July 31, 2009: July Harvest Totals

7/1 4 oz. peas, 5 oz. berries (mostly strawberries)

7/2 10 oz. (trimmed) carrots, 12 oz. green beans, 55 oz. potatoes (red and yellow), 3 oz. shallots, 12 oz. (trimmed) cauliflower, 6 oz. onions

7/3 5 oz. strawberries, 7 oz. zucchini

7/4 6 oz. strawberries

7/5 19 oz. Royal Burgundy beans, 11 oz. Contender beans, 39 oz. potatoes, 28 oz. carrots (trimmed weight), lg. bunch basil (did not weigh), 8 oz. berries (mostly strawberries)

7/6 12 oz. zucchini, 10 oz. yellow crookneck squash, 16 oz. onions

7/7 First picking of 16 oz. pole beans, 6 oz. royal Burgundy beans, 7 oz. berries, 6 oz. cucumber

7/8 7 oz. Contender beans (pulled plants)

7/9 14 oz. yellow crookneck, 3 oz. berries, 7 oz, Royal Burgundy beans

7/10 FIRST TOMATOES! 4 cherry tomatoes, ate and did not weigh

7/11 2 oz. cherry tomatoes, 8 oz. cucumber, 18 oz. pole beans, 9 oz. strawberries (inc. 6 raspberries), 19 oz. carrots (trimmed weight; last of the spring carrots), 8 oz. green peppers, 4 lb. potatoes

7/12 14 oz. yellow crookneck

7/13 9 oz. strawberries, 11 oz. cabbage, 18 oz. onions, 10 oz. Royal Burgundy beans, 23 oz. pole beans, 2 oz. cherry tomatoes, 8 oz. dill & basil

7/14 5 oz. green bell pepper, 6 oz. cucumber

7/15 6 pounds 12 ounces crookneck squash, 7 oz. strawberries, 16 oz. lemon cucumbers, 13 oz. cucumbers, 11 oz. pole beans, 3 oz. cherry tomatoes, 11 oz. parsnips, 10 oz. onions

7/16 15 oz. crookneck squash, 8 oz. cucumber, 38 oz. burgundy beans, 6 oz. lemon cucumber, 2 oz. Rutgers tomato

7/17 32 oz. potatoes, 20 oz. crookneck squash, 3 oz. lemon cucumbers, 7 oz. cucumber, 3 oz. cherry tomatoes, 8 oz. pole beans, 5 oz. Russian Persimmon tomato, 9 oz. strawberries, 1 oz. jalapenos

7/18 12 oz. Russian Persimmon tomatoes, 26 oz. Volvograd tomatoes, 6 oz. cucumber

7/19 24 oz. cucumbers, (also picked 3 large cucumbers and a bunch of burgundy beans for Pat, did not weigh), 3 oz. cherry tomatoes, 5 oz. green pepper, 10 oz. strawberries

7/20 30 oz. crookneck squash plus 42 oz. (2) that were overgrown and will go to compost. I will not add the 42 oz. to my total harvest. 4 oz. Rutgers tomato, 10 oz. pole beans, 8 oz. cucumbers, 3 lb. 3 oz. potatoes. Picked a 10 oz. vine ripe heirloom tomato(Cherokee Purple?)

7/21 2 lb. 6 oz. Volvograd tomatoes, 6 oz. Celebrity tom, 12 oz. Rutgers tom, 8 oz. Russian Persimmon tom, 3 oz. Red Rock tom, 18 oz. green peppers, 16 oz. cucumber

7/22 9 oz. Celebrity tom, 6 oz. cucumber, 8 oz. crookneck, 7 oz. pole beans, 2 oz. cherry tom

7/23 12 oz. lemon cukes, 18 oz. cukes

7/24 9 oz. Celebrity tom, 2 oz. Chico III tom, 9 lb. 13 oz. potatoes, 22 oz. lemon cukes, 13 oz. cuke, 8 oz. Cherokee Purple (?) tom., 8 oz. pole beans, 1 lb 12 oz. crookneck squash, 11 oz. Rutgers tom, 3 lb. 6 oz. Volvograd tom, 13 oz. strawberries, 14 lb. 8 oz. pumpkin

7/25 20 oz. ?Cherokee Purple tom ?, 10 oz. Kellogg's Breakfast tom, 14 oz. Early Girl tom, 6 oz. Celebrity tom, 13 oz. lemon cukes, 3 ounces jalapeno peppers

7/26 3 pounds Volvograd tom, 5 oz. Chico III tom, 11 oz. Tumbling Tom/cherry, 25 oz. Rutgers tom, 8 oz. Celebrity tom, 21 oz. Russian Persimmon tom, 4 oz. ?Cherokee Purple? tom, 5 oz. Early Girl tom, 3 oz. Red Rock tom, 3 oz. green pepper, 12 oz. cucumbers, 1 pound strawberries

7/27 27 oz. Kellogg's Breakfast tom, 17 oz. Early Girl tom, 14 oz. Chico III tom, 20 oz. Russian Persimmon tom, 4 oz. Red Rock tom, 11 oz. Rutgers tom, 9 oz. cucumbers, 7 oz. lemon cucumber, 21 oz. green peppers, 7 oz. pole beans, 9 oz. crookneck squash

7/28 1 lb. 9 oz. shallots (cleaned weight), 7 lb., 4 oz. tomatoes, 6 oz. onions, 4 oz. carrots, 1 lb. 14 oz. cucumbers, 11 oz. crookneck, 14 oz. green peppers, 5 oz. jalapenos, 9 oz. strawberries

7/29 7 lb. 8 oz. potatoes (final dig), 2 lb. 1 oz. crookneck, 5 lb. 6 oz. cucumbers, 2 lb. 13 oz. tomatoes, 8 oz. basil.

7/30 6 oz. mesclun, 9 lb. 15 oz. tomatoes, 2 lb. 4 oz. cucumbers, 1 lb. 8 oz. green peppers

7/31 1 lb. 2 oz. cucumbers, 4 lb. 10 oz. tomatoes, 1 lb. 2 oz. strawberries

Total for July: 190 pounds, 3 ounces
Total for 2009: 263 pounds 10 ounces

July 31, 2009: Garden Blogger's Death Day

These sunflowers met their demise during a wind storm on July 13th. The same wind that took out every single dill plant in my garden. Blew them flat to the ground.

I think this was a tomato plant that got lost behind the rabbit cage and forgotten.

I should have taken photos of the PILES of nasturtiums I pulled out by their roots this month. They had practically taken over the garden, providing hiding places for multitudes of earwigs and sow bugs, and taking up valuable real estate that could be used for growing stuff we'll actually eat. Or the marigolds I slaughtered because they grew to 4' in height, rather than the 2' it said on the seed packet.

We eat, therefor we garden.

July 30, 2009: The Birth of a Purple Beauty

I never in this world thought it would happen. After all, I planted eight seeds way back on March 13th, and by April first only one had germinated so I planted another three seeds. By April 15th, I had a total of four Purple Beauty plants, tiny but alive. By May 12th, there were only two survivors that were large enough to repot into a larger container. The other two were too small, and had shown absolutely no growth in weeks, so they were composted.

All my other (25 or so) peppers grew large and lush and are filled with large to giant sized peppers, but the Purple Beauty plants have just finally begun growing. One is about 12" tall now, and the other is around 18". The bigger one has given birth....here is my first Purple Beauty!

It's still a baby, not much over two-inches long, but isn't it pretty!

I've been getting so many cucumbers, today I decided to make sweet pickle relish. Last year my neighbor, Pat, made a delicious zucchini relish, and I had plans to make it this year. Unfortunately, I don't yet have any zucchini. I Googled for a relish recipe in which I could use my cucumbers, and the very first one I found happened to be the same as the one Pat uses for her zucchini relish! So cucumbers and zucchini are interchangeable in the recipe.

I guess I could have left out those four drops of green food coloring. It probably would have been green enough without it, as I used all green peppers (none of mine are red yet). I used my freshly picked garden cucumbers and peppers, and the last of my onions in this recipe, and it made three pints, although I only canned 2-1/2 pints and left some out for immediate use. I'll be making more of this real soon, as I have lots of cukes and green peppers to use up.

We eat, therefor we garden.

July 29, 2009: Yes I Can!

Yes I can! Not to be confused with Ribbit's Yes, As a Matter of Fact, I Can!

This morning, this is what was staring at me when I got up................

So this afternoon I turned four quarts of crushed tomatoes into this................

The recipe for this sweet Chili Sauce is here. I added 1/4 cup more vinegar to compensate for the low acid yellow tomatoes. There were only three of them, but I didn't want to take any chances.

We love this stuff mixed with onions and canned tomatoes on Swiss steak or hamburger patties. Tonight we used the leftovers as a dip for our sauteed shrimp. Everything in the sauce came from my garden, except for the vinegar and spices.

We eat, therefor we garden.

July 28, 2009: A Day in the Garden

*Post #2 for today, please scroll down for post #1.*

In my earlier post, I mentioned the Chico III (Roma) tomatoes being hit by blight (probably Verticillium Wilt). If you click the above picture to enlarge it, you can better see just how bad it is. Notice the healthy shoot coming out of the right side of the plant. The Celebrity on the right of the Roma was also showing signs of disease on the bottom stems.

I picked off every tomato that was ripe or nearly ripe, and tried to prune off the worst of the diseased branches on both plants. *Important: dip the pruning shears in a solution of one part bleach to one part water after each cut.* The Celebrity is looking pretty good, but I think the Roma is beyond hope. Wouldn't you know, I accidentally lopped off its only healthy branch.

Since I was in a pruning mood, I decided to also tackle this pathway. It was impossible to get from one end of the garden to the other without backtracking all the way around the other side.

Annie was smart enough to relax in the shade while I labored in the 104 degree weather.

When I finished, there were fewer marigolds and no nasturtiums. The parsnips were still a bit floppy and will have to be dealt with later. Otto was the first one to try out the newly cleared pathway.

There's just so much cuteness there, I had to get him coming and going.

A few minutes after I took this photo, I heard Otto behind me, making a weird sound. I turned and saw him writhing on the ground, as though he were having convulsions. I grabbed him and noticed he was very frightened, and couldn't close his mouth. I reached way inside and pulled out a 2" long stick he had gotten stuck sideways at the back of his mouth. It just goes to show you, they aren't always safe, even in their own yards. I shudder to think what would have happened to him if I hadn't been there to help him. Needless to say, he got lots of hugs and loves after his ordeal. Our little dogs are very precious to us.

Pulling out the nasturtiums left me with a nice 2' x 4' planting bed. Now I must decide what fall crop I want to put there.

This is the bed I planted just 30 days ago. Fiona of Rowangarth Farm was curious about how I glued my carrot seed to paper and planted the paper mats in my garden. These carrots were glued onto cheap paper napkins by placing a dot of water soluble glue every couple of inches in each direction, then dropping a single carrot seed into the glue. I let the seed mats dry, then placed four of them side by side in the dampened garden box. I mixed up some garden soil with a bit of vermiculite and covered the seed mats to a depth of about 1/4 inch, then tamped them down with the back of a rake. I then covered them with boards for a few days, until the first ones began sprouting. The boards kept the seeds from drying out in the hot, windy weather. Once the boards were removed, I gave them a gentle spray of water twice a day, morning and mid-afternoon. As you can see, germination was quite good. I did go back the other day and fill in a few bare spots, probably fewer than another 25 seeds. The beets in the front of the bed were sown at the same time. They have been thinned, and the thinnings either transplanted into another row or fed to our rabbit. The transplants wilted down right away, but in a couple of days began to grow new leaves, so it looks as though transplanting in summer heat can be successful. I put a row of grocery store green onions between the carrots and beets, to give us some nice sized onions next fall.

Remember the Tumbling Tom tomatoes I started in Arizona last February, brought to Washington in a picnic cooler, and raised in my laundry room window? Well, I don't think they are Tumbling Toms. They don't tumble.....in fact, this one is over 7 feet tall now, and it has at least two feet of stem buried underground! The tomatoes still have very little flavor, and the skins are really tough. Unfortunately, even after all the loving care I've given it, it's a loser.

What happened here? I've never had a Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash cross with another variety. It's planted next to the Waltham Butternut Winter Squash. Do you suppose there was some hanky-panky going on in that bed?

"We eat, therefor we garden"

July 28, 2009: Hot!

Monday (yesterday) in the Garden

The heat is too intense to get much done. All of the SWCs (self watering containers) have to be filled twice a day, and the tomatoes in them still wilt mid-day. The tomatoes that are planted in the ground are withstanding the temperatures just fine, with watering every other day. Even the ones in the five gallon buckets fare well with once a day watering, so I think this will be my first and my last year of using SWCs.

The flavor of the tomatoes has improved over those early picked ones. I was just about to pull up the Russian Persimmon, but I tasted one today and it was actually quite good. My Chico III, a Roma variety, looks terrible. It looks like it's affected with blight, but it has some lush new green growth coming out on one side of it. It is loaded with tomatoes, many of them nearly ripe, and I'm undecided whether to pick them and pull out the plant or pick them and prune it back to new growth to see if it gives me another crop. The Celebrity right next to it is also beginning to show some damage to its lower leaves....I hope the disease isn't spreading.

The peppers are beautiful! I've never grown them so large and so plentiful. The plants were so heavy they were horizontal. I spent the evening staking, tying and fencing them to hold them upright. A few of them are getting sun scald, but most are just gorgeous. Since I forgot which varieties were planted where, I'm anxious for some to turn color so I know just what I have!

I'm considering pulling out my remaining nasturtiums. I looked under one today, and there were thousands of sow bugs underneath it. I've had more insect damage this year than ever before, and I'm thinking the plants are too close and providing excellent hiding places for multitudes of sow bugs and earwigs.

Powdery mildew is rearing its ugly head in the pumpkin patch and on one of the lemon cucumbers. I think I'll cut off the really bad leaves, then begin spraying the plants with one part milk to nine parts water, which is supposed to control the mildew.

Our son, John, came by this afternoon, and I loaded him down with tomatoes, cucumbers, crookneck squash, refrigerator pickles and bread and butter pickles. I still have tomatoes all over the kitchen counter, so I need to do some canning.

Monday's Garden Dinner

*Pork Chop and Potato Scallop (potatoes, onions, parsley)
Honey Glazed Carrots
Cucumber/Tomato Salad for Mr. H (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions)
Sliced Tomatoes for Granny (tomatoes)
Iced Tea


Pork Chop and Potato Scallop
4 servings

4 pork chops (about 1 pound)
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup low fat milk
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 1 tbsp. dried
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
Salt, pepper

Dredge pork chops in flour. In skillet, brown chops in oil, seasoning each with salt and pepper. Remove chops from pan and set aside. In drippings, blend soup, milk and parsley; heat to boiling.

Place potatoes and onions into a Pam sprayed 2-quart casserole; stir in hot soup mixture. Top with chops. Cover; bake: at 350°F for 1-1/2 hours.


"We eat, therefor we garden"

July 27, 2009: Monday Harvest

Daphne, from Daphne's Dandelions, has suggested Mondays be the day we enter our weekly/yearly harvest tallies. She has installed a Mr. Linky widget on her page where everyone can link back to their harvest blog. I think. I checked out Mr. Linky, and I just don't get it. I mean, WTH is a meme, and where does one put it? Oh well, I'll do the harvest tally, but pass on the Linky thingy.

July 20

July 24

July 26

July 26: Canned five pints of "Chili Base" from six pounds of tomatoes and a Mrs. Wages mix. As the others ripen, I'll try the Mrs. Wages Pizza Sauce and Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce mixes.

Mrs. Wages

Except for this huge and delicious Cherokee Purple that might be a Brandywine tomato. Or the big orange Kellogg's breakfast tomato that also has a delightful flavor. Those will be saved for fresh eating! Today's lunch was a BLT, and one slice covered the entire sandwich.

Harvest totals for July 20-26:

Crookneck squash 4 pounds 10 ounces (plus 2 pounds 11 ounces that went into compost and were not added to total)

Cucumbers 7 pounds 8 ounces

Peppers 1 pound 8 ounces.

Pole beans 1 pound 9 ounces

Potatoes 13 lb.

Tomatoes 22 pounds 2 ounces

Pumpkin 14 pounds 8 ounces.

Strawberries 1 pound 13 ounces

Total for week: 66 pounds 6 ounces
Total for 2009: 210 pounds 13 oz.

July 25, 2009: Today in the Garden

First of all, I'd like to welcome my dear friend EG back to the world of blogging after a three week hiatus. If you haven't "met" him yet, please visit him at Our Engineered Garden.

Today in the Garden

A small tomato harvest: Two Early Girls, which were picked rather too early. These were suffering from sun scald, so I thought they would benefit from ripening inside; a rather small Celebrity; my first Kellogg's Breakfast; a 20 oz. unknown giant....the seeds were labeled Cherokee Purple, but it obviously isn't (or could it possibly be a cross with a Brandywine?).

The pumpkin patch.

More of the pumpkin patch.

And more of the pumpkin patch. These are all on one vine, and they are growing quite large for their supposedly small variety. I probably won't let any more mature after these four, as the leaves are starting to suffer from powdery mildew.

The largest Waltham Butternut in the squash patch is well over a foot long now.

There seem to be quite a few of them, and many are already a good size.

July 24, 2009: The Big Harvest

Has it really been four days since I last blogged? It's been a busy week for me. Mr. H and I "ran away" for a day on Tuesday. Sometimes we just have to get away from real life and have a day of fun (and overeating), so we drove to Oregon for the day, and had a nice dinner before returning home. On Wednesday we celebrated granddaughter Alicia's 15th birthday, and she and I spent the day shopping....and eating, then her whole family joined us and we went out for a buffet dinner. Alicia spent the night, and yesterday we made Pioneer Woman's Individual Raspberry Cobblers. We only made half the recipe, but it didn't take long for them to disappear, along with a lot of vanilla ice cream. I wonder why I can't fasten my jeans today????

Today was busy too, but it was spent in the garden. Would you believe I harvested 34 pounds of food this morning Yes, I did!

Of course, it helped that 14-1/2 pounds of that total was the pumpkin, and nearly 10 pounds were potatoes.

It's supposed to hit 104F this week, and I'll be making pumpkin pies. I think I planted the pumpkin seeds a bit too early!

July 20, 2009: YES!!!

Look what I found hiding in the indeterminate tomato patch tonight!

A real, honest to goodness vine ripened heirloom tomato! This was from seed that was labeled "Cherokee Purple", but it's a potato leaf plant, and the tomato doesn't look very purple to me, so I'm not really sure of the variety.

Of course, we tasted it immediately. It wasn't quite perfect, but much closer than the others have been. At least it didn't taste like a "cardboard" store-bought tomato! If we hadn't been so full from just having eaten dinner, it would have probably tasted even better.

The kitchen window sill is beginning to look like summer, with Volvograds on the left and Russian Persimmons on the right.

Yesterday I showed you the jungle that was the west garden. This is the jungle that is the north garden. Lots of tomatoes on these vines! (Click to enlarge).

Borage, godetia and pansies to attract the bees.

I think the pumpkin is ripe for picking now.

Annie relaxing in the cool of the evening.

Otto looking out the sliding glass door, through the doggy snotty-nose prints.
They had their rabies boosters on Friday, and are sporting their new turquoise rabies tags.

July 20, 2009: It's Better Than it Looks

Usually, through the growing season, we have "garden dinners", using home grown and/or local produce, when most everything turns out pretty good. I don't always show the photos, as taking pictures is a bit time consuming and the food can get cold while I'm trying to get a good shot of it. For instance, to get good color, I have to take the food outside to the patio, where I have natural light. It just doesn't photograph as well with the flash, under artificial light.

Case in point....

Last night's dinner was really good! The photo was really bad. Mr. H was hungry, and wasn't about to wait for me to have an outdoor photo shoot with his meal, and I wasn't having enough to eat to make my plate a good subject. Last night's dinner was much better than it looks.

Sunday's Garden Dinner

Sirloin Steak Kabobs (my green peppers, local onions)
Brown Rice
Diced Cucumber-Red Tomato-Orange Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad
with Ranch Dressing
(my cucumbers, red and orange tomatoes, local onions)
Iced Tea
Strawberry Shortcake (my strawberries)


Here is today's harvest and three pints of bread and butter pickles that I canned last night. Two of the yellow crookneck squash got too large, so they will go into the compost and not be added to the harvest weight. There is only half a Rutgers tomato, 'cause I just had to try it out....it wasn't all that great, I have yet to get a really good tomato. I did, however, eat the other half on my BLT for lunch. The potatoes, over three pounds of them, were "stolen" out from under the plants. That makes about 18 pounds of potatoes that I've harvested from the 3' x 4' bed so far. I expect to get over thirty pounds from it by the time they are all dug. The green beans are slowing down....finally. We are getting rather tired of them.

I'm doing some heavy pruning on one of the SWC tomatoes. I water it each day, but by afternoon it is completely wilted down. I figure it will take less water with less leaf area, but I'm only removing a few each day so as not to stress out the plant even more. It's a Rutgers variety, the one that didn't have a very tasty first tomato.

Our weather is supposed to be in the 98-103F range for the remainder of July. It must be quite humid, as I'm dripping and it's only 78F in the house! Of course, I've been out in the mid-day heat, repairing and replacing sprinklers. Mr. H annihilated one with the riding mower, another was clogged and had to be removed to clean out the screen, and the new soaker hoses were both toast...they lasted about a month before the holes expanded and began ripping. I removed them and put up a temporary impulse sprinkler that I tied into the irrigation system with a hose, so it will water at the same time as the rest of the sprinklers. My next husband is going to know how to install and repair sprinklers!

No "garden dinner" tonight, as I'm cleaning up odds and ends from the freezer.

Stay cool!

July 19, 2009: The Little Tomato That Could

Way back on May 9th, I posted a picture of this poor little grape tomato plant. Ribbit commented " It's not ugly...it's...well, interpretive dance. That's what we'll call it." I replied, "OK, it will be known as the tomato, variety Interpretive Dance. I'm going to plant the sucker out behind the shed, just to see what happens!"

Well, I didn't plant it behind the shed, but I did plant it on the site of last year's compost pile. I figured if it was going to live, it would have the best chance there. By June first, it still wasn't dead, but hadn't made any progress in nearly a month.

Look at it today! There's not a chance it will mature enough to give me a tomato, but the little trooper will have a home in my garden for the rest of its life. Interpretive Dance lives!

Elsewhere in the garden..........

It's a jungle out there!

The marigolds got so large, I pushed them over to give the tomatoes more room. Now they block the pathway to the south end of the garden.

About half the potatoes have been dug.

I'm so happy with the Tristar day neutral strawberries. I'm not getting huge pickings, but there are only 20 new plants this year. We pick every other day and get enough for the two of us to enjoy on ice cream or shortcakes, with a few left over to freeze for smoothies.

So far this is the only melon on the three varieties I planted. This one is a Savor F1 melon from Dan's Urban Veggie Garden.

This big old bumblebee needs to get busy and pollinate the melons, squash and cucumbers!

Blue skies, blue birdhouse and blue morning glories.

Mr. H looked at this cucumber and said "You're always talking about male and female blossoms.....it's a boy!"