The garden is so exciting at this time of year! Trellises are up. Cucumbers, squash and melons are happily spreading their vines up the netting while their flowers are blooming with the promise of potential produce.
Zucchini have started to yield with the Green Machine variety bearing the first zucchini of the season.
This type has a plethora of male flowers to pollinate the fruit bearing females.
Dark Star (55 days) and Noches (44 days) are the two other zucchini varieties planted this year.
Corinto is the first cucumber variety to flower with many potential little cukes so far. Produce should ripen in about 48 to 52 days according to the supplier. The other types mature later – Marketmore (about 70 days) and Longfellow maturity arrives around 65 days.
Eggplants, tomatoes and peppers have all started with flowering and some have small fruit that have developed.
This will be my first year growing Orient Express eggplant an asian type. The shape is long and cylindrical and usually these are more prolific than typical big egg shaped eggplant.
Jasper cherry tomatoes are first to form followed by blossoms on the Box Car Willie and Better Boy plants. I use the tripod method to tie them as they vine up the wooden legs. I only have four plants so this method works well and the sturdy legs can handle the weight easily.
Leeks occupy one of the deep raised beds. Normally I start them from seed but my seed was old and didn’t germinate well. I had noticed my onion supplier also sold leeks, so I ordered some Lancelot leeks from Dixondale Farms . They are growing beautifully. One of nice things about leeks is they will continue growing until you harvest them and are able to sustain frost and freezes. Even if it’s in the early winter. The only problem I’ve ever had with them is sometimes the ground becomes too hard from the cold weather in the winter to harvest.
The above photo of butternut squash shows tendrils crawling up the trellis. Red onion flowers are blooming in the foreground. Polaris type butternut was grown last year and produced a large size squash with excellent taste. Tastes so good in ginger nut breads and pies as well as cubed and baked. Baking brings out their natural sugars.
Blacktail, Janasik and Early Moonbeam watermelons have produced for me but last year many of them succumbed to disease. This year I have the cucumbers separated from them since they came down with powdery mildew first.
Ananas D’Amerique AML#110 and Minnesota Midget cantaloupes have been grown in previous years. These two types are so incredibly sweet. I like them chilled – delicious.
Greens – one of the main reasons I have a garden. I have grown them year around in some years. Curly, Darkibor, Red Russian and Rainbow lacinato kale are used interchangeably as I prepare a salad with them every day. Olive oil, tahini and lemon dressing is my favorite.
Of course I have to mention a few flowers. These reseed each year and are deer resistant and pollinators are attracted to all of them. Clockwise Irish Poet Tassel flower, snapdragons and red celosia. Oh almost forgot to mention I have a few potatoes and sweet potatoes in grow bags. Plus carrots are ripening maybe in a few weeks with swiss chard next to them. Until next time.