Garden Update: August 2010

Well it’s been over a week since I busted the camera and sent it off to the abyss of infinite repairs and no word yet on whether I’m getting a replacement or a refund. Timing couldn’t have been better though, being that the garden was in suspended animation through this “coldest summer in 77 years”, there hasn’t really been much to show you guys. But alas, this week the sun pushes through by 9am instead of 1pm, creating a happy ripening environment for everything in the garden. It’s amazing what sunshine does for fruits and vegetables, how it acts as the essential fuel for everything that grows from the earth.
Well if I can’t show you, I will do my best to describe the developments.

Last week was hugely agonizing for me, not only was I without a camera but on Monday gardeners from the back neighbors yard proceeded to remove the long standing mass of morning glories that blanketed both our fences. On our side alone the morning glory climbed 12 feet high and covered 15 feet of fence, my storage shed and an additional 9 feet of electrical pole. This back fence is the back end of my garden, my hops are planted within 15 inches of it. So for me to watch out the kitchen window as this large mass fell onto half my garden plot, I was mortified. I ran out in my pajama’s to the gardener who sat ontop of the fence with a rake in his hand desperately stabbing at the gnarled mess of vines, all the while not realizing he is ripping up my golden tomato plants every time he reaches in to pull up the fallen mess. I motioned for him to go around the block to come to my backyard so he could gather the remaining mass but he said he was only paid to work on the opposite side of the fence, my neighbors yard.
“What?! no, no, no, no, no….you’re kidding? No, Where’s your boss?”
That was pretty much all that needed to be said, 10 minutes later two guys arrive at my back fence, huge garden green cans in hand ready to remove the blanket of gnarly black widow infested mass. I had to untie 3 of the hop vines and gently stuff them under metal mixing bowls so they would get stepped on. Overall the damage wasn’t that bad, I lost four lettuces, 1 hop and some damage to two of the tomato plants. The benefit of all of this is that the rats of nimh that used to occupy the morning glory and those nasty black widows have to move somewhere else and I gained about 12 sq ft of garden.
Still, I needed a beer to calm my nerves after that.

The Goods…..
Watermelons (Moon & Stars, Sorbet Swirl)- All the sudden there are softball size fruits of heavy weight resting gently on the ground. I counted 5 just at a glance but I’m sure if one did some fishing under all the foliage there are more. The two varieties are intermingled with each other in a huge mat that carpets 1/3 of the garden but you can tell the difference between the two fruits they produce. The Sorbet Swirl are perfectly round with light and dark green stripes running vertically. The Moon and Stars are more oblong, to me look like large figs, all green with very little stripping. I’m guessing these may be ready in about 2-3 weeks, very excited!

Peppers (Pasilla, Banana, Serano, Sheepnose Pimento, Bulgarian Carrot, Tequila Sunrise)– all are producing ample fruit with varying degrees of color showing. The spicy tequila sunrise have large, long, skinny, orange peppers but sit on a short bush. The pasilla and serano plants are the largest, bushing out and reaching heights of 3 feet (the other peppers dwarf out at barely a foot). If this nicer weather holds up, the pepper harvest should be in full harvest mode by the beginning of September. Here come delish spicy condiments!!!!

Eggplant (Japanese Long Black, Fairytail, Pearl Globe)- I rescued these guys from the nursery last month because my previous batch failed miserably. They don’t look as if they are growing that well, staying squat and short but they do each have about 2-3 fruits on them. We’ll see….

Lettuces (Arugula, Mixed, Baby Romaine)– With the exception of the four heads of lettuce I lost in the morning glory debacle, the surviving heads are growing perfectly. Placement in a shadier area of the garden allows these beauties to get cooler afternoons instead of wilting.

Tomatoes (too may to list…)- The cool summer has tested my patience for my love of the perfect summer tomato. These babies need sunshine. Two of nine still have yet to produce any fruit, others the fruit remains green and those that are showing color are disappointingly bland (uh-oh!). I have faith though, I have gotten some delicious tomatoes from this garden and know it’s just a matter of time (and ample sunshine) before reaping of benefits can occur. sigh…..patience.

Corn (multi-colored)– into the ground at 4 inches, now knee high!

The cippolini’s, leeks, squash and kohlrabi and being harvested daily!

So hopefully I’ll soon be able to post photo’s. I’ll keep you posted, until then,,,happy eating!



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8 responses to “Garden Update: August 2010

  1. So sorry about your camera…I can not wait to see the multi colored corn:)

  2. Wow! I'd be pretty unhappy with my neighbor for not keeping an eye on their contractor. My neighbor had new irrgation put in last week, right along my basil garden. The workers seem to realize that they should be careful. Maybe they saw me watering and thought better of messing with a 6 foot tall guys's basil plants! ;)I can't wait for pictures to resume!Jason

  3. I definitely want to pilfer your pepper supply for some jam/jelly makins. Save me some!

  4. Your garden sounds amazing. The more I read about peoples' gardens, the more I wish I had a sunshiny spot to put one! So many oaks; so little sun.

  5. Hi, apologies for sounding like an anorak, however you mentioned hop vine, in hop speak, it is never a vine but always a bine, I understand your frustration with your garden made you slip in hop speak.Regards Marc-Frederic

  6. Marc Frederic is most definitely correct, it is a hop bine. wikipedia states, "Although frequently referred to as the hop "vine", it is technically a bine; unlike vines, which use tendrils, suckers, and other appendages for attaching themselves, bines have stout stems with stiff hairs to aid in climbing."I like that other word too, anorak…

  7. Here in UK a person who's hobby is of train spotting, jotting engine numbers down in a book are referred to as boring people who stand at the end of a station platforms wearing their anoraks just in case it rains.Have you done anything with the Hop Asparagus (jet's du houblon)from your garden? RegardsMarc-Frederic

  8. Marc-Frederic should never mind sounding like an anorak, not when it comes to a great word like "bine"! That was a new one on me.I really sympathized with your account of the neighboring gardeners encroaching on your garden and damaging your plants. Don't get me started! I don't want to have to drink at this hour of the morning!

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