Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Garden on August 9, 2013 - Part One

Let's start the tour in Tomato Alley. One side of the newest bed is filled with tomato plants. The plants are growing quickly, I think they've probably doubled in sized since the last tour on July 18. It seems like I'm tucking shoots into the cages every time I'm out in the garden.

There's three Andine Cornue plants stuffed into two cages at this end of the row, then one Martian Giant, one Chianti Rose, and one Potiron Ecarlate. In the foreground are the newly planted out Monarch celeriac and Dorato di Asti celery plants. Off to the left in front are newly emerging carrot seedlings and under the protection of the Agribon fabric are some Kral Russian parsnip seedlings that are just starting to germinate.

The carrot seedlings are there, trust me.

On down the tomato lineup (starting from the center) are one each of Green Grape, Isis Candy, a runty Galinas cherry tomatoes.

Next to the runty Galinas is Jaune Flamme, then Nyagous. In the front are beets, such fast growers at this time of year! It's a mixed planting of Red Baron, Baby Ball, Golden, and Chioggia.

All of the first sowing of beets are ready to harvest, it looks like all leaves from here, but there are some good sized roots in there. I've got some Napa cabbage seedlings ready to plant out in their place.

I slipped a few seedlings of Romanesco fennel in next to the beets.

Across the path is where I've got my primary bean plantings. These are Stefani's Italian runner beans. There was a bit of mixing going on in the bean patch in her garden. Most of the plants have flowers that start out a bit peachy colored and then turn white, but as you can see one of the plants has scarlet flowers, and what's not obvious is that another plant has bi-colored scarlet and white flowers. I'm not too worried about that right now, I'll choose the plants that have the best dry beans and then mark the plants for seed saving next near. That's a really great thing about runner beans in my mild climate, they will probably come back next year! I can just dig out the off-type plants and leave the true ones, or if they are tasty I can let them come back too and try to bag some blossoms to save seed next year.

Further on down the row are the Musica and French Gold pole filet beans. The runner green beans are even further down.

French Gold filet bean

Here's the Moonlight and St. George runner beans. You can tell the difference between the two varieties, the Moonlight plants are not happy, the leaves are yellowing and the plants are a bit sparse. I think I'll save the St. George plants this year and pull out the Moonlight plants.

Moonlight runner beans

St. George runner beans

The cucumber tower is at the very end of the bed.  There's four varieties of cucumbers here, Tortarello Abruzzese, Tasty Green Japanese, Green Fingers Persian, and Garden Oasis. The Tortarello plants started out as a runt, the only seedling that emerged from a sowing of quite a few 10 year old seeds. It turned out to be the happiest of the bunch. The rest of the cukes were not happy about getting an early start and then they all got infected with spider mites, and they've never really fully recovered. I'm also finding that they are happiest when allowed to grow down the side of the bed, they just don't like being trained up the tower and won't set fruit up there so I've allowed them all to sprawl. The cucumbers are still just trickling in, except for the Tortarello Abruzzese, it keeps putting out numerous cucumbers..

Tortarello Abruzzese cucumber ready to harvest.

Did you happen to notice the pepper plant that volunteered in the cucumber patch?

And over in this corner, the champion zucchinis.

Ortolano di Faenza zucchini. It just keeps producing.

As does the Romanesco zucchini. This is just one of four branches on the Romanesco. I've nicknamed it QuadraZuke. It's going to be interesting to see just how much zucchini this baby can produce, it's 46 pounds so far. Last year I harvested 49 pounds of zucchini from two plants (a different variety) for the entire season. This year the harvest from two plants is already 59 pounds and both plants aren't yet showing signs of slowing down.

I cleared out the space (mostly) where the Purgatory beans were and put in some seedlings of Buttercrunch lettuce yesterday. There's still room for the Red Salad Bowl seedlings that are ready to plant out.

Ah look, it's a couple more volunteer pepper plants.

This one has the best bell pepper in the whole garden, the plant is bigger and healthier than anything that I started and planted out. Go figure.

These are few more late sown Purgatory bean plants that I'm hoping will add to my meager harvest this year.

And finally, the happy happy Lacinato kale plants. They've recovered nicely from the aphid attack, although I saw a few had returned so I need to get on top of that before they take over again. The plants  grow so quickly at this time of year that it's difficult to keep up with the harvests. I've found that I get the best fall and winter production from this variety of kale if the plants get really well established in the summer so I'll sacrifice some of the summer harvest to the compost bin in return for better harvests when the days get short and cold and the plants don't grow very quickly.

That's half of the August garden, I'll cover the rest in another post tomorrow.


  1. Wow! You've got some great views from your garden. The surroundings of your garden look incredible!

  2. Amazing. How do you eat it all? Your landscape is stunning and the plants amazing, I am not sure I could come back inside after going out there.

  3. Your soil must be really healthy! I can't get over how many zucchini you have been harvesting! I haven't started my kale seeds yet, and you got me thinking about how it'd be smart to get them established in the summer with longer daylight. I'm excited to see the rest of the tour!

  4. JSeeing your garden proves how beautiful an edible one can be! I'm wondering the same thing — how do you handle all of the vegetables you produce, do you preserve?

  5. Amazing garden. You are certainly getting use out of every square inch.

  6. It is interesting that your self seeded peppers do so well. I've never had a self seeded pepper here. I'm guessing our weather is not conducive to it. Now self sown tomatoes plants are everywhere which is annoying since I have to get my gloves on to pull them. And lots of nightshade plants that the birds bring in every year. Nightshade is such a common weed here.


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