It has been a typical summer round here: mostly warm with the occasional soaking rain. We’re on the tail end of our second (or third?) heatwave, but the garden is standing up to it fairly well. And we’ve started watering on a regular schedule of every other day or every two days, depending on the weather, as opposed to every day. It can be tough to discern the difference between overwatered and underwatered plants. The leaves of at least one squash plant and a few cucumber plants appear to have been attack by a mold of some kind. Meanwhile, the tomato plants, especially those in the “jungle,” despite our best efforts to keep then from doing so, are falling all over themselves with weight. Even some of ones that we have in those cone-shaped cages have become too much to handle. It’s all a little overwhelming, but were grateful that the things that are doing well in the garden are doing really well. And as it is now mid-July, there’s been lots to pick in smaller arrays of harvests.
First off, the two varieties of shelling bush beans that we planted: Pinto and Jacob’s Cattle, have mostly reached the end of their cycles. Not sure of they’ll make a return like the string beans, but we came away with a decent collection of both. The ones that have dried and are drying will join our collection of Red Ripper cowpeas that we saved from last year.
Then, how about some basil? Because we’ve got loads! Our Genovese Red Freddy basil really took off this year, and the Sweet Leaf green basil isn’t doing bad either. This is the second of two big harvests that we’ve made so far. The first batch was dried. Most of this batch is destined for pesto.
And finally, there are the tomatoes (along with a few banana peppers, cucumbers, and ground cherries!)
So, what of the “tomato jungle?” Well, turns out that the bulk of the plants are producing either Roma-shaped, elongated tomatoes, or cherry/dwarf tomatoes of one sort or another. While the Roma-types haven’t ripened yet, the smaller tomatoes have been, and we’ve been picking small batches of them each day over the past several days.
Last year we planted three different types of cherry tomatoes: Super Sweet 100s, Rite Bite, and Yellow Gooseberry. And last year, the Super Sweets and Rite Bite (either or both) hybridized with at least one other larger variety we planted: Rutgers. This year is seems that we’re getting both Super Sweets and Rite Bites again, again along with small Rutgers hybrids, Black Krims, and possibly, somehow, Marmandes. And we say that mostly because a number of the plants are producing purple/ruby fruit or lobed fruit typical of the Marmande tomato. We’re not 100% certain on any count — these are just our best guesses at this point. And some of the fruit are pink, so who knows! Besides that, the little yellow tomatoes on one of our Sun Sugar plants are coming along. They are so very sweet! And the little Indigo Blue Berries have…stalled? They’ve still only got coloring on the shoulders of each fruit, but no ripening beyond that. Some upcoming hot and sunny days may push they forward a bit.
We’ll sign off this week with a few more signs of life in the garden, including a picture of some of our lovely squash blossoms. Got to get up early in the morning that catch those!