Monday, July 26, 2010

Some News From The Garden

.It's obviously been a busy week between the theater production and my job. (Not that I've been working TOO terribly hard at that.) But somehow, I've managed to find a few moments to wander through the vines and bushes and pull a few weeds out.

This morning I found itty bitty pumpkins (aka puntkins if I'm in a playful mood) in the pumpking patch! That made me cheerful.

The tomatoes are so laden with fruit that the cages are bending and falling over under the weight of them, especially the Juliet Romas, which are sweet as can be. Back in April I lost a large amount of tomato seedlings due to a windstorm taking my greenhouse and flinging it into the neighbor's yard. But there was one lone survivor! I found it, 4 inches tall, about a month ago, peeking its way through the dead groundcover and weeds, and have been nurturing it to grow. It's about a foot tall now, and has the beginnings of flowers. Although I'm not 100% sure, I think that it is a red cherry variety. I was hoping that it would be one of the slicing varieties that I had planted, but honestly, after the planting problems I had this spring, I am happy to have much of anything!

I made my first ever batch of pesto today as well! I was not aware of the amount of basil that must be harvested for pesto, and the pine nuts are at rediculous cost right now. I talked to the woman at the health food store about it and apparently they're becoming more and more scarce. The reason she only keeps very small bags of them in the case now is because the last batch she ordered cost her nearly $40 a pound. So the half cup of pine nuts I purchased today cost $7.06. I'll have to rethink this recipe. That is not sustainable. I made one pint jar full from half of my large basil bush and two big fat garlic cloves and a cup of EVOO. It's a bit strong with the garlic. I probably could have made do with one garlic clove.

Speaking of garlic cloves, a couple of mine are starting to sprout, and so soon it will be time to plant them in the garden to harvest for next year! Plant them, right from the grocery store, toes up and let them winter over and next summer you can harvest them.

I started to sketch a diagram for next year already, based on the successes of this year, but I already need to re-draw it. I put the tomatoes and potatoes right next to each other, and according to Louise Riotte in her great gardening wisdom, that is a big no-no.

The butternut squash look healthy and are crawling over the soil towards the ornamental tree that is the bane of my backyard. Maybe they'll strangle it with their squashy little vines. I AM so looking forward to butternut and acorn squash soups this autumn. All of my various squashes have been putting up male flowers, but my zucchini don't look very good. Their stems looks as if something has been eating them. I'll have to keep an eye out. There might not be an zucchini this year. It's already later than I'd like to admit and I'm not very happy that the single female flower I saw on one plant shrivelled up and died a couple days later.

I've been trying to weed gently around the fragile little leek shoots that finally appeared. The weeds seem bent on their destruction, for there is no worse spot in my whole garden for that conquering army, than right there around those tiny shoots.

I haven't mowed grass in a month. Only the weeds in the lawn are growing anyway in this heat. So I take the weed-b-gone out and spray them to death. I don't even want grass. If it was within my magical prowess to do so, I would blink all of the grass gone and replace it with vegetables and fruits.

A heavy rain over the weekend damaged the onion tops, but it was almost time to bend them over anyway. The potatoes are flowering too, so it will soon be time to dump their pots over and collect the spuds. I was surprised that the russets I stuck in those pots actually worked. You know, you hear about people who just plant stuff they bought at the grocery store and making it work, but you don't really expect it too. Well, it worked for me!

I'm thinking about planting cabbages for winter too. I've been going over it in my head for a week.
I hope we have a lovely, dreamy autumn, full of sunny days and crisp nights.

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