Mary's Veggie Garden

August 7, 2017

8/7/2017 High Summer Harvest

Filed under: Beans,Carrots,Cucumbers,Onions,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 2:07 pm

The weather for the last couple days has been cool, and today rainy, more like mid-September than early August. Summer crops are starting to peak but already it feels like fall.

Cabernet and Copra onions curing is a shaded area on the patio.

I’ve been harvesting Cabernet onions for two weeks and most are cured and ready to go into storage. This is the entire crop of Cabernet but only about half of my Copra onions. The plants were shredded by hail in early June but recovered remarkably well – these are the biggest onions I’ve ever grown of both varieties. I attribute this to the regular rains we’ve been getting.

Each of these onions weighs about 7 ounces, together 1 pound including foliage. Typically, the Cabernet would be about 4-5 ounces and the Copra about 3 ounces.

The Yaya carrots are not as happy as the onions without supplemental watering. The split carrots require some carving but still taste great.

We’ve had a couple of periods of 8-9 days with no rain when I wasn’t watering. The carrots probably split after the next rainfall. I finally laid out the soaker hoses two weeks ago so subsequent plantings should not have this problem.

I’ve been checking for cucumbers but found only one – I picked the first last Thursday. Suddenly there are a gazillion and by their size several of them were there and ready last Thursday. Strange how they suddenly snapped into focus.

Cucumbers, H-19 Little Leaf. This is a pickling type with high resistance to bacterial wilt. The taste is good.

I’m not able to judge the resistance claim yet as the plants were protected by a row cover until the start of flowering. The foliage was clean when I removed the row cover but it is starting to show signs of disease now.

Tomatoes – 3 pounds of Sungold cherries and 1 pound of Garden Gem.

I cut then slow roasted (275°F) the Sungolds with garlic, basil & olive oil. I freeze them on a tray then pack them into freezer bags for use on winter salads. Summer has been cool and my biggest tomatoes are only just starting to show a bit of color.

One pound bush beans – most are Bush Blue Lake. The darker green beans are Hickock.

Lettuce Rouge Grenoblais and Muir. Muir stands up to hot weather much better than Rouge Grenoblais.

Everything above came from my community garden plot. I try to alternate harvests. Every second day at home I harvest a basket of beans and a handful of Jasper tomatoes. Zucchini is rarer, but still sufficient, since I prefer not to freeze it. Plus there is a daily harvest of greens – chard, kale, or Tyfon-Holland greens.

Helda pole beans, zucchini and Jasper cherry tomatoes.

Linking up with Dave at Our Happy Acres where the season is much more advanced.

July 24, 2017

7/24/2017 Home Garden Tour & Harvest

Filed under: Garlic,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 5:59 pm

Last week I posted a tour of my community garden plot. This week I’m showing my vegetable garden at home.

I’ve been gardening in this space since 1998 and it was my only garden until after I retired. Over twenty years things change. The trees 60′ to the south now have roots reaching into the garden. The sapling Norway maple 10′ to the north in my neighbor’s yard is now a full-sized tree, shading 2 beds and with roots extending to the middle of the garden. The soil is beautiful, but conditions are challenging. I focus on crops that do well despite some shade.

The deer ignore the herbs outside the garden fence. After 20 years the wire fence is buckling under its own weight.

Herb Garden – common chives, sage, rosemary. geraniums and garlic chives.

Just inside the gate two teepees support Helda pole beans. Between the teepees there is also an overwintered kale plant, and my single hill of zucchini (not visible). Rhubarb surrounds the bird house. The flash of blue is a stool which allows me to (barely) reach the top beans.

7/17 harvest – the first Striata d’Italia zucchini and Helda pole beans. I’m harvesting beans daily.

This bed of butternut squash is to the left of the beans. The mottled foliage is Honeynut while the remaining plants are Waltham butternuts.

The next picture shows the 5 beds that make up the north-east third of the garden.  The two beds in the top left corner contain raspberries and two kale plants.  The neighbor’s maple makes the area dry and shady so I didn’t bother to plant much. In the foreground there is a bed of Peppermint Swiss chard and kale. Two weeks ago I removed snow peas and replanted the area with bush beans under a row cover to protect the seeds from chipmunks. There is also a baby bunny in the garden so I’m leaving the row cover in place until the plants out grow it. The fence was the trellis for my snap peas. I pulled out the last of the plants yesterday and ate the pods with breakfast.  I will replant the area with fall crops this week.

Northeast corner – greens and beans.

Peppers: from front to back Carmen, Escamillo and Highlander.

The circled plant is a red giant mustard plant going to seed. I’ve allowed several plants to bloom and set seed.  I’m planning to dump some of the mature plants in the empty bed in the NE corner – because spring is the only time with is enough light and moisture to grow a crop under the tree – and mustard is the first thing up in spring.

The tomato bed – interplanted with parsley and basil.

The Jasper tomato in front is supported by a 5′ high cage of concrete reinforcing wire. The garden slopes slightly, so I stabilize the cage by tying it to a stake on the uphill side. Past experience says the cages will tip during a thunderstorm if not tied to something.

In the spring snow peas were trellised on the fencing. In mid-June I planted Fairy squash (around the bird house pole) and 7/5 I planted Summer Dance cucumbers (foreground). Another mustard plant leans on the pea trellis. I’m hoping the cukes will climb the fencing.

I harvested most of the garlic this past week.  Music will be the last variety harvested – it is above, behind the squash.

Garlic: German White, Chesnok Red and Duganski.

I expected Duganski to be as big or bigger than Chesnok Red. Norma, at gave me a  head of nicely sized cloves last fall. I missed cutting the scapes off two Duganski plants resulting in the two smallest garlic heads. Duganski was growing next to German White; perhaps it felt crowded out by the much larger German White plants.

Check with Dave at to see what other gardeners are harvesting across the US and around the world.

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