Thursday, July 18, 2013

Out in the garden, July update

Holy cow!  With all the rain and now the sun, you couldn't ask for better as the garden grows and thrives.  In just a few weeks, the cucumbers went from wee little seedlings to already producing cucumbers large enough to harvest for salads. 
 The tomatoes are also doing remarkably well.  Using the string trellis, which has proved to be both economical and practical, the tomatoes are heavy with lots of green globes slowly swelling in the sun.  As an experiment, we are using one of the cattle panels to train a couple of plum tomato plants.  So far, they haven't been very cooperative so we may need to find another method to get their faces out of the dirt.
The green beans are doing so well that we gleaned eight generous quarts in our first harvest this last Tuesday.  When inspecting the plants this morning, I noted that I will need to get out there an do another harvest Friday morning.  The yellow beans are coming along.  I hope to see them ready soon.

Side note about yellow beans: Some people call the yellow snap beans 'Wax beans'.  This is not to say that they taste waxy or have an oily texture.  'Wax' refers to the color.  Some of the old timers may refer to this type bean as a 'Butter bean', again because of color.  In the South, a large Lima bean is called a 'Butter bean' and you don't eat the pod.  I guess what I'm getting at is always ask if you're unsure what something is.  You might learn something.

Speaking of perfect weather: The squash, gourds, and pumpkins are all growing like mad!  It never ceases to amaze me at how fast these plants grow when planted in a place that makes them happy.  To keep the powdery mildew in check, I've continued to spray their leaves with diluted milk.  They reward me with lots of flowers and vine growth.
Nest Egg gourd
It will be interesting to see what kind of harvest we get this year.   The pictured nest egg gourd is supposed to be about the size of a chicken's egg however is currently the size of a goose egg and is still growing!!  Maybe this plant didn't read the seed catalog.  Or maybe it's from a place with some mighty big chickens...
Despite the late frost, the wild grapes are doing very well.  A couple of years ago, the wild grapes were so heavy and full we harvested 15 gallons, making pint after pint of wild grape jam.  Perhaps we'll be fortunate again this year.  We'll know more in late Fall, after the first hard freeze. 

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