Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Moves Along


One of the small zinnias - Profusion Red F1.

This is a mix of orange and yellow - great for a mass of color.

This is the squash bed were the cedar trees used to be - much more productive.

Roots will develop at leaf junctions on pumpkins and squash.

Encourage those roots to help your fruits grow bigger.

Keep the melons off the ground to discourage critters.

The beans a week ago.

The beans today - they finally took off.

Sugary

Tomatoberry - who wouldn't like a cluster like this?

Lettuce and kale for fall harvest.

These okra just do not size - a heritage variety!?
Summer harvest is moving along and as of August 1st we have tomatoes.  The grape varieties were first with Sugary and Tomatoberry starting the harvest.  Sugary is just like its name - really sweet, and Tomatoberry is a firm, good tasting variety that is worth a spot in your tomato collection.  Tomatoberry is great for grilling or having with a full English breakfast as they really hold their shape when cooked.  I have full green fruit on the other vines but just nothing ripe yet.
The pole beans have finally taken off and are climbing the poles with a bit of help so hopefully in two weeks we will have flowers and beans.
Squashes and the pumpkins are setting fruits and the pictures remind you to encourage the stem roots that these plants will set.  Covering stems with soil will help the fruits to grow and also help protect  somewhat from squash vine borers that I have still seen flying around my plants.  On pumpkins, I usually monitor the distance that the plant sets fruits and usually have a good 3 - 4 feet between set fruit -that too will help the plant. Then, I don't allow more than two to three pumpkins per plant to grow to maturity - more if they are squash. Those people that grow the monster sized pumpkins only have one fruit per plant and they baby that one.
The third crop of lettuce is about to be harvested and so I planted another flat along with Napa cabbage and some kale varieties and cilantro as all these plant types will take the shortening day lengths that we are into and for us seemingly more cool weather.  I will plant lettuce again for the fall cold frames but not quite yet as the pumpkins are sort of in that space.
Flowers of summer are here - the zinnias are looking good and nasturtiums are doing well plus we even have a few calendulas still blooming both of the latter are good to eat along with the borage flowers that add a bit of blue to a salad or lemonade.
The okra is poor - does not get real large before the pod gets real seedy and the watermelons and cantaloupes have just started to set fruit - may be a push to get them ripe.  Note the cantaloupe picture as we have chipmunks and voles and I for one do not like to share.  Watch for vole nests in the lawn as they are prodigious breeders and any you get rid of now you will not be feeding all winter long.  I have found 4 nests so far this summer - each with 5 or more pups.  We still have bunny problems as the young ones get though the chain link fence so I will have to put a guard around the entire bottom of the fence to stop this.
Happy Gardening

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