It’s heading for the end of June and my garden has taken off!
Like most gardeners, May and early June are spent in a holding pattern, wondering if the plants you nurtured from seed would survive. They did. And they thrived and are setting fruit all over the place!
Let’s start with tomatoes.
The only hard part about growing tomatoes is deciding what kind to plant! That’s probably why I have 23 tomato vines in my garden right now.
These are Rutgers slicers on the vine! I have 3 of these plants and I am excited about them. I don’t usually grow slicers but I am looking forward to tomato and cucumber sandwiches!
These babies are Atomic Grape. I saved seeds from last year and they sprouted and grew these gorgeous tomato plants. Clusters of 5 tomatoes will turn green, red and purple…Atomic seems like an appropriate name for these beautiful fruits.
Below, plump plums are enjoying the cool mist of the morning.
Who doesn’t need plum tomatoes? I make sauce, paste and scallopine from my tomatoes and we savor the summer flavors all winter long!
Cucumbers are absolutely loaded with flowers and the beginnings of baby cucumbers just poking out from the plants. The bigger plants were started indoors and transplanted gently – cucumbers resent transplanting. The second set were planted from seed and will hopefully extend my cucumber harvest and season, my shot at succession planting.
Eight pepper plants in their inverted tomato cages are also enjoying the warm days and nights. There are 3 different varieties, all sweet, in this bed. Diced and added to tomatoes and blueberries, these make a meal for me on hot summer afternoons.
I somehow ended up with 10 eggplants this summer but I love them and eat them all summer long. I also braise and freeze them for mid-winter eggplant parmigiania.
There are 2 varieties, Bianca Rosa and Green. I put the Green eggplant in one of the truck beds and they are really enjoying their time in the sun. In fact, the Green eggplant are already setting flowers.
Speaking of flowers, every single flower in the garden this year is a volunteer. And I love them.
Bachelor buttons, Fennell, Borage, Dill and Sunflowers are all welcome to grow right along with all my other beautiful plants.
These flowers are loved by bees – honey bees, bumble bees and all manner of tiny “back yard” bees.
Finally, all the plants in my lettuce and spinach bed are bolting! It’s too hot for these cool weather crops but that’s good news. Each of these spiky plants will grow all the seeds I need for this fall and next spring!
And letting these plants bolt means that the aforementioned bees get yet another plant full of tiny flowers and brimming with pollen and nectar.
Bolting also means that I get seed which I share with the goldfinches and other beautiful birds who live in my garden.
I will close with pictures of my blueberries, got the first picking yesterday and my blackberries, setting fruit and preparing to be a delicious add to my jam collection.
NOTE: when you look at the pictures, you will see that almost everything looks like it has a light coating of powdered sugar. What you are seeing is Kaolin clay. Bought as a powder and mixed with water, clay effectively keeps Japanese beetles from dining at your buffet and it helps manage cucumber, bean, and squash beetles…and all it is is clay in keeping with my all organic all of the time.
Happy gardening everyone!
Eggplant looks happy. I do not grow it, since it does not do well here. I can not figure out what it lacks. It does not get very warm here, but it gets about as warm as it does where eggplant does quite well.
I discovered, the hard way, that eggplant like deep rich soil that is warm! Hence the fact that the ones in the truck bed are thriving while the ones in the raised bed, which has about 12 inches of beautiful soil in it, are not. The ones in the truck bed will look like trees by August.
Well, I will not amend my soil that deeply for something that is not a root vegetable. It is too much work when there are easier things to grow. Besides, I can not fix the weather. Even when it gets warm during the day, it cools off nicely at night.
Ah! Well, as I get older (72 now) i have learned that there are some things I’d rather buy — organic only — than grow. I think it goes to knowing what you can’t grow and being okay with that. For example, I can grow great looking cantelope…that taste like dirt. Only did that 2 seasons then said, no thanks! Enjoy the summer Tony!
Yup! Knowing what you can’t grow.
Everything looks great! I hadn’t heard about that clay treatment before. Genius!
I was so thrilled when I found Kaolin clay! It has made my garden and backyard a Japanese beetle free zone! They don’t like the taste and they send out pheromones to let other beetles know that the buffet at Chez Mucci (as my rellies call our house) is not tasty!