Sunday, July 17, 2016

What's happening in the mid-July garden

Butterfly on zinnias in the garden
Sunday, July 17, 2016

We are harvesting Japanese white egg eggplants, zucchini, peppers, green beans, sprouting broccoli, herbs, garlic, onions, and a few tomatoes.   We are getting steady amounts of rainfall each week so only the pots are needed water.  The flowers are very happy, too! 

Both the hot and sweet pepper plants have peppers on them.  So far, the sweet pepper Tangerine is the only one with ripe peppers for harvest.  The Pimento has peppers that are getting close.  Most of the hot pepper plants are covered in green peppers so it should not be long for them.  The habanero has blooms but no peppers so far which is unusual for this late in the season.  Peppers are for every taste and garden

Tomatoes are not producing as much as is typical for this time of the month.  We have gotten way more rain than usual this year.  Our grass is still green and lush!  The small tomatoes have given us a few ripe ones.  The plants greenery are not as full as normal and have had baby tomatoes on them for weeks.  Peppers and tomatoes are both pollinating by insects.  With all the rain we have had again this summer, it is likely washing away the pollen, impacting the production of fruits.  

Oregano in bloom
I harvested our garlic a couple of weeks ago and is getting hardening in the shade on our outdoor, covered deck.  Garlic harvest time is near!

Our basil has been slow to get started but is now off to the races.  I will take my first harvest next week end, cutting down to the first few sets of leaves.  It will regrow to give me at least one more good harvest before fall.  Basil basics-harvesting, preserving, growing basil

Oregano is in full bloom.  The bees love the purple flowers!  It could be cut and dried now, but I love the flowers and will wait until fall.  Harvest and preserve your herbs

Lettuce gone to seed
I fertilized all the pots again as well as the veggies in the garden.  It is good to fertilize pots biweekly and garden plants monthly during the growing season to give them the nutrition they need to produce well. Summer garden tips
The lettuce has gone to seed.  When you see the white fuzzies, they are ready to save.  I just pull the seed heads, break apart, put in a ziplock freezer bag, label with type and date, and store in the refrigerator.  I also re-seeded our Earth boxes with some of the seeds.  I had a few small volunteer lettuce plants elsewhere in the garden that I transplanted to the Earth boxes as well.  The lettuce seeds I planted last month have sprouted, but aren’t quit ready to transplant.  Never ending salad from one packet of seeds  Seed saving-fun, easy and a cost saver

In the greens department, summer is a hard time for most greens.  Sprouting broccoli, different types of sorrel, arugula, dandelion greens, corn salad and herbs are all available.  The heat increases the sharpness of greens.  Succession planting of lettuce and planting types that are resistant to bolting can keep your lettuce crop going.  Plant them in the coolest part of the yard where they are not in full sun all day and get shade in the afternoon.  Pots are a good option to be able to move them to the cooler part of the yard.  Growing summer salads  Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces

Our zucchini plants have kicked in and we are now getting 1-2 zucchini fruits from each plant each week.  I just love grilled zucchini!  I also found that using it as a substitute for pasta is a great way to use them.  What to do with all that zucchini?!

We had another 2.5" of rain this past week.  Looking ahead, the extended forecast is calling for 90’s and a slight chance of rain.  If we don't get any rain this week, I will water the garden beds next week end.  

Summer garden is in full swing!

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