Friday, August 12, 2011

Green machine

The garden is churning and chugging away, growing and ripening everywhere at once.  I am trying, but failing to keep up with the harvest.  I have definitely failed to keep up with the weeds, which are growing as robustly as the vegetables are.  So forgive the foot-tall grass and thistle and pigweed and lambsquarters and velvetleaf and ragweed and campion, etc.

Here is the wall of beans.  Some of the leaves and pods show a bit of rust, or fungus, or something, but it doesn't seem too serious.  The cattle panels are proving to be an excellent trellis.

My basil patch is very healthy.  Owen spent a good hour with a scissors in here today, harvesting the stalks about half-way down.  I've got three grocery bags full of basil on my kitchen table, calling to me right now.  But it's more fun to blog than to pick leaves, so here I am.  I might be up awhile yet.

The Brussels sprouts are for the most part healthy.  I've had my usual trouble with cabbage worms, but I think my most recent Bt application has knocked them back a bit.

Here's a large patch of peppers.  My alma paprika and jalapenos are doing wonderfully.  My one Napolean sweet that I managed to grow from an old packet of seeds is also doing well.  The California wonder seedlings I bought at the nursery have yet to yield any fruit. 

My first red cayenne!  I need to get myself a spice grinder.  And some rubber gloves.

The cucumbers are fantastic.  I harvest a sackful one day, and two days later there is another sackful ready to be picked.  I'm letting quite a few cukes get big and orange, for next year's (and the year after that) seed. 

Two of the many watermelon.  I still don't know exactly when to pick these.  A few days ago I picked one with a large yellow spot on it, thinking it was ripe.  It wasn't even close.  So now I am hesitant to try again.

Similarly with the muskmelon. People tell me that it will 'smell ripe' and 'sound ripe' when it's ready.  I've no idea what this means.

The Jerusalem artichokes are very tall.

I've harvested almost all of the cabbage.  Several of them had begun to split.  I planted a bunch of these, thinking that I might try to sell them (along with other veges) at the farmers market this summer.  But those plans fell through, so now I have twelve cabbage heads on my table, waiting patiently next to the basil.  Guess it's time to try sauerkraut again.

Lest ye think that all my garden endeavors this year were successful, let me assure you otherwise -- my potatoes and tomatoes are all dying of blight, my carrots and turnips never germinated, my radishes were magma hot, my scallions got lost in a mass of grass and my zinnia seedlings all died before transplant.  But I must confess that overall, the balance is seeming to favor good over bad for this gardening year.  And I am, as ever, learning more and more each season.  I have already started planning for next year.  For me, that's the most fun of all.


Mr. H. said...

When you are having difficulty keeping up with the harvest you know you did a good job of growing.:)

Maybe this video will help with your watermelon -

Mama Pea said...

Holy Green Machine, for sure! We finally invested in some cattle panels for trellises last year and have been very happy with them, too.

I think I truly got a whiff of basil as that picture scrolled down my screen!

Oh, your cucs made me homesick for my full-blow garden! I love making pickles and the thought of those bags full of little pickles-to-be . . . waaaah!

I sure don't know how a ripe muskmelon sounds but if you sniff the blossom end, you should smell a definite muskmelon aroma when ripe.

Do I see a flower on the top of your Jerusalem Artichokes? I've heard they flower but have yet to see a bloom on ours.

Great post. Now go process some of that loveliness. ;o}

Erin said...

For the watermelons, pick when the tendrils close to the melon are brown, the other canteloupe kind when they smell ripe, you'll smell those when you walk by LOL. All those walls of green look great!

Ladytats said...

i agree with Erin, right near where the stem attaches to the vine, you will notice a small curly cue tendril. once that tendril turns brown and dried out, you can pick your watermelon.

Susan said...

What a glorious bounty!! I can taste the pesto already.

Jo said...

Thanks for all the advice with the melons! We tried the dead tendril thing for a watermelon, and it worked! Also, the yellowing skin of the cantaloup is a good clue too. No more unripe melons!