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Veggie Garden, mid July

July 15, 2014
by

It’s a little surprising to be writing a July update for the garden while wearing a sweater and sipping hot tea, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the cool temperatures from the polar vortex even if my tomatoes are not.  Are you excited to see 47 pictures of my vegetable garden?  Of course you are!

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Kyle and I (OK, mostly Kyle) moved 7 yards of mulch into the backyard to do some major weed control in the flower beds, but also to add a 3′ border around the vegetable garden fence. I want to move the rhubarb over from the flower bed and add some pretty herbs like lavender, calendula, chamomile, and anise hyssop next spring. We also created a large bed between the garden and the neighbor’s service berries. Instead of mowing the grass in an area the boys don’t use, we covered it in cardboard and mluch, and in the spring I hope to plant some bushes that will provide fun edibles for the birds and us as well. I’m considering elderberries, gooseberries, and Nanking cherries.DSC_0030

I think my garden is still behind, either from the cool spring or a lack of fertilizer, but at least it’s looking like a garden now, and we are eating from it daily. Last night was a salad with our lettuce, green beans, parsley, and basil. We have a lot of lettuce. I find the “freckles” variety adorable.

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I have two patches of arugula, one that has bolted and one that will soon. We’ve enjoyed tons of arugula pesto, fritatas,and salads. Next up: arugula pizza.

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We have lots of basil, dill and parsley.  The cilantro was slow to get established, but we finally have enough to harvest.  I love the dill that has popped up all over the garden – it looks like fireworks.

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Pea’s grape tomato plant continues to be the most prolific. He’s harvested a few already and has kindly ensured everyone has gotten a taste.  My 3 varieties are coming along slowly but surely.  This morning I noticed the first teeny tiny Brandywine tomato just starting to grow.  Hopefully we’ll get a few ripe ones before the frost.

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Pea’s tomato

 

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The pole beans are up over the top of the 8-foot trellis and are delicious. The scarlet runner beans sweetly gifted from my neighbor are starting to show signs of flowering.

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The first planting of peas is just about finished, but the second planting, made on the shady side of the trellis, is just starting to spit out peas. This is good, because my boys eat as many as they can find.  The kale, shaded out by the rogue bleeding heart, might give us a harvest some day.

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The over-crowded cucumbers (3 varieties) are finally really starting to scramble up the trellis, and I hope we’ll get some baby cukes appearing below those flowers soon.

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Zucchinis and other squash are sooooo close. I could pick some now, but I’ll give it another few days.  And knock on wood, no sign of my nemesis, the squash vine borer.

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Sadly, the asparagus (the original impetus for starting our first veggie garden 4 years ago) has attracted asparagus beetles in it’s second month above the ground. The good news is I’ve seen the little parasitic wasp that preys on them around. I hope they’re really hungry. Meanwhile, I am keeping a pail of soapy water next to the bed and pay the boys a nickle a beetle and a penny a larvae for each one drowned. (I think I should reverse this payment system, however, as the larvae are far grosser to pick off the plants.)

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The nasturtiums around the fence are getting bigger but no sign of flowers yet.

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The volunteer cup plant next to the asparagus is growing like crazy. I’m sure I waited too long to transplant it and will either kill it when I try, or forever, forever, forever have cup plant in the middle of my garden path. Oh well. There are worse plants to fight – like Asiatic dayflower and bindweed. Gaaaah! I spent two hours pulling them out of the flower beds yesterday and I could hear the little bits of roots left behind howling with laughter. They will be in this yard for eternity.

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There are okra, bush bean, eggplant, Brussels sprout, and ground cherry plants all limping along, wishing for warmer weather. I’ll be happy if half of them get around to producing something this summer.

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bush beans and okra

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ground cherries

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Brussels sprouts and (too small to see) eggplant

And since I can’t leave you with a picture of a pathetic Brussels sprout, here is a guy I saw this morning.  He wouldn’t budge.  I think he’s frozen.  Hopefully the sun comes back out soon.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2014 7:37 am

    Loved this post, Robin! You have a great garden. I have asparagus beetles too, and on a mature asparagus patch, they haven’t been too much of a problem; maybe it’s gross but you can scrape off the eggs before eating the asparagus. Um, that might be more than you wanted to know about me!

    On a sort of related note, what type of camera do you use? I am thinking of getting a new one as our old one is not working well so I’ve relied on my iphone camera for the last year and a half…

    • July 19, 2014 2:03 pm

      Thanks, Cindy. I’m glad to hear the asparagus beetles haven’t affected your plot too much. I would just scrape off the eggs, too. I’m just annoyed they’re getting to taste the asparagus before I am!

      For a camera, I’ve been using a Nikon d5000 for about 5 years now and I really like it. If I were in the market now, I might research the mirrorless cameras because the image quality looks good but they’re so much smaller and lighter than the dslrs. But I plan to shoot this one into the ground, so I hopefully have many years before I need to replace it.
      http://www.tomsguide.com/us/dslr-vs-mirrorless-cameras,news-17736.html

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