The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Early July in my Garden

Friday, July 3, and the beginning of Independence Day weekend, found me in my garden.  Of course, most summer mornings you'll find me in my garden, either walking the rows and checking everything out, or doing a little something here and there.

Here's the quick "before" image, though I was using Annie (camera #2) who didn't have the wide-angle lens on.

The strawberry plants are browning, which has been typical of them over the past several years.  I keep them watered, though, and weeded when needed.  Their strawberry production stopped abruptly at the end of June, but I had a huge harvest this year.

I garden barefoot.  :)

Time to assess the tomatoes.  Here are the four in Bed E (each bed has a letter corresponding to when we built them).  Two plants (in the front) are Summer Peach, and will yield sweet fuzzy yellow tomatoes; I planted these last year and loved them.  The two in the back are a new-to-me variety, Black Brandywine, and (obviously by the name) have a dark color.  I can't wait to try them!

These four are another heirloom variety, Paul Robeson (whoever he is...).  I loved them last year; they were a high yield plant with lots of juicy red medium-sized fruit.  The one plant on the left in the front in the below picture is dying--the leaves are spotted with black and starting to shrivel--and I'm not sure why.  There are some white flies around, but the other three plants are healthy.  I've never had a tomato plant die.

The three plants below are Early Girl, and though there are green tomatoes on them, they're not that early with their fruit.  We'll see how they grow as the days go by.

First, I fertilized all the tomato plants with an organic tomato fertilizer.  I forgot to fertilize in June, and whenever I do that, I go bonkers thinking I've ruined my crop for the year.  Yeah, I end up imagining the worst.  So, I'm trying to be mellow, since there are tons of yellow flowers on all the plants and except for the one dying Paul Robeson, everything seems healthy and thriving.

Below, you can see how tall the plants are getting.  These are indeterminate varieties, meaning they'll grow and grow and vine out and produce.  One trick I read about to halt the height of them is to snip off the tops, which I did today.  This also helps the plant focus its energy on producing fruit.  I'll let you now how it works out.

During my snipping and fertilizing, I heard a peck-peck-peck and a tap-tap-tap nearby.  I immediately knew what that was, and was happy to spot this female downy woodpecker looking for a snack in the partially dead tree on the other side of our back yard fence.

Back to work!  I checked one more time on my garlic; most of the scapes (those curly ends with the heads that will "flower") have matured too much for me to use them in cooking, but I found enough for one more recipe of garlic scape pesto.

Below, you can see one of the garlic scape heads starting to flower.  Once the stems of the garlic turn brown, I'll cut off these heads and save the largest ones, letting them dry in the sun, then breaking them apart into individual seeds.  I'll plant the seeds in late autumn this year for next year's garlic harvest.

Here's my small colander with the young garlic scapes I found for garlic scape pesto!

Once I finished these garden tasks, I watered everything.  I've been trying to work a little bit every day in the garden, so that my back doesn't get overworked and sore.  I'm still not as disciplined as I'd like--my schedule is all over the place this summer--but I'm working on it!

I grabbed Bella (camera #3) with the wide-angle lens to give you the final overview of the day's work, including my shadow.

Next up, garlic scape pesto!

Back to life,

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