Friday, July 24, 2009

Critical Mass

Actually a yellow bell pepper. I'm thinking I wait until it gets a little red on it before picking and then bring it inside. Any thoughts?

Black plum tomato, ready to be picked. They get a little darker and have striations in them that look like they are little hand painted works of art, so beautiful.

I've had some trouble getting my baby red bell peppers to this point. Very happy to say I now have 4, that's enough for an appetizer!
Many more to come though, I just hope they keep making it.

I definitely think we've hit our pace for the tomatoes. The red and yellow grape tomatoes have been plugging along for weeks now. I didn't think the beefsteak or black plum tomatoes would ever get going... I was wrong! They've gone crazy! I'm going to contact the food bank and see if they would like the over flow. The window sill full, minus two, are all from today! The crate of grape tomatoes is 3 days worth. I've got some happy 'maters...

I continue to water once a week with the soaker hose for an hour and a half. Mother nature saved me the trouble this week, thanks lady! I also fertilize with Espoma to add nitrogen every 6 weeks. The marigolds seem to be keeping the 4 legged creatures away and the squirrels are conspicuously absent this year, odd... I hope they aren't planning a coup when the beefsteaks take off. The birds fly in and eat the bugs off the tomato plants but don't seem to do any other harm except knocking off the occasional grape tomato.

I did end up tearing out the zucchini and squash. They got a bad case of the powdery mildew and I was afraid it would spread to the tomatoes. I have learned that squash and zucchini need their own bed when planting in raised beds as I do. The beefsteaks seemed to really start to do their thing once the others were gone. I definitely got my fill of both vegetables so I don't feel shorted even though they came out early. I froze 8 bags, 2 cups each of grated zucchini. I think we'll be in good shape for zucchini bread for a while.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Drying Oregano

I didn't get out to my garden yesterday so today was a particularly big day! It is as if the squash and zucchini knew their days were numbered if they didn't stop rotting!

I had an ingenious idea to start drying my oregano since it has really been going gangbusters. After executing my great idea I went online to find out how I was really supposed to be doing it and found I am doing it all wrong. For fun though, I am going to try it this way and put it is a cool dry place and see what happens. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Movin' on Up!

Before leaving for the long holiday weekend I knew we needed to do something the wrangle the tomato plants. They had outgrown their 5 foot high cages. We took the same tomato wire we used for the original cages, split it in half long ways and made 2.5 foot extenders for the top. Unlike the original cages, we couldn't connect the sides until we got them around the plants. This was definitely a two person job! Now the cages are a total of 7.5 feet high. Any higher and they are on their own! I'm getting about a half to a full pint of grape tomatoes a day. The beefsteaks and black pears haven't started turning yet but when they do we are going to be in tomatoes up to our ears! Can't wait!

A closer look...

Just something pretty from the garden...

Some success and some challenges

Before treating for blossom end rot with Espoma bone meal.

After treatment! Healthy Beefsteaks with what looks like the beginning of blushing, I hope! I am so excited for my first tomato sandwich I can't stand it!

Is this powdery mildew? If so what is the best way to get rid of it? BTW, my squash and zucchini are still mostly rotting. I'm about 1 for 10 on harvesting a viable one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

Grape tomatoes are finally taking off!

Refrigerator pickles-first of the season!

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday! Enjoy your family and friends!