Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Signs of Things to Come

We are in a slight veggie lull. Thank goodness. I'm leaving on a trip and won't be picking anything while I'm gone. Allie who is living here for the summer might pick a few things, but mostly she will be keeping my plants where they belong. Like inside their cages, or up the correct string. It is nice to have someone who loves plants so much to look after the garden.

I still have to pick today though. I'll be picking chamomile, peas and any broccoli that is even close to being ready. I might pick some bok choy too, or I might wait until I get home. It depends if it looks like it is bolting. Luckily if I mess up and leave them a bit too long, they will still be fine. Unlike the bolting lettuce that gets so bitter, Asian greens are still good when they bolt and usually the flower stem is delicious.

I have a few Asian greens that are heat resistant that will grow over the summer, but the big stars are not the spring and fall crops you force to perform when they don't want to. It is the summer crops. I am impatiently waiting for them to start, and they are showing signs.

The cucumbers and melons are both putting out male blossoms. It can't be long before the females start to come out. Melons take forever to ripen, but the cukes are so fast once they start. The melons in particular are covered in male blossoms. They still seem to be happy even though we are in a cold spell right now.

The zucchini though has started to put out females. They aren't open yet. I wonder if it will open when I'm gone. I like to be around for the earliest ones. That way I can hand pollinate or just pick if there are no males around.

The solanum crops are getting bigger. The peppers just sat there looking sad for weeks - I'm hoping they were busy putting down good roots. They have perked up a bit and started to grow. The cayennes are the only one blossoming right now, but I see buds on others.

The tomatoes are growing like the weeds they are. They are all getting tall and bushy. And they have started to set tomatoes. Above are the first of the Cherokee Purples.

They are racing the Sungolds for the first ones to produce. I think Sungold will win though as it is just a cherry.

And the eight Heinz plants are wildly blooming. They have just started setting. These are classic determinants. They bloom all at once and produce over a short time. They put every ounce of energy into the fruit then die. They were the best tasting of all my paste tomatoes in the paste trial last year. So if I'm actually home during their brief spurt I'll be in major canning mode then. If not I'll get Alli to pick them and toss them on the counter or in the freezer for me.

And then there are my favas. Technically they aren't a summer crop, but I won't get to pick them until summer. I've never tasted a fava before. I hope I like them Not all of my favas will produce. I decided to let the aphids have at them. They seem to like certain plants more. I did see a lady bug the other day. So I'm hoping this feast of aphids will bring more.


  1. Its hard for me to leave my garden for long if its like your garden conditions ;-). Missing cucumbers now.

  2. Your garden looks fabulous. And WOW, your Heinz have a lot of flowers!

  3. Your garden is look great as usual! Do you remember where you got your Heinz tomato seeds and fava beans from?

  4. Diana, my husband complains that I won't leave my garden, but the reality is I'll be gone several weeks this summer and part of it is in prime canning season. It will be painful. The time I really hate to travel is in the spring. The seedlings can't take care of themselves. A garden will grow without you provided there is enough rain.

    Nartaya, they do. A lot of the tomatoes have a lot of flower,but since they set most of their flowers all at the same time they really have to be prolific now.

    Katrina, I got them both from Fedco. The Heinz are ones are Heinz 2653. They are a very early paste.

  5. Is the Michihili similar to Fun Jen?

  6. elizabeth. Not even close. Fun Jen is more of a frilly bok choy. It gets to be about a foot tall and it is really best eaten fresh and not cooked. The Michihili was three feet tall and three feet wide. It was huge. And the leaves were straight. It cooks up very well. And has to be one of the tastiest Chinese cabbage I've ever eaten.

  7. You favas look so much healthier than mine. I don't think I grew them in a sunny enough space, which is a shame since I grew a LOT of them.

    Ny zucchini is producing female flowers as well. Unfortunately, there are no male flowers to be had! Also. I'm growing two interesting cucumbers this year. They seem to be putting out only female flowers that don't need to pollinate in order to set fruit.

    Have fun on your trip. I'm sure your garden is in good hands.

  8. It is always exciting when tomato blossoms actually begin to set fruit!

  9. You are right about the cukes being fast once they start. I picked my first cuke on Saturday then on Monday I got 4 more. I see more coming in my way!

  10. The prospect of having to be absent from my garden for some weeks, especially in Summer, would appall (and depress) me! Your friend Allie has a lot to live up to...

  11. my favas were infested with aphids; I decided to do nothing, and all of a sudden, the aphids were gone - now I can't find a single one; tiny wasps have done the job for me -- there is a cloud of them buzzing around.

  12. I couldn't stand to be away from my garden now. No trips for me until fall, except for some day trips.

    I've got some mini Chinese cabbage seeds I am trialing this fall. I'm not sure I would know what to do with a monster like your Michihili!

    I'll have to check out that Heinz variety. It sounds worth trying here.

  13. Came to your blog through malay kadazan girl blog. Your garden is really very productive! Tomatoes grow like weeds? Wow i need to really care for them to see some tomotoes here! hahahha...
    Happy holidays!

  14. I like my favas best when they have just filled out the pods but haven't gotten super hard. Once they get really hard, they are very starchy. Until then they are sweet and tender with a lot of umami.

  15. The picture of the sungold is awesome. It looks like it has gold dust on it! All shimmery and beautiful.

  16. It's so hard to leave when the garden is going. I'm glad you found someone to tend to it in your absence. Hopefully those tomatoes will wait until you're home. Can you can them once they've been frozen?

  17. Thomas, i'm ok with no male flowers at the start. I just eat the females very tiny and with the flower on.

    Vanessa, it is

    Sherry, I can't wait for the first cucumber salad. Such a treat.

    Mark, lol I'm fine with it. And I'm going to see my daughter graduate. You can't beat that. No garden can.

    Svetla, that is what I'm hoping for. I've got aphids on my favas, on my nasturtiums and on my apple trees right now. When I get home I'll fix the apple trees, but leave the rest.

    villager, boy life goes on for me. I've got four trips this summer. The garden will be fine.

    Malar, this time of the year I swear you can see the tomatoes grow. I have to check every day to make sure they aren't escaping their cages.

    ikea, I'll remember that. I've never grown them before.

    Charm, thanks

    Sue, yes you can can them after they are frozen. And that is what I'll do. Usually I like to can them right away, but I'll freeze them if I really have to.

  18. We need one more blast of sun and temps in the 80's for the peppers to really start setting flowers.

    Anybody else infested with tiny grasshoppers? This is the second year in a row for us and they are taking a toll, especially on emergent plants.

  19. mediaOrganic- We have tiny grasshoppers this year in sw Montana. They are making little holes on the asian greens, beet, chard, zinnia, etc.. I didn't notice them last year, in fact last year I was surprised how flawless the spring greens were. I use row covers, but it doesn't keep the tiny grasshoppers out.

  20. Daphne, have I told you how blown away I am by what you do? My husband grew up in Boston (and dated a girl from Arlington but that's another blog and another story). I read your 2010 stats and told him you harvested 544 POUNDS of food. Hubby and I get on the scale and we don't come in close to 544 pounds. Needles to say, you are my hero. I will drive to you and water/pick/compost/deadhead/mulch whatever while you're away. I'm still kicking my heels over that 3.2 ounce harvest of chives way back when. You rock, girl! And you are my hero!!!

  21. I have a trip or two planned this summer too but I have arranged it that I am only actually away for no more than 5 days at a time - which seems to be the magic timeframe where I can work like mad before I go and then work like mad when I get back and all is fine. :D

    Everything is coming along nicely on your summer crops. My squash, melons, and cucumbers are WAY late this year because of our cool spring AND because I had to replant many of those items due to earlier losses. Hopefully some warm weather (eventually) will allow them to catch up.

  22. Everything looks so nice, it's hard to leave a garden when the vegs are starting to produce.

  23. What beautiful vegetable gardens! I'm so looking forward to my tomato plants doing better. The cool weather has really slowed them down here in Maine.