Monthly Archives: June 2009

Cabbage & Onions & Beets, Oh My!

Today was a busy day in the Demonstration Garden, and especially in the Family of 4 Garden. We decided that it was time for the remaining 2 red cabbage plants to go. The tomatoes are beginning to take over, and although the cabbage heads are still a bit small, the weather and the competition won’t help the heads get bigger. Besides, if we left them there too much longer, we’d probably have to damage the tomato plants to get them out!

Cabbage Heads The cabbage heads weighed a total of 3 lbs.

We also decided to pull the onions, since the tops were flopped over and starting to die. We probably could have left them another week or two, but they weren’t going to get much bigger either. We ended up with 35 Red Candy onions and 21 Texas 1015Y onions. We apparently lost 1 red onion (or else I can’t count) and 15 yellow onions during the growing season. We had several yellow onions dieOnion Harvest/rot, probably due to being too wet. Still, 56 onions isn’t too shabby for a 8 square foot area! We are letting the onions dry for a week or two, and then we’ll weigh them for our records.

We also harvested 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, and thinned the plants out. I’m hoping that giving them a little more space to breathe will help them be a little healthier.

Finally, we harvested the first of the Chioggia (Candy Stripe) and Touchstone Gold Beets. We only pulled the largest ones to leave room for the others to keep growing, and we ended up with about 2 pounds of beets (tops removed).

After all the harvesting, we put some more straw mulch down around the peppers, squash, and Brussels Sprouts. If I have time this week, I’ll round up the equivalent prices for all this produce and update you on the total yield for the Family of 4 Garden in dollars.

Fresh Tomato & Bean Salad

In my opinion, one of the main reasons to grow vegetables is because you like to EAT vegetables! Garden fresh veggies are nothing like what you buy from the store.

First Cherry TomatoesTherefore, with a couple handfulls of beans and some cherry tomatoes I scavenged from the garden on Friday, I was ready to make something tasty for dinner.

I trimmed the beans (a nice mix of green, wax, and Romano beans) and blanched them. Then I washed the cherry tomatoes (yes, they are supposed to be yellow) and sliced themBeans in half. I had picked a few herbs from the garden as well, although I wasn’t sure which ones I was going to use. I ended up using some fennel and basil. I chopped the herbs very fine, and tossed them in.

The dressing for the salad was a simple viniagrette of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a dash of sugar.

Finished SaladThis is a delicious, cool salad to use fresh vegetables on a hot summer evening!

Friday PhotoEssay

The garden has changed a lot this week! The hot weather is pushing things along, so there are some exciting things happening!

Golden Rave RipeThis is easily #1 in the exciting category! The first ripe tomato! (Well, not counting the tomatoes in the hanging baskets.) This is a Golden Rave Roma tomato. I expected it to come in first in the ripe tomato contest. Exciting!!!

Mulched EggplantThe Master Gardeners were hard at work earlier this week getting the tomatoes and eggplant mulched. We use wheat straw. The mulch will help keep the soil cooler and evenly moist now that summer is upon us.

Benary's Giant Mix ZinniaLast week’s Zinnia buds have become full fledged blooms. There are lots of gorgeous colors.

Cherry Tomato HedgeThe cherry tomatoes have turned into a full blown hedge! And yes…there are a few ripe ones here and there.

Red OnionThe onions in the Family of 4 Garden are rapidly reaching maturity. We may even start harvesting next week.

Everyone stay cool this weekend!

The Hosta Garden

The Hosta Garden on the north side of the Demonstration Garden is looking absolutely gorgeous right now, so I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures with you.

Mouse Ears HostaMouse Ears Hosta

Mouse Ears in ContextThe Mouse Ears Hosta in context. Aren’t they cute?

Full HostasThese hostas are full and lush!

Blooming HostaSome hostas are supposed to have a wonderful fragrance when blooming, especially in the evening.

Help! My Tomatoes Have a HORRIBLE Disease!

About this time of year, lots of people venture out to their gardens to find tomato plants that look something like this:

Phys Leaf RollThey find their tomatoes with leaves all curled up, like this tomato in the Demo Garden. It looks like a terrible, tomato-threatening disease, doesn’t it? Not to worry! This is merely a common sydrome of tomato called Physiological Leaf Curl/Roll. It routinely happens when there is a drastic change in the weather – usually from cool and moist to hot and dry. The plants have been growing quickly on top, but the roots have not kept pace. When the weather turns hot, the plant realizes its mistake and curls the leaves so that it won’t lose too much water while the roots catch up in growth. These tomatoes should straighten out again in a week or so!