Friday PhotoEssay

Today has been so crazy that I almost forgot it was Friday! Last week I had a good excuse – Tomato Day – for not getting a PhotoEssay post done. I don’t know what my excuse is for today, other than I have somehow been busy all day. I did finish the first draft of a publication on Fall Gardening that I think I will probably break down into pieces for this fall.

Although it has still be nasty hot this week, a few days of more overcast skies have made it not seem quite so bad. I’m also looking forward to the Sunday forecast…91 for a high and 65 for a low!?!? I don’t know if I can handle the cold! Okay, I’ll stop looking at the long range forecast now, because I’ll just be disappointed when it gets to be August 15th and it isn’t 83 degrees and rainy.

Between the late planting, the herbicide damage, and the heat, we haven’t gotten a single ripe tomato out of the garden this year (except for the hanging basket cherry tomatoes). It is kind of a bummer to not have tomatoes for the second year in a row, even though it was an unfortunate set of circumstances that brought it on this year. The picture is from one of the ‘Solar Fire’ plants, which does have a few green tomatoes set. I’m guessing they were set during that partial week of mid-90s back in the first half of July. ‘Solar Fire’ is a heat set variety, so it would be more likely to set in those conditions. It is one of the only plants with much to show for tomatoes so far.

The tomatillos, on the other hand, are doing quite well. This is an heirloom ‘Purple’ tomatillo, which produces these bright purple 1 1/2 inch fruit. They are pretty small for tomatillos, but I’m super impressed by the color! Often purple vegetables are not as brilliantly colored in “real life” as in the catalogs.

This is the first of the Litchi Tomatoes I’ve seen starting to ripen. It isn’t quite there yet…it should be a deeper red color. Aren’t those spines impressive, though?

We may have planted the ‘Cardinal’ Basil in the Edible Flowers garden, but I keep wishing we had a cutting flower garden this year, because they would be gorgeous in a bouquet!

We found this butterfly out hanging around one of the melons earlier this week. It was acting a little lethargic, so hopefully it had either laid some eggs to finish its lifecycle or it was able to become more energetic later on. I think it’s a Black Swallowtail…anyone have a definite opinion?

This is the first flower I’ve seen on our ‘Thai Red Roselle’ (edible hibiscus). The plants are not as red as I was expecting them to be (see my comments on the purple tomatillos), and the buds are also really tiny. I think it is technically the calyxes (the part behind the petals) that are left behind after the flower has bloomed  that we want to use for teas and cooking. We’ll be keeping an eye on it in the next couple weeks.

Have a great (cooler?!?) weekend!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on August 3, 2012, in PhotoEssays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My Thai Reds seem happy, but nary a bud on them. I did notice that out of the blue my Romas have little tomatoes on them. I was sure nothing had set fruit during the last cool spell, so that was a nice surprise.

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