Thursday, July 17, 2014

Checking In On the Kitchen Garden

I really am loving this sudden cool July weather. I mean, 67 as a high in July in Indiana is rather wonderful to someone who absolutely dreads the Dog Days of Summer. However, there are so many tomatoes on the vines in need of some heat to ripen I'll be happy to get back into the 80's, but not the 90's.

Here's a quick tour of how the vegetable garden is growing.

The right amount of moisture and few really hot days have allowed everything to grow lush and green. As I approached the gate, a rather overwhelmingly sweet scent filled my nose.

The pure white 'Casablanca' lilies are blooming!

I planted these inside the Vegetable Garden several years ago in order to attract bees and other pollinators. Unfortunately, I can count on one hand how many actual honey bees I've seen this year.
Stepping through the gate and looking to the south is a quadrant of the old part of the garden filled with mesclun, herbs (chives, thyme, and dill) and a few Burgundy okra plants, as well as a row of carrots. I need to do a new planting of mesclun. And what's that speck of red?

Behold! The first sweet pea has (finally) bloomed! The weather made it impossible to plant sweet peas on time this Spring, but with the mild, English-like summer they are doing alright.

Of course the tomatoes are going nuts.

Some yellow wax beans.

A cluster of grape tomatoes. You have to be early to pick these because they seem to disappear by the end of the day. Especially if my nephew is over.

More dill mingling with one of the banana pepper plants.
I did two plantings of 'Clemson Spineless" okra after the first attempt resulted in rather awful germination. Okra likes it hot and dry, so it will be interesting to see how it does.

I have an abundance of borage, all self sowed from last year. It does double duty, as it is again a favorite of pollinators, and it also acts as a deterrent to those fat green tomato worms. I need to try my hand at borage soup.
The South half of the new bed is filled with more tomatoes (I think we put in 19 plants), some peppers, basil, bush beans, a row of turnips, tomatillos, and, on the old bamboo tuteur, cukes and pole beans.
I think I planted about seven varieties of basil. This is lime basil.

Waiting on the cucumbers to develop. We have many blooms!

I'm excited about these 'Indigo Rose' tomatoes. They will be a dusky purple red when ripe, and just over the size of a golf ball.

More beans and cucumbers on the second tuteur in the other half of the back bed.

Once they flower, the beans follow quickly. These are 'Kentucky Wonder'.
More beautiful tomatoes waiting to ripen. I need to prune all the plants of suckers to allow more sunlight to reach the fruit.

We've already had a few nice harvests of bush beans. It's almost time to make some Dilly Beans!

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