Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Visitors to the garden

Oh no! The groundhog is back. The medium-large bunny is also regularly visiting the garden. And...

Zorak from Space Ghost Coast to Coast now resides in my tomatoes:

Late August

Ok, I'm finally caught up with posts for August. Here's some progress:
The pumpkin is maybe looking more like a Cinderella pumpkin (compare to earlier post)

I think I'm about to be completely swamped with zucchini. I now have three big plants flowering like crazy. Can't even leave them alone for 12 hours- the zukes will grow to enormous, inedible zeppelins if they are left unattended for a day.

The cantaloupe is coming along. Today I found two more hidden under vines.

The "extra" tomato plants I planted behind the second shed are making lots of green tomatoes. One of them seems to have mutated and is producing something that looks more like beefsteak or radiator tomatoes instead of the roma-esque Amish paste tomatoes:

And finally... in the spirit of the cool, overcast, damp weather we've been having this week, the peas have started coming up:

I decided I would try to get some fall peas, because the spring peas died while I was in Ireland.

Catnip anyone?

Sushi cat and the tasty catnip:

I have a few cukes still growing on the struggling, shredded cucumber plants.
Here's a tasty cucumber sandwich:

The view from a nearby hill. My house is in the center of the picture (one story, brick). The neighborhood looked very different from up there.

Garden Update from Aug 13

The tomatoes finally are starting to go ripe in earnest:

Giant sweet gypsy pepper starting to turn yellow:

The watermelon is no more. The hail holes encouraged critters to bore holes into it. It was pretty rotten.

On the other hand, I have a couple of potential cantaloupes!

The pumpkin is doing fairly well, but it looks nothing like it is supposed to look. It is a Rouge Vif D'√Čtampes- supposed to look like this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aw hail

There was a hailstorm here on Sunday. It tore up leafy plants, especially the cucumbers.

Hail piled up next to the gutter:

Shredded cucumber leaves:

Many unripe tomatoes fell off the vines. All the cucumbers, zukes, the pumpkin, even the tomatoes themselves are covered in hail "craters."

Sunday, August 3, 2008


There was a very local, very strong storm here on Saturday. The wind direction changed rapidly several times. The winds were strong enough to knock over 5 trees on the property, split a couple more in half, and tore huge pieces off of all of the rest of them. The phone line to the house was ripped off the telephone pole, the telephone pole was broken, the pots on my front porch were thrown about 30 feet into the next field.

Here's the storm headed my way (I am standing behind the house). Does it look like a tornado to you?

The garden, flattened by winds, smashed by a huge tree branch, fence collapsed. Most of the plants were knocked over, uprooted, or squashed, but amazingly enough everything seems to be fairly OK after straightening it back out.

A couple of the trees that were snapped by the winds. The landlord had already come by with a chainsaw and removed the trees off of the telephone line.


I pickled cucumbers today! I used about 10 cucumbers to make 12 pint jars of pickles (not all of the jars are shown below).

I used a recipe from allrecipes.com for kosher dill pickles:

You are supposed to wait 8 weeks before opening the first jar!!! It might be hard to wait that long.

Pumpkin and cuke

I have one pumpkin right now. It's about the size of a magic 8 ball:

A nice shot of a cucumber on the vine:


I found one giant tobacco hornworm chowing down on an Amish paste tomato plant on Saturday morning. It had already taken out 4-5 leaf stems.

Haven't seen any others since the storm.


The chickpea experiment continues. This week I found that you should wait to pick the chickpea pods until they turn yellow. Green pods produce weird green peas when they are dried. Yellow pods produce pale tan peas like those found in cans or bags in the store. I am getting one pea per pod.
From left to right: a green chickpea, tan chickpea, a dried commercial chickpea from Walmart:

Here's a closeup of an open pod:

The chickpea pods are fuzzy and tough! They pop open like little balloons when you open them.

Cukes, zukes, tomatoes

Here's an update on veggies coming out of the garden:
Lots of cucumbers. I have about 4 times as many tomatoes now as shown in the picture. These are sweet 100's and a variety of Roma tomato called Amish paste tomato.

Zucchini plants in the garden:

Random extra zucchini and tomato plants I planted out back: