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StephanieL

2019 Growing Season

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Wow, late June already and no posts.  We've had a pretty good season so far in the garden, even though a lot of the seeds haven't sprouted (looking at you, okra and beets) so N may have to get starter plants:

 

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries (3 types)
  • Blackberries (great yield so far)
  • Fava beans (lots and lots of these)
  • Snap peas, both green and purple
  • Carrots
  • New red-skinned potatoes!
  • Various herbs
  • Plus more Meyer lemons from our dwarf tree

And, our multigrafted apple tree actually has a few apples already.  The season is still young!

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i planted a bunch of tomatoes and peppers (plus herbs). but this house (which we moved to in 2016) has killed the pleasure of gardening for me. 5-6 hours of sunlight in the garden if i'm lucky and i'm yet to have a season with better than poor luck with tomatoes. got things in the ground a bit late this year (end of may) and the plants are barely along. a couple of them look downright spindly (they were not leggy when planted). i will fertilize again this week and hope leaf production takes off and they get more robust.

 

meanwhile, we have groundhogs in the area now and one pepper plant has been taken from below. where is my copy of caddyshack?

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We picked the first tomato and first Serrano yesterday. As usual everything is doing well except the San Marzano which I'm going to give up on. I planted a couple of green peas as an experiment and now I know that one pea becomes fifty more or less, and fast.

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Things are going well over here. Bloody butchers are nearly ready, and all the greens and herbs are thriving (except for the spinach, which has always hated me). Peppers and eggplants are taking their sweet time to produce. Cukes are coming along nicely.

 

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Forgot to mention that we have a tiny blue (!) tomato growing. The variety is called Dancing With Smurfs, I kid you not.  Supposedly, it's blue on the outside but red on the inside.

 

We also have a gopher that's been eating several plants.

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We picked the first tomato and first Serrano yesterday. As usual everything is doing well except the San Marzano which I'm going to give up on. I planted a couple of green peas as an experiment and now I know that one pea becomes fifty more or less, and fast.

 

at the garden at our old house the san marzanos went crazy (8-10 hours of sun). at the new house not so much (5-6 hours of sun). i gave up after the first year.

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Oh forget it:  clearly the best thing would be for N to just braai it.

 

Nah, I'll just give Carl Spackler a call.

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Our first Chiltepin has ripened, offering hope that we'll have as many as 20 of them. The late blooming garlic chive blossoms are wreaking havoc on someone's honey making efforts I'm sure, and the San Marzanos continue to rot at every end. 

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Lots of tomatoes (except for the ones the birds have gotten), potatoes, and more herbs.  We got some pattypan squash, and N just harvested our first okra pods and eggplants.

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It's been a decent season. Better than last. Toms (about 6 varieties) bloomed well and while flavorful many mealy with tough skins (I used 1/3 for sauce).  Some black spotting too.

 

Cucumbers were great and still yielding. I speared and pickled most in a simple cold brine, white vinegar/water sugar, salt, garlic, juniper berries and dill, thyme or whatever looked good in herbs.

 

Bokchoy was strong.  Came back quickly as did the kale. Red leaf and rocket fared well until the rabbits found them (my plastic fence deters deer and not much more. A proper foot deep fence is on the list).

 

I always try Japanese and regular eggplant but have little luck. 1 or 2 sad skinnies.  I'm doing something wrong.  Unlike the jalapenos and serranos which kick but and still yielding. 

 

Zuch's were alright.  Wasn't a bumper but the 4 or 5 from each were delicious. They take up so much room. Will re-assess if the yield is worth the real estate. 

 

The winner, and biggest surprise were the tomatillos - my first foray. I put them w the toms thinking they'd get bullied but the 2 plants exploded and dwarfed the toms. Yielded maybe 200 tomatillos. I was making salsa and cooking with them for weeks. Boiled, roasted, toasted, sauteed, grilled, you name it.  The grilled were our fave.  The char gives a great complexity to the salsa. 

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Tomatoes and basil keep holding on.  Fingerling potato crop has been small, but the potatoes themselves have been great.  And we now have eggplant and salsify.

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