Sunday, August 30, 2009

Potaotes and beans and one more fair to see.

Beautiful White dinner plate sized dahlia
Veggie Character
Nice medium sized flower
Now those are some potatoes
Just a sample of the fair entries
A purple cauliflower that was a show stopper
A nice plate of onions worthy of a blue ribbion
Sweet Chelsea Hybrid - good salad type
Sweet Olive - does not compare to Sugary
Golden Rave - good flavor
Sugary Hybrid - great sweet fruit
Wapsipinicon Peach

Rainy and cold this week. Yesterday we had rain and weather in the 50's - not something tomatoes like. But today made up for that with sunny skies.
I was in Marinette county judging fair this past week and saw some beautiful veggies and flowers. The pictures help tell the story. That box of potatoes was amazing, with each potato bigger than the next - I am sure that a few in the box came close to 16 oz! One contestant had some of the most beautiful dahlias I have ever seen. They were state fair quality. The pictures don't really show how lovely and gigantic they were. Dinner plate dahlias at least 12 inches across and white ones - always the hardest flower to show because of the tendency to show every little flaw on the stark petals - but these were perfect. The 4H entries were nice too with several kids showing really great quality vegetables. Plus, the little vegetable creature was better in person than the picture shows. You can't see the necklace made of sunflower seeds or the shine that the corn silk hair had- kitchy but a good idea, so it was worth a blue ribbon plus an honorable mention ribbon. This was a two day judging activity so today was harvest and picture day in the garden.
The tomatoes in my garden are ripening. This seems to be different for others who complain that they are still waiting for that first ripe tomato with August at an end. Culture, variety, and the weather may have something to do with this problem. The string method that I use allows for more light and air to pass around my fruit as opposed to say something like cages that get very full of vegetation by this time of the season if you do not prune some of the growth. Caged tomatoes should be de-suckered just like mine on strings. Plus the length to maturity of some varieties makes them later to ripen.
I harvested one of the potato towers and got a fair amount of tubers. The harvest was not as much as I had hoped for but still one variety (Carola) did quite well with 5 to 6 tubers to each plant. The peanut variety did not produce many tubers and their texture is not as nice as the Carola which seem to be creamy and soft. I have already started to re-think this tower method as it is a good use of space but may need more plants to be more productive.
The tomato pictures are a portion of the variety list so a few this week and the rest next week.
Happy Gardening

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