Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Solstice!

This is very exciting.  In this picture, you see five Black Krim tomatoes (the fifth one is still inside its calyx, to the right of the big one).

Black Krim tomatoes

With these five tomatoes, I will have exceeded my total tomato harvest for the past eight years.  At my old house, the deer were persistent and usually succeeded in nibbling my tomatoes down to stumps, even with a cobbled-together fence around them, and the plants could never make enough headway to actually produce fruit.  There wasn't a good garden spot, and to be honest I just wasn't terribly motivated to build one at a rental house.  I didn't try tomatoes every year, but it was probably at least five or six of the eight years.

In all that time, I got four ripe tomatoes.  It was frustrating.

But now, NOW, I will have tomatoes!  The Black Krim has seven fruiting branches already, and the Amish Paste has six!  And they are not nibbled!

And look, the Amish Paste tomatoes are getting big too!

Amish Paste tomatoes

I spent a little time out there yesterday, and finally got the tomatoes staked and pruned.  I had left this a little late for the Black Krim and Amish Paste- they should have been attended to several weeks ago (or when I planted them, actually, since they were already a foot tall), and were flopping all over the bed with suckers running wild.  Oh well.  They're staked now and most of their suckers have been removed.

I left one big sucker on the Black Krim and two on the Amish Paste, so that I'll get bigger yields than if I had pruned them to just one stem.  I just tied the suckers to the same stake as the main stem.

I am SO EXCITED for ripe tomatoes!

Tomatoes, safely pruned and staked, plus volunteer sunflower

You can also see the volunteer sunflower there in the tomato bed.  Definitely NOT a lemon cucumber! D'oh!  That'll teach me to make snap judgements on seedling identity, based solely on the cotyledons.

Other excitement in the garden includes the first blooms on the Jackmanii clematis opening today.  These are such a beautiful deep purple.

Clematis jackmanii flowers opened today!

The sugar snap pea harvest continues.  I think we've gotten about six quarts of peas so far, but it's hard to tell for sure when we're out there grazing all the time.  I know for sure that there are four quarts in the freezer.

Emma likes to eat the components of the peas separately.  First one side of the pod, then the peas, then the other side of the pod.

Peas in pods

The freesia is also developing well, and a second flower spike has formed.  This was a bag of mixed colors, and I can't wait to see what these turn out to be.

Freesia buds

The daylilies have started to open, an old-fashioned favorite.


The blueberries continue to ripen.  We've had one little handful of ripe berries already, but they disappeared too fast to be photographed.

Oh, and I may or may not have bought three more blueberry bushes a couple weeks ago....


The Tomato Annex is going well, and I'm headed up there to do some staking and pruning this evening after it cools down a bit.  Six of the plants are flowering!  The ones in the back two rows are the ones I started from seed, and are still looking pretty puny, though they are growing.

The Tomato Annex 6.21.15

The Basil Annex is looking great, though I apparently forgot to take a picture when we were up there this morning.  The plants have been pinched back twice and are getting nice and bushy.

The cucumbers are growing well, and have female flowers with little proto-fruits!  Hooray!

Future cucumbers!

Back in my yard now, and here's another experiment we're trying.  This is a cucamelon (Melothria scabra), also called Mexican sour gherkin or mouse melon, which is a new plant for me.  I saw these on Pinterest, and lemminged along and ordered some seeds.  The fruit looks like a tiny (1" long) watermelon and it supposedly tastes like a lime-flavored cucumber.

I started these seeds indoors in early April, and they are taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to do anything. This is the biggest of my three plants, and it's still only 1/2 inch tall with three tiny sets of leaves.  I'm hoping that now that we're into hot weather they will start growing.  If we get fruit off these this year it'll be a miracle.

Cucamelon sprout.

The yellow snapdragon in the barrel has started blooming,

Beware the dragons

and Emma's black petunia is going strong.  This is a pretty flower, and makes a nice contrast.

Emma's black petunia

It's been a hot day today, into the low 90s, but it was quite pleasant in the breezy shade.  I read a book on the deck, and Emma the Garden Artist (and Coco) enjoyed the lawn.

Garden artist

1 comment:

Anne said...

I have a feeling you might be overwhelmed with vegetables before too long. Everything looks great. Good to see the blueberries are producing. That was an experiment. And it is lovely to see Emma and Coco enjoying the yard. I love your posts. Keep them coming.