Blue Lake Beans, corn, crook neck squash, cucumber, daikon radish, dragon's heart carrot, French Beans, Gardener's Delight, garlic, onion, Outdoor Girl, potato box, pumpkin, purple carrots, radishes, rainbow chard, tomatillo, tomato
The garden has been really exciting as of late.
First, we have had a ridiculous amount of rain and thunderstorms that have brought enough rain to lift the hose/pipe ban since the water table is surely not in danger of being too low for next year, so we can use hoses to water our garden if we like now, without fine or penalty. But rest assured that our garden is in no need of any extra water at the moment.
Auntie Errin, who is here to help us out with baby Emily and to just hang out in England until October, and I spent a few minutes between baking a cake and making dinner out in the garden to see what progress our garden was making.
The tomatoes have been severely over-watered. So much so that some of our tomato buds have dried up and gone brown, so we clipped off all the yellowing leaves and browned buds and flowers to encourage the growth of the prospering tomatoes and any other shoots that will grow into larger branches to carry more tomatoes.
The Outdoor Girl variety is our heartiest tomato plant and grew green tomato buds first and has the largest leaves, etc.
The Gardener’s Delight plants are the last to get tomatoes and a rather sparse looking plant. The leaves aren’t very large and there aren’t as many shoots, it is a plant that we hardly clip anything off of and I’m not sure how many tomatoes we can really expect to get from it.
The third variety (whose name I cannot remember at the moment) is somewhere between the Gardener’s Delight and the Outdoor Girl. It is looking hearty, the tomatoes coming in are more plentiful than the Gardener’s delight but not quite as bountiful as the Outdoor Girl; although I’m looking forward to these because they look like an heirloom variety! See how these are quite ribbed? We just picked up this starter plant at our local garden center, and they were just regular garden variety, dependable tomato plants – nothing special about them otherwise. I’m very excited to see how these develop!
The tiger tomatoes are still young and growing strong. We snipped off all the yellowing leaves from the severe over-watering our garden experienced and eagerly awaiting some flowers to set.
The hanging basket tomatoes are at the same point as the tiger tomatoes, but we aren’t clipping them – mainly because they are slightly out of reach and honestly with all of our other tomatoes, if those don’t make it – we will be short a couple pounds of tomatoes, nothing we can’t live with.
The carrots are really taking off! Both of our purple varieties have now been thinned out twice and this last haul has gotten us even more excited for the fall harvest of these gems … I’m not sure what we will make with our carrots but they will certainly be the star of the dish! Auntie Errin and I managed to loose a few carrots to the ground while we were thinning them out so we got in ther and dug them out. Mei was very happy we did too! We all munched on the slightly larger carrots than our last haul, and Mei proudly carried the carrots we brought up into the house. She even munched on one after breakfast!
What about the potato box?? It has really taken off! All that water lately has done one thing for the potato box, it is out of control! We are not putting in any more layers, although we might consider it because the potato plants are a few feet high, but they have fallen to the side from the weight of their stalks. It is truly a thing of wonder. The only question that remains is whether or not the potato box is actually producing any amount of potatoes?? … It will be a few more months before we find out. In the meantime, we will have to do something to contain the sheer magnitude of the plants.
Sweetcorn! It is growing tassles and the plants are now as tall as Mei! I’m excited to pick them when they are fully grown! I have this image of my head of the movie Totoro when the two sisters go and pick veggies (including corn) with their neighbor – our harvest will be something like that.
Remember the tomatillos? Well we have three plants growing strong and it seems that they just needed a bit of time and buckets of rain (thank goodness for the thunderstorms!) and now they are setting the prettiest yellow flowers, giving off the slightest glimmer of hope that they will set fruit as well! See how they have been growing?
Jack-o-lantern anyone?? Does anyone know how many pumpkins will grow from one vine?? It is spreading its spindly vine along our garden and putting out these enormous leaves… I can’t wait to see how big a pumpkin we can manage to grow!
The bright lights radishes are growing strong as well, I think we want to make our carrot and radish beds much larger next year – I am just so pleased with how they are turning out. We have picked a few out in the last couple of weeks and they are getting much larger and a bit sweeter, and it’s just been a treat to munch on.
Here is a little sad news… we don’t have pictures of the onions or garlic because we haven’t been able to reach those beds with the number of weeds that have taken over with all the rain that we had. The garlic stems have fallen over but we suspect that is due to the partial shade they are kept in, rather than that they are ready. The onions are growing strong but we have to un-earth them from the weeds to really see their progress.
The brussell sprouts are growing steadily but also being eaten by something… we suspect it is either caterpillars or snails. Either way, we need to lay down more snail and slug repellent and hope for the best, since we have seen similar damage just on the lower leaves of the bean plants.
Daikon radish. Have you seen it? It is a long, white, tubular radish with bright green tops that can be found in your local supermarket. They are often up to a couple of feet long and have quite a large circumference. Being that this is the first time we have grown them, we didn’t know what to expect, but these are shooting up these beautiful light purple flowers a few feet above the radish tops themselves and apparently will continue to grow up to four feet high and 12 inches out to either side until they are ready to be harvested. We aren’t entirely sure what we are going to do with our harvest of these babies since we often only use one or two during the winter for our hot pots, but I’m sure we will find other uses for them or friends to share them with!
The rainbow chard is growing slowly, but I’m excited for the day that they really start shooting up since we have really discovered a love for chard over this past winter and have a few recipes that we like it in and are eager to have again.
Cucumbers are one of my all-time favorite foods, the Japanese variety being the best – in my opinion, they are slow to blossom but they are really starting to stretch out now. Hopefully we get a few nice cucumbers out of our plants, I believe there are five, maybe six – either way it is very exciting.
Another of our crops that is as tall as Mei, actually it is taller – is the crook neck squash. I’m very excited about this one! I was going to turn a tomato cage upside down to “trellis” this particular plant but this plant is doing a really good job at growing vertically instead of horizontally which has nullified that need all together. The bright orange-yellow blossoms give a lot of hope for quite a few squash to grow – it’s a good thing we love eating squash!! I can’t wait for this one!
The piece de resistance?? Green beans!! We planted both Blue Lake and French beans and they have been taking to the garden netting quite well and setting flowers for the past few weeks and this trip out to the garden after almost two straight weeks of heavy rain and we discovered a few dozen beans on the vines!! I was somewhat dubious that we would actually get beans to grow so I’m very proud and excited for these babies to be setting in! I also have fairly high hopes for the bush beans and other pole beans that we planted rather late… they are starting to get tall enough to search for the garden netting to climb up, so I’m pretty excited to see how they will do in the coming weeks – all I know is that this bought of sunlight and warmth will do them all a world of good!!
I’m very happy and excited to see all that is coming out of our garden so far and can’t wait to see what changes will be next! In the meantime, we will be enjoying the weather and our tiny garden visitors and eat some watermelon!