Friday, 5 August 2016

Late Summer Garden Update

As the season progresses, the balance of work in the garden shifts too. We are still watering pretty much nonstop, given how dry it is, but we are doing harvesting almost every day now. A few days ago we dug up the garlic.

Garlic is quite drought tolerant, and our garlic this year looks like it is very high quality. We are pleased! Now it is hanging from the rafters in the garage to cure for 2 weeks, before we trim it and bring it into the house.

We've had the micro-tubers from the potatoes we started from seed last winter sitting in the fridge until now. They have been planted in part of the space that the garlic was in.

We had one potato that formed 13 little tubers. Some were quite small and went shriveled and moldy in storage, but we planted out 10 - that's amazing. I have never had a potato grown from seed produce so many little tubers. This was from the Latvian seed we got from Duane Falk, as was the next most impressive plant, which produced 9 cute little pink tubers. We did not even get around to potting them up - this was all in the original seed starting tray. After that there were only a few other plants that produced anything worth planting out. Hopefully these will all come up and grow through the rest of the season.

The leeks going to seed that once were towering over the tomato starts are now just about disappearing into the tomato plants. Looks like we should have lots of seed, but I was a bit exasperated by my Inegol (Turkish) leeks which flowered a lot later than any of the others. We'll see to what degree they managed to cross with the others next year, I guess.

No ripe tomatoes yet, but some are finally starting to turn pale yellow in preparation.

Ooo, look at that lovely gravel path! I am still enjoying having it done very much. Not shown; Mr Ferdzy has hauled all the gravel we had delivered. There are still 2 sections of path to be done, but they should be done next year for sure.

On the right, brassicas are mostly looking good but getting a little bug chewed. On the left, melons are getting viney and starting to form fruit. These are the non watermelon melons. We are just growing one kind, Sweet Freckles, in order to save seeds.

My small, hopefully yellow when ripe, watermelon project is not a complete bust, but it's not a roaring success either. The vines are finally forming melons, although they sure look like they are going to be TINY. That is my first and best melon so far, and I am not at all convinced that it intends to get any bigger. At least I expect to get seeds to keep on keeping on. I'm interested to note that all the vines are VERY short, and all the melons are round and look like being similar in size although some are slower than others; the only place I am seeing any variation is in the colour and pattern of the rinds. Many do have stripes, although the pale green netted look of the Grover Delaney is asserting itself. I'm seeing signs of yellowing in many leaves so I expect this generation to include quite a few yellow when ripe melons. I will have to hope for larger and earlier melons next year I guess.

On the other hand, my Orangeglo x Sweet Siberian watermelons are looking fabulous. I can hardly wait! They will get their own post at some point. 


This is, I think, the dill I got in Turkey. It is very large and leafy, which is nice. Not so nice is that all the dill this year is being attacked by some nasty little worm that gums up the seeds. Potatoes on the other side of the path are doing okay in spite of the dryness and the Colorado Potato Bugs, which have been kind of relentless this year. There is always something, and those 3 things are the problems for this year so far. Apart from the fact that I desperately wish it would rain, the pests could be - and have been many years - worse.

Here are 2 plants I grew from seed this year. The dahlias are kind of fun, but it is the chocolate cosmos in front of them that I am really excited about. Until recently it was thought that there was one chocolate cosmos "plant" in existence, and it was not self-fertile. It could only be propagated by cloning (divisions). Then, a few years back, word got out that there were some gardeners in New Zealand who had more chocolate cosmos plants, and they produced seeds! Jelitto has recently started selling them and I got some! They have been pretty easy to grow and are starting to bloom. I see why they are so desirable as cut flowers. The stems are long and the colour is terrific. I have not cut any though as I am hoping to collect more seeds. (And it's true - they smell delicious.)

This is part of our our zucchini patch. Yes, stand by for zucchini recipes. COMING UP. These plants are from crossed seed we saved. We are very amused by the one on the bottom and left of the picture. It produces a reasonable amount of zucchini, but it is definitely a vine and not a bush. I think it's getting close to 20 feet long.

With 14 zucchini plants in the garden we are getting lots, but not as much as you might think. Between the heat and dryness there is a whole lot of aborting going on. Same with the beans, eggplants, maybe the cucumbers, and the melons. Tomatoes seem okay, but maybe there too. It's a little hard to tell how many we are getting. As usual we have over-planted and are generally getting a sufficient quantity anyway. 

When last seen, this bed was determinate peas I believe. Peas are long out, and beans are planted in their place. They are growing like crazy in this heat. These are a favourite Italian variety called Anseloni's Bologna bean.

The last of the peas from the spring planting are drying down. We are not watering them as the peas are fully formed and we are just waiting for them to be dry for seed collection. Then they will come out and we will plant the beds with spinach and lettuce for next year.

This years lettuce is long over. It went bitter and bolted very early thanks to the heat and drought. We will be collecting seed in the next few days. We might plant some more for the fall.

To the left of the lettuce you can see the transplanted leeks settling in. We did not get them transplanted until quite late due to having a hard time keeping up with weeding and watering. However, they seem to be settling in and we expect to have some good leeks this fall.

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