July Mode

Just like the farmer’s market, our garden is in full July mode – almost but not quite bursting at the seams.  This means it requires a lot of time weeding and mulching, but the hot, HOT sun makes one want to stay out of it much of the day! As a result, we’re still behind in weeding (a never-ending task, I’m afraid) and mulching.

With the close to 100F temps last week, our peas are just about done.  Turning brown and drying on vine, I picked the lot of them this weekend.  I put them in the dehydrator to dry and and then shelled them so we can make split pea soup later on this fall.  There’s still many more to dry but so far, it’s looking pretty good.

Most everything else seems to be humming along just fine.  STILL no ripe tomatoes with the exception of the tiny currant ones, but all in due time, I guess.

But it looks like we will have a bumper tomato crop this year.  Even green, there are so many growing!

Here are some almost ripe amish paste tomatoes.  If you look carefully, they are flat on the bottom (the oblong shape is how they naturally look, not round like other tomatoes).  They’ve got blossom end rot, which is caused by a calcium deficiency. Despite the llama beans and lots of organic matter we’ve added to the garden this year and last, our soil is still really not all that great.  We’ll be heading to our local nursery this weekend to find some organic product to treat this issue.

All of the other tomatoes look to be perfectly fine though.

These are the Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

Here are the Fox Cherry tomatoes.  Although they’re cherries, they’re actually more the size of plum tomatoes.  This picture makes them look as big as the Cherokee Purples, but they’re really only about half as big.

The Striped Germans in the garden are the big boys this year! We won’t get as many in numbers as the other tomatoes, but I’m not concerned – we’ll make it up in poundage!

On the opposite end of the scale are the Matt’s Wild Cherries that have been ripening for the last couple of weeks.  They’re also considered a cherry tomato, but unlike the Fox Cherry, they run small – like a grape tomato.

Somewhere in the midst of all my tomato plants, there’s an Isis Cherry (just one) but I haven’t found out which one yet.

Turning to the other plants in the garden….my corn!

So far, it’s looking good – and we have many more stalks than last year (around 9).  Still, our corn last year was looking pretty well until a squirrel got it late in the season, so we’ll see!

First baby green bean!

Here’s the beginning of our first tomatillos.  I’m so proud of these plants, which already have quite a few tomatillos on them.  It’s my first year growing them AND I did it from seed.  I can’t wait to make some salsa with these this year!

You probably saw the lovely rainbow chard we picked last week in my Garden Tally post yesterday, but there’s still lots more in the garden.  It’s not as big as the chard you get from the market, but it looks HEAPS better than the chard we TRIED to grow last year!

Cucumbers!  Last year we bought pickling cukes right from the market, but this year I’m growing them myself! We’ve got about 5lbs of cukes so far, and they’re brining right now downstairs for a few weeks before we make pickles.  We picked all the cucumbers that had grown thus far last week, since the plants seem to be shriveling a bit (whether it’s from disease or the heat, it remains to be seen).  Either we’ll get another batch of cukes in a few weeks or we’ll have saved our current batch by picking them.

Look! The beginning of a head of broccoli! It’s literally no more than an inch wide right now, but I can’t wait to eat my own broccoli.

Just biding my time until I get to eat most of this!


One Response

  1. Don’t you just love the word ” tomatillos”. So much fun to say.
    Thanks for putting up all the garden pictures! I really enjoy your blog and photos – it is nice to see how other people arrange their gardens and it is also nice to know that there are other people out there who grow and can.
    We planted cucumbers for the first time this year also and I am very happy about their progress. I am going to try pickling and canning for the first time, with anything, this weekend. Wish me luck!

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