Monday, August 31, 2009

Edible Progress

Progress in the Vegetable Garden:

Cucumbers- 1) Lemon Cucumber (below) - the vines appear to be suffering from wilt, which is very common here for cucumbers. I sprayed some neem on them to ward off more of the insects which surely infected the plant, and started a few more seeds. (We're fortunate to have a very long growing season here - it won't freeze until November at least.) The cucumbers are absolutely delicious in salads.

2) The small green pickling cucumber vines have produced ZERO cucumbers, and started suffering from the wilt way before the lemon cucumbers. Interesting that the LCs, an heirloom variety, appear to be more resilient.

Eggplants are producing steadily. Ratatouille, anyone? There are holes in the leaves of the plants, apparently from bugs, but the plants and fruits don't seem affected. I have discovered that you should pick eggplants before you think they are ready to ensure they will be tender.

Peppers - Bell peppers are producing steadily. I top-dressed the plants with compost last week since I'm sure the plants have sucked up all the nutrients in the soil by now. The plants seem happy staked and watered every few days. My one hot pepper plant (serrano) is still producing an absurd amount of peppers! I think I have used two all summer!

Tomatoes - 1) Beefsteak - healthy plants, producing slowly but steadily. These tomatoes are all somewhat cracked, but taste great.

2) Yellow pear - the plants are 7-8 feet tall even though I pruned them pretty heavily a month or so ago. I always have plenty to pick for salads. These are pretty good, but not nearly as good as the clementine tomatoes I grew last year, which had a ton of citrus-y flavor. I'll probably try a different cherry tomato next year.

3) Black krim - the best-tasting tomato ever, on healthy plants which produce numerous fruits at once. I am growing this forever more.

I rooted suckers of all of the plants in water and now have the suckers planted. I did this in anticipation of the original plants getting some inevitable disease (usually blight around here), but it hasn't happened yet - so I may end up with 20 tomato plants!

Beans - I planted a second set of beans a week or two ago. They are the purple snap beans that turn green when cooked. I picked them for the novelty, so hopefully they'll taste good! They are about 6 inches tall now.

The fruit garden didn't do so hot this year - pests got pretty much all of the strawberries and blueberries. I'm thinking of moving the strawberries out of the raised beds and into less prime real estate. I just can't sacrifice raised bed space for an unproductive crop.

The herb garden responded surprisingly well to being moved from a plush raised bed to a clay plot. Even the parsley, whose long taproot was curled in a ball and basically placed atop the clay, has overcome its brief period of stress.

Later in September, when it cools off a tiny bit, I'll be planting cilantro, lettuce, winter squash, and sugar snap peas. As hot as it is in the summer here, I'm thankful that our weather allows us to garden pretty much year round!


Becca's Dirt said...

You have been able to reap a lot from your gardens. Mine dried up and I didn't have the want-to to do anymore of the veggies till fall. Good luck with the rest of your veggies. I am planning on a good fall garden.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Ginger, Growing veggies (and flowers--which we do) is different from year to year. My father-in-law has a veggie garden--but it hasn't done well at all this year. Even his tomatoes didn't do well. Don't know why--but looks like you got some good stuff from yours. I love pickling cucumbers --not to pickle but to EAT.


Janet said...

Sounds like you will have tomatoes long into the fall. Great!! Wonder why the other cukes didn't do well? I have my herbs in a container on the deck outside the kitchen door. Makes retreiving them quick and easy!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Those lemon cucumbers look really good. I've never tried growing cucumbers at all.
I'm thinking about starting some fall veggies here, I've never grown anything after summer. At least lettuce would grow through fall. Good luck with yours!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Lemon cucumber?... look so fresh. I will grow cucumber soon..the ordinary long and green ones. ~bangchik