This post is bittersweet… a few short weeks ago I was thrilled w/ how well my garden was thriving, however now it’s doing so-so. Two of my tomato plants have died (Moneymaker and Gold Medal) and two more (Cherokee Purple) are on the verge of kicking the bucket. On the bright side, the remainder of the plants are producing. Soon I’ll have my first ripe tomatoes and peppers of the season. The basil is coming in nicely and my chard and kale will be ready for a second harvest in the near future if I can continue to keep the leaf munching caterpillars away. Not sure if the 5 days of heavy rain last week was too much for some of the tomato plants. I’ll have to do some research to figure out the cause of the damage. So far the good outweighs the bad and I hope it stays that way!
Photos snapped at 8 o’clock this morning:
Speckled Roman and San Marzano
Hoping for greener thumbs…
Wow, it’s only been a couple of weeks since my last post, but I’m very impressed by the progress of the garden and had to share how well it growing! The plants have doubled in size, the tomatoes are flowering and this morning I spotted the first baby tomato of the season. This week I harvested 2 big bags of lettuce, 1 big bag of kale/chard and a large quantity of oregano which is now drying in my kitchen. Lots of fresh greens for lunches and dinners!
The following photos were shot on June 7th:
Doin’ the happy gardener dance…
Well, it’s that time of year again to dust off the gardening tools and get growing! So far this season is starting off w/ plenty of rain. Fortunately there was a 2 day window of opportunity on May 14th and 15th to get everything in the ground. All the seedlings were started on April 3rd and were ready to go into their permanent new home. The basil (Italian Large Leaf and Italian Genovese), zinnias and marigolds were direct seeded on April 16th. The butternut squash had to be reseeded yesterday because the seeds I planted on May 14th were old and didn’t sprout. So far, all the seedlings have survived the transplant and are doing well in the ground. This year I put in 4 Swiss chard (two Bright Lights and two 5 Color Silverbeet), 4 kale (two Nero Toscana and two Red Winter), 2 Early Jalapeno, 5 Serrano Tampiqueno, and 12 tomato plants (one Gold Medal, one Crimson Carmello, one Speckled Roman, one Moneymaker, one San Marzano, three Cherokee Purple and four Black Krim). The Serrano peppers, Moneymaker and San Marzano tomatoes are new to the mix to see how well they’ll grow in my yard.
The following photos were taken on May 23rd:
Zinnias (in foreground)
The enclosure w/ basil and marigolds in pots
Hummingbird and butterfly flowers
Exterior of enclosure
So far it’s green thumbs up!
This year’s lettuce crop is coming in nicely (along w/ some weeds!). I’m trying out some new varieties: micro greens (spicy mix), mesclun (chef’s gourmet spicy mix) and two types of arugula (regular and wild). The wild arugula is called Dragon’s Tongue and it grows very slowly… probably won’t put this in again next year for this reason.
Happiness is a green garden!
Well, summer’s almost over…what a bummer! Besides spring, it’s my favorite season. Gardening has been good this year. I already have a few ideas for next year that I’m looking forward to putting into action.
Here are a few photos that I shot this morning. As you can see, there are many tomatoes and peppers yet to be picked, and a few baby butternuts that hopefully will plump up for good eatin’! If you enlarge the photo of the zinnias and look closely at the top right flowers you might be able to spot a Monarch butterfly that stopped for some nectar to help it w/ the long flight to Mexico.
Enjoy the final weeks of summer!
We’re finally getting a normal rain pattern in St. Louis. A good soaking rain about once a week is just what the garden needs besides my daily watering. Getting some nice ripe veggies on a regular basis… this is why I love to garden!
The following garden pics were snapped on July 26th and on August 5th, voila, the first ripe bounty for my eating pleasure!
I’m one happy gardener :-)
So far this season the garden is doing well despite being drowned by all the rain we’ve been getting. A total of 11.25 inches of rain has fallen so far this month alone! Some baby tomatoes and jalapenos are starting to form already. My basil seems to like all the moisture because it’s growing like crazy. I harvested enough the other day to make a big jar of pesto. I also harvested some oregano. It’s being dried out and will be used in tomato sauce and crumbled on top of pizzas. The zinnias are looking beautiful, but the hollyhocks were so badly damaged from rust disease that I removed them from the butterfly garden yesterday. The following garden photos were taken on June 24th. The pesto and oregano pic was snapped this morning.
Basil in the foreground
Lettuces, greens, etc.
Oregano and pesto
Until next time…
This year’s veggie garden was seeded on March 29th and planted on May 6th. The weather conditions were optimal to get everything in the ground early this year. All plants are thriving w/ the exception of the hollyhocks which have rust disease. I’m trying to nurse them back to health. Fingers crossed they survive. Here’s a list of what went in the garden this year:
3 Waltham butternut squash
2 Aconcagua red bell pepper
1 Jalafuego jalapeno
1 Sierra Fuego jalapeno
4 Early jalapeno
2 Red Winter kale
2 Lacinato kale
2 Ruby Red Swiss chard
2 Mixed chard (Pot of Gold/Ruby Red)
4 Black Krim tomato
2 Brandywine tomato
2 Crimson Carmello tomato
1 Pineapple tomato
1 Gold Medal tomato
1 Speckled Roman tomato
1 Pompeii tomato
Baby Mesclun lettuce
Spicy Micro Greens
Wild and Regular arugula
Siam Queen and Italian Genovese basil (direct seeded)
Zinnias (direct seeded)
The following photos were taken on 5/25/15:
This morning we had our first frost here in St. Louis, so for me it’s the end of the gardening season for 2014. I harvested the remaining bounty on 10/30 because the forecast for this morning was in the low 30’s. I just checked the outside temperature and it’s 31.8 F. It’s been a great growing season! The jalapenos I harvested on 10/18 were pickled and the ones in the photo from 10/30 will be candied. Below are photos of the plentiful pickin’s and the pickled peppers (with an easy recipe if you’re flush with peppers too).
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers (recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)
30 medium jalapeno peppers (sliced into rings)
3 tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh chives (chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon (chopped)
3 large cloves garlic (crushed)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
9 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
2 1/4 cups water
1) Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, oregano, chives and tarragon in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in jalapenos and remove from heat. Let mixture cool.
2) Pack peppers into jars using tongs, cover w/ vinegar mixture and refrigerate until needed.
Yield: 3 pints
I hope your garden bounty was plentiful too!!
As the garden fades from Summer into Fall it continues to produce a nice quantity of bounty. There are still some tomatoes, jalapenos, basil and hopefully a few butternut squash to be picked. I made some pesto the other day w/ the Asian basil that I picked and have been enjoying the tomatoes in salads, sandwiches and stir fries. The following garden photos were taken on October 11th. The garden bounty photos have been snapped on various days since my last update.
Brandywine, Pompeii and Black Krim tomatoes
Pineapple, Black Krim and Pompeii tomatoes
Jalapenos, butternut squash, Pineapple, Black Krim, Gold Medal, Crimson and Pompeii tomatoes
Pompeii and Pineapple tomatoes; Siam Queen basil