Monday, July 20, 2009

Tomatoes, cucumbers & pole beans

This is what I pulled from the garden this morning. An Heirloom Beefsteak, 7 cherry tomatoes, and four pickling cucumbers. Not bad for a Monday morning! I plan on making "refrigerator pickles" from these cucs and see how they turn out.

I'm also knee-deep in Kentucky Wonder pole beans. I harvested 3.5 pounds of them already from just 2 squares. And there are a lot more nearly ready beans on the vine, as well as the next wave starting to form. I had so many, I had to freeze most of them.

I've been keeping track of my harvest to get an estimate of the value of the produce I'm growing, using average store prices as a guide. So far, I've pulled about $80 worth from the garden. I'm pretty pleased with that, especially considering the tomatoes (a high value crop around here) are just starting to come in.

Friday, July 17, 2009

First tomatoes!

Pulled my first few tomatoes today! I found 6 ripe cherry tomatoes buried in the foliage near the bottom of the plant. I hadn't noticed them ripening due to the dense leaves and the fact that this plant is caged.

They look good and are hopefully the first of many.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stlll waiting on Tomatoes...

I know it's been a while since my last update -- I've been busy with other stuff. And sorry there are no photos again, but since upgrading to a new version of my OS, my computer and camera aren't communicating very well. I hope to have it working soon, then I'll edit these older posts to include the photos I've been taking.

Anyway, since my last post, I've pulled out the peas which have run their course. I was a bit disappointed with the Mr. Big shelling peas. I only got about 7 ounces of peas from the 1 square. Not enough for a single meal really. The sugar snap peas were better (almost 2 lb. from 1 square) and we used them in salads, stir fry, eating raw. Next year, I think I'll skip the shelling peas and plant 3 of 4 squares of sugar snaps.

My first wave of bush beans are wrapping up now. I got one large harvest then a smaller one a little later -- about 2.5 lbs of beans from 4 squares. I have 8 more squares of them at different stages of growth for later harvests. My Kentucky Wonder pole beans are doing very well also. Another few days and I can start picking some of them.

My second batch of radishes were a flop. Not a single radish formed. Maybe it was too warm for them, plus I had something munching on the leaves. And my carrots don't seem to be developing. I pulled three and none were longer than 2 inches, and these were in the ground for 76 days when I pulled them. I have a few more squares going with them, so maybe there's still a chance for carrots this year.

The cucumbers are really taking off now. The National Pickling cucs have 2 or three cucumbers on the vine, and the General Lee's have some baby cucs forming as well. And the plant I nearly gave up on looks healthy as can be now, so all is well on the cuc front.

Still not a single ripe tomato yet. I have an estimated 175 tomatoes on the vine right now and, boy, are some getting big. A few have *just* started to change color a bit. And the ones in the SWC's are doing very poorly. The leaves are all turning yellow with crispy brown edges. I don't know what's getting them, but I'm not holding out much hope for them at this point.

So overall, things are going well. The cauliflower and broccoli I started indoors is germinating on schedule and progressing. The only issue I'm facing now is what to plant in vacant squares as I harvest. I don't really have anything I can put in right now in Mid-July, so I don't think I'm really optimizing my space at the moment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Green beans

The first harvest of bush beans is in full swing. So far have pulled 28 ounces of them from 3 squares worth. And I have 9 more squares of them well on their way, so we should have plenty of them for a while.

After a nice harvest of sugar snap peas a couple weeks ago, the next wave of them are coming in now. The shelling peas however seemed to have shut down. That's okay since I wasn't all that impressed with them. The yield was really too small to do much with. I don't think I'll grow them again next year.

The cucumber plants are really taking to the warm and sunny weather. The pickling cucs are heading up the netting. And the the slicing cucs are looking a lot better. The one I assumed was dead, is now putting out nice new growth too.

I also started a few broccoli and cauliflower seeds inside. With all the rearranging we have on the table for Fall, I'm not sure we'll get much of a harvest before we have to shut everything down, but there's no harm in trying.

Aside from that, not much else to report. I've just been watering/weeding/pruning for the last week or so. Still waiting on some tomatoes to ripen. I have a TON of them on the vine, though. If even half of them are usable, I'm going to have to learn how to can really quick!