IT'S FRESH VEGGIE TIME!

The poor vegetable garden has gone mostly unnoticed on the blog this summer. That's a shame because at this time of year it really does provide an incredible abundance for us.

Part of my lack of excitement about is that I've been stewing over a plan to redo the entire vegetable garden area for a couple years now and that's really where my head is. By this time of year the veggie garden is never looking its best, but it's always doing its best.

As usual, my focus this year was on tomatoes. I can't help planting more than I should because I'm no sure it's possible for me to have too many tomatoes. I grew them from seed this year, some more successfully than others.

I see some ripe tomatoes I need to go in and harvest, not to mention cutting away all the blighted areas. Losing leaves now isn't a problem. The tomatoes will be ripen just fine.
As you can see, that area is suffering from a bit of neglect right now. The mosquitoes have gotten horrible, so I keep hoping I'll get home some day early enough to get in there and prune out all the bits that have succumbed to late blight (which always happens). Some plants have flopped, but they don't care. It's just not all that pretty.

As far as tomatoes go, the best producer so far this year is 'Oxheart Pink,' which we grew from seeds from the local seed library. They are relatively tasty but prolific so that makes them the current favorite in our house.

'Blueberries' cherry tomatoes are beautiful but don't eat them before they are really ripe.

'Barred Boar' is a beautiful tomato that is somewhat lacking taste for me. I was hoping it would be a bit sweeter although sometimes later fruits taste better. There's not been much production yet from any others as I'm still waiting for lots of green fruit to ripen. I will say that I'm growing 'Blueberries' cherry tomato for the first time this year and one of the things I read about it was that you have to wait for the entire tomato to turn purple before you eat it or it tastes terrible. That advice is completely correct.
'Mexican Midget' is doing great in a container on the full-sun patio. Elegant Feather in the background is growing behind it.

The star of the tomato show is not in the veggie garden proper, but rather in the container near the back door where I'm growing two 'Mexican Midget' tomatoes. These are lovely, small tomatoes that are the perfect size for munching on while passing by, which is exactly how I've consumed every one. Delicious little fruits that are a really nice size. I don't like big cherry tomatoes because they present a dilemma: bite them in half to take a proper amount but risk the dreaded cherry-tomato spray or stick the whole thing in your mouth and look like a complete pig trying to eat it.


I love me some beans, but they are sneaky buggers hiding under all those leaves.
The cucumbers and green (and yellow) beans are really coming into their own. I have to check what kind of cucumbers I decided to grow this year other than 'Marketmore.' I'm not happy with the size of them at all. I prefer cucumbers meant for pickling that you can eat when they are small and before they've developed a lot of seeds.

I'm just started to harvest beans, which are probably my favorite vegetable. These rarely make it back to the house until there are enough that I can't eat them all on the short walk.


I'm growing banana peppers for the first time this year and they've been going gangbusters. I've already pickled a few jars (I love them sliced on sandwiches). Basil is enjoying this warm, sunny summer as well.
Why am I growing so much kale? No one knows, but I see some of it is bolting.
The celeriac is going gangbusters. Yum.

Outside of the fenced-in veggie garden I'm growing entirely too much kale (what was I thinking?) and the celeriac, which I first grew last year, is doing great. I'm a fan of that one and it's difficult to find in stores or even at the farmer's market.

How's your edible haul this year?

You gotta love zucchini. I feel like it's the most optimistic vegetable.

5 comments :

  1. I have tomatoes only. They are just now starting to ripen.

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  2. My tomatoes are finally starting to ripen (about 2 weeks behind the norm) and we're up to our eyeballs in jalapeño and cubanelle peppers. I'll be drying the jalapeños and pickling the cubanelles. The biggest disappointment was the beans - the variety I planted go from tiny, tiny unpickable to huge lumpy string beans in a matter of a day. I'll be making notes not to grow this variety again (can't remember the name offhand). Luckily no blight on the tomatoes so far!!

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  3. I tried all heirloom tomatoes this year...mixed results. Some taste good, but not nearly as prolific as the hybrids and smaller than I hoped for. Potatoes in abundance...cukes not so much. I also tried straw bale gardening for added space to my raised beds. Again, mixed results. Certainly require irrigation which was only me with the hose. We've had rain on a fairly regular schedule which worked great in raised beds...straw needs much more and didn't get it from me in this 95 plus July and August. Lettuce was great till soaring temps sent it to the compost pile. Carrots and beets did well. Prolific peas in the spring...and the asparagus was great! Looking forward to fall and garden clean up for cool season crop planting...rather sooner than later.

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  4. I love being able to picture all of this after visiting. Did you do those tiny tomatoes from seed?

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  5. Tomatoes are a mixed bag this year. The heirloom Pineapple tomatoes are getting huge overnight and are delicious--even whatever animal is eating the bottoms of them agree. The Cherokee Purple tomatoes are producing well, but never enough for me, as they're one of my favorites. My green beans produced amazingly well and I got about 3 gallon sized bags of them in the freezer and decided not to plant a second run, which of course I'm reconsidering. My lone yellow squash is still producing, although it's slowed a bit. The big surprise this year were the acorn squashes, which produced like mad and are still going strong. The jalapeno and poblano, after getting so big the plant branches literally split from the main body, are still producing. The key to peppers I've decided is to completely neglect them for the most part. Tonight, I picked about six huge green peppers from a plant I'd forgotten I planted. The okra is struggling this year--I think it's overshadowed by the mutant sunflowers that grew up because darn it, they wanted to. (No, I didn't plant them there in the middle of the garden.) I got the dinosaur kale and swiss chard seeds in the ground yesterday, hopefully we'll get a good soaking rain soon so they'll start to grow. First year for planting sage and it's simply beautiful and smells lovely. I need to pick and dry the leaves so I can use them later. Same with the lemon basil that I'd forgotten I'd planted seeds until it came up and I could smell it. The oregano is going like gangbusters (need to pick and dry), the basil and rosemary are hanging in there. Sigh. I have a lot of harvesting to do...

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