Thursday, August 8, 2013

Late Summer in the Garden

The garden has been exploding with veggies the past few weeks. 

  We've been harvesting cucumbers and peppers by the arm load and they keep coming!  I've been spraying all the pepper plants with Epsom salt water once a week and I can really tell the difference compared to last year.  

Some sweet bells.

Gypsy Sweets.

Our biggest pepper producer is the Tabasco pepper plant. When I saw this seedling at Lowes I thought, "I've had Tabasco sauce, I think I could handle these."  A couple of weeks ago I was researching harvesting them and found that they are actually a very, very spicy pepper; just below the Habanero on the scoville scale.  Because these peppers produce a juice between the skin and flesh of the pepper it is recommended that you wear rubber gloves (2 layers) when harvesting them.  And safety goggles when preparing them.  Heh.   

The peppers of death

So far Mara has shown zero interest in this plant, but we have put up a make shift gate at the entrance of the garden and she's no longer allowed in.  

Our tomato plants got a later start so their fruits are only just starting to ripen.  This is one of our tri-color candy tomatoes.  Seriously, this is the best variety of grape tomato that I've ever eaten.  This plant produces yellow, next to it is an orange, and there's another one next to our Roma plant that's still a mystery. 

We have a Pink Brandywine growing as well but we have yet to harvest any edible tomatoes; bunnies and bugs have been having a field day with it.

Our scallions have grown absolutely huge; closer in size to a leek than the scallions you would find in the grocery store.  The kids and I are heading out soon to harvest them and prepare them for the freezer. 

We harvested all the remaining carrots two days ago and have started planting some bibb lettuce and spinach in their place.  Once the scallions are gone I'm considering starting some broccoli as well.

In our other bed we planted one pumpkin plant and it has really taken off. 

We've got five growing as of now and there are more flowers and new growth everywhere.  I knew these plants spread but it's really amazing to see them take over. I'm glad I didn't put in any more!  

Our basil plants are doing their best to bolt on us.  We took a large amount on our Lake vacation last week and they've rebounded well.  I'm thinking another batch of almond pesto is in our future.  

The basil choked out our mint plant though.  Next year mint is getting it's own pot.  We had oregano and rosemary in their own pots but they gave up a while ago.  I over picked the oregano and it was all down hill from there.  

Our wildflowers are in full bloom as well.  We have discovered that the location we planted them didn't get as much sun as we thought; you can see them reaching forward trying to soak up every bit of light they can get.

I've loved being able to bring them in around the kitchen, give some to neighbors, and send our moms home with some bouquets.  

Even with all the picking there are still tons of them for the butterflies and bees to enjoy.  

We've been seeing lots of birds around the sunflowers as well.  They died a couple of weeks ago but the seeds have been forming and all kinds of birds have been taking advantage of these natural feeders.  

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