Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/29/15

Good morning, fellow gardeners. I have to inform you that here in my Sanctuary Garden, the heat has still not abated. We had a bit of a reprieve in the high temperature yesterday (high of 86), but the humidity was so high it still felt like 98. I barely made it through harvesting what was ripe. With such high humidity, your body just can’t keep itself cool and heat exhaustion sets in quickly, especially for those sensitive to heat and humidity as I am. We’ve had a bit of rain, so I don’t have to water for a couple days, though. That saves me some time in the heat. I did get some pictures for you while I was out harvesting this week. Hope you enjoy.

WHAT’S NEW:

While out harvesting the other day, I noticed my Glass Gem popcorn has ears growing. The corn stalks are looking very malnourished, so I’m not sure how many ears I’ll get or how big they’ll grow. This one looks good so far.

Glass Gem corn ear

Glass Gem corn ear

IN THE GARDEN:

Remember that huge Black Krim tomato that was just starting to ripen? Well, the squash bugs/stink bugs got to it. This is what a tomato looks like when those nasty buggers suck the juice out and cause “bruises” that make the tomato inedible. Sadly, “Big Mama” was buried yesterday in the compost pile, never to be tasted. 😦

Black Krim tomato - rotted by bugs

Black Krim tomato attacked by stink bugs

Several of my tomatoes, both slicing ones and paste ones, have suffered large holes in them. I believe these holes are caused by tomato fruitworms. Ugh. While researching what was causing these holes – something I’ve never experienced before (unlike the squash bug/stink bug problem…which is a problem every year), I discovered you’re not supposed to plant corn near your tomatoes because the corn draws them. Lovely. Too late now. <sigh> I need to get the neem oil out to prevent them from tunneling into any more fruit (too late once they’re inside).

San Marzano tomato attacked by tomato fruit worm

San Marzano tomato attacked by tomato fruit worm

My chili pepper plants are struggling with the heat. Look at my poor jalapeno plants.

Jalapeno plants under heat stress

Jalapeno plants under heat stress

Because of the heat, I’ve been running outside to harvest the nightshades, okra, and cucumbers (earlier, the beans and raspberries), then running right back inside. I’ve been ignoring my lima beans and butter peas, not realizing they were ready to pick. I noticed yesterday a bunch of lima bean pods that dried on the vine. Dang. But it’s not a total loss. I’ll save these for seed next year.

Lima bean pods dried on the vine

Henderson lima bean pods dried on the vine

On a happier note, I actually caught some okra flowers open for the first time. They are so beautiful! They remind me of a hibiscus flower. Well, guess what? I found out they are part of the same family as the hibiscus are. I love these pale yellow, textured flowers.

Star of David okra flower

Star of David okra flower

Star of David okra flower

Star of David okra flower

Star of David okra flower

Star of David okra flower

They are so pretty, I had to share all the pictures.

GARDEN BOUNTY:

In spite of the heat, I took in a pretty good haul this week. I harvested my first butternut squash at just shy of a half pound (small little guy), just shy of a pound of okra, 3 pounds of tomatoes, 1.6 pounds of peppers (almost all chilis), 1.6 pounds of cucumbers, and 2.6 pounds of eggplant.

In the photos, the produce is identified from the top, clockwise.

Harvest on June 22:

Star of David okra, Purple Beauty bell pepper, San Marzano tomatoes, Filius Blue peppers, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Edirne Striped eggplant

Star of David okra, Purple Beauty bell pepper, Beit Alpha cucumber, San Marzano tomatoes, Filius Blue peppers, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Edirne Striped eggplant

Harvest on June 25:

Pepperoncini,

Pepperoncini, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Star of David okra, Boston pickling cucumber (left), Beit Alpha cucumber, Black Hungarian peppers, Riesentraube cherry tomatoes, Cayenne peppers, Hot cherry peppers. Center: Jalapenos, Cherokee purple tomato.

Harvest on June 28:

Star of David okra, Cherokee purple tomato, Reisentraube cherry tomatoes,

Star of David okra, Cherokee purple tomato, Reisentraube cherry tomatoes, mini yellow stuffing peppers, Emerald Giant green bell pepper (this one wasn’t giant!), Tiny Tim tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Black Krim tomato. Center: Cayenne peppers, Black Hungarian peppers, Hot cherry peppers.

IN THE KITCHEN:

With all the okra I had, I just sliced off the top and bottoms, then sliced them into half inch rings to freeze them in a food saver bag. No need to blanch them first, per a Southern farmer I work with. Easy. (Sorry, no picture. I forgot!)

But I will leave you the colors of summer.

The colors of summer

The colors of summer

Yep…that’s the good part of summer.

What’s happening in your garden this week?

Signature

 

 

2 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/29/15

  1. There nothing harder than losing a tomato in the garden. Squirrels are my greatest nemesis. It drives me crazy to find half eaten tomatoes on my porch. I’ll have to keep an eye out for those tomato fruitworms now too.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s