June 30, 2012 - So You Think It's Hot?

We've been enjoying cooler than normal temperatures all month, so I do feel sorry for you who are sweltering in 106F heat.  I can sympathize.  Look at the following July record temperatures for our town (they didn't have a chart for June).  We get quite used to 100+ days!

June 29, 2012 - The Garden at the End of June - Part 2

There were a few photos from the North Garden that I missed in my earlier post.

 First, Jody was asking if my Brussels had sprouted, and I said no.  Then I looked again, and there are some tiny nubbins showing on one of the three plants (you have to look very close).  Hope springs eternal!

The zucchini (left) and yellow crookneck squash are getting huge.  They now fill this 12'x12' area behind the garden shed, barely leaving me room to walk out the back door.  Those are 6" wide boards on the fence behind the plants.

 Cantaloupe plants are finally beginning to grow and climb up their cage.  It's hard to see them with the neighbor's weeds in the background.

 Spacemaster cucumbers in the pot are also climbing, and have given me three nice cucumbers already.

I moved the garden ladder so I could use it as a trellis for this hill of cantaloupe.  I'm hoping I can train the plants up the garden twine that I strung up the steps.


The east Garden is entering its ugly phase, as most of the onions are flopped or pulled out and the potatoes are also flopping and dying.    I'll be happy when everything is harvested from this garden, so I can begin planting it for fall.

The neighbor's weeds are getting taller and taller.  I reach over the fence and cut back what I can reach, but many of the milkweeds are beyond my reach and tower way over my head.

That's not to say I don't have weeds!  No, not in the main garden, but here at the west fence I have crabgrass and oxalis sprouting everywhere.  At least it's not 6' high!

And now....on to the tomatoes!

 Tomato Alley: (1) Victor, (2) Bloody Butcher, (3) Coastal Pride Orange (4) Homestead

Tomato Alley: (5) Bush Celebrity, (6) Rio Fuego, (7) Mountain Princess

Bloody Butcher, in Tomato Alley, will win the "first to ripen" for the second year in a row.

Victor will probably win the award for "most tomatoes on a plant".

West fence: (8) Fabulous, (9) Marglobe Supreme, (10) Homestead

West fence: (11) Bush Celebrity, (12) Marion, (13) Bloody Butcher

Patio corner: Wild Cherry

 Garden shed: (15) Black Cherry.  This is my tallest plant  at 5' 5".

 Garden shed: (16) Una Heartsock, (17) Marglobe Supreme

 Garden shed: (18) Una Heartsock, (19) Isis Candy

 Kennel garden: (20) Isis Candy

 Pot: (21) Pixie

And then there were the volunteers....

 Volunteer (22) Unknown.  I didn't have any tomatoes planted here last year, so this must be from a seed dropped in 2010.  There was an unknown cherry tomato in this corner that year.

 Volunteer (23) Probably a Cherokee Purple.  It's been hidden behind the peas, so just recently began enjoying the sunshine.

Volunteer (24)  Unknown and probably will have to be removed, as it's in the pathway at the west side of the house.  If I can control it, I'll let it stay and hope it's from the Heatwave that grew nearby last year.

Not shown: (25 (26) (27) Three of the four Minigold tomatoes that were grown in the house from January to late April.  One is on the patio and growing and producing well in the shade, two are in the garden and also producing fruits daily.  The fourth was thrown away because nobody need four Minigold plants.  Two more will probably follow once the regular tomatoes start bearing ripe fruits.

*Blogger is messing up my picture and text spacing today.  I wish they'd leave things alone!!!

June 29, 2012 - The North Garden at the End of June

 Still my favorite view of the garden, as I come out of the garden shed and look to my right.  The onions in the raised bed are the ones I started from seed.  I think they are finally contemplating forming bulbs.  The hill of cantaloupe in the foreground is finally beginning to grow, now that I've given them a good drench and foliar spray of fish fertilizer.  They still aren't as large as the later planted ones.

 Just look at that lovely bed of bush beans in the foreground!  There are also a lot of blossoming sweet peppers in there somewhere, in tomato cages.

 The pole beans have recovered nicely, and have reached over the top of the 6' fence.  The strawberries, in the raised bed, are blooming again and beginning to give me a handful of larger berries once in a while.

 Waltham Butternut squash vines are spreading quickly, and the corn behind it is growing taller.

 Beet seedlings under cover.  In the foreground are cabbage seedlings, young carrots and three more rows of carrots that haven't yet germinated. Behind this bed are more bush beans and pole beans.  Not visible to the right, are the cauliflower and a few young celery plants, plus another new planting of pole beans.

 My quiet, shady spot.  On the left, lettuce in the protective cage, Brussels sprouts in the foreground.   Grandpa Ott morning glories, behind the bench, are just beginning their climb up the chain link.  Hopefully they'll soon hide the compost barrel.

 The cabbages are all ready to pick.  I think I may have planted too many at once!  Unless I use the garage to make some sauerkraut, we'll be eating a lot of cole slaw and cabbage soup in the coming weeks!  They are actually smaller than they look.  The Gonzales, in front, are about the size of a softball.  The Pixie in the back (not shown) are larger, close to two pounds.

 Honey Bear squash is loaded with blossoms and several baby squash.

 I love the look of dill as it begins going to seed.

 Next year I'm going to plant the sweet peas by the patio, where I can enjoy their lovely aroma.

 Sun dappled zinnias dress up the raspberry bed.

The peach hollyhocks, in full bloom.

June 28, 2012 - Follow Up on Cherry Rose Nasturtium and Ed Hume Seeds

I got a response from Ed Hume Seeds this morning, on my complaint about the Cherry Rose nasturtiums (see June 19, 2012 - Am I Color Blind?)

I had written the following to them:

I planted an entire packet of your Dwarf Cherry Rose Nasturtiums, and not one came up dwarf or rose colored.  Every blossom is bright orange.  I've always purchased Ed Hume seeds, and have never had a problem with them, so this was very disappointing.  You can view the results here:



Their response:

Hi Carol:
    Sorry for the delay in answering your complaint, but we wanted to contact our Dutch seed producer to see if they could shed any light on your orange colored "Cherry Rose" Nasturtiums. We have had several responses from them and in the last one they said:  (Their word not ours.)
        This and next week are we visiting the 2012 Production.
        Will be able to issue exact colour / picture on the Cherry Nasturtiums middle July.
    The picture you sent certainly looks orange to me. I have planted a dozen seeds in a couple of places in our garden to see what color we get!
    Carol we will be happy to replace your packet of 2012 Cherry Rose Nasturtiums with the new 2013 crop this winter. We would send you the new seed packet after the 2013 crop has been harvested, cleaned, tested and packaged. Or, we can send you a refund for the packet you purchased this year...your choice.
    Our Dutch grower (seed producer) has an excellent reputation, so I know if there is a problem it will be corrected in 2013.
    Either way, I will need your mailing address.  We do not sell or trade mailing lists, so you do not need to worry about being put on any unwanted mailing lists.
    Thanks for letting know about these Cherry Rose Nasturtiums?
    Wishing you a most successful and bountiful gardening season.
    Ed Hume
    Ed Hume Seeds, Inc.

And my reply back:

Thank you for your reply.  I'm sure my blog readers will be happy to hear that I received a response on this matter! 

There is no need to send a replacement or a refund. The orange nasturtiums are quite lovely, even though they do clash a bit with the pinks and reds in the garden.  I have been planting Ed Hume seeds for many years, and one error (by the seed producer, not your company) certainly will not change that one bit.  I still look forward to (hopefully) many years of gardening with your seeds.  Your Gourmet Green French beans, Spacemaster cucumbers, Red Ace Hybrid beets, Ingot carrots, Sugarlace and Little Marvel peas.....oh I could go on and on....all are yearly staples in my garden.  In fact, I did a search for "Hume" on my blog, and your company was mentioned 34 times!  I know no other seed company can match that.

Thank you again for your reply,

I appreciate it when a company takes the time to answer complaints.  I never did hear anything from Kerr after sending them a complaint about the defective jars and lids I purchased.

Ed Hume responded back:

Thanks Carol:
    I really appreciate your nice comments and wonderful attitude!
    Wishing you all the best!
    Ed Hume

June 28, 2012 - Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

AKA Granny's Garden Meals
(garden, freezer or pantry items are in parentheses)

Ham and Pinto Beans (onion, potato)
Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
Baby Romaine Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts  (lettuce)
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pan Grilled Wild Salmon Filets (dill, parsley)
Baked Potatoes (potatoes) with Butter and Sour Cream
Broccoli Sauteed in Garlic Butter (broccoli, garlic)
Cole Slaw (cabbage, onion)
Raspberry Shortcake (freezer raspberries)

Out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Thank you, daughter Shannon and family, for the Father's Day gift certificate for Mr. Granny!

Hamburger-Cabbage Casserole (onions, cabbage, tomato sauce)
Steamed Yellow Crookneck Squash (squash)
Crusty Homemade Bread with Roasted Garlic Butter (garlic)
Salad  (lettuce, tomatoes, celery) with Ranch Dressing (garlic, chives, dill, parsley) for him
Salad with Celery, Cranberries and Walnuts  (lettuce, celery) and Balsamic Vinaigrette for her

Warm Zucchini Bread (zucchini) for an afternoon snack

 Grilled Sirloin Steak
Grilled Potatoes in Foil  (potatoes, onions)
French Filet Green Beans (the first green beans of the year!)
Salad  (lettuce, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, onion)
Ranch Dressing (garlic, chives, dill, parsley)

 After that big steak dinner, Mr. Granny talked me into baking these....

For Raspberry Shortcake (raspberries)

We ate leftovers!

Chicken Stir Fry with Brown Rice (snap peas, carrots, summer squash, onions, broccoli, peppers-freezer)
Pineapple and Cottage Cheese Salad

 Everything was fresh from the garden, except the frozen peppers from the 2011 garden.

 I blanched the broccoli, carrots, snap peas and summer squash for three minutes, then cooled them in ice water and set them aside to drain.  I added them to the stir fry for just the last few minutes to heat through, and they held their bright colors beautifully.  Thank you to David, The Gastronomic Gardener,  for the tip!  Even an old dog granny can learn new tricks.

Our hostess for Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard is Robin, The Gardener of Eden. Be sure to check out her blog to see what others have been using from their gardens, pantries and freezers.

June 27, 2012 - The 100 Pound Mark

Today, with this beautiful bunch of baby beans,  I hit 100.5 pounds of vegetables/fruit harvested from the garden, which puts me right at the same harvest pace as my 2010 garden, and way ahead of 2011's 73.8 pounds on June 27.

June 25, 2012 - Harvest Monday

 6/18 - The first cabbage, a dwarf variety that weighed nearly two pounds.  The last of the spring planting of shelling peas and the first crookneck squash of the season.

 6/18 - Minigold cherry tomatoes are being picked about three times a week now.  One of the plants was badly damaged in this week's wind, so it was pulled.  There are still two plants in the garden and one on the patio.  As soon as the main season tomatoes begin to bear, I'll probably eliminate two more of the Minigolds, as they give me too many tomatoes!  One plant of these is more than enough for the two of us.  We're getting plenty of raspberries for fresh eating now.  I doubt I'll be getting enough for jam, but I'm hoping.  Decent strawberry harvests are still about a month away.

 6/18 -   A big basket of (I think) Little Gem Romaine lettuce, all ready at once.  I was surprised to find two mature cucumbers on the Spacemaster vines.

 6/18 - Here it is all washed, with earwig damaged leaves removed.  This bunch (20.1 ounces) from the triangle garden,  had very little damage.  It was the sweetest, crispest lettuce!

 6/19 - Some of the small Walla Walla sweet onions that had flopped over were cleaned and refrigerated for immediate use.  The last of the snap peas were picked, and the vines removed to make room for a final planting of Fortex pole beans.  

 6/20 -   Raspberries, another croockneck squash, more Minigold tomatoes and a bouquet of sweet peas.  I'm loving the sweet peas, with their lovely scent, on my desk next to the computer.

 6/22 - The first head of broccoli, the last of the carrots from the nematode infested bed, zucchini and Russet Norkotah potatoes for baking.  Oh, my...they were good!  Most of the celery has bolted to seed, but I'm still getting enough for our salads and for cooking from the plants that remain.

 6/23 - Nine more heads of Little Gem Romaine and one of Iceberg lettuce, after the earwig damaged leaves were removed.  We got the hearts of the lettuce, the earwigs got the rest.

 6/23 - This is what the earwigs ruined from those ten heads of lettuce, a 2-gallon bucket full.  The compost bin got more than we did.

 6/23 - A good sized harvest of broccoli, 1.7 pounds for the freezer.

 6/23 - Raspberries for breakfast, a mouthful of strawberries that weren't even weighed.

 6/24 - I was stealing potatoes from under the plants, can't you tell?

6/24 -  More than 7-3/4 pounds of Yukon Gold and Dark Red Norlands were in that bucket.  I only planted four pounds of seed potatoes, and I've already harvested more than 25 pounds by just feeling around under the plants.  I was hoping for 10 pounds per seed potato, but I'll certainly exceed that amount....by quite a lot, I think!  The largest Red Norland weighed 6.8 ounces, and the largest Yukon Gold weighed 7.2 ounces.

 6/24 - Leaf lettuce, zucchini and two of the cured onions from the garage.

6/24 - And more Minigold tomatoes.  That's more than a pound of them this week, and they're not even producing in high gear yet!

Harvest for the week of 6/18 through 6/24 (in ounces) 

Broccoli - 34.9
Cabbage - 27.9
Carrots - 17.5
Celery - 4.6
Cucumbers - 8.7
Herbs 1.3
Lettuce - 58.4
Onions - 35.7
Peas, shelling - 4.5 (shelled weight)
Peas, snap - 6.8
Potatoes - 173.7 (10.86 pounds!)
Raspberries - 25.3
Squash, summer - 44.7
Strawberries - 1.2
Tomatoes - 18.2

Total for week: 463.4 oz (28.96 lb.) 
Total for year: 1465.6 oz (91.6 lb.)

Daphne's Dandelions is the host for Harvest Monday, where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. Please visit her blog and leave a link, so we can enjoy your harvest photos!