Monday, June 28, 2010

Harvest Monday!

I actually had a harvest this week, and it actually was photographed! We harvested these Cherry tomatoes (both Sweet 100 and Sweet Million) It looks like we'll be getting the bowls full now!
I'm still waiting on a big tomato to turn red, it'll probably be a while. We have a Margherita tomato turning color, but I'm pretty sure this one still won't taste the way that I am hoping for, since this tomato is intended more for sauce.

Here are some pictures of some of the other tomatoes in growing the garden.

I'm really excited to try this one- Pineapple- it's getting really big!

Here is a goofy looking Brandywine that didn't get all of the way pollinated. This will definitely be an interesting looking one when it's ready!

My zucchini plants that I mutilated this week (I had either an overwatering problem or a nutrient deficiency) are looking really really sad, and I don't think it is just because I removed many of the leaves... I think some sort of pest has gotten to the vines. Could be the squashbugs? I guess I may be out of luck for zucchini this year.

Here's a peek into another adventure of mine this week, not garden related- I baked macarons. They can be a finicky little treat. I had these in France when I went in 2005, and was craving them, so I decided to make them. This is my third attempt (first one failed, second one was successful and eaten!). I made these for my church. There are kids in my church with Celiac disease (no gluten-wheat products) and these cookies are made with almond meal! So it was fun to share a treat that I love, and have it be one they can enjoy too! I made coffee flavored, strawberry, and chocolate ones! Not a single one was left over, so it looks like I'll be making more if I want a stash at home!

I'm off to go tie up my crazy tomato vines, I've let them get unruly, and it's actually a bit on the cooler side of 90 this morning :)

To join in on the Harvesting Fun- head over to Daphne's Dandelions!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Creepy Crawlies

So I've finally fed my garden, it's been a while, and I'm really really really bad at that, because it is an overly stinky job. But I did it. I knew I needed to, my tomatoes are getting some yellowed leaves and my zucchini was looking crazy weird. I can't stop all of the water from the crazy storms we get from this heat, but I can feed these plants if it is a potential nutrient deficiency. So I did that this morning.

This afternoon, I went out to check on everything. I saw a lot of little cherry tomatoes turning color, but I'm saving those for my hubby when he gets home from work. He likes that size more than I do. I also found these:

I ran inside to look up squash bugs because EG mentioned a potential for them if I didn't remove all of the leaves from my zucchini plants. Sure enough. Squash bug eggs. I didn't remove all of the leaves like I had been told. I took off a lot of them, but I felt like I was greatly destroying my plants by doing even what I did. Well, I hacked away at them after I saw this. So they are some scrawny zucchini plants out there. I have yet to get a zucchini from them, so what will it hurt I guess.

So after hacking away at the zucchini leaves, I scraped these eggs and threw them into a tupperware of soapy water, and just as I was going to throw the leaves away I spotted a potential egg laying monster. I'd hate to think of someone watching me do this, (fortunately, my neighbor ladies left town today) but I jerked around like a little girl as I dunked this guy as quickly as I could into its soapy death. I wanted to be a bug scientist as a little girl actually, so the description is a little off, but considering this bug wasn't out to get ME, you'd think I could have calmed down a little. It's dead. I'll be on the look out from now on. I really really hope I'll get some zucchini this year though! I had horrible experiences with squash vine borers last year, I don't need something extra to hinder me.

So, now I've got this crazy feeling like something's crawling on me. Like the lice lecture in nursing school. I think my arm actually got irritated from rubbing against the zucchini leaves, but I'm having a hard time shaking it. This gardening stuff can be gross.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Harvest Monday!

We have harvested our first four cherry tomatoes this week (Three from a Sweet 100, and one from the Sweet Million) and the first two were popped into our mouths before I had an opportunity to take a picture, and the third into the dog's, and the last into the hubby's mouth again. I also harvested some scallions to put in some little quiches that I made yesterday.

Here's what we'll be picking today, since I'm certain they won't make it inside either.

The temps have been in the upper 90's for the past week, and it appears this week will be no different, in fact the highs for the next two days according to are 100.

It's so hot outside that I just don't want to be out there anymore! There are definitely some weeds gaining leverage I've even got a cantaloupe (I think...) plant growing among my pepper plants that has begun to blossom. I haven't been able to bring myself to pull it out, even though a plant can be a weed depending on its location.

My eggplant put out a bloom. It's pretty neat looking, I've never seen an eggplant growing before, so I'm pretty excited just to get to watch.
I can't wait to be bringing in bowls of tomatoes daily. That'll be when I'm taking loads of pictures for harvest monday :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Harvest to Come, I guess!

**Thanks Erin and Ribbit for following my blog, and welcome!**

It has been crazy hot outside for several days now, and doesn't look like we're going to have any relief any time soon. I was outside at 7 am, breaking a sweat chasing away the neighbor's "pet" baby bunny. I don't think I could have killed it myself, but I couldn't regardless, out of respect for my neighbor ladies. They've named it, and it lives in their shed. I looked like a crazy fool running up and down my garden yelling "GET OUT!!" at this baby rabbit, and chasing it with an extra tomato stake I had laying around. I finally opened part of the chicken wire up to get it out, but I still can't figure out how it got in, since it certainly wasn't finding its own way out!

I will have a few cherry tomatoes this week! I'm extra excited about these! These are Sweet 100, and we grew these last year. Very exciting to see the first tomatoes turning colors! My husband especially likes to bring these in his lunches, and Heidi (our dog) will learn soon enough which end of the garden hosts them this year, as well.

These are Green Zebra tomatoes, and you can already see some of the striping! I don't think they get much bigger than this, the catalog said 3 oz. So maybe they'll be getting the yellow and bright green coloring soon!

Here are two of my Brandywine tomatoes that have finally started to set some fruit! They sure are funny looking!

This tomato is from one of my two Caspian Pink tomatoes. This is definitely one I'm looking forward to!

Here is a picture of my most prolific plant and largest tomatoes out there (currently)- these are from a Margherita Hybrid tomato plant. I'm hoping this little guy is a friend too...

This is the first fruit set on my most anticipated tomato of the year- Pineapple. Doesn't look like much now, but I was REALLY excited to see that it had finally set some fruit! There are blossoms all over this thing, and it is my biggest, healthiest, stockiest plant out there. I couldn't figure out what was taking so long!

Here is one of my first either Anaheim peppers or jalapenos - and hopefully another "friend" that I couldn't see when I took the picture. I can't remember where I planted what of my peppers...

I have a definitely pollinated yellow squash growing fiercely out there, and another coming up right behind it!

Finally, I can't figure out what the deal is with my zucchini plant. The bottom leaves look bad... any ideas?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garden Update

I knew it'd get like this around this point in the year. Plants are growing, but not quickly enough for a harvest, and so I feel like I have nothing to write about.

I did pull all of my peas, so that I have space for my cucumbers. I'm hoping they survive the transplant. I read they don't like that, so we'll see. They were already flowering and I just had to finally get them in the ground.

My peas had yellowed half way up the vines, and I was no longer religious about picking them, so they were plumping too much for my taste. I picked what was on there, and yanked all of the vines out. I've got several gallon bags of snap peas ready for stir fry and other vegetable concoctions to come.
After I got all of the pea vines out, this poor scrawny tomato finally got some room to breathe. Look at how much it has had to reach to just get some sunlight! It's my only Striped Pasted tomato plant, so I hope it can recover!

I've yet to see any heads forming on my broccoli, even though the plants are massive at this point! I have no idea if it will still set with the heat, because I don't really know much about broccoli!
My lettuce is beginning to bolt, and we've barely eaten it. It's so pretty out there, that I just have a hard time bringing myself to harvest it! It's probably completely bitter by now anyway. It's still pretty though, and I'm okay with that.

Here are some of the tomatoes forming. I'm hoping these cherry tomatoes start changing colors this week, they are starting to have some give to them, and they look like they're almost there! The second picture is my most anticipated tomato right now. It's the biggest "normal" tomato I've got growing right now. It's from a Delicious plant (the plant the currently holds the title for the largest tomato, somewhere in the seven pound range). I just really want an open-faced tomato sandwich! Many of my heirloom tomatoes have LOADS of blossoms, but no fruit yet. Kind of disappointing. The tomato I'm looking forward to the most is my Pineapple tomato from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, but that one has yet to set any fruit. Those plants are my healthiest looking as far as foliage goes, so I'm not sure what the deal is.

This is our newest addition to the turtle pack. I wasn't interested in adding to them, other than with potential babies from the turtles we already have. My husband saw this one almost get crushed, and when he pulled over to move it, he saw she already was missing a back leg, so he decided she'd probably fare better away from traffic. She's way smaller than the rest of the turtles we have, she's probably only two years old... about the size of the palm of my hand. We haven't come up with a name for her yet, hard to top Ilene (our other turtle with three legs).

Lastly, this is what the garden looked like today. I wish I had a photo splicer of some sort, so that I could connect these pictures. Probably the only downside to having a Mac. I used to use MS Paint to do that, but I don't have any software that I can do that with now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

90 degrees and Rising!

It's been a while again, and I missed Harvest Monday because I was in Omaha visiting my sister/brother-in-law and new nephew! :) My husband spread a layer of compost around all of the plants, and hopefully it does some kind of mulching effort because it is HOT here! Currently 89 (feels like 93 according to and supposed to be 94 tomorrow. That's pretty typical for summer here, but not normally quite this early.

My harvest has looked like this pretty much every day, and I've taken pictures, but they'd probably look pretty redundant! Bowl of snap peas every other day, and a bowl of strawberries every day. I think they are going to be taking a break for a while, because it is SO hot!

I harvested this lettuce today, and my husband wants salad for dinner, so that should be perfect. (Hopefully it's not terribly bitter!) I gave some of the outer leaves to the neighbor who has a baby bunny living in their shed that they feed. So far, this little guy has stayed out of my garden, so I don't mind sharing in the slightest! (As long as it is on MY terms!)

I've got tomatoes setting fruit left and right... I've got seventeen on this plant alone! :)

These two are almost full size, I think. From what I remember about paste tomatoes anyway. I can't remember how long it will take for things to start getting red.

I looked up pictures from last year at this time, and my tomatoes were about a quarter of the size they are now on May 27, so I'm feeling pretty good!

My broccoli is getting destroyed by these stupid worms. I keep picking and squishing, and they just keep showing up. I feel like my efforts are pretty futile. I just want to see some broccoli forming on here! Even if they are going to be loaded with "extra protein"!