Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/3/13

It’s been a crazy week at Sanctuary Garden! I harvested all of my white onions and watermelon radishes, the rest of my fingerling potatoes, bowls of lettuce and kale, and the first of my green beans, wax beans, cubanelle peppers, green bell peppers, and pepperoncini. That’s the joyous side of gardening. Unfortunately, I also had to go to war against Septoria Leaf Spot on my tomatoes and several insects (leaf-footed bug and adult squash borer, then found a couple stink bugs) to prevent an invasion. But my garden is growing, flowering (like the male pumpkin flower shown above – complete with ants fertilizing it), and fruiting…and that makes it all worth it.

GROWING:

I cannot believe how big my artichokes and pumpkin vines are getting!

Artichoke

Artichoke

Pumpkin vine

Pumpkin vine

I also can’t believe that I am growing lettuce in June in this heat! It seems my experiment of planting it between the pepper plants (so they’d shade the lettuce during the heat of the day) is working.

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce ~ in June!

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce ~ in June!

Red Sails lettuce ~ in June!

Red Sails lettuce ~ in June!

FLOWERING:

I have the first female flowers on my pumpkin. If they get fertilized, I’ll have my first pumpkins!

Female pumpkin flower

Female pumpkin flower

My casaba melon and white watermelon are now flowering.

Casaba melon flower

Casaba melon flower

Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon flower

Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon flower

If you look to the left of the watermelon flower, you’ll see a baby watermelon. If it got fertilized, it will grow. Otherwise, it’ll shrivel up and fall off. We’ll see!

Just before writing this article, I noticed my tigger melon has started flowering, and my canteloupe and lemon drop melon should flower this coming week. No buds on my red watermelon yet.

Remember the celery roots I threw away last year that grew in my compost pile? A few weeks ago it had a couple flowers on it. Now it’s in full bloom.

Celery in bloom

Celery in bloom

FRUITING:

I am most excited about my fig tree, which is producing fruit for the first time. I currently have over two dozen figs growing, with more to come! Fig trees don’t bloom. The figs grow from nubs near where the leaves are attached to the branch. Very cool!

Fig

Fig

My strawberries are still producing. I just have to harvest them before they get overripe or are eaten by something! And…a few of my raspberries are just starting to turn red! And I’m going to have a bumper crop of them (and this is the small harvest – the fall one is even bigger)!

Raspberries

Raspberries

There are so many bees around my raspberries, it sounds like a hive when I’m near the berry bed!

All my tomatoes now have fruit in various stages of development. Most of my heirloom paste tomatoes didn’t survive transplanting, but I do have a couple Amish Paste and one Mama Leone that did survive. To fill the void, I purchased hybrid roma tomatoes. Now, I can see that heirlooms do not produce as abundantly as hybrids. The roma plants have three or four times the number of tomato clusters as the heirlooms! I’m sure part of it is that they were older and grown in a greenhouse, but I also know hybrids are bred to produce more. Look at the clusters on one of my roma tomatoes; and I have several of those clusters on every plant! There’s going to be pots of homemade tomato sauce in my house soon!

Roma tomato clusters

Roma tomato clusters

I finally have tomatillos growing! I have never seen one grow, so I haven’t known what to expect. They actually look like paper lanterns waiting to be filled.

Tomatillo growing

Tomatillo growing

I have cucumber flowers and fruit all over my green, white, and pickling cucumbers. A couple pickling cucumbers are almost ready to pick!

Russian pickling cucumber

Russian pickling cucumber

I’m going to have peppers coming out my ears! But who’s complaining? For some reason, my hottest peppers are behind the milder peppers and sweet peppers on the growth curve. The fish peppers, rocoto peppers, and lemon drop peppers are just starting to bud. And now I have my first jalapenos.

Jalapeno pepper

Jalapeno pepper

I picked my first cubanelle pepper this week. Look how big it was. It was about to touch the ground when I picked it.

Cubanelle pepper

Cubanelle pepper

Last year, I didn’t have much success with winter squash. I got a couple spaghetti squash and no butternut. I’m trying again this year. I tried a different variety of butternut squash, and this one is already producing better than the other. I have several fruit that are growing. Same with the spaghetti squash.

Waltham butternut squash

Waltham butternut squash

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash

My summer squash is doing well, too. Check out this beautiful zucchini, my first to harvest.

Zucchini

Zucchini

The summer weather has arrived, so every week there’ll be more growing, fruiting, and ready for harvest. What’s growing in your garden?

4 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/3/13

  1. It all looks really good. You’ve gotten some great photos of your garden as well. I need to get my garden in before it’s too late!

  2. Hello, I just stumbled across this page and seen you grow figs.
    I’d love to trade some fig cuttings with you if you are interested .I have about 30 varieties of fig trees I can take cuttings from and I also have a large collection of tomato seeds and other garden seeds I can share with you also. my email is ediblelandscaping.sc@gmail.com if you want to talk more, thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    • Hi, Daniel. I have one Celeste fig, and it’s just producing figs for the first time. I planted it last spring after receiving it from a nursery (bare root). It was fruit bearing age, but spent the season putting down roots. I’m not sure it’s big enough to take cuttings from, but I don’t know. I’m a newbie fig grower!

      As for sharing seeds, are you aware of the American Seed Alliance group on Facebook? It’s a great place to offer your seeds and trade for seeds you need.

      I’ll keep your email address for future reference! Thanks!

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