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 27, 2014

How Vegetable Plants Climb

Filed under: Beans,Gardening,Peas,Squash,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:18 am

Many vegetable plants are eager climbers. Gardeners can take advantage of this tendency by providing the appropriate support. Plants on a trellis enjoy better air circulation, reducing disease problems. Their fruits are easier to reach for harvesting and much cleaner. There is also less insect damage, particularly from slugs.

Let’s look at a few climbers.

Pea tendrils searching for an anchor.

Pea tendrils searching for an anchor.

Peas have compound leaves with slender, forking tendrils at their tips. The tendrils eagerly wrap around anything with about the same circumference as a pea vine: string, wire, brush, and adjacent pea plants.

Well anchored pea tendrils support a big plant.

Well anchored pea tendrils support a big plant.

Young pea tendrils make a tender addition to a spring salad. Once anchored the tendrils turn tough and wiry, well able to support the growing plant.

Pole beans do not have tendrils: they climb using twining stems. After the stem encounters support, it grows quickly, often traveling 5′ up a pole in a week. Pole bean stems are coarse and rough so they cling easily to rough surfaces such as bark but the flexible stems will also wrap around string and netting. The vines are big and heavy so use a tall, sturdy trellis.

Pole beans climb with their flexible branch tips.

Pole beans climb with their flexible branch tips.

This picture shows three young pole bean plants. Two have touched the pole and are spiraling upwards. The third plant is still searching for support – you can see the growing tip silhouetted against the black hose. Sometimes I help my pole beans by laying the stem against the pole.

Squash tendrils emerge from the stems opposite leaves. The spirals of a squash tendril form a hemihelix – they spiral in one direction, then change direction to spiral in the reverse direction. My squashes have climbed tomato cages, deer netting and wire fences.

Squash climbing a tomato cage.

Squash climbing a tomato cage.

Hanging squash fruit under 5 pounds do not require support. The stem of a hanging squash responds to the stress by growing stronger and more fibrous – which means you will need loppers to harvest. Bigger hanging squashes and pumpkins benefit by some support – perhaps a bucket or barrel turned upside down and placed underneath.

For more information please see my blog:

A Pole Bean Teepee

Supporting a Hanging Squash

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