Sunday, August 5, 2012

The garden in August

Hm. Looks more like a jungle than a garden. It will be interesting to see how the squashes do next year, when they'll have this size area all to themselves. I'm told one vining squash can happily take over 25 square meters. We don't have that much space for them, but they'll have more than they've got just now.

Otherwise...tomatoes are finally starting to think about getting ripe, some of them. The Spawn ate the first ripe cherry tomato from one of our container grown tomatoes, but I'm looking forward to the big 'uns out there in the garden. Peppers are maybe thinking about turning colour too. A couple of 'em actually look kind of sad--may have gotten some sort of mold, I suppose. We grow that really well.

The Spawn's got lots of flowers blooming in her row. Her jack-o-lantern pumpkin plant has finally set a fruit too, so she may get to do a jack-o-lantern on her very own pumpkin this year. I'm not letting her grow so many nasturtiums next year though. I'm not letting ME grow so many either. They're all over!

The herbs are...puttering along. The basil isn't doing too badly, but the dill is just barely doing anything. There are a couple of decent sized tobacco plants though. Just planted some coriander and parsley for fall harvest. Yum! I also just planted some kale in the herb row, since that's where there was space. Or rather, where there was space not being taken over by squashes!

Next row, green onions are finally harvestable. The Spawn has decided they're like giant chives and she's been pulling them and eating the tops. The Better Half gets the bottom part. They both seem reasonably happy with that arrangement. Beets are doing well. I planted to give us a steady supply (I hope) until it gets too cold. Seems to be working so far. The cauliflower and cabbages are nice and leafy, but otherwise not doing much.

Chard is good. Lots and lots of the stuff. I tried two new to me varieties this year, Perpetual Spinach, which all bolted and Verde di Taglio, which is also now bolting. I think I'll stick with Bright Lights, which makes leaves as big as my body and never bolts. And for spinach, phooey on Galilee, which has bolted as soon as it get four leaves every single time I've planted it, spring, summer and autumn. Bordeaux did a bit better, but it bolted pretty quickly. Olympia is good though. It gets some respectable growth before bolting. The purslane is doing very well, as is the vegetable mallow. I planted a bunch of leaf amaranth, which should be ready to start harvesting soon. Pretty stuff and tasty too.

Should start getting some cucumbers soon. The zucchini is going into summer overdrive, which means I need to start dehydrating. And, of course, the other cucurbits are enthusiastic, as I said. I'm seeing some decent sized stuff in amongst the leaves already, so starting them indoors may actually give us truly ripe squashes this year! Keeping my fingers crossed.

We've just started harvesting from the broccoli. So very, very tasty! I need to work on getting a good succession of broccoli next year. But I do hope to be able to freeze at least a bit this year for winter eating. Or we might just eat it all. Even the Spawn likes it!

Um...more greens, right. Spinach and chard. This is the...third and second round respectively, so just starting to harvest and eat them. Harvest and freeze, in the case of much of the chard. I suspect I'm going to get tired of frozen chard and beet greens.

Lettuce is doing well, though we're not eating as much of it as the Better Half would like. Some has gotten swallowed by the squashes. Some has gotten swallowed by a small rabbit that we've been seeing the garden. Some has been for us though and is darned tasty. Got one head starting to bolt though, so it'd better be for dinner tomorrow.

Bush beans are doing fairly well. They're meant to all be for dry beans, but the Better Half was impatient for green beans and forgot. The corn has just started silking. It looks so small, doesn't it? It's a dwarf variety and never does get any bigger. Still makes sweet corn though, which is all that really matters to the corn enthusiasts of the household.

The pole beans are nicely strung up on nylon netting. We've gotten a few of the Scarlet Emperor runner beans already, but the others are either just starting to bloom or not even thinking about it yet. Laggards! Oh, the picture is just illustrative of the netting. It's from a couple of weeks ago and doesn't reflect the current state of bean growth.

Potatoes are all blooming. Some are almost done blooming, so we'll start restricting their water soon. Our heat wave will be over by then, I'm sure. Maybe I should say our three or four days of summer will be over by then....