🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

How's Your Vegetable Garden Doing?

7d98ef63 7c81 4e07 a19d 5f247859a6c8  carrotsjuly

This has been an interesting year for my garden. Everything (ok, except the Basil) started out with a bang! Now, it's as though time has come to a halt. Tomatoes have been green and getting every so slightly bigger. Have had a handful of Sungold, which are incredibly flavorful but that is about it. The carrots are doing well in the planter box but they are a good 6 weeks before I will see any orange popping out. We've had super hot, then unseasonably cool, today is nice summer day, in the 80's. I did use a different soil this year, however I used organic fertilizer and my ever helpful coffee grounds and eggshells. Always use the water meter before watering as well. Guess this is just one of those years when things will be late? How is it by you? I know many parts of the country have extremely hot weather. Is that affecting your garden? I'd be interested to hear about your success or not so successful. Photo is the carrot planter with a few Nasturtiums in between.

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

asked 5 months ago
82 answers 1030 views
401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added 5 months ago

I'll have Meyer lemons from the tree I planted last year. It's pushing out fruit now. To soon to tell on pomegranate. It's budding fruit but then dropping them, probably because it's not yet mature enough. Waiting for my pimento peppers to flower.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 5 months ago

Meyer lemons tend to be big producers very young- it's not uncommon to see foot high, gallon plants in nurseries with a dozen full sized lemons on it. It sometimes gets to the point where you have to remove fruit to get the tree to grow.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added 5 months ago

My Seattle garden: am harvesting green beans, cucumbers, basil, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, kale, sugar snap peas (almost coming to the end), strawberries. Although I have peppers and tomatoes, they have not started ripening as of yet. And no zucchinis yet.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 5 months ago

Things are growing pretty well- NorCal has had generally pretty mild weather (with a few heat waves inland), and we have a little water. Tomatoes are coming fast and furious and peppers are just starting to produce (I let most of them ripen far more than commercial growers). The zukes (I grow Cocozelles in pots) are not happy with recent hot weather, but are still producing. I grow virtually all my veggies in pots because of gophers, which I'll never get rid of unless my neighbors do. I use a potting soil made up of homemade compost with manure, perlite, lime and bone meal added- it's working very well for the vegetables. I made one of those foolish midwinter decisions to buy a bunch of seeds from Amazon. They ended up coming from a number of different sources, some of them highly dubious (like home packaged seeds from somewhere in China). My Early Girls (I didn't THINK you could buy seeds for those) turned out to be some cherry tomatoes )pretty good), and some larger unidentified tomatoes (so so). My second crop of basik ("Large Leafed Italian Basil") has turned out to be African blue basil- a neat plant, but not what I was after- still time to start anther batch, though. Peas and spring greens are pretty well gone- to hot in the summer here for that kind of stuff.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
yu
added 5 months ago

My Massachusetts garden is going gangbusters even though groundhogs decimated it twice tomatoes strawberries summer squash zucchini all doing great got bushels of cukes peas and greenbeans ae just showing up since the moles also loved them. Weather is weird but its great garden growing. Any one have any suggestion how to make my tomatoes grow bigger got tons but relatively small and turning.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

Pruning side growth is supposed to create fewer but larger fruit on the main stem that you allow to continue to grow. ( I don't do it so can not swear to it). You might want to investigate fertilizer mix as some things promote lush foliage to the detriment of fruit production and size.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

It's a little wild . I mix plants in my pots

93ffad89 ecdb 4e44 b580 d6aa5b5074bf  image

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Here is The other side

2ff4618f 75ec 4242 88dc 02dd99b10907  image

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 5 months ago

I agree with planting in pots. I have three tomato plants in-ground that are doing ok, but the potted tomatoes are producing more fruit. Here's a photo of the pots.

8bcef7f1 fa41 44a1 bbc5 f1a89d24cc32  tomatoes1mo

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

nice size tomato plants

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 5 months ago

Thank you, now if the weather would stay warm, they'd ripen.

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added 5 months ago

We're in the midst of a drought in Maine, of all things. Lots of sun and no rain, as dry as I've seen it in many years. Only the tourists are happy.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added 5 months ago

The other night I went outside and looked at my tomato plants and discovered the Godzilla of all tomato worms. Without exaggeration it was 6" long and 3/4" thick. I disposed of it quickly but the next morning I found another one on another plant. This one was only slightly smaller. Both plants came from the same source and I'm thinking the larvae were already in the soil and crawled out when mature e?nough. This time I took a picture. Do these things turn into Mothra?

5e835e63 9128 41f9 b5d1 0865331e94b5  p7150195

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 5 months ago

They turn into a pretty large (4-5") moth, but seldom actually destroy cities. They go through generations remarkably fast, several times a year, so yours probably came from eggs laid on your plants.

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added 4 months ago

Ah, the delightful tomato hornworm. If you can bear it, cut them in half with a scissors---but not before reading the late Stanley Kunitz's amusing poem "Hornworm: Autumn Lamentation." It's a meditation by the hornworm itself, including a reference to the eggs of the wasp that lays its eggs on the poor hornworm. There is justice in the plant world.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 5 months ago

They do pupate in the ground, but emerge as moths- the caterpillars themselves come from eggs left on the plants, so it is possible they came from the nursery that way. When is this site going to get an edit function?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

MOTHRA!!! love it!!1 And yes, they are kind of like it. When I lived in LA they were the bane of the garden. Not sure if they come in the soil but they certainly leave small eggs on the underside of the leaves and then grow from there. They are exceptionally gross, while quite beautiful and are harmless to humans. You can pick them off and put them in a jar / container with some soapy water. I seem to recall that if you have a dead one and leave it near the plants the smell acts as a deterrent to others. Dill and marigold are supposed to keep them away, but I think if you have one, there will be a family following. Just pick them off as you find them......if you can stand to.

53573b8d 4bf0 4ffd 843d b2e617cfeb6b  dscn3274
inpatskitchen

Pat is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Looks like a tomato hornworm...they'll destroy your tomato plants quickly! Here's and article:
http://www.almanac.com...

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 5 months ago

This has been one year of disappointing results due to the weather. Now, trees are starting to change color! Way too early, however the nights have been cool, which will cause this to happen, but still doesn't look right to have fall colors in July. Two of my tomato plants look like October instead of the peek of summer. Sure hope it doesn't snow on Halloween! LOL!

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 5 months ago

Harvested a big handful of Sungold tomatoes yesterday. I must say, these are tastiest ones I've ever grown. The old fashioned tomato flavor I so remember from my younger days.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

Daughter gave me this unusual tomato plants. It says it is a Patio Roma, but it is really small with curly, almost broccoli looking leaves. As you can see one tomato is ripening and others, which you can't see are green. They are the size of a nickel. I'll be curious to see how they taste. Anyone ever see these before? The plant is small and very stiff and upright.

Df7f776d bc7a 4f26 9730 953e8ff94f99  tomato16

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

Ok just came in from watering and I was incorrect. It's a PLUM Patio tomato. I ate the ripe one and it was good, however I prefer the taste of the Sungold. The Plum is a very interesting plant, I must admit. All the potted tomatoes have turned and look more like September than July! Once all the tomatoes ripen in a couple of weeks they will be done! The garden is doing much better. In fact they look as though they have more leaves this week than last and lots of green tomatoes. I can't figure it out, I'll just enjoy them as they ripen!

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 4 months ago

Sounds like a cross with a determinate variety- the upright habit and crinkly leaves are typical of determinates. I've grown some "mini Roma" tomatoes before, but they were just really elongated cherry tomatoes (pretty good ones)- they didn't have the extra-fleshy quality of Romas. That was a pretty gangly plant, though.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

Good Morning BB . It is probably some hybrid, there are some many types of tomatoes ,I have only seen Roma tomatoes, never patio Roma. It may be a smaller sized Roma? hard to tell from the photo Also, some tomato plants have very crinkly leaves like that, not uncommon depending on the variety. looks like there is one ready to pick.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

I tested to see if it was ready to come off and it had resistance so I'll wait. They are SO tiny! It's in a hanging basket and is growing upright, no overhang like other varieties, almost tree-like. I threw in some Nasturtium seeds and they did great. Gave the basket some color.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

After 12 years the Patio Apple tree is finally producing beautiful apples. Previously, we had very small apples, or none. This past winter I kept it fed with coffee grounds and egg shells. The only problem this year (early on) was leaf curl, but I was adamant and was able to keep one step ahead of it. Can't wait to try them, they have been very tasty in the past.

Cf82b146 5de6 4957 a459 d50e2e55a6e6  apple16

Ff459733 0c1a 4bbe a470 ded11c0103f1  wickedgood
added 4 months ago

At least some of our tomatoes are finally starting to turn -- though still at the late "breaker" stage. The rest are green. I am getting so impatient!

But we are getting a regular supply of Padron peppers, grey zucchini and some unknown variety of cucumber, as well as fantastic basil.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
MMH
added 4 months ago

I live in Omaha. We have tons of cucumbers so today we made 4 different recipes of refrigerator pickles and can't wait to compare them. Almost all of the recipes were from Food 52. We filled 6 half gallon jars. It was very wet here early and our basil looked terrible - chlorotic and sickly. The extension office told us to wait it out and all would be well. Did we listen? No. So we added 2 large plants to the 2 we already had. Then, it got hot like it's supposed to be here and they turned in to shrubbery. So, last night we made pesto and froze it because it starts to get woody. Tomatoes are lovely - roasting some now. Our plants are 6 feet tall. Our herb garden has flourished. We have gorgeous basil, Rosemary, lemon grass, lemon verbena, thyme, lemon thyme, & parsely. I really love the lemon thyme. It is so versatile and flavorful. When frost is near we just cut branches of our herbs and freeze them. Still have some from last year.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

One hazelnut left on our tree, I am sure the squirrels will have a fine winter !

A672085a c759 4489 aaae 2e28cf50a86b  img 20160731 090409

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

Assuming the wild cats populating our garden cannot reach them.

Bc08a20d 2700 4c1a af3b 13e4325d88af  cat on tree 2

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

Or the owls nesting in our garret (it was 4am)

750c0ee7 db71 4312 9f44 02d48cb107e0  crop owl 2

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

The birds don't bother any of my plants. I have feeders and bird baths for them. And I have a hanging strawberry plant just for them. Today I was watering and a Hummingbird flew right into the water spray staring right at me! Adorable! Unfortunately I don't have photos of me and the birds. They fly off if anyone is around. My husband can watch from the window from inside. One day our landscaper was at the other side of the yard when I called a flock of Finches to the feeder. He was shocked to see them fly to me. I love it! I guess they know who feeds them.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

The birds don't bother any of my plants. I have feeders and bird baths for them. And I have a hanging strawberry plant just for them. Today I was watering and a Hummingbird flew right into the water spray staring right at me! Adorable! Unfortunately I don't have photos of me and the birds. They fly off if anyone is around. My husband can watch from the window from inside. One day our landscaper was at the other side of the yard when I called a flock of Finches to the feeder. He was shocked to see them fly to me. I love it! I guess they know who feeds them.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

This is a photo of the female Cowbird that selected me to be her 'mom' when she was a fledgling. I was grilling outside and she came right up to me and started chirping. She was so young and couldn't fly. Must have just been kicked out of the nest. Cowbirds lay eggs in random bird's nests and leave the egg. It's up to the other bird to decide to push it out, or hatch it. She'd sleep under the bushes and come out as soon as I stepped out onto the porch. Followed me like a little puppy! Taught her how to forage for food and even fly. I was running around the yard flapping my arms, what a site!!! This went on for 4 weeks. It's been two years and she comes back to visit me. Comes right up next to me and sings. Adorable!

B16efb2f c817 4531 86b2 33e7de016266  bbird2

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

Berrybaby, I haven't seen your post about the Cowbird before. That is adorable. Such a nice story

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

SO Cute! I'm an avid watcher, and caretaker. We get all kinds of birds in our yard and many follow me around like little puppies! Haven't seen any owls in our neighborhood, but many hawks. Thanks for sharing these delightful photos!

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

I would love to see a picture of you with the birds following. Hope your tomatoes are safe.

The owls were cute, but only after I found out they were chicks. I can imagine how scary the parents would have been....at 4am in the morning. The second in the back appeared when he heard the click of the camera.
A not Cute friend was the snake that was swimming in the pool a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I saw it before getting in. That's what is happening in our garden

50342f1b 932f 4bbc 92c8 831a71f82c90  snake

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

That is wonderful, a hummingbird must be so nice to watch. I can vision you like in a Disney movie.
As we are attached to a natural park, our birds population is vast. Plenty of turtle doves, robins, swallows, some crows. The early mornings can be very noisy with all sorts. Once we had a flock invasion of tiny miny birds. They were as small as a thumb, almost thought they were grasshoppers. Sometime we hear a woodpecher, but never saw it.
Daily one or two large birds of prey (I haven't identified them yet, may be our owls) fly over the valley searching for food.
We even had pheasants mingling in our private street during hunting season.
You would love it here, the wild cats love it too !

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

This is a crazy garden year! My patio pots are almost done. This is way early, they usually go until October. The in ground garden is doing better but tomatoes are very slow to turn. I way hoping for way more fruit, but it's just not going to happen this year. Here in the northwest, I've heard many people say their tomatoes aren't turning yet. I'm thinking it is because of the cooler nights.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

Berrybaby, I haven't seen your post about the Cowbird before. That is adorable. Such a nice story

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

Thank you! They are the sweetest little birds.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 4 months ago

In case you might be interested, this is the natural habitat for capers, road containment walls.
They need plenty of sun, drainage and water

00131bc0 ffb2 4fd9 b21f 982771380a0d  p1060574

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 3 months ago

In Calabria now, just finished a tour of Eolie Islands, Tropea, Soverato.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

cool to see crops growing wild. Are you still in Sicily?

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 4 months ago

Getting ready to pot up my third crop basil and second crop zucchini to their final containers- long season where I live. Never tried second crop squash before, but the youg plants grow very fast and are much more productive than older plants; I think it will work out well. I have, probaby, another 3 months growing season for them where I live.It's time to be thinking about fall already, even here. If there's soil to be prepped, the earlier the better- it takes time to really stabilize after being disturbed, particularly if material is added. Seeds for a lot of plants can be started now, or at the least shopped for. If you plan to do anything with structures, such as cold frames or greenhouses, it's good to get them ready early- fall can sneak up on you pretty fast in some places.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

Yes, unfortunately there was a reason, cheap soil. I did an experiment and bought a store brand organic for the pots and Miracle Grow for the garden. Needless to say, even with fertilizer, checking the soil with a water meter and giving them sun, they didn't do well. The carrots are in a planter and growing like crazy, again Miracle Grow, not the store brand. The pots were the same ones I use year after year, which are cleaned after use and again before use. I have herbs growing in one of the same big pots for the last three years and they are doing great. I used Black Gold soil on that one. I keep track of what soil I use where and document the results. Needless to say, this so called organic store brand is off my usage list! Oh, and no spider mites or insects to be seen. I use an organic spray on all the plants, a well-known trusted brand, and everything else is great.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 4 months ago

There's no reason potted tomatoes shouldn't last as long or longer than tomatoes in the ground. Most likely culprits (other than too small pots and not enough feeding) are spider mites, which will reproduce explosively in hot weather. Water stress (and it's difficult to avoid on hot afternoons) , reflected heat, as with pots on patios, dry air, and dusty leaves all do much to promote them. They are tiny, and unless you know what you're looking for, are apt to be taken for just a general decline in plant health.In my experience, determinates do not die off after fruiiting- if the fruits are picked, they will continue to produce new growth, although with little enthusiasm.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 4 months ago

BerryBaby you might want to consider growing some indeterminate tomatoes another year. Determinants grow to a certain size, bear fruit and die. The indeterminate keep growing, blooming and producing fruit. I have a Juliet ( oblong cherry) in a container that currently has ripe fruit and bloom, though in NY not likely they will all make it.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

This weekend I took out all the tomatoes in pots, the plants were done. Pulled off the green tomatoes and put them in a brown paper bag to ripen. In garden plants are lush and going strong so I'll have tomatoes until October. Made up a new pot of herbs basil, thyme, rosemary and tarragon. It's really beautiful and if it works, great, if not that's ok too. All the trees are changing color in the yard it's gorgeous! Early this year but then they were blooming in February going on 7 months!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

I am planting second basil crop also. Thanks to global warming I think I'll be picking till November. maybe lettuce and cilantro too.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

BB, you can't keep Rosemary year round there? I bring mine in and it limps through winter but usually makes it.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

I think so. I have a big pot that is going on 3 years old of Rosemary. Keep it mostly for show and the birds. Keeps the cats away. What is doing great is the pot with sage and thyme, just gorgeous. Again, just for show and animal control. This new pot will be for consuming by me!

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 3 months ago

Boy, what I surprise I found out in the rock garden! Mother Nature (I'm guessing my little bird friends) dropped Red Currant tomato seeds and this is what I got this year...tons of Red Currant tomatoes. They did the same thing last year, but the tomatoes were not nearly as perfect as they are. I'm happy seeing as the ones I planted didn't fare so well this year.

1a7c850c 3273 41b1 9b64 0cbad047af13  currant16

F16adcb5 e667 4c56 8d37 2984714c46e9  open uri20131025 3491 1e6gbf8
added 3 months ago

Cucumber vines have gotten so big that they are starting to tilt the bargain-variety Home Depot trellis that I trained them on - also oodles of cucumbers. Peppers are growing so rapidly I swear I can see them doing it if I look in the morning and again at night - tons of Padrón/Shishito/Italian sweet peppers...bell peppers are not as prolific but still chugging along. Eggplant doubled in size since the start of August and two huge fruit on it now, had to support with a stake.

Tomato vines are still fighting some sort of fungal spot blight that they developed back in July - a few dry weeks in August have kept it at bay but now with some rain this weekend and earlier this week it seems to be creeping back. Always pruning the wilted leaves and spraying with neem oil extract (I was using copper octanoate judiciously but apparently I've learned that's only good for preventing blight). The tomatoes seem to be coming in without soft spots, however, just a bit fewer than I would have liked. Oxhearts and Thessaloniki salad tomatoes are bursting with flavor - have yet to use my San Marzanos for a pizza yet, but will this week.

My basil is STILL kicking despite trying to mass flower multiple times. I guess I am clipping the flower buds off in time.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 3 months ago

So happy to hear you have had great success with your garden! I, too, have been pinching the buds off the basil and this is the first year I have been successful in keeping it going for so long. I made up an herb pot for the patio a month ago and it is doing better than anything else this year. Hoping it continues for at least another month or two.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 3 months ago

for those of you who will be gardening next year, i have a surprising find. i have a friend who lives in a sweetspot microclimate for tomatoes and he so generously shares his produce every summer. he studies his seed catalogs annually and this year tried "seedless" tomatoes. he gave me some and they were brilliant red all of the way through, sweet like you want them and juicy and flavorful. i paper thin sliced them on sandwiches and you could taste them. so, for those of you who do seeds, you might want to look for them next year.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 3 months ago

Interesting, I'll have to look for that. If you grow a lot of tomatoes, you usually get a few fruits that somehow manage to develop without forming seeds, and they're always a treat- it's be nice to have a steady supply.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 3 months ago

After an unusually cool August, getting definitely fall-like in NorCal. The lower sun means some plants will suddenly be getting less direct sun- squashes, especially, may suddenly turn to piles of mildew. Usually not much you can do about it unless they're in pots. Tomatoes still going well, though the plants look awful. My third crop basil is coming into it's own, should be able to start freezing some in a week or so. Second generation zucchini is producing a lot of flowers, all male so far; maybe should have started it a couple of weeks earlier, but still plenty of time here. Peppers are just getting serious- I'm still surprised every year how deliberate they are. Part of that is because I et practically all of them- even varieties, such as Padron, that are traditionally picked green- to ripen fully, something commercial growers very rarely do; it just takes too long, and cuts into production considerably. They do ripen off the plant better than just about anything else, certainly better than tomatoes- especially the thicker walled varieties. The plants will tolerate a little mild frost; I often harvest into the new year. Citrus trees should be fed now- or soon- with a bloom booster type food, preferably 0-10-10. Also getting on to time to start watering you saffron-if in pots it should be replanted in rich soil fairly frequently.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 3 months ago

Fall is in the air and the garden is dwindling down. Three tomato plants and potatoes that will be dug up soon. The potted basil did great! I think the variety I planted in the garden was a different variety. Next year I'll pay more attention to expected height. Here's my pot of basil with other herbs and the strange tomato plant. I transplanted into the herb pot and it started to produce more....guess the company of other plants made it happy!

E7145998 0bc6 4b39 9cd0 cbc21a7c01ee  image

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 3 months ago

Mine is almost done too, but my second lettuce crop is growing . I let some of my lettuce go to seed then bend the seed head over into the pot. Fall is great for lettuce

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 3 months ago

One of the real highlights of the horticultural year (culinary division) is when the glossy green Poblano chiles change to the dusky red of Ancho chiles- to me, the finest flavor of all the peppers. These are almost always sold dried- perhaps because they don't keep well- and the dried peppers are indispensable for any number of things, but the flavor of the fresh peppers is entirely different. Piquillos are ripening at an appalling rate; they are very thick skinned and must be peeled- the curse of the farm wife; just when you least want to be spending the day in the kitchen, late summer crops requiring processing come pouring in. Alas and alack. Tomatoes still producing well; I'm having to pick them a couple of days short of their peak to keep them away from the squirrels (not a problem here most years, but they've been going after them pretty hard). Curiously, the cherry tomatoes are shutting down earlier than the large ones. Third crop Basil is a real success; I should be able to freeze enough for winter before it tries to flower; the flavor is SO much better. Second generation zukes also doing well- I like to harvest them at about 4-5 inches, and the young plants turn them out really fast.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 3 months ago

My cherry tomatoes did the same thing. They normally last well into fall. The only ones doing well are the random plants that the birds planted in the rock bed! Lots of red currant clusters all over the place!

09ff52d9 2ffb 49d6 84b7 3a81c1edb2d7  image
added 3 months ago

Amazing. I've filled my pantry with quick and fermented pickles, jams, salsas, sauerkraut, and canned tomatoes. A brand new 12 cubic foot freezer is packed to the brim with blueberries, blackberries, peaches, corn, pesto, applesauce, beans (green and yellow), okra, ratatouille mix, peppers, eggplant, and more tomatoes (mostly roasted). The dehydrator has been running nonstop and my cupboards are filling up with bags of dried peppers, dried herbs, shredded and dried zucchini, and yep, more damned tomatoes. 😊 Greens were a wish this year, tomatillos too, but everything else went gangbusters.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 2 months ago

Wow! First time growing potatoes 'in the ground' and did I get a bounty of beautiful purple potatoes! Can't wait to make my "Potato Cups" (see My Recipes) with them. How elegant...purple cups! I will definitely try this again next year. BTW, the basil did great with all the tips everyone shared, thank you! BB

Ff459733 0c1a 4bbe a470 ded11c0103f1  wickedgood
added 2 months ago

OUR REPORT: Just collected most of the remaining summer harvest: green beans, Padron peppers and all the green tomatoes hanging on the stalks. This is our first year gardening and I read that if you're very patient and leave your green tomatoes in the right conditions in the house for a few weeks/months, they will eventually ripen. It worked with one that had fallen on the ground earlier in the season, so I am hopeful. Happy to report here if indeed we're eating fresh tomatoes in December or January. :)

The last vigorous growth in the basil will allow me one more pesto indulgence this week and we have some more parsley (planning to use it fresh) and thyme (will dry). The alliums and carrots are supposed to be hardy enough to continue growing through the fall, so they will get a few more weeks.

The best autumn surprise were our natural pest repellents -- bunches of marigolds and nasturtiums which we had placed strategically around the rows of veggies. Both kinds are going gangbusters! We'll let them live out their natural life and when they wilt, it'll be time to spread for the last time eggshells and coffee grounds in preparation for next spring.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Trying to get in the Autumn frame of mind, but it looks like we're headed for triple digit temperatures again today. At least the sun's fairly low now.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

well, next month will be a significant increase in water rates so i did a bunch of watering of my drought tolerant front yard and trees. even though i've tried to baby my old naval orange and watered it monthly, i think it is really on its death bed. one mature plum looks iffy, but remainder look good. found some huge healthy orb weavers, one with red back, on climbing rose. raked leaves for compost heap last week. but, i have been going to farmers markets and their gardens have kept me in the best romaine lettuce (had a foggy summer) and the dry farmed tomatoes are red all of the way through. the valencia oranges have been great and the newly harvested fujis are sweet, juicy and crispy. i'm about to put in a red clover cover crop to prevent the soil from getting even harder and more compacted. lots of bees and skippers on the harlequin marigolds (ok, i couldn't resist) which are blooming like crazy in the hottest dryest spot next to fireplace in southerly/westerly exposure. gopher still getting some drought tolerant grasses even in wire baskets. replacement plants have doubled in price in last two years so not sure i will replace. so that's my garden.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 2 months ago

Yesterday I filled the hole where I harvested the potatoes with good, new soil, coffee grounds and egg shells. I will do this with the tomato plant holes, once they are done for the year. Filled 6 pots with soil and will buy spring bulbs to plant in them. I find that growing them in pots is easier and it keeps the squirrel from eating the bulbs! Then once they are blooming, dig a hole to fit the pot in the garden and place the blooming pot in the hole. I replace the pots with seasonal blooming flowers all during spring and summer. The neighbors are always in awe wondering how I grow so many different flowers! It's fun and an easy way to spruce up your garden.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

I may want to trade squirrels with you- my acorn and guava stuffed guys don't eat bulbs, so far as I know, but soon as I set out my potted bulbs in fall they start digging around in the apparently empty soil to bury various nuts and acorns (and, in one bizarre instance, an apple in a 4" bonsai pot)- I have to cover them with mesh of some sort, which is a pain in the neck.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Currently starring- strawberries; they appreciate the (mostly) cooler weather of fall, particularly the alpines, and are developing some nice fruit now after the summer doldrums. Tea (Camellia Sinensis) is a shrub that could be grown more- starts out as a sprawly little shrub, grows eventually to a good sized plant, but can be pruned to suit (takes it a lot better than most camellias). The small, scented white flowers come in great abundance in fall. Oca (oxalis esculenta)- I've had a pot of this for four or five years- hasn't flowered yet, but grows quite enthusiastically- will this be the year I finally harvest? This is a good time to plant shrubby perennial herbs such - rosemary, time, oregano and that crowd. Mache can make a nice winter cover in moderate climates- is self sews freely and can develop a thriving community in a few years. If you're going to plant bare roots- fruit trees, berry bushes, etc. as well as artichokes and asparagus (and of course roses) it's good to get holes dug and soil prepped now. Also, if you need to special order, you'll need to do it soon. Still waiting for the saffron to emerge, but should be any day.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 2 months ago

Wow, you have a lot going on! I have two fairly young (less than 2 yrs old) squirrels. One an Eastern grey and the other a Red fox. Lots of Steller Jays this year and all love bulbs! I use bird netting and Mylar pinwheels which keep them off! I feed them seed and suet so they are happy. They never bother my garden. Oh and I have numerous bird baths which I call 'bird spas' .... They squawk when they see me as they know who cares for them. Garden plants and birds know their 'mom!.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 2 months ago

The endless summer apparently drawing to a close. I still have a few tomatoes ripening, but I've started taking out plants. Basil is still going strong- should be able to freeze another good sized batch this week. Zukes still trying, but it's getting to be hard to keep off the mildew and there aren't a lot of pollinators around. It's central pepper season here; they should keep coming for at least another month.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 2 months ago

Froze all my basil, which ended up doing wonderfully thanks to all the suggestions from everyone, and froze the remainder of thyme and rosemary. So sad to see growing season is over. :( BB

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 2 months ago

This is the last of the garden, 'ball carrots' that are very similar in size to radishes. REAL flavorful! No need to peel them, just pop them in your mouth! I'll plant more of these next year, these were an experiment. Planted them in a planter box and they did just fine. Can't wait for next spring to start all over again! Enjoy the winter, everyone! BB

54288c5d f13e 4f9b b0ac 0e38957f7b28  carrots

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added about 2 months ago

Hey! The last of the garden!?? It's the third week of October in Maine, but I don't give up on the garden until the first of December or a lot of snow, whichever comes first. Despite the persistent (and unusual) New England drought and despite a couple of hard frosts, we've still got lots of cold-hardy things to eat in the garden: brussels sprouts, fall cabbage, broccoli, escarole, lettuce, bok choy, fennel, leeks, kale, parsley, cilantro, dill, beets, fall carrots, Napa cabbage, chard, cauliflower. I plant a full fall garden beginning in July, and it's a really satisfying game to see how long we can hold off eating frozen, canned, or stored food. We'll dig the carrots, beets, and leeks in early November, along with the cabbage, but the rest of it will stay (and keep on growing, slowly) until it disappears in a snowbank. Keep growing, never give up!

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 2 months ago

Probably the way to go in Maine; in California I'm still working on my summer garden through October. Usually don't bother much with a winter garden (other than onions and garlic and such) because it's such a short season here- also, I'm not awfully fond of the brassicas that are the backbone of most winter gardens, and I'm cool on greens. Get a lot of volunteers then- parsley, cilantro, mache etc.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 2 months ago

Wow, mainecook61! How wonderful! With all the torrential rain lately, everything is floating away. My garden is one big puddle mess. I had pulled everything out a few weeks ago, although I think there may be a few potatoes hiding somewhere underground. Doubtful they are still good. I have a few pots of herbs that will continue to grow, like Rosemary, but other than that, it will be springtime before I will attempt anything else. Enjoy your bounty! I'm envious :) !!! BB

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added about 2 months ago

BerryBaby, please send rain.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 1 month ago

I'd love to! :) BB

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 1 month ago

Of possible mild interest- still have a couple of zucchini plants going fairly well, but they haven't produced any female flowers in a week or two. This is not an uncommon reaction of sexual plants to stress ( in this case mostly shorter days and cooler nights)- in fact, dioecious plants (plants of a single sex) will sometimes go hermaphrodite under stress. No doubt this is due to the fact that (I know, EB White wouldn't like this, but what's a guy to do?) the male role in reproduction is usually considerably simpler and faster than the female.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 23 days ago

All right, this is getting ridiculous. I'm used to some relatively mild weather, but usually by mid November I've broken out the long sleeves and started closing my window at night. Still a few tomatoes ripening, and I picked a pile of Basil for a couple of months' worth of pizza sauce this morning. Largely I take computer in lap to tout a new (brand new to me this year) of strawberry called "Elan". I've been engaged in an admittedly fairly desultory experiment with growing strawberries for the last few years. Of the varieties I've tried, "Albion" has been the most successful up untl now, but this one blows it out of the water. Started producing beautifully (and consistently) sweet berries right from the start, and is still at it. They're also said to be particularly high in vitamin C. I don't know about availability; I got my plants from Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA, a wonderful source for out of the way (mostly non edible) plants that does a superb job of shipping live plants.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 21 days ago

I know, this weather has been crazy. I had pulled all the tomatoes and thought I had dug up all the potatoes, but guess not. I have potato plants growing, which means there are potatoes still hiding out! Nice little surprise. The purple potatoes that I harvested are delicious! I made purple mashed potatoes yesterday. That sure would be one way to get kids to eat potatoes, purple!