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Friday PhotoEssay: Mega Catch-Up Edition

I hope you’ve been enjoying the videos and posts on fall gardening while I’ve been out. They will continue for a few more weeks, as I’m still going to be out of the office for awhile. I’m busy at the moment, mostly with this…

She had her first outing to our community garden plot at 10 days old!

Meanwhile, things have still been going on back at the Demo Garden…

Those ugly, damaged tomato plants finally set tomatoes…They were pretty much covered with green tomatoes last weekend! Unfortunately for them, the tomato bed is going to be converted to garlic next week.

The lettuce we transplanted in the Family of 4 garden and a couple of the other beds a few weeks ago is looking great! I really missed having cool season veggies like lettuce in the garden this past spring.

Well…most of the lettuce is looking good. Apparently these friendly caterpillars found their way to our lettuce patch. UGH.

The radicchio transplants have also grown by leaps and bounds. Of course, it has been far too warm for them to develop any color yet. The red variety does have a red midrib.

The Mexican Oregano was in full bloom over the weekend. It was a very attractive plant this year and definitely thrived in the heat. Unfortunately, it got a little bit swarmed under by the melons on the trellis next to it. I also didn’t have time to do any cooking with it to share with you.

It still boggles my mind that the jicama could sit there and pretty much not grow at all for most of the summer, and then all of a sudden take off, almost like the magic beanstalk. I’m not sure if the jicama survived this week’s clean up in the garden and if it had time to develop any tubers. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

I was impressed with how big the Thai Red Roselle had gotten in a couple weeks away. The calyxes are nice and big and red, but the fruits inside are still green.

The remainder of the vines got removed this week, although a lot of them had already come out. You can tell they were pretty much done for anyway.

A commenter asked a couple weeks ago how the lemongrass that I started from stalks from the grocery store turned out. I took several pictures and decided that this one was the best to show the size and scale of the plants. Otherwise they just look like a mass of green. The lemongrass plants are right next to one of those cattle panel trellises….just like we have in the Demo Garden. I would say that the lemongrass is at least 4 feet tall. It is also providing some nice shade to the lettuces that are planted under the trellis. I haven’t used any of the lemongrass yet, although I did cut a couple of stalks, just in case I had the time or inclination.

Friday PhotoEssay

Let’s take a look around the garden this week, shall we?

This purple tomatillo is just about the perfect stage of ripeness. I would have been able to demonstrate that better if the husk had stayed on when I picked it. Unfortunately, it stayed on the plant. You can see the difference in the purple color of the part that was exposed to the sun versus the part that was hidden under the husks.

Sticking with the purple theme, here’s our first ripe ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato. The purple coloration has been evident for a few weeks and also tends to increase with sun exposure. The under color, a rather bright orange shows that it’s ripe. Unfortunately when you mix orange and purple, you tend to get a rather ugly brown color. While unique, these definitely aren’t an attractive tomato. I haven’t tasted one yet, but from what I’ve heard the flavor also isn’t great.

This is a look at the unripe ‘Indigo Rose’ tomatoes. You can see the variability in purple coloration. (Also the spider mites on the leaves.) The dark purple one is much prettier, but still unripe and green when you look at the bottom.

We noticed on Tuesday morning that the mandevilla have these nice bright orange aphids all over them. We borrowed some ladybug larvae from the cucumbers to have a snack.

The Red Aztec Spinach has reached the point where it is putting up flower buds/seed heads. The leaves and the flower buds are generally considered to be the edible parts of the plant. My husband things the leaves taste like raw green beans. The bud clusters aren’t as big or thick as I wish they were. If you are interested, here are a couple links to recipes. (It is easier to find recipes by using the name “Huazontle.”)

This salvia has been hanging out in the Prairie Star Annual bed all summer and overall looking rather ugly and disgusting. Then, all of a sudden, after a couple weeks of cool weather, it is in full bloom and looks great! Now I have to wonder if it was the weather causing it to look bad or if it just doesn’t bloom well until later in the summer.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!