Friday, July 3, 2009

The Vegetable Garden on July 2

There's one of the vestiges of the spring garden, Green Beauty snow pea pods filling out and maturing for seed saving. You can see how brown the pea plants have become in the photo below. The snap peas are completely finished, the Golden Sweet snow peas are actually still producing just a few peas, and the Green Beauty snow peas are still producing just a few new pods as well, but I've been picking those so the plants will put their remaining energy into the maturing pods.

A lot of the oldest leaves on the bean plants are yellowing and dropping, but in spite of that they are still producing beans.

The cucumber plants have been wilting. I pulled one up and it appeared to have healthy roots. I suspect that the oak tree outside the garden is sending roots into that bed and is drying out that area. Perhaps that's why the beans aren't happy either. The parsley and beets even seemed to want more water. When I gave that end of the bed extra water the plants perked up.

At the other end of that bed the Red Florence Fennel is happy.

And nearby, two leaf amaranth plants are taking off. I direct sowed a bunch of amaranth seeds in that area and most of the seedlings were munched by sow bugs. I've got a 6-pack of more amaranth plants started to fill in the gaps.

The next bed has the peppers and eggplant in it. The weather has warmed up quite a bit lately so the plants have been growing like crazy.

That's a young Marconi Purple shown below.

And the next pepper is a Christmas Bell.

I've sown more cilantro in the pepper bed and it's starting to emerge. I need to plant some more soon to stagger the harvest and to be sure that I have some that isn't bolting when the peppers and tomatoes start coming in.

And here's some radishes that are growing between the young eggplants. I've been sowing seeds about every 10 days.

Look at the spines on that Lao Purple Stripe eggplant! It's not going to be fun harvesting from that plant.

The Crimson Flowering favas that took up the end of the bed have been pulled to make room for Magadalena Big Cheese squash (thanks Daphne!). Here's my haul of seeds for sowing this fall and probably enough for next year as well.

Between the squash and the peppers I've planted out the Beer Friend soy beans that I started in paper pots and the birds lost no time in attacking them. They are now covered with floating row cover and growing fast.

I left four garlic plants so that I could collect the bulbils to plant this fall. I planted a bunch of bulbils from last year's Georgian Crystal garlic and those produced bulbs of various sizes. I'll plant the biggest of those bulbs this fall. Growing from bulbils is supposedly a good way of adapting garlic to your climate - we'll see.

Here's a view of most of the vegetable garden. Peas, beans, etc on the left. Peppers, eggplant, soybeans and soon to be squash on the far left. Tomatoes and tomatillos on the far right. Zucchini and brassicas in front.

There are a couple of Golden Chard plants left next to the zucchini. I lost two of the chard plants to a gopher. You can still see the open run at the bottom of the picture. The gopher is history thanks to my trusty cinch trap. I leave the run open after I trap a gopher because it's not unusual for a new gopher to move in after one vacates a territory. The first sign of a new resident is usually when the run is plugged with fresh soil.

That's only two zucchini plants there. They certainly are happy.

On the other side of the zucchini are some Gigante kohlrabi plants that the aphids have made home. Yuck. They shouldn't affect the bulbs so I'm just going to give them a squirt with some water to dislodge them.

The kale and broccoli have gone under cover....

And here's the reason why... The birds find the leaves to be absolutely delicious. It hasn't been necessary to completely enclose the plants with row cover. The birds seemingly don't like being closed in under the cover or they don't like the movement in the breeze. Last winter I had to net all of my brassicas to protect them from the birds. I had to have the netting suspended above the plants and draped all the way down to the ground and pinned in place to keep the birds out from under the netting. That was a huge pain, so if just floating the row cover over the top of the plants continues to work I'm going to be very happy.

And here was an unexpected surprise, the Piracicaba broccoli has formed some small heads! This variety of broccoli doesn't make a big main head, just a small one and then lots of side shoots. The heads don't have the small tight buds of most broccoli varieties, these big buds are normal. This variety (not an F1) was developed in Brazil for warm weather climates and seems to be quite happy year round in my garden. And best of all, I like the flavor.

The Puntarelle keeps growing... I may try wrapping one of the clumps to try blanching the stems.

Another pot of cutting lettuce.

An escapee from a previous lettuce sowing is growing in the path and is going to seed. Behind it is the Senposai which is growing like crazy. I need to pick the Senposai about every three days. It's too much and I'm seriously thinking of pulling a couple of the plants.

It's almost time to harvest the Tuscan Arugula seeds.

The tomato jungle. They're growing so fast that I have to tuck the shoots into the cages about every three days.

Black Sea Man is setting a bunch of tomatoes. I wonder if these will be the first ones to ripen?

Purple Tomatillos are setting nicely also. The husks get big before the fruit fills them up.

Profuma di Genova basil is finally taking off in the warm days of summer.

Ah, another surprise, the Frederick passionfruit has bloomed and set one fruit.

The deer's perspective of some flowers that they would just love to snack on.


  1. Love the photo of the peas. They are so pretty with the sun shining though. I hope that squash grows well for you. It is the first time that I'm growing it too.

  2. As always your vegetable garden looks fantastic! Lovely photos and interesting write-up.

  3. Hi Michelle, you are like the energizer bunny, it seems! Sorry I don't visit much's hard to do. I'm impressed with your bounty of veggies and how much effort the whole adventure must take. I hope your crops continue to do well for you. I thought the Piracicaba broccoli looked interesting, and wow, what 'spines' on that eggplant! Hopefully the covers will work to keep the birds away and you won't have to resort to staking and pinning down all that netting!

  4. Thanks for the tour! It's all so lovely, and thank you for the reminder to reseed basil. I have some ideas to get around our water dearth. Your tomatillos are months ahead of mine, seemingly. Just gorgeous.

  5. Wow, what do you do with all that food? :) Peppers and eggplant, eh? You must have warmer weather than I do.

    What is you Number 1 most favorite sugar snap pea?

  6. Hi Chuck, my husband and I do manage to eat most of what comes out of the garden :) Vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I give some to friends when I'm really inundated. Some gets pickled, like most of the sugar snaps. I freeze some. And the worms, BSF larvae (a new composting experiment), chickens and compost bin get the scraps and over-the-hill or buggy stuff.

    I can't really say that I have a favorite sugar snap pea, but I did really like the latest one I grew - the Magnolia Blossom. This fall I'm going to try a yellow one - Opal Creek Golden Snap Pea. And there's also a purple podded one that I want to try...


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