It’s Friday! And you can tell that the garden is continuing to wind down into fall. I will have to look back and see at what point the garden stops getting greener and starts getting browner. We are definitely into the “browner” stage right now.
We did harvest the ‘Kesar’ and ‘Red Samurai’ carrots from the India Garden this week. They were pretty good sized! Unfortunately, they had just enough exposure to heat this summer to make them pretty bitter. Ideally we would have harvested them earlier, but since they got started late, they really weren’t ready. Honestly, they were pretty yucky.
We also went through and harvested all the okra that was ready (and past ready). Most okra starts to get tough and stringy once it is more than 3-4″ long, so it is important to pick it as it reaches the right size. I read a blog post this week called “A Reason to Love Okra” which talks about how okra is cooked in India. I thought it was a really interesting insight into the different preparations of okra that we use.
Speaking of which…tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the Demo Garden is our August Saturday Sampler program, and we are featuring Indian recipes and recipes with flavors of India. I know one of the recipes in the booklet is a Crispy Okra Raita, but I don’t know if that one will be up for sampling or not. Either way, you should come check it out!
Have a great weekend!
We had some things to harvest today! We pulled the cippolini onions, some of the beets, one carrot, and a bunch of mustard greens!
‘Red Marble’ Cippolini Onions. These are supposed to be smaller onions that are a little bit flattened, so they are just about the size they are supposed to be. Not the same size as the big sweet onions for sure!
I just pulled one carrot to see how they were, and we decided not to pull any more today. The reason isn’t that they aren’t ready, but because we have a group of kids coming from Rainbows Camp Woodchuck on Friday and we thought they would enjoy pulling the carrots.
This was a fun garden, largely because of the crazy vegetable arbor that spanned the walkway between this garden and the vertical garden! We also had some really nice plants.
‘Super Sweet 100’ Cherry Tomato – Prolific and sweet, the only real complaint about this variety is that the tomatoes tend to get smaller toward the end of the season. Other than that, a great variety!
‘Lunchbox Red’ Snack Pepper – For the first time, one of the snack peppers actually did well! The red variety started producing in mid-summer and kept going steadily until about a month ago when it went crazy! The plants are healthy and the peppers are a nice size.
‘Easter Egg’ Radishes – These colorful mixed radishes are always a reliable winner.
‘Sugar Ann’ Sugar Snap Peas – These are the peas we had in a container at the beginning of the year. They did well…we just wanted more of them!
‘Breen’ and ‘TinTin’ Baby Romaine Lettuces – Both of these did well. I can’t really think of anything spectacular or problematic about either of them. The ‘Breen’ lettuce had that beautiful dark red color earlier this spring.
‘Mokum’ Carrots – This orange variety is a reliable producer and was this year. It was perhaps a little more variable in size than I would like to see, but I’ll blame that on the spring weather.
All the sunflowers – you either like them or you don’t. They all did what sunflowers do!
‘Kaleidoscope Mix’ Carrots – Sometimes the carrot mixes do well and other times not so much. This mix didn’t ever size up very well, but that may have been the early season drought more than anything. They were tucked in the corner and may not have gotten enough water.
‘Emerite’ Pole Bean – The bean grew and didn’t do much of anything until the cool, rainy part of the summer. Then we did get some nice beans, but that stopped once it was hot and dry again. It did better than we sometimes experience with pole beans, but not a lot.
‘Lunchbox Yellow’ Snack Pepper – Unlike the red variety, this one has tiny little peppers and was not nearly as prolific, especially earlier in the summer.
‘Honey Bun’ Cantaloupe – We added this melon on a whim after the lettuce was done, and it performed about like I remembered it from a couple years ago. It didn’t like the wet weather and was constantly under attack from insects. Still, in most years you will get one or two good melons from it.
To Be Determined
All the fall vegetables are still growing, so no definitive answers on those yet!
First off, I have to point out that yesterday’s Eggplant Lasagna post that said “Eggplant is my new favorite vegetable” was written by Denise, not me. I will admit that some of the recipes Denise has tried are definitely tasty, but I’m not sure that raises eggplant onto my “favorite vegetable” list. Let’s take a tour of the garden, shall we?
Here’s the whole garden picture from this afternoon. The tomatoes and other summer vegetables are starting to get that slight yellowish brown cast to them…They aren’t quite that same deep green color as they were a few weeks ago. The sweet potatoes are still crazy and you can see the brassicas growing like crazy in the distant beds.
This is the ‘Deadon’ cabbage variety. We seem to be starting to get a handle on the cabbageworms to some extent. This plant doesn’t have any damage on the new growth, for the most part. We are still regularly applying Dipel dust (Bt) to keep the caterpillars at bay. I still see the cabbage butterflies flitting around laying eggs and a few of the caterpillars lurking here and there. I’ll be glad when it cools down so the insects don’t reproduce as fast!
Hey! We’ve got Swiss Chard! This is the ‘Fordhook Giant’ that is planted in the Pizza Garden. I thought it was going to be white stemmed, but it is looking rather pink stemmed at the moment. Not that I (or the camera) will complain as the fall progresses.
This is the Fall/Winter Salad mix that we got from Wild Garden Seed. They have different mixes designed for different seasons, which is cool. The other neat thing is that they divide the seeds for each mix into 2 packets, a “slow germ” and a “fast germ” packet. The idea is that you plant the slow germinating seeds first and the quick germinating seeds a week or so later to help have the plants ready to harvest at the same time. The seedlings along the middle dripline were planted 2 1/2 weeks ago, and the ones along the close dripline were planted 1 1/2 weeks ago. They are about the same size now, so we’ll have to see if that amount of staggered planting worked out or if we should have waited another week to plant the faster germinating seeds.
The vegetable arbor has really turned into the cherry tomato arbor. Not that I’m complaining…it’s pretty neat. It is a trifle overwhelming though. I picked about a half gallon bag full of cherry tomatoes this afternoon just by going after the ones that were within easy reach. Yikes! Both of these varieties (Super Sweet 100 and Golden Honey Bunch) are winners in my book.
It looks like we have successfully gotten a good stand of carrot seedlings this year. I was worried about that, given the sandy soil and the weather. The kale and spinach were not as successful, so we may have to try replanting those if it every cools down again.
Some of our tomato plants (other than the cherry tomatoes, which are constant), are still plugging along. Both the ‘Limmony,’ shown here, and the ‘Jetsetter’ plants have a lot of medium-sized, developing greet fruit. If it doesn’t cool down too much, we could still have quite a lot of tomatoes ripening this month.
Have a great weekend!
Oh my goodness, rain! We had 6.5 inches of rain last week, another 2.65 inches early this week, and another 0.3-0.4 just this morning. Things are getting a little soggy around here, and we’re starting to see some diseases that are spread by rain, including some less common ones. I checked the US Drought Monitor this morning, and even with all the rain we are still considered to be in Moderate Drought here in Sedgwick County. Of course, western Kansas is still in severe to exceptional drought!
We harvested the carrots from the Kids’ Snack Garden this week so the spot can have a little rest before we plant something for this fall. The orange carrots are a variety called ‘Mokum,’ and they were pretty nice carrots!
The buckwheat is starting to bud and flower. We actually terminated the buckwheat in Bed 2 to prepare for planting the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage in another week. I’ll share that with you in a separate post next week, I hope. The remaining buckwheat will grow for another week or two before we turn it under.
Look at those sweet potatoes grow! I know that last week I was looking at this garden and wondering why the plants were taking so much time to fill in the last center part of the bed. Well…they took care of that pretty quick! Now to see how crazy the vines get outside the bed…
Speaking of melons, the big watermelon fell off the vine on Tuesday when we were working with them. Ugh! I cut into it, and obviously the seedlessness worked out, but the ripeness didn’t. I didn’t think it was ripe yet, and clearly I was right on that count. The rest of our melons got some additional support this week…
It would seem that even the small watermelons are not as well adapted to growing on the trellises and cantaloupes and winter squashes. We’ve got the other watermelons all tied up with some extra support for the time being.
Have a great weekend!