Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/16/14

It was another HOT week in the garden this past week, and I didn’t get done as much as I had planned. So yes, I’m now behind on my garden chores. However, I did prune my tomato plants, which I had not done in three weeks. It took me several hours, but I increased the circulation among my plants and tied new branches to the stakes. At least I accomplished that in this 90 degree heat! Yet, despite my being behind on feeding and treating my plants, they are still growing and producing.

WHAT’S NEW IN THE GARDEN:

I planted a bed of peanuts last week, and I have seven seedlings up. This is my first time growing peanuts, so I’m looking forward to watching them grow.

Peanut seedling ~ 8 days after planting

Peanut seedling ~ 8 days after planting

My borage started budding this week.

Borage budding

Borage budding

Yesterday, one plant opened its first flower. Bring on the bees!

Borage flower

Borage flower

My corn finally has its first tassels. The ears will be coming soon.

Glass Gem corn tassels

Glass Gem corn tassels

I also noticed that many of my corn plants have three stalks!

Glass Gem corn with triple stalks

Glass Gem corn with triple stalks

While looking at the stalks, I saw that a few of my corn have brace roots showing above the soil. You can notice a couple of them in the picture above, but look at the stalk in the picture below. It looks almost alien! (I bet I didn’t plant that seed deep enough.)

Glass Gem corn brace roots

Glass Gem corn brace roots

The nasturtiums I planted with my lima beans are beginning to flower.

Nasturtium flower

Nasturtium flower

I have my first pumpkin growing! Look at how the stem is already thickening in preparation for the large fruit it will have to support.

Seminole pumpkin growing

Seminole pumpkin growing

I have my first lima bean pods on the plants.

Henderson lima bean pods

Henderson lima bean pods

I also have my first rocoto peppers growing. I think this is the earliest I’ve seen peppers, compared to the past two years. But this is the first time I planted them in a raised bed, so I think they’re happier. I know I am!

Rocoto peppers

Rocoto peppers

ELSEWHERE IN THE GARDEN:

My Amish paste tomatoes are getting quite large. These beauties are huge and full of flavor.

Amish paste tomatoes

Amish paste tomatoes

My Riesentraube cherry tomatoes are amazing. Look at how many grow on each cluster.

Riesentraube tomato cluster

Riesentraube tomato cluster

My little pear tomatoes are starting to ripen.

Pear tomatoes ripening

Pear tomatoes ripening

From among my borage, I have a mystery cucurbit growing. Obviously, a seed survived the compost bin and made its way into my raised bed when I added compost. I know it’s not a cucumber because the female flower ovary is round rather than oblong. It is some kind of melon, but I’m not sure what. I decided to let it grow to see what the feral plant gives me.

Mystery cucurbit in my garden

Mystery cucurbit in my garden

This one isn’t a mystery. It’s a cantaloupe plant I had no place for in the garden, so I planted it in the corner of my compost bin. I was unsure if it would grow well there because it doesn’t get very much direct sunlight. Look at how healthy it looks! The leaves on this plant are at least twice as big as the leaves on the cantaloupe in my raised beds.

Cantaloupe in my compost bin

Cantaloupe in my compost bin

One day last week, my son called me over and told me to be quiet as I approached. He was looking at a large, green dragonfly and hoped I could get a picture of it. I have lots of dragonflies in my garden, but this is the first time I’ve seen a green one. Isn’t he pretty?

Green dragonfly

Green dragonfly

IN THE KITCHEN:

This past week, I cleaned and braided my garlic. I saved the largest and best twelve bulbs of garlic for seed and braided the bulk of the rest. (What I didn’t braid, I’m going to pickle this coming week.) This year, I waited a few more days before braiding, and it was much easier to do. I think the best schedule is to lay them out to dry for 4 days, clean them (see link below), let them dry another 3 days or so, then braid them.

Braided garlic hanging in my kitchen

Braided garlic hanging in my kitchen

If you want to know how to braid garlic, see the video embedded in my article, “Curing and Storing Garlic.” It’s so easy!

I harvested quite a bit from the garden this week; click here to see pictures of my garden bounty.

What’s happening in your garden?

Signature

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/16/14

  1. I am new to this whole gardening thing and loving every moment of it. But my question to you is I bought a tomato plant and I have aphids and dont know how to get rid of them?. Also, when do you know that the tomato plant needs to be pruned? Thank you for your blog it truly inspires me to plant more!

    • Hi, Stephanie.

      Sorry it’s taken so long to respond. It’s fiscal year end at work, and I’m putting in 12 hours days! I’m harvesting in my garden at dusk! LOL

      I’m so glad you started gardening and are enjoying it! It’s awesome growing your own food.

      Aphids on your tomato plants? The best “cure” for aphids is lady bugs. However, unless you want to buy them and risk them flying away into someone else’s garden, then I’d go the organic spray route. First, try to wash them off with the hose (just be sure not to spray too strongly you damage the tomato plant). Then spray your plant with neem oil (diluted per instructions). Neem doesn’t kill on contact like a pesticide, but it does mess up their nervous system as they eat the neem-covered leaves, and they stop eating and die gradually. Be sure to apply neem early in the morning or in the late afternoon (couple hours before sunset) so the leaves won’t burn.

      Let me know how that works for you!
      Rosemarie

      • Thank you for promptly getting back to me. I bought some neem oil today and I am gonna try it out tonight. Hopefully, if all goes well I will not have these little buggers bothering my beautiful plants.
        Again, thank you for your response, most of the bloggers are so busy that it takes a while to hear from them or even at all.
        I have been watching your harvest and I must say…. WOW! I hope some day I am as lucky as you to have such a big bounty. It really excites me to get that point but we live in an apartment right now but looking for house, don’t need much just a little place so we can have what we need through out the year. I hate going to the grocery store and spending money on veggies when all it takes is time and patience.
        Well, you’re doing a fantastic job and keep up the hard work!
        Thank you again,
        Stephanie

      • Thanks, Stephanie! It’s hard work, but like you say, it’s all worth it when you taste that wonderful produce.

        It’s great that you are still trying to grow things while living in an apartment. Before I bought my house, I tried to do that – once. The neighborhood kids kept stealing my produce – even when it wasn’t ripe. Then they stole the pots. I never tried again. One of the major things I wanted in a house was a large yard with lots of sun so I could grow whatever I wanted without worrying about someone walking off with it. I’m happy now.

        Stop by my Sanctuary Garden Facebook page and post some pictures of what you’re growing. I’d love to see.

        Rosemarie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s