Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Vegetable Garden Update

Due to all of the rain, the garden is doing better this summer than in any other year.  After being gone for a week, I spent the entire morning weeding, watering, planting some pumpkins and cucumbers and staking up the tomatoes.

I still have carrots.  I keep meaning to pull them all up, but since I don't know what to do with them, I've just let them sit.  They may be bitter by this time, for all I know. It is my intent to pull them all up, shred them, and make and freeze carrot bread... I just haven't had a chance to yet.

This morning, I staked up the tomatoes.  A lot of the big green tomatoes were lying on the ground, which makes them more susceptible to rot and insect invasion. I bought ten stakes from the Natural Gardener, and used twine around them.

I have had four nice batches of tomatoes so far, and I think I have at least one more batch, based on the number of mid-sized green tomatoes on the various plants.  I have made two tomato sauces, two soups and one batch of salsa.

The Yellow Pear tomato continues to be a high producer, with an entire bowl picked this morning (after being gone for a week)  The others have only a few tomatoes each on them.

A number of the tomatoes are starting to look yellow. I cut off all the yellow leaves and then sprayed one down with Serenade, and then realized I shouldn't be doing that during the day, but should instead wait until the cooler evening.  I will spray the rest down later tonight.

Natural Gardener suggests that I cut each strong tomato plant to a third its current size, but with so many tomatoes still on the vine, I don't want to cut just yet.

I have one tiny little melon starting to grow on the front cantaloupe.  Nothing on the five back melons yet.  They are all still alive, some even have flowers, but no fruit.  I also cut back some of the long vines. I have a vague recollection that someone at Natural Gardener told me that I would get more fruit if I snipped the vines.  I did it to the cucumber, to no noticeably effect.  But I thought I'd try it on the melons, anyway/

The two eggplants are doing fairly well.  One has a bloom.  Neither has set any fruit yet. I remember last year the plants did not set fruit until the fall.  I had assumed that was because they were shaded by the tomatoes, but maybe they are just late to set fruit.  With the staking of the tomatoes, the eggplant are now in full sunlight, so we'll see if we get any fruit from them.

Before I left for camp, I did not have any tomatillo husks forming.  I returned to find a bunch of them.  Not sure if it was the warming days, longer sunlight hours or what, but I am hoping for some salsa in a few weeks!

Almost all of the first batch of cucumbers have died :o(  They all get a sort of yellowish fungus on them, wither and then die.  I have two still hanging one, meaning they have lost all of their leaves, except the few left by a long hanging cucumber.  Tonight I will serenade those, to see if it helps any.  

I also purchased two more cucumber plants (Suvo Lona).  NG did not have any pickling cucumbers, so I had to settle for a different variety that said you could pickle them.  We'll see how they do in the hot sun.

We've all been enjoying Dave's pickles so much, that I'd love to grow some more!

My previously planted pumpkin looks like it was attacked by squash vine borers. The vine is yellow and very week looking, but the end leaves are green.  I covered the first part of the vine with compost, in the hopes that it will re-root, but I am not optimistic.

I also purchased another pumpkin from NG - a variety called Howden.  Kyle liked it because it says it gets to 20-30 pounds. I doubt it, but I'll try ;o)

I also planted two batches of New England Pie Pumpkin seeds.  NG did not have any baking pumpkin plants.  With 105 days to maturity, they might be ready by Halloween.  But for some reason, probably water, my pumpkins never grow very fast!

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