Posts Tagged ‘crops’

I usually take my weekly pics on Thursday evening but last Thursday I was watching it rain.  (Yay!!!!)  And for several other reasons, that meant I didn’t get a chance to take pictures until this morning.  Up before 6, I was shooting pictures and then hurrying to get Swimmer Girl on our church bus for a week-long mission campaign trip.

Then Mr. Official and I spent quality time at our old house, getting the landscaping shaped up so we can rent it again. (Another long story.)

So I’m just now sitting down and editing this week’s photos.

It’s a “that’s good, that’s bad” kind of story.  Our record-breaking temperatures have taken a toll on the “first fruits” and caused a few problems.

Like this pepper – it’s supposed to be orange

but it’s not supposed to have a soft rotten spot on the bottom.

The same for this tomato which looks perfect from up top,

but not so attractive when you flip it over.

Here’s my one okra (the rabbits continue to nosh.)  Mr. Official contends it’s poor soil also taking a toll, so I think I’ll plant a cover crop along this area, and look for okra to pickle at the farmers’ market.

The cucumbers

and squash are plugging along, although I’m on guard against beetle and borer problems with them.

The radishes never really took off – the spring temperatures were too high. 

But the onions and carrots are doing okay.

And there have been some bright spots – the Black Krims are almost ripe

And Jimmy Nardello

is a funny fellow

The Sugar Sweeties are proving prolific:

So how is your garden doing?  I’m afraid some of my earliest ripening tomatoes will suffer from blossom-end-rot;  a combination of clay soil and our strange spring and heatwave.  But we’ll keep plugging along – and enjoying the fruits of our labors!

Happy gardening,

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This week brings high heat and not much else – it’s late June and our temps are more like mid-August.  Rain is not forthcoming from the sky, so I spend time every few days with the hose pipe.  Which is kind of nice – I cool down the garden, check its progress and generally contemplate not much of anything of importance.

We are within a few days and weeks of the tomatoes starting to come in…in droves.  In fact, here are two turning already; here’s Momotaro:


and here’s a blurry pic of Sugar Sweetie, also on the cusp of ripening:

Sugar Sweetie

In other news, the cukes are blooming and ready to set:

cuke blossoms

And here come the pumpkins:pumpkin

Both of them:


See how we’ve grown over the past ten weeks:

vegetable garden

And see my new trug, ready to start picking all those ripe tomatoes, peppers and squash:


I hope your garden is also growing and getting ready to deliver loads and loads of produce for you to enjoy.

Happy gardening,

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Crop Report, Week 9

Summer is here, and the heat is on.  Lots and lots of green tomatoes are appearing, including a few late arrivals.  I think all the varieties have set fruit, so I’ll introduce the final three.

‘Sherrill’s Watermelon’ has funny shaped tomatoes that should get even more unusual as they grow into huge paste-type fruit (most paste varieties are fairly small but I hear these are well-named; we’ll see.)

Sherrill's Watermelon tomatoes

‘Angola’ has a distinctive bluish cast to the foliage.

angola tomato

And last on the introductions is ‘Hazelfield Farm’, another pass-along seed I received this year; it has plenty of ribs like the older varieties often do:

Hazelfield Farm

The others are all setting into setting on, especially the ‘Health Kick’

Health Kick tomatoes



and ‘Boxcar Willie’

Boxcar Willie

Like most of life, even a garden will have some over-achievers ; it looks like those three are determined to outproduce everybody else this year.  Still no red ‘uns, though.  Still no rain, either.  I’m more disappointed by the lack of moisture than the lack of ripe tomatoes.

However, this week did bring two – count ’em two – zucchini.  And THEY brought perplexity to my children who each wondered aloud why these were not shaped like “real” zucchini.  I assured them these were not mutants, but ‘Eight Ball’ zucchinis.  They’re round and about the size of a pool ball.

eight ball zucchini

I had three juicy, ripe red strawberries, too. And I absent-mindedly left them on the edge of their raised bed while I moved hoses and sprinklers. The birds said thank-you.

In brighter berry news, thanks to my favorite local nurseries, Southbranch and Martin’s, and especially to Middle Son for patiently digging planting holes in our brick-like dry soil, I finally have my “Blueberry Row” along the eastern side of the deck.

Blueberry Row

On the left is ‘Bountiful Blue’, a small highbush variety that will get approximately 4 feet tall.  Beyond the fruitless fig are ‘Sunshine Blue’ and ‘Top Hat’ which are both compact varieties that shouldn’t get more than two feet tall and wide. I hope they cross-pollinate next  year and make lots of plump little blueberries for us to enjoy.  I did hear from my fig source that we may have another bumper crop this year.  I hope so, since mine is not ready to start providing figs  – the victim of a few too many moves.  I promised it that it’s in its forever home.  Next task is to get the grass completely out of this area (Round-up and hand-removal, here we come,) then edge and mulch this area for easier mowing and happier bushes.

So what’s new in your garden?  I hope your beans are doing better than mine…I’ve just about given up hope for this year.  (Note to self:  rabbit fencing is a must-do for next year.)

Happy gardening!

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A week ago yesterday, we pointed our wagon (okay, our humongous SUV) westward and spent the Memorial Day weekend in south-central Oklahoma.  Before I left, I watered, weeded, took pictures and left word with Swimmer Girl and Middle Son to please (please, please!) water while we were gone. Temperatures soared, but they faithfully watered and the vegetables responded to the combination of moisture and heat. Unfortunately, the weeds were left unmonitored for those few days and the miscreants took advantage of their freedom to grow and flourish as well.

It has taken me a few days to catch up on other things before I could turn my stern eye back to the weeds.  Yesterday I slipped out before it got too hot and tackled the weeding.  Middle Son strolled out to see what I was doing; I mentioned running the Mantis tiller to loosen the soil in the paths and re-shape the rows.  He took the hint (errr, bait) and the next thing I knew the tiller was running with him behind it.  Then he went the extra mile and hand-hoed the edges to get everything looking wonderful as you sand weed-free as you see in this picture:

vegetable garden

When he finished, I pointed out that since he doesn’t love tomatoes,  he must have been motivated by his love for me.  He agreed that was part of it – and the promise of lip-smacking salsa in a few more months.  The tomatoes, zucchini and peppers are all blooming with abandon.

tomato blooms

zucchini blossom

pepper bloom

And finally the lettuce plants are taking off and growing large enough to make their way into a salad:

I had one tomato go all wilty on me.  At first I thought it had been overlooked in the watering schedule, so I watered it a couple times and it didn’t recover.  I plucked it out, washed my hands and substituted a health (but small) seedling in its place.  No sense in babying a sickly plant or risking letting its virus or fungus spread to the other plants.

My next to-do is to become a mixologist and whip up an egg/pepper concoction to protect the beans from rabbits.  And start harvesting a few of radishes.

So how’s your garden doing?

Happy gardening,

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