Mid-Season Successes (and One Failure)

Following up on last week’s post, this week, we decided to delve a little further into some of what we’ll potentially be harvesting later this month and next month (and beyond!) The things we’ve been getting since the late spring and early summer — greens, beans, kale, and peas — are still doing well enough. A few of the bean plants have started flowering again, so we suspect we’ll get a decent second harvest in a few weeks. We replanted arugula and a couple lettuces that will hopefully be ready to harvest come early August. Meanwhile, our first harvest of peas turned out great, though, unfortunately, the peas that we planted with the cucumbers have been all but smothered by their viney companions. Lesson learned there — don’t plant peas and cucumbers together! Meanwhile, it looks like we’ll be getting a second crop of snow peas in the coming weeks, which is wonderful. Here’s what else is going on:

Views within the tomato plants and the tomato jungle are quite spectacular (if a little messy)! We’ve got lots of green and ripening fruits in all shapes and sizes. It’ll all be quite exciting come harvest time.

019indigotomatoes
New in the garden this year are Indigo Blue Berries, lovely purple cherry tomatoes. These here are coming along nicely!
These Rutgers tomatoes, from seeds we saved last year, are sure to be great in salads.
These Rutgers tomatoes (we think — must consult the planting map!), from seeds we saved last year, are sure to be great in salads.
The tomato jungle is full of variety, like these Romas, or some hybrid thereof.
The tomato jungle is full of variety, like these Romas, or some hybrid thereof.

Looking elsewhere, we mentioned that we had luck with relleno peppers making a return. Well, this year we decided to try a couple other variety including something hotter — cayennes — and one of the plants has come through!

These should ripen into a rainbow of colors -- red, yellow, purple!
These should ripen into a rainbow of colors — red, yellow, purple!

In other bean-related news, our several varieties of pole bean are doing relatively well, though the lima beans are the most prolific of the bunch, at least are far as growth and vining goes. Additionally, our small crop of soybeans is also coming in slowly.

We hope that these baby Christmas Pole Lima bean pods will get quite big.
We hope that these baby Christmas Pole Lima bean pods will get quite big.
Despite the fact that some rodent (or rodents) has eaten a number of leaves off our soybean plants, the growing pods are remain unharmed.
Despite the fact that some rodent (or rodents) has eaten a number of leaves off our soybean plants, the growing pods are remain unharmed.

So how about some squash? Well, we’ve got some, and quite happily so! As the squash and melon plants are taking over every last free space in the new stone bed, we’ve at least got a little to show for it.

Yes, we have zucchini!
Yes, we have zucchini! Tiny zucchini. But still..zucchini!
This little butternut is out current pride and joy. It's resting on a plastic container to raise it out of the grass and prevent rot
This little butternut is our current pride and joy. We placed it on a plastic container to raise it out of the grass and prevent rot.
Will we get actual pumpkins? Can't say for sure. But we do have pumpkin flowers!
Will we get actual pumpkins? Can’t say for sure yet. But we do have beautiful pumpkin flowers!

Moving onto something sweeter, the ground cherry plants have started producing, and things are looking quite good. The little lanterns are much larger than they were last year, and hopefully that’s a good sign of the fruit to come.

Blurry ground cherries, but ground cherries nonetheless.
Blurry ground cherries, but ground cherries nonetheless.

Now, as we alluded to in the title, not everything planted has done as well as hoped. Can you guess what the plant with the yellow flowers pictured below is?

019cabbage

If you answered “cabbage,” you get a gold star! This is the sole Michilli Chinese cabbage plant that survived its initial transplant back in April. As the plant got bigger and bigger, we kept a close watch on it, looking for the cabbage head itself, but it never appeared. Instead, the plant threw up stalks that ended in clusters of pretty yellow flowers. What happened? Well, as cabbage novices, we didn’t know that cabbage is usually a cool weather plant. Hot conditions (and it’s been a hot summer, generally, since mid June) can cause cabbage plants to bolt to seed, which is what ours did. Ah, well. This sprawl of a plant is still pretty, and the flowers attract lots of pollinators.

You can’t win ’em all, right? Thankfully, we’re mostly winning with the garden this year, and that’s enough for us! We’ll end with a picture of our lace-cap hydrangea plant, which, as promised, is replete with an array of beautiful, violet-colored flowers.

019hydrangea

Till next week! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Mid-Season Successes (and One Failure)

  1. A Really Small Farm 07/08/2015 / 9:27 am

    Nice tomato crop!

    If you save seeds from your tomato jungle you’re sure get hybrids of hybrids next year. Some tomatoes don’t hybridize naturally but ones whose flowers have exserted stigmas can so if you see any like that they’d be the ones to keep for future plantings.

    I hate to bring warnings of danger but if rodents are eating your soy leaves they might go after the bean pods next. That happened to me one year.

    • Garden State-ments 07/09/2015 / 10:46 am

      We do plan on saving as many tomatoes seeds as possible, from plants new and unidentified. For whatever reason, we’ve tended to get lots of Roma-shaped tomatoes in the random lots, so they must like the garden for whatever reason.

      There haven’t been any major soybean raids yet, but we’re checking every day for new problems. Still, thanks for the advice. We planted soybeans in another part of the garden, and those seeds were snatched up (by the squirrels, we think) within a week of being planted. Guess they were pretty tasty.

      • A Really Small Farm 07/09/2015 / 12:49 pm

        I don’t usually get volunteer tomatoes but last year a wild cherry tomato came back from seed and produced a decent crop. This year none came back so I’ll have to sow seeds next time. One variety that used to come back if I didn’t clean up rotted fruit was Stupice (pronounced stu-pichee) an Eastern European round tomato. Another was silvery fir.

        I think next year you’ll probably have some interesting tomatoes from your jungle.

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