Tag Archives: beets

A lush “green tomato year” in the making

Awoke to some drizzle, and had a an opportunity to reset the energy button to a slower pace; to actually sit in the garden (as the skies cleared), rather than tend to it.  Listening to the breeze, the little birds, the newly-hatched grasshopper, the bees.  Watching the cabbage white loopers darting around, and the juba skippers snapping and courting in their little aerial spirals.  Smelling the lavender, sages, bee balm, corn, nasturtiums, squash; summer in general.  Feeling like a sleeping cat.

I noticed a feeling of early fall precisely on Aug. 1.  The days started feeling noticeably shorter at the same time; there is a tinge of color on sporadic trees.  All this seems a couple of weeks earlier than “normal”.  We’re most definitely on the downside of summer, with very few tomatoes set.  I’ve never had this many tomato plants grow over 5-feet tall before setting fruit!  But, we’re not alone in this predicament.  Our day and night temps are so variable, slow to warm and very quick to cool in late afternoon.  More heat needed!

Fortunately, the squash have kicked in, though more sporadic than last year, especially for their mammoth sizes.  The spaghetti squash is out of hand, while little acorn and delicata fruit are just getting started.  The cucumbers are developing nicely, as are the margarita and charantai melons.  Corn ears are nicely elongated, waiting to fill out the kernels.

Tasseling corn

'Early prolific

Lavender and nasturtiums cushion a spaghetti squah

It was time for the lettuce to be harvested completely, or be overrun by squash and melons, besides being a little bit bitter.  Kale and chard are still vigorous, and the bush beans are still producing well.  Harvested over 5 pounds this last week on the oldest row.  Basil has been sheared back for a second round of bushy growth.  Lots of pesto being made!

July bounty:

  • Beet tops and roots: 11.75 pounds
  • Basil: 6.25
  • Kale: 3.5
  • Lettuce blends: 16.5
  • Scallions: 0.75
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 4.75
  • Sugar Snap peas: 0.25
  • Summer squash: 8.75

Month’s total: 53 pounds

Thank you all participants and garden devas!

Lushness galore! August 8

Basil, Beets, Bees, and Beans: Repeat 4 times

Not really a tongue twister in that order…;-)

The CG is LUSH.  Our present heat wave is what we need to get the tomatoes to set! They and some of the squash have become vegetative monsters with our lovely warm days, but cool nights.

Actually, the bees have been busy in the squash, and there are some ‘Yellow Prolific’ and zucchinis near ready to pick.  The gargantuan spaghetti squash plant has set small fruits along its rambling vines, which are now trying to overrun the bush ‘Delicata’ squash and ‘Margarita’ melon.  I may be doing some severe pruning soon!

A big change 2 weeks after the last photo! Where's Aspen?

Tomatoes look to be trying to grow as tall as the corn!

Beets were all gathered and shared amongst ourselves this week, as the tops were looking tired and ready to flower.  Amazingly, we’re still able to pick lettuce from the mesclun mix, though the bitterness factor is creeping in more.

Beets galore!

And, such a basil harvest from simple thinning and pruning.  4 pounds!  So tasty when sauteed with diced garlic, dried tomatoes and salt, in olive oil, tossed with pasta.  Directly seeded in the soil in late May, this is a much earlier harvest this year, compared to last, which was transplanted from seedlings.

Beautiful fragrant basil....

Purple bush beans are just reaching maturity, and last, but not least, the corn is tasseling!

Sun!

We love this weather!” exclaim the tomatoes, squash, melons, corn, and beans.  “About time!”
Oh, don’t forget the baby basil, starting to plump out their true leaves.

Oooowee! Tomatoes enjoying freedom from their red jackets, and lots of things rejoicing in warmth.

Do we gardeners get bonus points for our patience?

Yes, finally we have been graced with several days of real summer weather, so that the logarithmic growth rate is very visible.  Rumor has it that consistently warm days will not be with us until late July or August, and we’ll be bouncing around with cooler weather again, possibly this coming week.  But, it finally feels like we’re in the real month of June, albeit near the end.

With the longest days of the summer solstice at hand, as if on cue, the spinach has bolted, as well as a couple of beets and some lettuce.  Time for a big greens harvest.

Great hidey-holes in the towering sugar peas; Juniper is out, where's Aspen?

Although we’re not tracking the pounds of bounty going to the food bank, per se, I think it would be fairly realistic to say that at least 75% of June’s bounty is going to help others.  At least 7 pounds of greens were harvested this morning, headed directly to a food bank.

Over 7 pounds of luscious greens headed for a food bank

Prediction: no knee-high corn by July 4th; maybe shin-high.  Will report!

Spring is sprung!

Some classic spring weather to start off our early spring planting.  It was exceptionally warm on the official first day of spring, followed by colder rain showers the next day, when we were scheduled to plant (of course).  But, it held off perfectly for us when it came to assembly time.  I dashed in and out between showers beforehand to survey and lay out some boundary lines for the planting.  Because I’m curious about soil temperature, of course, I measured it: 53°F, and the air temperature was about 54° when we planted.

A little soil prep before planting

It was wonderful to finally kick-off the garden season, and we were in high spirits.  A little weeding, some fertilizing, shoveling and raking it in, and then…..seed sowing!  To start off: a couple of rows of lettuce, a row each of Swiss chard, scallions, and beets, and a row split to spinach and kale.   The kale started growing so fast we were able to harvest 1 pound of it about the time we quit!  Just kidding.  The harvest was from some overwintering kale, that is starting to flower and needs to get used up.  Then there was a consensus to plant snap peas and some mesclun greens mix, which will be added during the coming week.

And now, for the patience part.

Two-thirds of the early spring planting crew...and Juniper nowhere to be seen.