Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Looking Down from Above

I've done overviews from my old house so many times. I loved the view from the dining room. The new garden also can be seen from above. This time I'm taking photos from the bathroom.

I think of the bed as being broken up into four sections. The first two are between the ends of the beds and a couple of gates in the fence. I was showing you the contents of the first section (left side) last week. It has my chard, herbs and tomatillos. On the right of that gate before the next gate are my cherry tomatoes with peppers in front.

The next section is also in the lower bed, but after the gates. It also has my tomatoes and peppers. I really tried to plant them from shortest on the left to tallest on the right. I did a decent job. Romeo is messing up the progression though as it is a lot shorter than I expected. I thought a plant with huge paste tomatoes would be huge. It seemed such a reasonable assumption. Well it is getting punished for not growing fast enough to keep up. Now it gets more shade from its neighbor.

The last section is the upper bed (about 8" taller than the lower one). It has two determinate tomatoes. I planted them in front of the Kentucky Wonder beans. Now I have no clue as to how the heck I'll pick the beans with the tomatoes blocking them. I guess I'll get some gymnastics practice. I also conveniently forgot how thick the Market Miracle tomatoes get. The lower leaves of the beans are all dead as they get no sun at all. I was out thinning the tomatoes the other day, but they are still horribly thick. Ah well the Kentucky Wonders are just beans and the tomatoes are, well, tomatoes - the king of the garden.

Farther along that bed and behind are my cukes. They are vailiantly trying to get taller than the bush beans. These bush beans are supposed to be "bush" beans, but if I had let them climb the trellis which they try every day, they would be at the top already. One tendril had made to to a foot of the top before I beat it back. So in the mornings I take all their tendrils off the trellis and shove them to the front of the bed. Then the next morning I do it again and give them a lecture about playing nice with their friends.

Farther along I have more beans, and more beans. I think I have seven varieties planted. Only one is a green bean. The rest are all dried beans. At the end where the car blocks it are my zucchini. I had the first bloom today. It is a female bloom. I just hope tomorrow a nice male comes out to court her. Otherwise I'll have to pick her prematurely. Better that then letting her rot on the vine though. Past the zukes are the butternut squash plants. They grow towards the zucchini all the time since that is where the sun comes from, but I turn them back in on themselves. There isn't much of a place for them to run. I guess I could let them take over the driveway, but my townhouse mates need somewhere to park.

All and all I'm unimpressed with my overhead view. The frontal view is much better. I think when the side yard garden gets up I'll get nice overhead shots, but a linear garden is just as good from the side as the top. You can't show the whole garden at once either way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Harvest Monday - 28 June 2010

When I forget my containers to pick at the old house I have to make due with what is available.

Yakatta-Na is still holding up to the heat

Last of the Komatsuna


First Cucumber

When I saw the cucumbers this weekend they were wilting terribly in the morning. I check the soil and it was very dry. I figured it didn't need to be watered since my garden in Arlington didn't. We have had a lot of thunderstorms and the garden at the old house obviously isn't getting the rain from them even if our new house is. I'll have to check the ground more often, or maybe bring a container to leave out to collect rain so I can see what falls. Now that they have been watered the plants look a lot better.

Chard from the old house

First harvest from the new house


The Blizzard peas a seeing their second flush of blooms. Some peas were ready to pick. I'm surprised they are doing so well in the heat. I hope the Cascadia put out a good second flush too.

  • Berries 0.42 lbs
  • Cucumber 0.23 lbs
  • Green 2.94 lbs
  • Herbs 0.33 lbs
  • Peas 0.65 lbs
  • Spent this week: $0
  • Total harvested this week 4.56 lbs
  • Total for the year 23.65 lbs
  • 2010 Tally -$174.78

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Black Prince

Wednesday is Farmer's Market day in Arlington. I've been going every week since it opened. I love it. I wish there was a big stand with organic produce with a wide selection. Last year there were two small organic stands with a limited selection. I took to buying mostly from Kimbell's Farm which has a very good selection and is an IPM farm.

One of my favorite things to buy from Kimball's Farm is early tomatoes. They sell a large selection of heirlooms later in the season too. Their earliest tomatoes this year were a mix of mostly cherries, but I did see some Orange Blossom tomatoes in there (I'm guessing that is the one, since it it a very early tomato that grows well here). Last week they had Black Prince tomatoes, which is the first of the labeled varieties that were out. So I got some.

Lord they are so good. They are a small black tomato maybe two and a half to three ounces each. They are quite beautiful and their taste is just out of this world. Or at least it seems that way to my tomato starved taste buds. Yum. I looked them up on the web and they are from Irkutsk, so good for my climate. I'm saving seeds for next year. You have to love tomatoes where you can try them out and save the seed all at the same time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Harvest

The new garden was planted on May 23rd. Well now it is a month later and I've gotten my first harvest. I was out picking off leaf miner eggs from the chard which I do every couple of days. Then Scott (who owns the other half of the townhouse we are in) wanted to know how the garden was doing. He was commenting that things were growing well. And indeed they are. He probably mentioned something about what I'm picking from the garden and I was struck that I hadn't harvested anything yet. And here I was picking off leaf miner eggs from the huge leaves of the chard. A couple of the plants were quite ready to be harvested from. And the basil that I kept bumping into and smelling when I dealt with the chard was also ready.

Plants after harvest

So I did. Now the chard looks tiny again. I usually pick chard once a week and pick all the large leaves off but one. This way I don't have as many leaves to check for leaf miners. It may or may not be the most productive way to grow chard. It certainly isn't the prettiest, but it is the easiest.

Dehydrating Basil

I also picked the basil tops. You can barely tell the plants were harvested from, but I did. Some of the basil is a little yellow in spots. This is probably not a nitrogen deficiency but an iron deficiency. I did a soil test a while back and it has a pH of 7.2. This is a bit high for all of my crops and it is high enough to cause a few minor micronutrient deficiencies like iron. The soil is rich in organic matter so that ought to help as most micronutrients are more available when the organic matter is high. I'm guessing with all the acid rain we get here that by the end of the summer my soil will be easily below 7, so I didn't bother to correct it. Usually I have to add lime every year for things to grow well.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This year I'm growing Verde Puebla tomatillos for the first time. I've never run into a named variety before. I've seen the purple kinds, the huge kind, and the regular kind, but never really a named one. I haven't a clue what it will be like, but I figure if Fedco sells it then it is probably good for my area.

So far they are growing well, but it seems they aren't quite stabilized or I have a mutant. I have two different looking plants in my garden. One is tall and stately. It doesn't branch as much as the other one. Its leaves are a lot bigger. I like how it looks alot, but tomatillos set fruit at each of the branches so more branches means more potential fruit.

Tall plant setting some flowers

But just potential fruit. So far the tall one has started setting fruit, but the short multi-branching one is not. It is flowering like crazy, but a lot of the flowers fall off without setting. I'm wondering if it just doesn't have enough leaf surface to set all those fruit. It will be interesting to watch them this year to see which is better. I can always save seed, but the seed would be crossed with one another so it would be a crap shoot what parent they would take after.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Old Garden

On July 27th I should be losing my garden to the house's new owners. I'll be sad and happy about it at the same time. I've lived there for 19 years. I have a real love hate relationship with the garden. OK mostly love. But I do hate the clay soil and my neighbor's trees that shade the upper part. The RE Agents really like to keep the parties from talking to one another, but I did ask through the chain if they were going to keep the garden. The answer was yes.

Since they were going to harvest from it, I figured I'd better get those tomatoes dealt with. Last year I threw out my tomato cages since they were falling apart, rusting out, and couldn't hold up the tomatoes anymore. I wasn't about to buy cages, so staking them seemed appropriate. I'm not a staking fan, though I should be in our humid, wet climate. I just hate mutilating the plants. Those beautiful thick suckers had to come off. I mostly left two good stems to stake up. For some I couldn't bear to cut even that much off, so I left more.

I noticed a few little tomatoes forming. All the plants seem to be growing well. There is no sign of disease yet. Even the flea beetles seem to be lower in population right now. I had put out my white traps and they seemed to have suicided themselves in the soapy water.

While we were there I did a little weeding and we packed up some more of my leaves to go. I have most of the compost over here already, but not all. I'll get the rest soon I hope. When I got home I kicked myself. I forgot to tie up the cucumbers. In fact I didn't even check them. They might actually have little cukes on them. Next time.

The peas are putting out a second flush of blossoms. I'm shocked they are doing it in the heat we have been having. June is usually much cooler for us. It has felt more like July this month than June. But I'll be happy to get more peas. The lettuce isn't taking the heat nearly as well. I doubt I'll have many more harvests even from the ones in the shady part of the garden. I haven't been doing successions in this garden like I usually do. Successions take a lot of time and planning to do right. I just don't have the time now. I figured I'd survive one year without my summer and fall greens. I'll be sad about it though. I usually have lettuce except for a few weeks in August and I get brassicas all summer and fall. Transition years are so hard.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Harvest Monday - 21 June 2010

I brought a cooler over to harvest from the old garden this time. Last week I had too much wilted produce. The cooler worked fabulously. I'll have to remember to bring it every week.

I was hoping for a good raspberry harvest photo for you, but they are still ramping up. I did get raspberries, but only a small handful that were eaten before a photo was taken. At least a few were weighed. I've given my Realtor permission to pick any when she sees them for two reasons. First is because they need picking every two days to not lose any raspberries and I doubt I'll be back that often. I've experimented with picking every three days and you loose some to rot. Second, she has memories of going to her Grandmother's house as a kid and gorging herself on raspberries. Her eyes just lit up with happiness. And I like the image of my perfectly coiffed and put together RE Agent picking raspberries all made up. I'm so not that person. I wear very few things where I can't run out to garden at the drop of a hat and get dirty. I might wear skirts 90% of the time, but they are all cotton wash and wear type skirts.

This week was my big scape week. I harvested over 6 oz of them. I grow about four dozen garlic plants every year which I've found is a bit too much. I like garlic, but I also like garlic powder. Maybe this year I'll make some for the first time.

I had more salad turnips. This time I picked them small. I liked the large one since it was about the same weight as all theses small ones all combined, but I'm afraid they might turn woody in the heat or worse bolt. And I do weigh them without the greens since I don't eat turnip greens. I know some do, but I haven't yet.

The Yakatta-Na was still not showing any signs of bolting. I picked another head. I'm really liking this green. I'm going to go back this week and see if they held up through our hot 90F weather we had for a few days. It was hot enough to melt our new driveway. If it can hold up through that it will be grown every summer.

I picked a bit of lettuce and mizuna for my salads. I was letting the last two Freckles and Paris Island stay though. I wanted to see which one bolted first. Well I went back on Saturday and Freckles is bolting first. I'm liking the texture of Paris Island better too. I like the crunch of that romaine. Freckles is pretty but most of its leaves just aren't substantial enough for me.

The big harvest of the week were the snap peas. I turned a lot into pickled peas which I served at my housewarming party. They got a lot of compliments. Now I need to throw some more into the brine for some for me. I eat them on burgers and I use them in my salads.

As for spending money, I got my composter from the city of Cambridge. They sold the one I wanted for $50 and they didn't care that I wasn't a Cambridge resident. It is being amortized over 10 years. I figure this year anything I buy that will last will get amortized. I've got a little spreadsheet that lets me put that in and adds it automatically to my tally. It tells me the year that it expires so I can remove it at the right time.

And as a side note. I'm shocked and delighted that Harvest Monday is taking off so much. I figured it would top out at 20 people each week during the summer, but it is still growing. Last week went over thirty. It is fun to see everyone's harvest, but it is a little overwhelming to keep up with every week. I've switched to not responding to everyone's comments since most are just nice harvest comments, which I love, but don't really require a response. A comment that requires a response, like a question, will get one still, never fear. But the real thing I want to try to keep up with is visiting all the links.

  • Alliums 0.36 lbs
  • Berries 0.07 lbs
  • Green 0.90 lbs
  • Peas 1.55 lbs
  • Turnips 0.05 lbs
  • Spent this week: $5
  • Total harvested this week 2.92 lbs
  • Total for the year 19.09 lbs
  • 2010 Tally -$200.53

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Never Before

Every year I celebrate my first raspberry harvest. This year is no exception. The first raspberry was eaten off the cane on Monday July 14th. Wait did I say July? Silly me. Usually it is July. This year it was June 14th. Last year I didn't write it down but it was mid July sometime (about a week later than normal). In 2008 it was July 7th. Mostly I think about raspberries just starting to come in on July 4th.

I don't think I've ever had a harvest this early. I think of June as strawberry season. I've probably gotten one or two berries at the end of June before, but never mid June. Most of the harvest this year will probably be in June as the summer harvest lasts two to three weeks. Typically at least.

Who knows what this weird year will bring? But just by looking at the vines, it looks like all the rain we have had will make the harvest prolific. I'm anticipating a lot of raspberry sorbet to beat the heat.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What to do with a Garlic Scape

Every year I wait and wait for the garlic scape harvest. I love my garlic scapes. Some people grill them. Some people make them into scape pesto. I don't. My anticipation is because my salads have been going full bore all spring and I want salad dressing. Then I have a nice homemade dressing that is full of wonderful flavor.

Daphne's Garlic Scape Dressing

  • 1 oz garlic scapes
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c white wine vinegar (I use balsamic)
  • T heaping with honey
  • T dijon mustard
  • 1/4 t salt
  • pepper

Throw it all in a food processor and puree until smooth. If I want something thicker for a dip, I'll add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of mayo. The funny thing is that last year I also posted a garlic scape salad dressing recipe, but it has changed to a more simple one this year.

It is what always makes me drool for scapes. This time of year I need something to perk up my salads before the cucumbers and tomatoes show up.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Harvest Monday - 14 June 2010

Well you were probably all wonder where Harvest Monday got to early this morning. Well I was here. My power was not. I've had the electricians in and they were redoing the power in the office this morning.

But I'm happy to say it was a good harvest week. I only went to the old garden once, but I picked a full basket. I think next week I'll have to bring a cooler to hold things. Some of the leaves got too wilted and I had to throw them out before weighing. To get others crisped up again I put them in a dishpan with water in the bottom and recut their stems just like they were flowers in a vase. Most perked right up.

So what was harvested? Chard for one. I'm growing both Ruby chard and Argentata chard at the old garden. The Argentata chard is much larger than the Ruby right now. Supposedly it has a less oxalic taste to it, but I had too much to eat this week, so just chose to blanch and freeze it all. I'll get to do a taste test later.

I also had lots of lettuce, snow peas, snap peas, a nice head of Yakatta-na, lots of Komatsuna and Senposai, and one little stalk of Chinese broccoli. Overall a really good week. If only I hadn't forgotten to pick the garlic scapes.

One of my surprise harvests was a single salad turnip. I thought I had planted the seed to late too really get anything at all - especially with the heat we had. But I was mistaken. I got at least one tasty turnip.

  • Green 5.08 lbs
  • Peas 0.88 lbs
  • Turnips 0.02 lbs
  • Spent this week: 0
  • Total harvested this week 5.97 lbs
  • Total for the year 16.16
  • Total dollars -212.49

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Well I showed you the lettuce and Asian greens from the garden last week. I have a bunch of photos from other parts that I took so I thought I'd just show you the rest. I'm sure they have all grown in the last four days so just picture bigger plants in your mind.

The bean bed is starting to take off. The pole beans are in the back and the bush beans in the front.

Butternut Squash

Onion Bed


Every time I go to the old house I bring back some compost. I have all I need at the new house right now, but if I'm really really lucky some of the side yard garden will be done in time for fall crops. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hoping.

In other news I've been having trouble finding a compost bin. I was thinking a rotating one off the ground because of rodents, but now I've changed my mind. The ones that aren't costly as heck just don't last long. My little square plastic one lasted fine for over 15 years. So I went to Agway and all they had were the rotating ones. They had sold out all of their others. Then I went to Mahoney's, which is a large garden center, but I didn't like their composters. One had a lid that could blow off in the wind. Like that will keep the critters out. And the other black composter was too heavy to lift off and the sliding door at the bottom was too sticky to use (and it wasn't even full with anything).

So I'm thinking I want another Soil Saver Compost Bin. It has flaws, but I've learned to deal with them over time. I turn the compost by lifting off the whole bin. It is light enough for me to do this. I'll put a square of hardware cloth on the bottom so the rodents can't get in. The top locks down well. It is cheap and will work. Now I just have to find one in our area. I know the City of Cambridge sells them, but will they sell to non residents? I guess I'll find out.

The good news was when I was at Agway I asked if I could take some pallets. We fit seven of them into my car. I'll need more since I'm creating a bigger composter and leaf bins to store my leaves in the fall. The black plastic one is for kitchen scrap disposal since it can keep out the rodents. And I've already got one of my neighbors that doesn't add chemicals on his lawn to give me his lawn clippings. I told him I'd be up and running soon. I hope I am.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brassica Bed

While I as at my old house, I removed the cover to the brassica bed. I figured everything would be bolting in the heat. It does look a little like that doesn't it? My Chinese cabbage is not bolting, but it isn't growing well either so I don't have high hopes. The broccoli is getting bigger, but still not doing well. I pull the bolting Fun Jen and tatsoi. I pulled the bolting Komatsuna which I kept to eat as it looked quite good.

I was most interested in the new vegetables that I was growing. My Senposai looked beautiful. It showed no signs of bolting at all. It was growing quite well. I harvested the bigger leaves. Sadly when I had them for dinner last night they weren't great. The taste was just fine, but they were a bit tough. Not all of my experiments work out well. If I had chickens it would be a great thing to grow as it is very prolific and I'm sure the chickens would love it.

The best of the growth was on my Yakatta-Na. I'd never heard of this before seeing it in the Fedco catalog. So of course I was curious and had to plant it. Well it was slow early in the spring, but with the heat it really took off. The taste is fairly typical of the Asian greens, not much to make it stand out from a bok choy. It was mild with a bit of mustard taste. But it wasn't bolting at all. And it has been quite warm. Every single plant held in the heat. Maybe I can grow this in the summer here? I could still grow the green stemmed bok choy and tatsoi, but this seems to hold even better.

So I picked one and left the rest. I want to see if they keep holding up. I'll try to pick one each week. If they can last that long they are a real keeper for summer brassicas.

Also in the bed was a fabulous turnip. Just one. I forgot to sow them when I should have so they were planted way too late. I figured none of the would make it. This one was about an inch and a half in diameter and oh yummy. I love sweet salad turnips. A few more are starting to bulb. I just can't believe that I got any of them this year. And maybe, just maybe I might get more.

The chard was really taking off too. I kept it in the brassica bed under the cover because it would keep the leaf miners off when I wasn't there. It worked. I picked tons. Since I harvested so much that day, I decided to blanch it all and freeze it for the winter. I've been woefully bad this year at saving things, but I think with this big chard bed I'll get a lot until the house is gone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lettuce Trials

This year I planted many new varieties of lettuce that people sent me. I still have more to trial, but with the house switch it may not happen until next year. This year I grew eight varieties. Two were my old tried and true Red Sails and Deer Tongue, both from my own saved seed. New this year were Little Gem from Dan, Tom Thumb from Stefaneener, Bath Cos from Jody, Paris Island from Granny, Freckles from Emily, and Dazzle from Jody. All of the new lettuces except Tom Thumb were romaines.

Little Gem won my heart for an early romaine. It is small, but much faster than the others to produce. I still don't know how it does in the heat because I ate its two heads early before they started to bolt.

Bath Cos bolted before the heads were ready. They are the really tall bolting plant in the top photo. I wasn't in love with the color of the heads either. They had a strange grayish cast to them.

Dazzle lived up to its name. It was a stunning very deep red. It did not however grow well in the garden. It remained small. It never formed a head and it bolted in our recent heat.

The last two were Freckles on the left and Paris Island on the right. These are full sized romaines. They didn't grow as well as I would expect a romaine to grow either. Our weather has been way too hot for them.

Freckles was stunning in the spring with freckles of red scattered over the green leaves. When the heat hit the red changed to brown and it isn't nearly as pretty. There are attributes more important than how it looks though. Taste being a major one. I tasted an inner leaf of both Freckles and Paris Island. Paris Island tasted like I expected a romaine to taste. This is not surprising since it is the romaine all the commercial growers use. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't bitter. In the photo you can see that it had just started to bolt. Its leaves were getting farther apart, but it held its flavor. Freckles tasted good, but it was a very different flavor. I wish I could describe it to you. It had the barest hint of that bitter flavor too. Not enough to taste bad. I'm guessing it might even disappear once it has been in the fridge for a bit. The last attribute to look at is production. Freckles was a heavier head by about 50%. This is huge. I'd love to see how both of them do in the spring in a good year. Usually we get a day or two of heat in the spring, but not weeks of it.

Eventually I'd like to pick one variety of romaine as my standard in my garden. I would like only one because it is easier to grow multiples of the same plant. I usually grow back up plants, but having to grow backups for every variety is space consuming. But I'm having trouble deciding. I love all three of the ones I picked. I might just have to grow them all another year. In addition I have other romaine seed that I haven't even tried this year. I won't get a chance to grow it this year since I only have the rock wall (read hot) garden to plant them in and it is a bad spot for lettuce. Next year when the whole garden is in then I can do more trials.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Harvest Monday - 7 June 2010

I'm amazed that I actually have a harvest this week. It isn't that my garden isn't producing, but Monday was our pack day and then we moved. I harvested twice. I almost forgot to both times, but I had to do it. The peas were coming in. And if you don't pick your peas, they stop producing. Sadly the chamomile also needs to be picked and I just haven't had the time.

I should also have picked my Asian greens. I'm sure a lot are bolting under their row cover, but I haven't even had a chance to look. I'm guessing this year will not be a stellar year for cost versus harvest. At least the chard will just hang in there and produce if I harvest regularly or not. At the old house I'm keeping that under the row cover so I don't have to pick off leaf miner eggs. That needs to be done at least every three days or they will hatch. Covered I'm pretty safe.

This week I didn't eat a lot from the garden either. I did bring things from the last weeks harvest. I still had plenty of lettuce that was picked on the weekend a week ago. Mostly we have been eating out or eating leftovers from eating out. But I finally made myself a salad last night. I'd been nibbling on the snowpeas out of hand, but they were better in the salad with my own lettuce and radishes.

Usually this time of year I make my garlic scape salad dressing to go with my salads, but the garlic scapes that I picked are just sitting in the fridge right now. I have to confess it really isn't a time issue. I spent a couple of hours last night gabbing with a neighborhood friend of mine. I could have gabbed and cooked. It is an energy issue. After unpacking and such I just don't have the energy to find my food processor and puree up the scapes. Maybe today?

I spend a bit of money this week. I bought some jute to tie up my beans and cukes at the new house. Did you know my son had never heard of jute before? I guess not many have if you aren't a gardener because the hardware store guy hadn't either. He looked at me like I was a crazy person. Then I switched to asking for string and he sent me right to the jute.

  • Garlic Scapes 0.06 lbs
  • Snow Peas 1.13 lbs
  • Snap Peas 0.63 lbs
  • Spent this week: 6. 34
  • Total harvested this week 1.82 lbs
  • Total for the year 10.2 lbs
  • Total dollars -236.43

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Garden on 5/29 - basil, parsley and chard in the front

I took photos of the garden last week. I really meant to show them to you. I promise I did. Then when I didn't get a chance to put up that post before the move, I figured I'd have time on Thursday or Friday. Or even Saturday. Right. My priority was so not my blog. It was trying to find things in my house. Somewhere my dish detergent is hidden in a box. All the kitchen boxes have been opened and put away, but nowhere is my hand soap, my dishwasher detergent, or my Dawn. It is in the pit I call the basement. The place where boxes go to hide. They mysteriously change their labels just so they can stay in the cool part of the basement and not come up into the heat.

Today's Garden

There has been a lot of growth since that last photo was taken a week ago. The majority of the growth has been in the back part though.

A week ago the beans were just little tiny plants. Now they are starting to climb.

I especially love the look of the scarlet runner beans that Becky sent me. Some of their leaves split and the plant stem is dark. It looks much more mysterious than my other beans.

Zuke from a week ago

Zuke from two days ago (pole beans in the back)

The zukes are just growing like crazy. I'm sure in a month they will be taking over the bed. Also growing like crazy in this bed are the butternut squash and the cukes.

And the cilantro in the shadiest part of the bed is starting to grow. I'm a little worried that it is too hot here for it and it will bolt prematurely. Ah well, then I'll call it coriander. Dill has also started coming up in front of my cukes. I'll have to thin them all out sometime.

Tomaotes! Most of them are in the lower of the two beds. The rock wall has two different heights. The lower bed I think of as the front bed and the higher as the back. They do love these bed. Or so I thought until I went back to the old house. After not seeing those for a few days they are huge. Just huge. Bigger than these. About a third of the tomatoes have blossoms on them already - Chocolate Cherry, Emma, Gabrielle, Heinz, Market Miracle and Principe Borghese. Some even have more than one truss blooming. In this heat it won't take long for them all to start blooming.

Decapitated pepper

And not only did I steal Granny's heat, but somehow I got her birds at the new house too. Sigh. Maybe she sent them to me for stealing her heat? They killed my cumin. They tried to kill one of my marigolds, but it would take a lot more than a sparrow to kill one of those. I hack them back viciously in the summer and they thrive on it. The sparrows here flock in huge numbers. They swoop down and take things apart. I liked my old birds. I had mixed birds of all kinds (including sparrows). But they rarely killed things. Even the crows I had didn't pull up my plants. I need some hawks here to keep my sparrows under control. Maybe I can convince my old redtailed hawk to follow me here.

And so we can leave on a good note. I'll show you that the tomatillos are doing well too. I can't wait to try them. At the old house they are getting decimated by the cucumber beetles, but these are doing well. It looks like a bit of insect damage, but tomatillos can handle a lot more before the are slowed down much.