Monthly Archives: August 2010

Friday PhotoEssay

Either the garden wasn’t very photogenic this week, or I wasn’t feeling particularly artistic in my picture taking. At any rate, I only have a few pictures this week.

The ‘Rose’ tomato plant waited awhile to start producing, but I’ve now picked 4 tomatoes in the last 10 days. Not the same yield as a hybrid, but we sliced one to have in BLTs last night and it was awesome! I highly recommend this tomato for fresh eating.

The peppers and cucumber in the Smart Pot are doing well, especially since I gave them a little fertilizer last week. I couldn’t get it all in the picture, but the cucumber has grown all the way up to the lattice roof over the pot. Unfortunately, it still hasn’t produced a single cucumber! I’m trying not to be too hard on it though, since it has been hot and pollination is challenging all our vines right now.

The onions I planted a couple weeks ago have popped right up. The leeks, on the other hand, are being incredibly pokey! I don’t know if maybe they don’t like light to germinate or maybe they like more light and I planted them too deep? Or maybe the seed isn’t good. Right now I only have 5 leeks growing.

Okay, I also finally posted the Lunch in the Garden recipe from last week (Chile Rellenos) and the new recipe for this week (Lemon Verbena Ice Cream).

Fall Garden Plans

As promised, here are the two Fall Gardens that I’m planning on right now.

Spinach & Greens

This garden is mostly a planting date test, as well as a test to see how much of the winter the spinach will still be harvestable. It will also be interesting to see which plantings of spinach will be harvestable first in the spring. Of course, the results are very dependent on what type of winter we have and how cold it gets how soon. I’m planning to use either 1 or 2 thicknesses of a lightweight row cover fabric throughout the winter, since spinach shouldn’t need much protection.  Our general recommendation for planting fall spinach is to plant from mid-August to mid-September and harvest by early November. I know we can go a lot later than that, so I’m definitely pushing the envelope on planting dates here.

Root Vegetables & More

This garden will have a variety of root vegetables, including carrots, beets, fall radishes, leeks, and onions. I’ll probably also plant some bok choy or other Asian greens. Most of these vegetables are usually planted in early August for a fall garden, so waiting until early September may be pushing our luck. Or, we might go ahead and plant some of them a couple weeks early. The goal with these vegetables is to see how long into the winter they will retain enough quality to continue harvesting and also to see if any of them will overwinter for an early spring crop. We’ll be covering this garden with a 4 mil clear greenhouse plastic in late November or early December, whenever it starts getting consistently cold.

Quick Harvest Update

The Family of 4 Harvest was pretty minimal today.

1/4 lb of jalapenos @ $2.50/lb = $0.63

1.2 lbs of tomatoes @ $2.00/lb = $2.40

1 cucumber @ $0.75/each = $0.75

0.25 lb of zucchini @ $1.50/lb = $0.38

Weekly Total = $4.15

Yearly Total = $180.23

We could be harvesting a little bit of Swiss Chard, but I don’t really want to stress it more than necessary in the heat. The cucumbers really aren’t pollinating well in the heat either. The peppers are looking better after their shot of fertilizer last week, but still no new peppers.

Can You Take the Heat?

Ugh. I can tell that today is a Monday. Of course, my computer tells me that it is currently 104 degrees outside, which is probably m0stly accurate. Our poor garden is looking pretty crispy, even though we watered this morning. You can’t believe how much I’m looking forward to a fall garden! (Speaking of which, hopefully I’ll get around to telling you what I’m up to in that department by later this week.)  However, there’s one thing that is much more depressing than the heat, and that is losing things that you’ve worked hard for.

What do you see in that picture? Nothing, you say? That would be right. This is the spot that just last Friday we had a beautiful ‘Honey Bun’ cantaloupe growing. Today it’s gone. The stupid part is that it was nowhere near ripe. I guess I should have put up a sign like I was thinking about doing. Something along the line of “this melon isn’t ripe, so please don’t steal it.” A walk-through of the tomato patch showed that someone is enjoying several of our tomatoes as well. The tomatoes don’t bother me as much – a few tomatoes is only a portion of what we’ll get all year. Losing 50% of your melon crop though…that’s obnoxious.