Friday, July 15, 2011

Vegetable Garden update 2

I guess I kind of forgot about blogging for the last couple of weeks.  Well, you see, I've been a little busy.  Vacation Bible School at our church, the 4th of July picnics n' more, weeding and watering like crazy, tying up tomato plants, etc etc etc.
So, before I embark on another crazy weekend..... here's little garden update: It is growing...a lot.

This picture shows a bunch of the 2x2's I pounded in to the ground to use for supporting the tomato plants. It also shows that the plants have really taken off, and so have the weeds, but I have been working at weeding and I think only the tomato rows are left to do.

 Here you can see one of our little Pickling Cucumbers ready to be picked!  These plants were sure tricky as they went from mostly dead looking to  producing mature veggies seemingly overnight!

A tiny yellow summer squash is starting to grow. These plants didn't take hold as quickly as they should have, but now they seem to be ready to do their thing and we should have some yellow squash and zucchini coming up very soon.

The first few peppers to be picked were 3 sweet banana peppers, one jalepeno, and one very small green pepper.   Sometimes the "first fruits" of your garden will be smaller than desired, misshappen, and will be one here and there rather than several at once.  These should be picked right away so the plant can keep working on growing more pieces, rather than have most of the strength zapped up by one or two random fruits.

 Several of the tomato plants are about 4 feet tall already and were sprawling all over the place, so this week, with the help of my youngest brother (farmer in training) I got the majority of our 139 tomato plants tied up to the wooden supports. Tying the tomato plants up is another tedious and messy job  (as you can see by the picture of my hands!) but a very beneficial task. This keeps the pathways clear, as well as keeps the forming tomatoes off of the ground, and therefore they are less susceptible to pest and disease. It is also much nicer to pick tomatoes without having to crawl through the vines laying all over.  This year I used Jute Twine to tie the plants to the stakes--Jute Twine is heavier than commonly found Sisal Twine and less likely to damage the plants.  In the past I have used strips of old T-Shirt material to tie plants and that works very well too.

Another crop that has started to produce now is the BEANS!  This picture shows a mix of the green and yellow beans--the first picking was on July 1st.  Since then I have been harvesting 1.5 to 2 good handfuls every other day, and soon the second planting of beans will be producing as well and I will be picking just about very day!  I think I will have to do another post just on preserving the beans, and maybe we can come up with some bean recipe ideas?

That's all for tonight. Have a good weekend!