Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Garden on August 9, 2013 - Part Two

It's been difficult sitting myself back down in front of the computer to finish writing up the latest garden tour. There's too many distractions - hiking, gardening, harvesting, attending Pignado party, recovering from Pignado party, more hiking, more gardening, more harvesting, dealing with the bounty from the garden, not to mention everything else that needs my attention.

So, here's the other half of the garden as it appeared last week.

Down in front, the Salangana eggplant are growing tall at their end of the eggplant patch and the new cucumber plants that I started to replace the first struggling plants are getting off to a great start. They've just started to bloom but haven't produced any cucumbers yet. There's two varieties there - Garden Oasis and Tasty Green Japanese. When they start to produce I'll pull out the old plants in the other cucumber patch and let the Tortarello Abruzzese cukes take over that corner.

Here's one of the first Salangana eggplants, which I harvested Friday and showed off in my harvest post yesterday.


Coming around the corner, you can see the rest of the eggplant patch. It has really filled in since the last tour. All the plants are blooming and setting eggplants.

I think this is a Bonica eggplant. It's still got a number of days left until it's ready to harvest. Last year I harvested my first eggplant on August 27, in 2011 the first ones were harvested on the 10th, and in 2010 the firsts ones were harvested on July 28th. So the eggplant seem to be on schedule, especially considering that I didn't plant any cool climate varieties this year.


Here's a closer look at the new cucumbers climbing their trellis.

And a peek into the melon tunnel. The plants are growing well and starting to bloom, but I haven't looked close enough to see if any melons have started to set.

And a look down on the squash patch. These are all Black Futsu squash. I've not grown these before so we'll see how well they grow and if I like the squash, if I get any...

A look down on that corner of the garden. I'm going to allow the squash to take over the path in this corner of the garden. I keep directing the vines away from the other parts of the garden.

The black nursery flats are providing just a bit of shade to newly planted out Amaranth seedlings. I'm growing two varieties this year, Tender Leaf and Thai Tender. Both varieties are green leafed and low growing, both bred for leaf production. Amaranth can be a huge plant. I've grown varieties that can be 8 foot tall space hogs. I like the small growers that produce lots of tender leaves. Tender Leaf fits the bill, this year the Thai Tender is new in my garden. I'm growing this for a fall crop, since fall is when we get our warmest weather and amaranth likes it warm, it pouts in the cool spring and early summer weather here.

Next to the amaranth are a couple of late planted eggplant, both Udumalapet, a purple and white striped variety from India. I started these from very old seeds, only a few germinated and they got off to a very slow start. I almost didn't plant them out because they were so runty. But now that they are in the garden they are taking off and I think that I'll get some nice eggplants from them. They did seem to respond to the performance enhancing drugs, uh, mycorrhizal fungi inoculant that I gave them. And the same goes for the runty peppers that I planted next to them.

Uh, the rest of the peppers in this bed sure seem to have responded to the PED's also.

There's plenty of green peppers on these plants, here's one example.

The tour concludes at bed number four. This corner is where I decided to plant out the last of the pole snap beans instead of the "bean" bed where all my beans seem to be suffering this year. These are off to a little better start, although I've already lost one plant to sowbugs. But the plants are starting to send up runners so that's a good sign. The right side is planted with Australian Butter beans and the left with Emerite filet beans.

To the right of the beans are the last of the Sugarsnax carrots. The short tops belie the long roots that these are producing. I did not amend this part of the bed with any nitrogen fertilizer when I sowed the carrot seeds because too much nitrogen can encourage too much top growth and produce hairy roots. That tactic seems to be working well with this planting.

It's kinda fun to see the space left behind after pulling a particularly big carrot.

The Greek Gigante runner beans, season two. These vines were sown last year, grew to look like this last summer, produced a generous crop of dried beans, died to the ground over the winter and then started all over again this spring. I only lost two of the original plants, one died last year and one didn't resprout this spring. Pretty amazing.

The plants are in all stages of production right now. Flowers and green pods.

And dry mature pods as well. I've read that the roots can be lifted in the fall and stored like you would dahlia roots through the winter and then replanted in the spring. I'm not sure if I want to try that or not, but I'm not sure that I want this spot to be the permanent Gigante bean patch either. Next year I'm going to need either this bed or the other bed with runner beans for my tomato plants, so it look like I'll be experimenting with one variety or another this winter.

The other corner of this bed is the broccoli patch. Di Ciccio is on the left and Purple Peacock is on the right. This patch of 8 plants has produced 14 pounds of heads and shoots since I started harvesting in late May, with the Di Ciccio being the clear winner at 10 pounds.

Di Ciccio broccoli

Di Ciccio broccoli

Purple Peacock broccoli

Purple Peacock broccoli

Most of the peppers growing in the pepper tunnel are not as happy as the ones in the neighboring bed. Is it the lack of PED's? Perhaps.

Runty Pimento de Padron peppers

 The plants at this end of the bed look better and are covered with peppers, but still seem to lack the vitality of the ones that I planted with the inoculant.

The Pimento de Padron plants are finally starting to produce peppers large enough to harvest, but the total output for 10 plants is rather disappointing.

The sweet pepper plants are particularly runty looking, but at least there's some decent looking peppers on some of them.

Odessa Market

Lady Bell

Forget which variety!
Sweet Chocolate?

 That's it for the August garden tour. Thanks for stopping by. Hope your own garden is growing well.


  1. Everything looks so pretty. I hope your peppers perk up.

  2. Your garden is looking very nice. Great selection of eggplant too.

  3. Thanks for the tour, your garden is beautiful.
    When do you remove the pepper tunnel? I found some Spanish Judion Beans, they are white, huge, and flat, could be Gigandes' cousin.

  4. If possible, even more beautiful than part 1! We didn't plant eggplant this year, and yours make me miss them...

  5. Thanks for the garden tour! It was nice to see what my Purple Peacock plants are going to look like when they grow up. I just set my plants out last week. Last year the rabbits ate my plants, but this year I think they are safe.

    It is interesting to hear about your plant 'ped's. I haven't experimented with the mycorrhizal inoculant, but I do use a Promix potting mix for seedlings that is supposed to be inoculated with them. I wonder if that gives the plants the same benefits?

  6. That looks amazingly bountiful. My pardons are still developing fruit so I am really pleased I took your advice and am overwintering them. They aren't flowering so there will be a break in fruiting but I think it will still be really worth it.


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