Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/23/14

The intense heat continues here in the Charleston, SC area. Most of the days have been in the mid-90s, with a couple days reaching 98 and 99 degrees. Highest heat index was 108 this weekend. Needless to say, I didn’t get as much done in the garden as I needed to. I couldn’t stand the heat! We did get an inch of rain yesterday, thank goodness. And I did take time to take some pictures.

WHAT’S NEW:

Earlier in the week, I noticed that my Glass Gem corn had some silk.

Glass Gem corn silk

Glass Gem corn silk

Then, this weekend, I noticed ears are forming on my corn.

Glass Gem corn ears growing

Glass Gem corn ears growing

I found my first rich sweetness melon this weekend. I’m growing this for the first time.

Rich sweetness melon

Rich sweetness melon

I also found my first tigger melon on the plants I have growing under/up the teepee trellis. I grew these last year, but the bugs got to them before I could even try one.

Tigger melon

Tigger melon

Most of the calendula I planted didn’t make it in this heat. Of the few plants that survived, I have my first bloom, growing among my chili peppers.

Calendula flower

Calendula flower

IN THE GARDEN:

I harvested the rest of my onions this week. I had bought little onion bulbs/sets at Walmart in February – red, white, and yellow onions. I don’t know if it was the source of the onion sets or the intense heat so early in the season, but my onion harvest was a bust. Many didn’t grow at all under the ground, and those that did were quite small. Oh, well. It happens.

Onions harvested and drying in the sun

Onions harvested and drying in the sun

Unlike the onions, the perpetual spinach is thriving in this heat. I bought the seed this year, hoping I could have some type of greens (besides chard) throughout the summer, and this is definitely a winner.

Perpetual spinach thriving in 90+ degree weather

Perpetual spinach thriving in 90+ degree weather

Look at my Glass Gem corn with tassels reaching the sky.

Glass Gem corn tassels reaching the sky

Glass Gem corn tassels reaching the sky

I have several Black Futsu squash ripening. They are the color of zucchini when they’re young, then they turn this orangy color. When they’re ripe, they’ll be a greenish gray.

Black Futsu squash ripening

Black Futsu squash ripening

While pulling watermelon vines off the top of the fence, I accidentally moved vines down below – and discovered two large white watermelons I had no idea were there. It seems THESE were my first watermelons, and I didn’t know it. Nice surprise!

Cream of Saskatchewan watermelons

Cream of Saskatchewan watermelons

My elderberry trees are growing well.

Elderberry trees

Elderberry trees

My borage is in full bloom now.

Borage in flower

Borage in flower

IN THE KITCHEN:

This weekend, I had a fellow writer come over for lunch. Although it was too hot to eat outside, I did put out a spread from my garden. I served Italian bread with olive oil – infused with my garlic, rosemary, parsley, and oregano – for dipping. I sliced up three kinds of cheese (Monterey Jack, Gouda, and Asagio) on a platter with my fried jalapenos. I served my roasted beets, marinated in wine vinegar, and my Italian bean salad (to which I added my dragon tongue beans). I also had a salad of my cucumbers and parsley with an olive oil-lemon juice dressing. And, of course, I served Caprese salad – Cherokee Purple and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes with fresh mozzarella cheese and my fresh basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Add water infused with fresh lemons (no, I don’t grow lemons) and the company of a good friend, and my luncheon was a success!

Garden luncheon

Garden luncheon

To see all the bounty I harvested this week from my garden, click here.

What’s happening in your garden and on your table?

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2 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/23/14

  1. That squash is gorgeous:) and the tablescape. Watchin for that glass gem-I tried a couple ears last week and this week my painted mountain was all set. My best corn year yet. I have extra seed of strawberry popcorn I harvested if you ever want any. CR

    • I’ve never eaten Black Futsu squash before; it’s supposed to taste like a butternut squash. I’ll let you know. It’s growing so well – the only one that has thrived (besides the Seminole pumpkin).

      Strawberry popcorn? Hmm…sounds yummy. I wish I could plant two kinds of corn at the same time, but wind pollination can cross-pollinate corn up to a half mile away sometimes. Let me see how the Glass Gem turns out and I’ll let you know. Thanks!

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