July 1, 2010: Let's Play Catch Up!

It seems as though I've done a lot of double posts lately, but this is the time of year that there is so much going on in the garden. Here it is July, and I haven't yet finished blogging about June!

For starters, I picked my first zucchini on June 29th.! Here it is, with the morning picking of green beans.

And here it is, still sizzling after being fried in real butter. It's no wonder I gain weight in the summer, it seems as though most everything gets cooked in or drenched with butter!

The evening trip to the garden gave me more green beans. A lot more!

So many people ask why I plant my tomatoes in buckets. This is one reason why. There are four indeterminate tomato plants, in buckets, behind this row of green beans. On the other side of the tomato buckets are two rows of mature lettuce. The bed is only 8-feet long and 4-feet wide. If the tomatoes were planted directly in the ground, there would be no room for all these beans and lettuce plants, as the tomatoes would be crowding them out. I'm picking nearly 2 pounds of beans from this bed every other day. That makes using buckets for the tomatoes very worthwhile!

Last night (June 30), our garden dinner consisted of :

Grilled shrimp, basted with roasted garlic butter
Freshly dug baby potatoes, lightly steamed and browned in butter
Green beans seasoned with (what else?) butter
Cole slaw, made with the little Gonzalez cabbage and Walla Walla sweet onion

See what I mean about the butter?

Yesterday I pulled the last of the lettuce from the indeterminate tomato bed, to make room for more carrots. One head had begun to bolt, so I thought it best to pick the rest before it also went to seed. My refrigerator is full of bags of lettuce again, and there's a whole lot more in the other garden that needs to be cut. There were a few broccoli sprouts to cut. I pulled three of the broccoli plants, as they were huge, and taking up too much real estate for the few side shoots they were producing. I haven't quite decided what, if anything, will take their place. Maybe I'll just give that section of garden a rest.

I pulled one of the Red Norland plants, and harvested its potatoes. The Norlands have been a bit disappointing, but the Kennebecs are looking good.

I'm getting fewer raspberries now, but a handful of strawberries most days, so maybe the strawberries will begin where the raspberries end.

And here we are in July! You wouldn't know it by the weather. Our furnace came on this morning. We never have the heat on in July. We don't usually ever have it on in June, and it was on a lot this year! It did get pretty warm today. I worked outside all day, and I was sweating a lot. It was in the mid 80s, and I got down and dirty in the garden. I......

Cleaned out west half of bed #5, double dug it and amended it with composted manure and 10-10-10, planted it with Chantenay carrots (3-1/2 napkin mats plus 3-1/2' of t. tissue)

Cleaned out east half of bed #4, double dug it and amended it with composted manure and 10-10-10, planted it with 4 hills Gonzalez cabbage (2 seeds per hill).

Cut all the leaf miner ravaged beet tops and disposed of them. There were a lot! I should have taken before and after photos, the beet greens were the worst I've ever seen them. They look nice now....the few that are left.

Fertilized the red onions with 10-10-10.

Fenced the potatoes, which were flopping all over the onions. I topped a couple that were completely out of control.

Pulled about half the shallots. Can't reach the other half until a gigantic broccoli is harvested. This is the biggest broccoli plant I've ever seen. the shallots are between it and the biggest red cabbage I've ever seen. Not the head of cabbage, which is rather small, but the outer leaves. I finally cut several of them off so I could reach the shallots. I'd take a picture, but it's now cold outside...and raining! It never rains here in July.

Mowed the back yard with push mower, so I could get grass clippings for garden paths. Put said lawn clippings on a garden path.

Before I came in from the garden, I dug another hill of Norlands, harvested a big bunch of absolutely gorgeous carrots (quite a few are 6"-7" long), and pulled out an onion, whose top looked to be rotting.

The garden dinner was:

Ground sirloin patty with sweet onion barbecue sauce
Buttered carrots and broccoli
French fried new potatoes
Lettuce salad with balsamic vinegar dressing and cold leftover shrimp

I was too stuffed to finish my salad, so Otto and Annie had a garden dinner, too. They licked the dressing off, then spit the lettuce out all over the patio. They did snag two of the shrimp.

After dinner, I picked raspberries and strawberries.

WHEW! Now we're all caught up.


  1. I thought the doggies were eating the lettuce at first. I tried feeding Charlie lettuce, she wasn't impressed :-) And yes, everything is better with butter!

  2. Dan, Annie did eat one piece of lettuce, but wanted no more. They loved the balsamic vinegar, though! Both dogs love raw green beans and carrots.

  3. You never cease to amaze me Granny! Boy you get a lot done!

    Your garden looks so green and healthy!

    I've never had fried Zucchini... I think that I am way missing out here... Would you share your Fried Zucchini recipe... when you have time (he...he...)?

    My garden here in Wyoming is just getting going. We've had hail twice or three times... and terrible winds. My plants NOW are finally looking good!

    Can't believe that your heat came on this morning! Must have been a cold night!

  4. Toni, it's been an odd year, weather-wise. It's about 15 degrees below our normal temp, but supposed to be in the mid 90s by Wednesday.

    Slice the zucchini about 1/4" thick. Dip slices in beaten egg, then into saltine cracker crumbs. I like to lay them out on a rack to dry just a bit while I'm heating the oil/butter. I use about half oil and half butter for the best flavor, and make sure to use enough to really cover the bottom of the fry pan plus some. Fry the slices until well browned, salting and peppering both sides...we like them well seasoned. Drain on paper towels and serve piping hot. Mr. Granny's favorite food in the whole world.

  5. Wow, wow. And Wow! Your photos are amazing! The harvests are so bountiful and the food you make from them looks so delicious. I just made fried zucchini the other day. I haven't posted about it yet. And yes, fried zucchini is the BEST!

  6. Wow, Granny, I am tired just reading about your day. You remind me of my grandmother. She could work circles around most people!

    I added your friend zucchini recipe to your other recipes that I have saved.

    You are an amazing lady!

  7. Every one of those dinners looks amazing! I had to laugh at Annie & Otto with their lettuce strewn about! I can just see them thinking "here she comes again, I wonder what's on the plate this time...!" I'm with you on the buckets, my indeterminate tomatoes would take over entire beds leaving me no room for other crops!

  8. Odd that you're cooler and we're baking down here.

    I realized I was gaining wait this summer, also. It's amazing how much you eat when you produce it yourself. I thought this was supposed to help me stay healthier!?


  9. tell me which brand and variety of green beans you have. I planted 8 plants ea in 16 of my raised bed squares and am not getting enough per day for a serving for more than one or two people. I bought heirloom seeds, so curious if it is the seeds or they are planted too closely. I followed directions on spacing from a square foot site. Do you put anything on the beans to fertilize or control bugs?

  10. You always give me inspiration on meals. My zucchini is starting to really produce and with the predicted warm up to normal temps next week (hurrah!) I expect they will start pumping out the harvest. Fried zucchini sounds delicious and I will be sure to get that worked into the upcoming week's menus.

    Three day weekend coming up and I hope to get some productive days in the garden like you have been doing.

  11. Granny, I wondered about your buckets as well, and it is such a great idea! I think I may try it next year! Might give me some more growing space! I love it!

  12. Thanks for the recipe Granny! I'm going to give it a try... when someone share zucchini with me!

    You're such a wonderful cook! I always drool over your photos! Mr. Granny is a lucky guy!!

  13. Granny, are your tomato buckets just 5 gallon buckets with drain holes in the bottom... or are they SWCs?

  14. Thank you, meemsnyc. Yes, I like fried zucchini too, but Mr. Granny would kill for it! I'll eat five or six slices, and he'll eat all the rest. That's a lot of butter ;-)

    debiclegg, I forgot to mention I also cleaned out the garden shed and strung line across the top of the kennel garden for the beans to continue on their journey. I wish I could accomplish that much every day!

    Erin, a gourmet cook I'm not, but we eat well. Otto and Annie aren't much on leftovers other than plain meat or veggies. Or ice cream. They won't touch anything with gravy or sauce on it. If I want them to eat beef stew, I have to wash it off first! It surprised me how they went after that balsamic vinegar, which is probably not good for them as it's made from grapes, and dogs shouldn't have grapes.

    ribbit, if we ate it just as it came from the garden, we'd be so slim and trim. Do you know how much butter we've eaten since I've been digging the new potatoes? Except for those I've fried or French fried, of course. I'd switch to reduced fat margarine, but that would be a sacrilege with such fresh produce. Gads, next will come the zucchini breads and cakes.

    Southerner, I plant my green beans in rows, rather than squares (I find them too difficult to pick in anything but double rows). I always add composted dairy manure, from the nursery, to my beds in the spring. I also lightly scatter a 10-10-10 all purpose fertilizer, and work everything in to the top 6-8" of soil. Other than that, I only use fertilizer if the plants look like the need it, and that's usually a good sprinkling of fish fertilizer. I do the compost/fertilizer combination each time I replant a bed. These beans are "Contender", and they are planted 4" apart in a double row, with maybe 6" between the rows. They take up a good foot and a half of width in that bed, plus they're tumbling down over the front and squeezing in between the tomato buckets. Some things just don't work well for me with SFG spacing, beans and peas are two of them.

    Kitsap, we're expecting 95F by Wednesday. I hope I can find enough boards to cover my newly planted carrots, or they will fry in the ground.

    I have four more zukes on the way already!

    Shawn Ann, just remember to cut the bottoms out of those buckets, so the roots can go where they want. And secure them well, as the heavy vines and fruit, or a strong wind, can topple them. I have all of mine secured with 8' stakes that are attached to the roof of the patio or shed, or to the posts in the garden bed. The one that is by the fence has the tomato cage legs firmly in the ground, then the cage is nailed to the fence with heavy staples. The pots by the garden are actually set right over the 2' fence posts before planting.

    You're welcome, Toni!

  15. Toni, 5-gallon buckets with almost the entire bottoms cut out....like a saucer sized hole, with large holes drilled all around it. I push the tomato cages down through the drilled holes, which just gives it a bit more stability. They were mostly SWCs last year, but all the tomatoes got root bound in them...no more SWCs for me!