Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another August Garden Tour - August 29, 2013

Things change so quickly in the garden at this time of year! I decided to do another tour, just because.

Here's the tomato bed. I'm still trying to get some carrots going under the Agribon, they are doing ok, but the parsnips that I sowed were a failure so I put more carrot seed in their place.

Let's check out the back alley. Today...

Tomato Alley on August 29

And twenty days ago... The tomatoes have grown at least 2 feet in those 20 days and most of them have passed the tops of their cages.

Tomato Alley on August 9

But the celeriac and celery are stubbornly resisting the urge to grow. Perhaps I'll pull them and put in something that will be more productive.

The fennel is equally growth resistant.

But the recently planted out napa cabbage is showing the laggards how to grow, in spite of wilting every afternoon (which I hope doesn't stress it enough to make it bolt).

And the beets are putting on an equally impressive show. It's not obvious from this photo but this baby is no longer a baby. I need to harvest all the beets to make space for the new broccoli plants that are ready to move in.

The Galinas cherry tomato is a non-performer this year. This is usually a rampant grower and producer of delicious little yellow flavor bombs. Not this year. The Isis Candy cherry tomato to the left wants to take over Galinas' cage and I think I will finally allow it to do so. The Nyagous tomato on the right is much more polite, but if it decides to take up some space next door it will be allowed to do so also.

Jaune Flamme is producing beautiful clusters of small tomatoes. The orange ones in the back are nearly ripe. If they are harvested too soon they still have quite a bit of green gel inside, but if allowed to sit on the vine a few days longer they develop a beautiful red core and the flavor really improves.

Beans dominate half the bed on the other side of the path. These are Italian runner beans that are grown for their dry beans. There's was a bit of diversity in the seed stock though,

the pale flowers on these plants are normal.

The volunteer peppers sitting right in the middle of the bed are doing quite well. One is producing some huge bell peppers and I think that the other one is a volunteer Aji Angelo or perhaps a cross, it's definitely a baccatum pepper of some sort.

I had tried to get some Buttercrunch lettuce started where the Agribon is spread out, but the seedlings bolted right away so I yanked them and tossed them in the compost. This part of the bed is destined for garlic which I need to set out in October so I needed to put in something that will crop quickly to free up the space by then. Yesterday I direct sowed seeds for Pak Choi, Early Rapini, and Yu Choy. The seed packs stated days to harvest of 45, 50, and 60 days respectively. We'll see what happens.

The Spanish Musica and French Gold filet bean plants are hanging in there. They got off to a rough start but pulled through and produced some decent harvests. They are showing signs of perhaps going through a second bloom cycle so I'll leave them for now.

I've not yet decided what the fate of the runner green beans is. The St. George plants on the right are pretty healthy and produced a good crop of beans. The gap to the left and the yellowing plants are the Moonlight runner beans which never were happy although they did produce some decent beans. The St. George plants are aphid magnets and I not sure that I want to continue to deal with that mess, so I may end up pulling out all the plants pretty soon.

I've decided to tackle the issue of not having enough cilantro by just planting out LOTS of seeds in various gaps in the garden and harvesting the small plants. The plants that I allowed to bloom this spring produced scads of seeds so I can afford to sow thickly all over the garden. Here's some seedlings getting close to harvest size. I also discovered that tiny cilantro seedlings with just a couple of tiny true leaves are fantastic. There were a bunch of tiny seedlings popping up in the area where I sowed the choy and rapini so I pulled them and used them as sprouts, roots and all, and found them to be super fragrant and tasty. So, I'm sowing cilantro seeds all over the garden...

Oh man, the zucchini is amazing this year. The romanesco variety that I'm growing is a hybrid that is supposed to be highly productive and resistant to powdery mildew. Correct on both points. No sign of PM yet and this plant has been producing zukes since May 21 (up to 64.5 pounds so far!).

The Ortolano di Faenza plant is equally PM resistant but this particular plant isn't as productive as the Romanesco (oh thank goodness).

It's not showing any signs of slowing down.

There's another volunteer bell pepper plants over by the ailing cucumber trellis.

Pretty nice!

Here's the new healthy cucumber patch. That's 2 plants each of Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers and Garden Oasis Mediterranean cucumbers.

A couple of lovely Garden Oasis cukes coming along.

This bed has certainly filled out in the last twenty days.

The eggplants are taller, the cucumbers are sprawling, and the melons are near to bursting out of their tunnel.

The Black Futsu squash are starting to take over their corner of the garden

August 29

August 9

July 17

August 29

The squash has finally started to bloom. I hope there's enough warm weather ahead to ripen some mature winter squash.



Twenty days from this...

To this. I should be harvesting amaranth greens very soon.

And across the way in the final bed of the tour, the newest trellis of beans is doing fantastically well. These are Australian Butter beans in the front and Emerite filet beans on the other end of the trellis.

The filet beans are already blooming and setting tiny beans. I should be harvesting these just as the Musica beans peter out.

The last of the Sugarsnax carrots are holding well in the ground. One of the latest ones that I harvested had split, but the rest were ok. I'll be pulling the rest of them soon to make way for the sugar snap peas that I'm starting in paper pots (if I don't kill them off before I can plant them out.)

These are the Di Ciccio broccoli plants, 3 left from the four that I had going.

I pulled out one of the Di Ciccio and all of the Purple Peacock plants so that I could plant out the chard. This year I'm growing Italian Silver Rib, Golden, and Flamingo.

The plastic tunnel over the pepper plants has been replaced with Agribon. The plastic was heating things up too much. These are Pimento de Padron plants.

The Padrons are just starting to produce a good quantity of peppers.

And now for a peek at a few of the peppers further inside the tunnel.

Odessa Market

Sunnybrook Pimento

Piment doux long des Landes


Lady Bell


Topepo Rosso

Um, I forget
 And a view looking into the other end of the pepper tunnel.

Thanks for coming along on the tour! How does your garden grow now?


  1. I love that photo of the Napa cabbage. I didn't plant any this fall. I'm going to miss it.

  2. If you keep the shoulders of your beets covered, it can keep them from getting rough and cracked.

    You have a lot of space planted here. How many square feet are you growing? What kind of irrigation are you using?

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for the beet advice. They are growing so fast right now I don't think I could keep up with that, so rough shoulders it is!

      I've got approximately 525 square feet total in the raised beds, each one is a little less than 2 feet tall (constructed from nominal 12"x24' boards). I use 1/4-inch tubing that has emitters embedded every 6 inches. I buy those lines in 500 foot rolls from

  3. What an awesome garden you have!! Really beautiful, I love all the raised beds!!

  4. Stunning garden! I'm jealous of all of your planting space!


  5. Beautiful garden! Do you use the tunnels for pest control for your melons? If so do you uncover them for pollination or do you grow self pollinating plants. I was going to try using tunnels next year because every year I lose my cucumber and melons to cucumber beetles.

    1. The tunnels are actually to keep the melons warm. It's a pretty marginal climate here for growing melons, the nights stay cold through most of the summer and the days aren't generally very hot. I really don't know if the tunnel is going to work. The biggest issue if you are going to totally enclose your tunnel will be pollination, I didn't close the ends of my tunnels for that very reason. Fortunately I don't have problems with cucumber beetles!

  6. My garden is sadder than yours. What lovely peppers. A very nice tour!

  7. We've given up on celery and celeriac as they have never seemed to grow well. As for runner beans ours are just starting to provide a harvest.

  8. I potted up some Jaune Flame tomatoes today - good tip about leaving them on the vine til fully ripe. As always I am hugely impressed with your garden - particularly the peppers - such beautiful peppers.

  9. I'm finally checking out your amaranth greens. I will have to experiment with them this fall. It looks like you have given them ample room, more than I might have given them.


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