Monday, June 22, 2009

The Vegetable Garden On The Summer Solstice

Here's how the vegetable garden looked on the longest day of the year.

The first tomato has finally set! Above is Black Sea Man and below is the first cherry tomato, Black Cherry.



Golden Beet above and Dewing's Early Blood Turnip Beet below.

The first female blossom on the Serpent Cucumbers

The foliage on the Green Beauty snow peas is yellowing, actually all the peas but Green Beauty is the worst. I think it's primarily because of a powdery mildew infection that was rapidly taking over the plants. I applied Neem oil to the pea plants a few days ago to slow down the infection and that seems to be helping. The remaining Green Beauty pods will be allowed to mature and dry so I can save the seeds.

Golden Sweet snow peas

The Magnolia Blossom snap peas have been producing about a pound of pods every 3 days. I've been pickling the pods that we're not eating fresh. The first batch of pickles was ready yesterday and we ate half the jar. There's a closeup below of the purple stripe that many of the pods have.

Royal Burgundy snap beans

Peppers and eggplant. A volunteer rapini plant is growing like crazy and will be harvested whole soon. The pods that I kept on the Crimson Flowered favas (in the back) are starting to dry on the plants which means I will be able to pull the plants soon. The space between the peppers and the favas is reserved for Edamame which I sowed into paper pots yesterday. I sowed seeds of Rat-tail radish in a row between the peppers and eggplant. Rat-tail radishes are grown not for the roots, but for the seed pods which are delicious pickled.

Cocozelle zucchini, Golden Chard and Gigante kohlrabi. The kohlrabi are forming "bulbs" shown below. Some parsley in the foreground is blooming for the beneficial insects.

Cocozelle zucchini blossom

Cavolo Nero, Portuguese kale, and Piracicaba broccoli

Senposai in need of harvesting again (note to self, no more than 2 plants next time)

Experimenting with Puntarelle, a radicchio cousin.

An unknown variety of Czech grapes.


  1. What a fabulous idea. I have to pickle my snap peas too. I was wondering what to bring to the July 4th barbecue. They would be good if I started this week.

  2. It all looks wonderful, especially the grapes - they're huge compared with ours!

  3. Lookin' good! Nice grapes. How does edamame do for you? I've got some seeds and I'm thinking about trying it in my garden, but it might be too cool since I'm 1 mile from the coast?

  4. What a great collection! I love the variety you have, I'm drowning in plums right now, or at least they are all ripening at the same time...

  5. Daphne, I'm sure the pickled sugar snaps will be a hit at the barbecue.

    Chaiselongue, my friend who gave me the grape plant said it's an early variety. I also have another variety, possibly a red flame, and the grapes are much smaller.

    Jackie, this is my first time trying edamame, so we'll see how they do. I had friends who grew them in San Jose, but it's warmer there...

    Town Mouse, how wonderful! Do you have plans for the bounty?

  6. The peas look good. I didn't know about neem and powdery mildew -- it would be helpful for later on when the squash get hit. Denise has edamame in Berkeley, but it's being eaten by something. The grapes are really impressive.

  7. Stefaneener, I have found Neem to be VERY effective against powdery mildew on zucchini plants. You have to spray about every 7 to 10 days to stay ahead of it.

  8. Would you believe me if I said I've never been successful in germinating tomatoes? I've been successful germinating Jequirity that has a notoriety of being a tough one, but tomatoes, I failed twice! May be I have some kind of curse with veggies? Inspired by yours and other blogger friends' veggie posts, I tried radishes, and fennel. Radish did germinate but stupid me, I forgot that it was a cold climate crop and heat would make it suffer and the fennel never made it!
    Of course, I'm not giving up and that's why I always come back to your blog for inspiration and give a go at the veggies again.
    One thing I'm proud of is my Grape that was a total surprise to me. I sow the grape seeds from the fruits and one did make it! It was a total surprise. It's been more than six months now. I heard that grapes take years to bloom. Is that so? How long did yours take?

  9. Hi Chandramouli, I hope I don't inspire you to the point of total frustration, our climates are so different! Congratulations on your successes with Jequirity and Grapes. Actually, I haven't tried grapes from seeds. The plant in the photo was given to me by a friend who grew it from a cutting. I'm don't even know how old that plant is, although this is going on my second year with it. She gave it to me as a small plant in a 1 gallon pot and I potted it up to a bit bigger pot last year and an even bigger pot this year. This is the first time it has produced fruit for me. I do know that seed grown woody plants generally take longer to get to fruiting size than plants propagated from cuttings. Now I need to find a spot in the ground where the gophers won't eat the roots and the deer won't eat the leaves.

  10. You have such a wonderful variety of veggies, and those are lovely photos!

  11. I try to get PM resistant seed for plants in the squash family, 2 years ago I grew park's whopper cucumbers and they produced until frost, and last year I grew straight 8 cucumber and they died by mid-July after making only a couple finger sized cukes. Unfortunately, there isn't much for PM resistance available in zucchini. This year I'm trying 'sebring', which is a yellow zucchini and is supposed to be reasonably resistant and productive.

    I have a bottle of neem, I'll try it if the PM does pop up.

  12. Jan, thanks bunches!

    Josh, I grew serpent cucumbers last year also and picked my last ones in November. It never seemed to be affected by powdery mildew. The 3 varieties of squash that I grew though were all infected and got nearly weekly treatments with Neem.


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