough sun or not. We'll have to wait and see. In our short growing season, it's unrealistic to expect red or yellow peppers (which just stay on the plant longer), I just want some nice green peppers. More than one or two little bitty ones. I don't think that is asking a lot of my garden.

I've been very excited about my cucumber plants. All sorts of flowers, little cucumbers on every one of the 6 plants. The leaves are green and healthy, the vines have grown up the stakes I put in and I haven't ever had such nice plants. The cukes started to get bigger, and then all of a sudden they started turning yellow. And they weren't getting longer, they were getting fater. Everything I read said that once cukes go yellow they are deteriorating and you should pick them. With a sad heart yesterday I pulled them all off, hoping that the next group would fare better. I posted to a web-forum that I read, wondering what could be going on with my plants, and got a reply back tonight. Imagine my surprise to learn that my cukes were mislabeled. They weren't American Cucumbers as the little Popsicle stick maker said, they were LEMON CUCUMBERS. I haven't ever heard of such a thing until today. I bought them in town, from the berry farm (they built a new farm stand this year and were selling plants out of the greenhouse) and never doubted that they would be long, and green. In fact, they will be squat and yellow. Lemon Cucumbers are an heirloom variety dating back to 1894, and while I'm a little disappointed, I'm also very excited. I've got them all washed up and in a basket in my kitchen, and will cut into one tomorrow and have a taste. I read they are great pickled, and look beautiful in a jar. We'll just have to see about that now won't we.

This picture was taken this morning, in between rain storms. My MIL gave me those GARDEN blocks for my birthday, and I put two coats of varnish on them and foam taped them to the fence. It will make her happy to see them, and I didn't have to try and make them "fit in" with my house decor.. and even if this is the only year they survive, I'm sure they weren't that expensive and I'll have no guilt getting rid of them. They are fun and I'm enjoying seeing them out there. I thought I had a photo of my garden at this time last year to share, but it would seem the last post I shared was from early July, when it was still looking decent. By the time late July rolled around I had already pulled out a bunch of dying plants and the rest was looking a little sad. (click on any photo to see it larger).


Laurie said...

Like the "garden" sign. ;-)

DH wants to plant a garden but I told him to go take a flying leap, I don't "DO" outside and I have enough crap to do without weeding/tending to a garden, lol. I told him if HE wants a garden, HES gonna have to weed it and such, b/c I just kill plants (I have the black thumb of death.)

harsh, but its just!

onescrappychick said...

There you go. N doesn't have anything to do with my garden, except for helping me haul new bags of compost into it in the spring (well, and he helped build the boxes originally).

As for the sign... I haven't a thing to say LOL

Awesome Abby said...

Yummy licious! I had some Zuc yesterday with spinach dip! And I'm making zucchini bread this afternoon, too! I love your photos....glad your garden is doing so well!