Archive for July, 2009

Gardening at the end of July

Things are looking good for most of the garden, with the possible exception of the potatoes which don’t seem to be real happy right now.

– We may get our first ripe tomato before August. It looks mostly ripe now, but I’m willing to wait till it’s really good and ready. And then, the flood.
– Blackberries are trickling in, we got the first on on 7/22, and there’s now a couple every time we look.
– The raspberries are fading fast.
– Zucchinis have crossed a line. A week ago, we were gathering 5 baby squash for a meal. This past weekend, we got one that we had missed the previous day, and that was enough for the meal. Now I’ve picked 10 largish squashes in the last 24 hours. We’re now looking at the neighbors and wondering if they like squash.
– Patty pan squashes are just coming on.
– We’ve gotten a couple of nice handfuls of strawberries the last few days from the everbearing ones, and a lot more blossoms on them, even some fruit on new plants started from runners.
– We’ll probably be eating green peppers here soon, as there are some good bell peppers coming on.
– The giant fair zucchinis are growing well.
– We’ve got 7 or 8 good sized pumpkins on the vines.
– Sunflowers should be blooming soon. The biggest are well taller than me, and the smaller ones are well taller than the kids. They can hide in the sunflower rows.
– Favas are done and pulled up, we got one last meal of them. Some of them looked like they were sending up new growth from the old roots. I think that we could get nearly perpetual fava plants in this climate.
– The sweet onions are pulled up, and we should have done it sooner. Some of the onions used up the bulb to send up a flower stalk.

All the hot weather things seem a good couple weeks earlier than they were last year, some of it is getting bigger plants in the ground, and some is the crazy weather.

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Hot. Really Damn Hot.

It’s 96 in the shade on the front (north) porch, and 108 on the south-east corner of the garage, where there’s partial sun for the morning. And I’m not even going to guess what the thermometer in the greenhouse looks like.

At least it’s only 83 in the house, and the one room with AC is down to 72. This is the air conditioner that I bought when Ben was 2 days old and we had a 95 degree heat wave in the city. We have moved it from house to house since, but this is the first time that we’ve needed it on Whidbey.

And, a couple of hours later, the outside temp is falling and the inside temp never got over 83. But now, I need to figure out dinner. And that’s going to be hot.

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Garden, finally

It seems like the garden is finally coming into it’s own. After a disappointing spring, we’ve now had veggies from the garden for a week straight, while giving away three batches of favas and one of zucchinis.

The biggest sunflower is taller than me, and most of them are taller than the kids. There’s one pumpkin vine that’s taking over its corner of the world (saved seed) and another from the same pumpkin that’s growing a nice pucchini. I guess squash don’t breed true.

The peas are now totally done, I’m going to pull up the rest of the vines soon.

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Last night, 7/13, we got the first 5 zucchini for supper. And there’s more out there today. Including a zucchini that’s growing from a vine from a saved pumpkin seed from last year. We’ll see about that one, and probably enter it in the county fair’s largest zucchini contest. I’m impressed by the zucchini, since it’s a good week before we got our first flowers last year.

And tonight, we picked, shelled and froze 4 lbs of peas (that’s frozen weight) and another 2 1/2 lbs of snap peas.

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There is nothing half as worth doing as simply grazing in a patch of ripe raspberries.

And now a quick dump from the garden-

– Strawberries are petering out.
– Raspberries are in. Lots of them. A cup and a half made it in to the house tonight.
– Green stuff is going nuts in the sprawly bed, squash, sunflowers, peas.
– One good harvest of favas so far, and more to come. Really tasty.
– Chard and beets are looking good.
– Early potatoes are dissappointing. We dug some tonight and they were few and far between.
– 2 of the 6 sections of climbing beans are doing well. The bush beans look good.
– Half the garlic is harvested, waiting on the other half.
– The peppers and tomatoes are growing well. There’s a good bunch of fruit set on the tomatoes and a few on the peppers.
– It’s been real dry, so watering has been key.
– All the brassicas are looking good, kale, brussle sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage.
– Looks like we really underwatered one of the blueberries, and it’s leaves aren’t looking good. The rest look ok.
– The wild trailing blackberries are coming on now. Salmonberries are tapped out, and the himalayan blackberries are fruiting now. Huckleberries should hit soon.
– We’ve lost the cherries from the Rainier, maybe from water/heat. There are still some on the Montmorency. There’s still a couple Williams Pride and Jonagold apples, and a couple peaches.
– Some of the corn is knee height, some has been nibbled by bunnies.
– There are a few older carrots, and a bunch of recently seeded.
– The parsnips look good.
– Leeks and green onions look small and good, the tops of the walla wallas are dying off, so we should probably collect them and eat them.

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