Monday, June 24, 2019

Not-so-empty Garden Tour

You guessed it, friends.  No menu plan today (but click here for ideas).  Today I'm showing you what's growing in the garden.  It looks a little different than it did 2 weeks ago.

These are the lemon cucumbers.  They're called lemon cucumbers because they are yellow and shaped like lemons, not because they taste anything like lemons--they actually taste like regular cucumbers.  These seeds were packed for 2013 or 14, and I wasn't sure what the germination rate would be, so I planted 7 of them in this pot.  They hadn't come up after a couple of weeks, and the zucchinis and patty pan squashes had, so I decided to plant 12 more indoors where I could keep a better eye on them.  The very next morning, one was up, and the second came up later that afternoon.  Now there are five.  I'm not sure where I'm going to put all these plants if I get the same germination rate with the indoor seeds.

 Here are the sunflowers by the chicken coop.  Nine of them came up.  A couple of them are pretty big, like 5 inches tall, maybe?  The same three sugar snap peas that were up before are still there, but they are not growing as quickly as the sugar snap peas in the garden.  I read somewhere that sunflowers put out a toxic substance into the soil to retard the growth of other plants, so maybe that's what's happening.  I was thinking next year I should put corn here.  The chickens would like that.  We'll see if that happens.

 What a difference a couple of weeks make!   On the right, we have Blauhilde beans (a purple pole bean from Baker Creek), and on the left we have sugar snap peas and a random green pole bean that I'm supposed to grow and give to a food bank.  I love the purple stems and veins of the Blauhilde beans, and those sugar snap peas are huge!  Still no flowers yet, though.

 On the right, we have sugar snap peas and Asparagus bean, and on the left it's Kentucky Wonder pole beans.

 I am so impressed that my nasturtium seeds sprouted.  Apparently, they're difficult to germinate, and nicking them with a file helps.  I wasn't sure I was doing it right.  I guess I was.  I've never eaten flowers that I've grown myself, but that's the goal with these.  I was hoping to find a climbing nasturtium to plant by the chicken coop, but I wasn't able to find any locally.

So the orange arrows point to nasturtiums, pink are zinnias, yellow are marigold, and red is the watermelon.

 We've been enjoying a few strawberries each day for about a week.  This is, by far, the best strawberry harvest we've ever had.

 Unfortunately, strawberries are not the only thing we've been harvesting from the strawberry patch.  These little green caterpillars are everywhere.  Or they were.  They're getting harder to find as I pull more and more of them off, but every time I go out there I find some.

Our strawberry patch is organic, but maybe not for long.  If we do use a chemical pesticide, I want to make sure it's safe for bees, which might be a tall order.  Anyway, for now, I'm just picking them off by hand and feeding them to the chickens.  I don't know if the plants will have enough leaves left to store enough energy to come back up next year.  It would be disappointing if they don't return, but it would be ok.  That would give me a chance to both break the pest cycle, and move the strawberries to a more convenient location.

 Here are the radishes.  We've harvested four so far, and it's looking like we've got at least 6 more that will get to harvest size.  I don't know why some radishes form nice, plump, round roots, and others are skinny and long, even right next to each other, in (presumably) the same conditions.

 Zucchini.  And a couple of zinnias.  My zoodle freezing experiment was a success, so it'll be good to have lots of zucchini this year.

 Patty pan squash.  I'm really looking forward to eating these!

 Isn't this mini pepper plant just the cutest?

 Our grape tomato plant had flowers on it, which I pinched off, when I transplanted it.  Now it has more flowers, so hopefully we'll have fruit soon.  There is nothing like a sweet vine ripened grape tomato eaten fresh from the garden, warm from the sun.  So good!

 Here are another couple of nasturtiums.

Peonies.  Just because they're pretty.

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