Sunday, July 29, 2012

Harvesting Cucumbers and Beans

Passion flower "Mayhop"

The cotton crop is flowering.

The garlic harvest - about 2wks early.

My squash plants are really vigorous in this new ground.

The dandelion is really an endive.

The hoop house vines.

These Alpine strawberries are an excellent border.

Add to that they are full of berries.

The black fig has a great crop.

My Chicago fig also has set fruit.

Romano vines - but no beans!

The "Earthbox's" with their pepper plants.

Tomatoes soon to be on the harvest list.

Bees are a scarce insect this year - not good.

 The  cucumbers in the garden are really providing a nice daily harvest of 4 - 6 fruits. That is good because the greenhouse plants were done in by the extremely hot weather we had in the last few weeks.  After a while the vegetable bins in the refrigerator are full and friends find bags of cucumbers on their car seats when the come to visit.
The beans are another story.  I planted three varieties and two of them are really bad.  Goldmine, a yellow Romano, is tasteless and a poor producer - not going to get a second try even with the hot weather we have had.  The vines grow vigorously but the beans are poorly formed and raw or cooked they are poor.  The other planting a "Romano" Pole bean that I got from Pinetree, has as the pictures show, grown great amounts of vines but I have yet to see a flower or bean pod - maybe a great plant for making compost but not beans.  My old "No Name" variety that I have saved for years is still by far the best producing and eating bean I have.  So that means I will continue to save my seed and plant that variety and forget others.  So much for experimentation in the bean patch.
We are looking forward to having tomatoes soon as a few Sugary's are showing color.  The cotton is happy for hot weather and rain at last. The garlic is out of the ground and drying in the little house but it seems to be at least two weeks early. Squash vines are really growing and I have started to cut the ends off some of them to encourage better sized squash.  The pop sorghum has started to tassel and I saw one cantaloupe and one watermelon developing on a vine in the old hoop house.  I have a great crop of red stemmed dandelion and it is my favorite part of salads - bitter but really good. 
The yellow Alpine strawberries that were planted last fall have done amazing as the pictures show.  They have made a fine edge and the fruits are really sweet.  I can get a handful at lest twice a week and they seldom make it into the house.  I grew these plants from seed and planted them out last fall and they have really done well.  Remember, Alpines do not make runners but nice bushy plants and I figure I should have a nice edible edge here for at least three years or more.
My passion vine is blooming and I had thought that it had winter killed but the roots had grown next to the house and survived and I have a nice plant and many flowers again this year.  And both fig trees have a good fruit set so figs will be on the menu this fall.
Happy Gardening


  1. Your garlic harvest looks great. I can never get mine to grow very large. Must be that Wisconsin sun you have :)

  2. Hi Richard,
    I made a point to fertilize mine this year with an organic liquid 7 /0 /0 about three times as it was growing and I also plant the very biggest cloves of the harvest. I am glad it got as big as it did considering the very hot dry weather and how quickly the whole patch matured - early. A friend of mine said he is harvesting peaches almost a month early this year - so things are definitely early because of our heat and warm spring.
    Happy Gardening

  3. I had a similar problem for several years trying to grow scarlet runner beans. They flower, but never set beans. I think it may be because it's too hot here... How much do you cut off of your squash vines? I've never heard of doing that.

  4. Hi Shannon,
    I have just tip cut the vines because just like the tomatoes, as the season progresses the plant's energy is best put into the fruits on the vines and not making more that might not ever mature due to frost or the short days of fall. So I have cut the tops off all the tomatoes and have tip cut most the squash vines as I find them. ( yes some of us do things that are not by the book...)
    Happy Gardening

  5. Hello--I am a MBA student at the university of Arizona, and I am conducting a survey geared towards grafted vegetable plants. My team and I are building an indoor vegetable plant grafting operation in Tucson, AZ a project through our entrepreneurship program. We are seeking feedback from gardeners whether currently using grafted plants or not. We would really appreciate it if you could take the survey and share it with your community. Below is the link:

    Thank you
    Shireen Asous