Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Garden Tour on August 10, 2010

Let's start with the best looking part of the garden. Here's the cucumber tower with Garafal Oro romano pole beans and Petaluma Goldrush pole beans in the background. The first cucumber is nearly large enough to harvest.

Seen from another angle. Note the ever-present morning fog shrouding the top of the hills in the background and turning the whole sky gray.

The zucchini plants are still growing and producing nicely. I cut out some of the first leaves to be infected with powdery mildew yesterday. It's time to start the Neem treatments.

The Crane melon plants are spreading out and the first male blossoms are opening. The female blossoms are still just tiny buds. I'm doubtful about ever getting enough heat this year to set any fruit and actually get it to ripen.

Here's a surprise popping up in the bean foliage, a volunteer fava bean, apparently healthy and happy.

The Marina di Chioggia squash are stretching out, filling their corner of the garden and just starting to climb the fence. I spotted the first open female blossom the other day.

Moving across the way, the poppies finally finished and made way for 4 Romanesco Broccoli plants. The lettuce made way for a couple of Savoy Cabbage plants. On the left in the foreground the Hollow Pipe of Malines cutting celery is happy, it doesn't seem to mind the cool weather.

Here's the holdover Pimento de Padron plants from last year. I decided not to pull them out because...

They are producing peppers and doing a better job of it than the new plants.

Thai Tender amaranth, hating the summer cold. They are runts. Amaranth usually grows like a weed in the summer and provides a bounty of sweet greens. Not this year.

But the Diamante celery root is finding the cool weather agreeable.

And so is the Golden Chard.

It's got multiple crowns on each plant.

Here's the four scraggly looking Piracicaba broccoli plants that just won't quit. The one on the left is twice as tall as the other plants and puts out longer stemmed shoots.

Two new Couve Tronchuda (Portuguese Cabbage) plants. This is a primitive type of cabbage that doesn't form a tight head so the leaves can be harvested individually over the season.

Here's the new Pimento de Padron plants with a scarcity of peppers and almost no flowers. By this time of year I should be harvesting so many little green peppers that I should be getting tired of picking and cooking them. I've been giving the plants some major doses of TLC lately and I'm seeing some tiny little new flower buds starting to show....  Most of the rest of the pepper plants in this bed are faring equally poorly, seemingly a combination of fierce competition with a neighboring oak tree for water and food, and the continuing cool weather.

And the tomato plants aren't liking the competition either, especially at this end of the bed closest to the offending oak trees.

Here's the Chocolate Stripes tomato that I showed on the last tour when it was just showing a hint of ripening. Just a few more days....

The Madrid Bell sweet peppers are sizing up ever so slooowly. Ages from ripeness.

Bogyiszloi getting very close to full ripness.

Esplette peppers, coming along.

The misty mornings do have one lovely benefit. Spiderwebs become startlingly apparent.

That spider is making its home in the Viego Arruga Dulce pepper plant. The seeds for this variety were listed under the hot pepper section of the SSE annual yearbook but they are entirely sweet, and delicious.

Across the way, the new planting of Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce is growing like crazy. There's been no heat to bother these babies.

And no heat to make these babies happy. The Diamond eggplant are runty thanks to cool weather and burrowing nibbling voles.

The Malaysian Dark Red eggplant aren't much happier.

And the most maddening consequence of the vole attack is that I pulled out all of the newly planted potatoes and haven't even attempted to sow my winter root veggies. Empty space, a battleground still. I'm going for the nuclear option at the moment, only time will tell if it is working. More later....

Not to end on a sour note, some sweet fragrant Yellow Wonder Strawberries....

Frederick passionfruit....

And a strawberry update. This is the patch of transplanted Mara des Bois plants. Blooming and setting fruit...

Runnering like crazy, here's a rooted runner that's blooming and setting fruit.

This is one method I've devised to foil the rats.

And sweetest of all, at least to the bees, they are determined not to be foiled by the bee guards on the hummer feeders. Now if I could just capture a moment when the hummers are in a feeding frenzy at the feeder, the evening feed is an amazing and amusing sight. I've got to work on getting a shot of that.


  1. Sorry to hear about the lack of summery weather your way this year, but wow, your garden is still growing so well, especially all those cool weather veggies. I was mesmerized by how beautiful your Golden Chard looks. Do they keep that color even after you cook them?

  2. Thanks for the garden tour, it's beautiful as always, sorry about the weather, somebody should talk to the guy up there and have him send some heat your way.

    Clever idea in devising a coverup for the strawberries. I would love to see a photo of the hummers in a feeding frenzy.

    BTW Shishito is on its way to you.

  3. Beautiful garden tour! I love what you've been planting!

  4. Well it all looks pretty even if it is late. Sorry you are having so many vole problems. I had voles in my last garden. But my problem wasn't all that bad as I never noticed them eat much. Compared to the voracious chipmunks they seemed pretty innocuous. Right now I have groundhog issues. They have eaten every last winter squash in my garden to get to a certain size except one that is hanging on the fence. I'm trying to protect it.

  5. so beautiful! I'm sorry about the lack of summery weather. Hopefully you'll get a burst of summer weather before summer ends!

  6. I had to laugh at the picture where you highlighted the ever present morning fog - as I had just stepped in from outside doing chores to read some blogs and guess what we have had lately too - morning fog and it was thick this morning! We have had cold and rain for four days in a row now but supposedly are going to enjoy a little bit of a warm up for a at least a week. I only pray and hope that the tomatoes take the opportunity to ripen in a mad rush.

    The garden tour was beautiful and inspiring. You have such a well managed garden and such great variety growing.

  7. thyme2garden, you're right, in spite of a lack of summer warmth the garden is still productive. I don't really remember just what the chard stems look like when they're cooked, I'll have to take note next time I cook some.


    mac, I think it's actually a fickle woman up there who's playing games with us this year. :-> (She's probably a gemini like me so I'll give her a break). I tried to get some hummer shots yesterday but they weren't cooperating either so I'm trying plan B this evening. Thanks for the seeds!


    Holly, thank you!


    Daphne, the voles and moles come and go from the garden and I can usually tolerate them, but lately they've made that bed unusable for root veggies so it's war. I feel your groundhog/chipmunk pain, it sounds a lot like my continuing frustrating rat/strawberry issues. Arrrgh!


    abigall, actually, I'm hoping for a normal fall which is usually as nice if not nicer than summer around here.


    kitsapFG, It would be nice to wake up to blue sky some morning, there's a reason why I don't have curtains on my bedroom windows. At least I'm not getting rain, you poor thing, I'm holding out hope for your tomato crop.

  8. Hummingbirds! Lucky you. I've never even seen a hummer, hope you get some good shots.
    Voles. Boo. I've never seen a vole either which is just fine with me ; )
    Your garden looks like it is providing you with an abundant and varied harvest, nicely done.

  9. Your garden is beautiful and very productive. Although you are not having a lot of heat it seems that tomatoes and cucumbers are producing fruits. I hope that peppers will join in soon.

    It is always good thing to have both heat loving plants and some that like cooler weather, so in any case you will have some to harvest.

  10. I love your garden tours! Thank you for showing us your beautiful garden. Sorry to hear about your voles problem, I do the same thing with my strawberries and it has really helped. You have such a wonderful variety in your garden, it makes me want to go settle down and peruse a gardening catalog!

  11. Lovely garden tour, thanks!

    What is the nuclear option with voles? I use traps, lots of traps and it eventually get the job done but I am always eager to learn about other methods.

  12. Wow, great garden. I love the strawberry protector - harvest directly into own bucket. My two year old scotch bonnet that was nearly defoliated by aphids is fruiting very nicely for me too.

    The thing about weather is it never suits everyone! Your cool weather loving veg are looking fabulous and I hope you get a bit of heat to cook the rest soon.

  13. wow, everything looks absolutely gorgeous. All the veggies look perfect and happy. I love your peppers and tomatoes. Need to double check where you are that you're getting ready to enjoy strawberries...

  14. Your garden is looking wonderful Michelle! Everything is so green and healthy. It looks like your fall plantings are well on their way.


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