Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 7/8/13

Well, the long weekend is over. I used it to get some much needed rest as well as work on some changes to this website. (I’m hoping to have all the changes in place by month end.) We did get a few more rain storms over the weekend – like we needed more rain! I think yesterday was the first day without rain in almost two weeks, and I was able to trim the dead branches from my tomato plants. I also took the opportunity to take some pictures of how the garden looks.

Because of all the rain, the tomato plants are looking pretty sorry. I had to trim branches about four feet up due to the Septoria Leaf Spot. However, there are suckers growing where the dead branches were and the tops are growing, so there’s hope the plants will survive through the summer! I’m sure spraying with fungicide every week to keep the fungus at bay will help. The tomatoes are still growing and ripening, so that’s the best news. (The picture above is Cherokee Purple tomatoes ripening, from my grafted plant!)

SAD NEWS:

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much I can do for my artichoke. It seems they may not survive the latest deluge. Time will tell.

Artichoke after too much rain

Artichoke after too much rain

I lost a couple of melons – a cantaloupe and a lemon drop melon – due to the rains rotting the fruit. That was upsetting.

GROWING:

My tomatillo plants are growing so much, they pulled over the stakes. I had no idea they would grow like that. They’re leaning into the chard and are loaded with tomatillo husks. (As a side note, I lose several husks a day due to some kind of small worm that’s eating into them. Still working on that issue.)

Tomatillo vines

Tomatillo plants

My lettuce is still growing. I need to harvest a bunch of it. Although it’s tall, I don’t see any flowering or seeding going on yet.

Red Sails lettuce ~ in July!

Red Sails lettuce ~ in July!

FLOWERING/SEEDING:

My gladioli are starting to bud! I can’t wait to see these beautiful flowers in full bloom.

Gladiolus ready to bloom

Gladiolus ready to bloom

I have quite a few heads on my dill. Just in time to make hot pickles and hot pepper rings.

Dill heads

Dill heads

Remember the icicle radishes I planted around my squash? Most of my squash died, but I left the radishes in the bed to flower and go to seed. I found some radish seed pods yesterday.

Icicle radish seed pods

Icicle radish seed pods

FRUITING:

I have fruit on my key lime tree again. However, this time, the baby key limes look different. I believe they may have been fertilized and the tree is ready to bear fruit. I’m hoping I’m right this time. There are only a few of these on the plant, but I’ll take what I can get from the first fruiting. I’ll keep you posted.

Key limes?

Baby Key limes?

I have several tiny rocoto (Peruvian) peppers, but one big enough to take a good picture of.

Rocoto pepper growing

Rocoto pepper growing

My other Peruvian peppers, the lemon drop peppers, are fruiting well! I have quite a few peppers on the plants.

Lemon drop peppers

Lemon drop peppers

I harvested my first fish pepper this weekend and decided to taste it to see how hot it was. Thankfully, I cut a tiny sliver to taste because it was VERY hot! I spit it out and my mouth was still on fire for almost a half hour! I’ve never grown them before and chose to try them because of the beautiful mottled green and white leaves, as well as the colorful peppers that turn several shades on the way to ripeness.

The fruit is first green and cream striped.

Fish pepper ~ unripe

Fish pepper ~ unripe

Then it turns all cream. (Also note the mottled leaves in this picture.)

Fish pepper ~ half ripe

Fish pepper ~ half ripe

Then it turns orange, then red when fully ripe.

Fish pepper ~ almost ripe

Fish pepper ~ almost ripe

Well, because of all the rain, I have a lot of work to catch up on. I need to fertilize, weed, harvest beans, etc. I’ve been keeping up with daily harvests (come back tomorrow for pictures of the latest picks), but the beans are needing to be picked!

What’s going on in your garden? Have you been getting too much rain? Not enough? How is your garden handling it?

4 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 7/8/13

  1. I’m so envious of all your success. I live in Phx and the monsoons haven’t started yet so no rain. I think maybe I started my tomatoes too late because I don’t have any. The plants look healthy and I’ve fertilized and there are some flowers but it’s now too hot for them to fruit. i do have a ton of eggplant though.

    • Keep at it! And don’t forget to fertilize your tomatoes. The organic fertilizer I use requires applying every two weeks.

      I’m envious of your eggplant! I’ve harvested ONE! I should have several on the plants by now. Nothing. A couple of flowers – maybe. I rotate my crops from bed to bed, and I think the bed I put the eggplant in doesn’t get enough direct sunlight for their taste. Eggplant LOVE lots of HOT sunshine. That bed does get 8 hr of sun a day, but last year the eggplant got about 12 hr a day. Then again, maybe they’re just “slow going” this year. This Italian girl wants eggplant parmesan!

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