Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegetable Garden Update August 08

Tina's Vegetable Garden Update:
We here at "In the Garden" enjoy posting about our vegetable gardens. Skeeter's vegetable garden is new, my mother also has a new one, Lola has one in Florida as well. I chose the 16th of the month because it is the day after GBBD and many bloggers participate in GBBD. (But! If too many bloggers are tired from GBBD posts, maybe another day would be better? The 20th Maybe?) In my mind I thought picking a certain day to post on veggies was a good idea, so that is what I have done for many months now. I post on many things but on these two days I know exactly what I will be posting about. Readers can always count on these two posts here on those two sacred days. I know many bloggers who do post about vegetables occasionally, and some all the time. Vegetables are great, especially with the price of all goods rising so fast, but not all gardeners grow vegetables or blog about them all the time. If you are a gardener who grows vegetables and posts on them (occasionally), why not pick a day and post about them? I'd like to read all of the vegetable posts. You see, I can't always visit all the blogs I love each and every day, so on the for sure days I know there is a special post up, I would truly endeavor to visit all blogs who post a GBBD on the 15th, and Vegetable Garden Update on the 20th. Thanks! And I hope to see some vegetable posts on the 20th! Dawn? Dave? Frances? Cindy? and anyone else who posts on vegetables! DP-you already do a great job with all of your vegetables-especially Barney! Gail? Marnie? Perennial Gardener? Garden Girl? And all of you great garden bloggers (too many to name) Do you have some veggies hidden somewhere you could post about on the 20th?

Now to our monthly updates on the Tennessee garden (Tina) and the Georgia garden (Skeeter)! The above vegetables are a few I recently harvested from the garden. The black bell pepper was a surprise. Apparently I purchased a special variety and had forgotten. All the bell peppers on the one plant I planted are black or turning black. Can you see it above the eggplant? I have three eggplants growing. This one will go great with some homemade spaghetti sauce. Skeeter, Do you know the type?

There is so much going on in the vegetable garden I can hardly walk in it anymore. The above picture is a long view looking southeast. Just a few short months ago there wasn't 'much to look at here. The orange cosmos have finally come into their own. You can see the dark cannas on the left of the cosmos, and the 15 foot tall banana tree in the center of the vegetable garden proper.

Can you say gourds? Because I did not have any gourds last year, I went overboard this year. I think there are about 6 vines growing. This is way too many! I will probably get about 50 gourds from them easy. I'll be painting and drying for days this winter. The above picture shows my A-frame, or should I say the vines covering the A-frame and growing into the lawn and all over other plants in the garden. I don't mind really, but the other plants do. I try to keep the vines contained by roughly pushing them back into their place. Their tendrils are so tenacious they grasp anything in their way, even grass, and hold on for dear life. That is where the rough comes into play. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt the vine a bit. Gourds are tough. They are growing vertically, horizontally and everywhere! This A-frame has far exceeded my expectations. The gourds are hanging beautifully and the vines have a place to grow.

Here are two of the fruitful fruits. Gourd vines are tough and I have found the fruit do not need to be held up. Actually, it is best to let them hang so they will grow straight. These ones will be very straight and big as they are 4+ feet off the ground and growing nicely. No gourds laying on the ground have ever rotted in my garden. I will not harvest these until the first frost kills the vine. They should be good and sturdy by then. I will post my drying method later. The eggplant are finally maturing. I noticed three are growing now. Finally! I still say it is not worth a gardeners time growing these vegetables to eat, but for fun-go ahead. Be prepared to battle bugs and receive a bit of disappointment. These guys are slow to start but doing well now. The flea beetles haven't slowed them down.

I have been picking: banana peppers (sweet, due to my great dislike for spicy foods because that is all the Army served us in Iraq!), the black bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. The cabbage has all been harvested and eaten, but I noticed new cabbage plants are sprouting from where I left the last two stems from my cabbage in the garden. Cool, maybe they'll grow some more cabbage. The onions are still hanging out under the A-frame and most likely will not be harvested until next spring. We'll see. I will be planting some different types of lettuce and have already planted some Broccoli Raab in order to get a fall harvest. Now is the time to start planting some seeds for fall crops. Some to consider are: radishes, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

The only failure in the vegetable garden has been the rhubarb. Even though I have grown a clump for about four years I have decided to not bother with it anymore. I really loved growing it but its fickleness with the heat and humidity down here is just not worthy of space in my vegetable garden. It tends to fade and nothing I can do seems to help it out. So it came and straight into the compost pile. Oh well. Here's to all of you and your vegetable gardens!

P. Price of Red, White and Grew blog fame has asked bloggers to post about their vegetables and vegetable gardens. Her post can be found here. It is a very informative post and talks a lot about Victory Gardens. Who remembers Victory Gardens? I do. I began intensively growing vegetables because of it and Organic Gardening. Since fall is an excellent time to grow vegetables, it is also an ideal time to talk of vegetable gardens and share knowledge we have on growing vegetables. Why not post on the 16th? Please see P. Price's blog for more information about spreading the word of Victory Gardens and answering her questions on her blog for others. I will probably prepare a post of my own on Victory gardens, but wanted to answer one of her questions. She asked what I called my _______ garden? I don't consider my vegetable garden a Victory Garden per se, but then again, any success in the garden can be considered a victory. Growing your own vegetables does put you in a good position of providing for your family. This was one of the main goals of the government's program of encouraging private citizens to grow their own fruits and vegetables during World War II. Look for these posts on vegetable gardens and participate too if you grow vegetables. Thanks! I call my food for growing and eating garden a "Vegetable Garden", but Victory Garden would work just as well.

in the garden....

Skeeter's Vegetable Garden Update:

Water in the Rain Gauge is something we have not seen much of this summer or the past 3 years down here in Georgia! Happy to report with a few rainfalls, we have been able to gather a few crops from the garden. Look at the beautiful salad I made with our tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers! I added a few more fun things such as feta cheese, black olive and spinach leaves. It was yummy!

You can see a split on a tomato from too much watering. I must water in order to keep the ground from drying out in this drought but too much water was getting to the tomatoes. They tasted just fine though.

The Eggplant did not get as large as we had expected but one of them sure was yummy in a casserole! The other two will be put into a stir fry dish and served on rice by the time of this posting.
The Cucumbers continue to grow and in those funny shapes. Hey, look, we have one normal looking Cuke! They are tasting mighty good in Gurken Salat, a German salad. We are so grateful to have our German friends send us the seasoning packets for this cold summer treat!
We still have Eggplant growing so we will harvest more soon and try out another recipe.

Tons of baby gourds have died on me but these three look like they will become birdhouses some day! All three of them have tried to escape as the vine went over the fence. I have never grown gourds before so this has been a learning experience for me. They were slow to start from seed but once the vine started to grow, it has really gone wild! Hope deer and bunny do not like gourds since they are over the fencing...

The Roma tomatoes seem to be doing better than the Goliath. There are a lot of them starting to turn red and about ready for us to harvest.
The Zucchini and Crook neck Squash are not doing too well. I have only picked one crook neck and no zucchini as of yet. See how the baby zuck in the back looks so healthy and the one to the front is turning yellow? That is what is happening to all the squash, then they just dry up to nothing! Someone suggested removing the bloom as it could be blossom rot. So I have now removed several blooms to see what happens. Stay tuned to next month for results in this experiment!
I know it is not because the bees are not doing their job of pollinating. Just look at those two little busy bees working away inside the squash plant!

We added 3 new peppers last month. Banana, Sweet Red and another Sweet Green Bell. We have the first white blooms (left) on the Sweet Banana and a baby on the Red Pepper you see to the right. Hopefully I will have a picture of bright red and yellow peppers for you to see next month. I will cross my fingers for the green but he is not looking too good.

The Saint has been picking his Cowhorn and Jalapeno peppers as fast as he can! We only have a few of them on the vine. Once they are picked, I believe that will be the end to them. They really did not seem to mind a dry summer or the 75 straight days we had of above 90 degree temps.
The tomato plant we added last month is now blooming and hopefully will give us some juicy red maters.

We had a bit of success last month and considering this drought, we are happy with VEGETABLE GARDEN UPDATE AUGUST 08, In the Garden...

Tune in Sept. 20 for more!


  1. Man, you guys are busy as the bees you show in that great photo. Tina, I am barely able to post two days a week and am always exhausted on the 16th after the big bloom day push. Can I have another day please? ;> I made pickles again yesterday from the bounty of cukes. This is the first year I have ever grown them and they are still covered with flowers and babies. Eight ball is done but Magda is still producing. The large tomatoes are about done but the cherry ones are still at full throttle. Beans have been pulled and the garlic is ordered. Onions started from seed are nearly ready, strawberries have sent out many runners, basil is huge and the fall planting area is cleared and Black Kowed. There, that was my 16th post, will that do?

  2. Frances, You have a point. I did not think of a rest time between posts. Maybe another day would be better. I put up a survey, but really, and day is fine with me (and most likely Skeeter too). The 25th might be better? You are funny this morning:) Good veggie update!

  3. Skeeter, Forgot to say, that is an AWESOME bee picture. The gurken salat looks great and what a bunch of veggies now that they are in the ground. Glad it is doing well.

  4. This vegetable post is fun - the whole life cycle. You are making me hungry (don't read blogs before breakfast?)

    I love the Victory Garden cookbook too. It's such a great idea to plan meals around seasonal veg.

    Sorry to hear about your sawflies, but your GBBD post shows that your garden is still lovely. I love the photos of the Moonflower opening. How gorgeous!

  5. Yummm, everything looks so good. I caqn't wait to see what you do with all those gourds!

  6. Tina, maybe another date is best for Veggie day... I do have busy little bees in the garden. Just wish they could tell me what is going on with the squash....

    Garden has done much better since going into the ground. Pots were okay to get things started but the ground is the way to go for sure...

    Off to the mall for the Saint some new shoes! Whoopee

  7. Tina & Skeeter your vegetable gardens look great. I wish I had a veggie garden to post on. Next year I will...:) I love those gourds Skeeter, can't wait to see the birdhouses you make from them. Tina those black bellpeppers are interesting. I hope you both get rain soon...

  8. I agree the gurken salat looks like a dish to die for!
    I don't have a veggie but Jack of all trades has promised to ground break for it this year. Ha! I'll get one in next spring for sure. I miss the fresh veggies and yes, price is skyrocketing, gas is down to $3.65. Never thought I'd see a day I cheer for that! Vote everyone.

  9. " any success in the garden can be considered a victory"

    So very true. Your veggies look spectacular, by the way.

  10. Sarah, Glad to hear from you. Hope packing is all done. Probably not since your mother's injury sidelined her and you. I am glad to hear she is out of the hospital! You two look like sisters. Thanks for the comments on the garden posts.

    Jillybean, The gourds will be fun. Normally I chose theme to paint each year, then hang them in the garden. Of course they have to dry. I love painting my gourds. None last year due to improper planning and the drought. This year Skeeter and I will be busy with them!

    Skeeter, Let's do the 20th. A rest between GBBD and Veggies is a good thing. They are such big days for me. Take alot of time. So the 20th. I took off the survey.

    PG, I wasn't sure if you had veggies or not. They are fun and we will look for your veggies next year. Can't wait! You'll love it.

    Dawn, Yup, put that veggie garden in. You'll have tons of good stuff up there, especially winter squash. Yes, me too-gas under $4! And we accept it? Sigh. I took off the survey, going with the 20th from now on. Best on an even day and a break between big posts.

    P. Price, Thanks so much. I enjoy your very informative blog and the fact you give some background on it up front. Since reading your blog I have noticed some more bloggers and buzz about Victory Gardens and (I am ashamed to say) I did not know there was a movement underfoot to revive Victory Gardens. I watch the show each week and Victory gardens bring back some of my earliest memories of gardening. I will do a more in depth post at a later date.This post was already scheduled and was long to begin with but will answer all the questions-soon. Now if I could just figure out what to do with those veggies. Especially the eggplant.

  11. Tina,

    I so loved being able to click your photo and have it expand for me to see how beautifully your banana tree fits in your garden! Lovely! I can't wait to see your gourd projects this winter!


    Your vegetable bounty shows how hard you work in the garden! Everything looks wonderful, especially the rainguage with real rainfall in it! Please send it up here!


  12. Everything looks great. I was so late getting mine in but we have had several good meals of yellow beans and peas. Will have several more of the beans but peas are about done. Radish have finished and should plant more but have not yet.
    Gonna have mega amounts of green beans in a couple of weeks. Lotsa cukes but just babies right now. Zucchini will be reay in a week or so. I have lotsa tomatoes and big ones at that but no red showing yet. Carrots and pumpkin doing well but will be the last to harvest. The big thrill for me is that I have never grown watermelon and I have 5 over half grown and they sure do look great and then there are several small ones. Actually, since I have not had a garden in over 10 years it is all very exciting!!! Sure will be happy to get a cuke and tomato in my mouth as my taste buds will be very happy!!!!

  13. Hi Ms. Tina,

    Just thought I'd stop by and say howdy and take a gander at your garden, which looks lovely!

    I helped with IDing hawkweed over at Sophie's blog. But I too have been wrong with identification before.

    There's so many nice gardeners around the country, you're another one I'll add to my ever growing list!


  14. Gail, I had to click on the close up too-to make sure there wasn't anything bad showing. It does show it all better! That banana is great in the veggie garden, quite the focal point. Glad you like it. Any theme suggestions for gourds? Maybe a blog theme? A logo for each? Maybe a commenter one? Flower for each? Hmmm. Should be fun and keep me occupied.

    Mom, I am so excited for you too! You will have to send some pictures and I will update everyone on your garden in Maine. I'd like to see the perennial border, especially since you all just weeded it all. Veggies are great and I think the garden you have is the best.

    TC, Thanks for taking the time to talk with me! Sophie is a funny lady and those plants I had a hard time with. It is not unheard of that I make mistakes, therefore the blog-to learn. It was good IVG corrected me as I now know to pull that pretty blue thing. Never heard of hawkweed but you are good. Your garden is super good too. I love the opening picture. Bloggers who have those great long views or even flower pictures share so much of their garden right up front. Thanks again for dropping by!

  15. Tina, just so you know (and I may post a disclaimer on my blog), the header photo is not my garden, it's a garden located in town just a short drive from where I live. I can only hope to have such a gorgeous garden. Our garden is more a conglomeration of plantings without purpose. ;~)

  16. TC, That is okay and thanks for telling me. It sure is pretty in a long shot and you have some great plantings too.

  17. Tina and Skeeter, Your vegetables are looking great! Tina, you've seen my wilting tomato plants--I'm not sure I'll have much to report on by September:) I'm still harvesting some green beans and yellow squash in addition to the tomatoes, but I didn't plant too many vegetables this year.
    I think a Vegetable Garden update post is a great idea, but I agree with the others that another day, not so soon after GBBD, would be a good idea.

  18. Tina, this year I'm growing only peppers and fruits (figs, apples, and pears), but I like the idea of a vegetable garden update even if I'd be a "lurker"--I will again grow vegetables someday, so I'd love to see what's being harvested. And Skeeter, what an incredible photo of the bees in the squash! Anyway, I'm in, even if it's just to show yet another fig . . . or what they're selling at the Farmer's Market. Great idea, I'll watch for the date.

  19. Hi Tina, what a wonderful harvest. What variety of eggplant are those? They are so cute and little. I'm not having great luck with my eggplants, after that first one, but I'd still love to try to grow it again next year. The gourds look so great! what do you plan to do with them? Use them for decorations?

    Hi Skeeter- Glad to hear you got a little bit of rain. Your salad look sso yummy! Your harvest looks pretty good. The eggplant looks so yummy. My cucumbers are growing in funny shapes too. I blame the hot weather, lol.

  20. Rose, Had I been thinking I would said maybe wait a few days. It is good Frances suggested it. How about the 20th? Five days? It will be nice to see anything on veggies on that day and a good learning tool for people (like me). It is great you have veggies!

    Phillip, I have plenty of extras. Can't give it all away. Tonight is an eggplant casserole, much to the families chagrin. My teenaged son's friend will most likely want to go home and eat there rather than eat with us. Maybe I can disguise it.

    Cosmo, Lurker is an ideal term! We can't always visit all blogs every single day so a set day for veggies would be helpful. Anything edible goes. I liked the picture of your figs you posted already. That is something I don't have and would like it very much, but it won't happen. Not enough room or sun so I will enjoy yours. Okay? The 20th work for you? Of course posting on veggies more often is great-especially in summertime, but one day would be fun to standardize a few things. My military background probably.

    DP, I was wondering about your eggplant. I remember you had planted it. It should come into its own now that it is good and hot. Not so many bugs. Hold on. I am going to dry the gourds, then paint most of them. We'll see how many I get. I have a display 'tree' out front that I hang about 8 from. Different each year. After the year I usually give them all away. I might do a blog theme this year with all the blogs. Let's see what December brings. It will take a few months for them to dry. You should grow some but I warn you, they will NOT pay attention to their boundaries and will run all over the place. Like your Barney, but oh so rewarding.

    I am sure Skeeter will come on here and talk once she is done shopping for those shoes.

    Hi Lola, Nina, and Anonymous!

  21. Hey Everybody! We went to the Mall for shoes we saw in the paper. The old Bait and Switch routine in action for us. We dont fall for such things so left without any shoes. Oh well, were not in the market for them anyway, just saw the good deal and went for it and it flopped.... oh well, Saint will continue to wear his old ones for now....

    Wonderful comments by all. I am going to say Tina, it looks as though 20 may be the day to go. That will give people time to recover from GBBD and get the veggie pics in order....

    France, good update and send me some pickles! lol

    Perennial G, I have never grown gourds before so the drying and creating birdhouses will be an adventure and learning process for me so stay tuned for either some cute birdhouses, or one big mess I make.... lol....

    Gail, I am usually a giving person but you are not getting any of my rain! lol, we actually had a pop up shower this afternoon that gave us 1/10 which is not much but with the inch a few days ago, it helps. Looks like Tropical Storm Fay may be headed our way so hopefully we will have tons of rain to help us out of this deficit we are in. I fear that Lola may have a bad time though as she may get more wind then us being a bit further north. But with Tropical storms, you just never know where they will go so she may skip right by us....

    Jean, Watermelons are fun to grow! I have never grown them but have watched my grandmother grow them before. It is really fun to see how large they get in such a short period of time! I envy your fresh beans. Our plant died some time ago and I was so disappointed. I had to resort to the roadside market for my fresh beans...

    Cosmos, the funny thing on the bee was, I was zooming into and focusing on one bee when a second one flew into the blossom! I was like, well hello as it startled me a bit happening through the lens! Those two were full of pollen and having the best time in there together. I decided they were either husband and wife or good buds as they did not fight over space.... lol...

    DP, The eggplant was yummy and I hope you have more soon. This was my first try at growing it and it seem to do better then anything else in the garden right off the get go! It is always exciting to experience new things....

    Okay, my computer time has expired, I was finding myself spending way too much time on the computer and less on my other life and on the verge of becoming a Blog addict so I need to stop for now. Well, I guess it could be worse and I could be a Computer Porn addict, now don’t I recall someone’s blog titled Naked Ladies… LOL

    Hello's also go out to Jilly, Sarah, Dawn, P Price, TC, Rose, Phillip and everyone else who popped in today!

    I may be back later… So bye for now…

  22. Tina ~ Hello, I've missed you all! I am just back this afternoon and see I have lots of catching up to do, and posting once I get it together. But I like the idea of the veggie garden update and I will be doing so for sure on the 20th (good thing I have a few days to prepare).

  23. Hello All. I hope all had a beautiful day.
    The post was magnificent. Tina & Skeeter that sure is a lot of veggies thus showing a lot of hard work. And I'm sure they were enjoyed very much.
    Jean I'm so happy for you with your garden. Isn't it great to be able to get out there & get dirty? I've been working on a bed by my front door that is beside my ramp. I've got a couple red dwarf azaleas, a pink one & a variegated one that I hope to put in this garden. I think it will be ok when I get it finished.
    Tina you should see the rich dirt in my front garden from the lasagna method. It is black. As soon as I get the grass out I think that would make a great place to plant some Fall veggies, don't you think!!! There are some bulbs in there now so have to watch for them.
    My banana peppers are everywhere. Does anyone have any idea of how to fix them besides eating them raw. I like them as I can't handle spicy foods. So many.
    Happy Gardening All.

  24. Hi Tina --busy day lots of family and friends swimming and keeping me on my toes. Lola --I forgot to ask my mom about the salt water mix to pour over the cabbage but I won't forget tomorrow:) I promise --I want to know too --I just did the pouring when I was a kid never did the making of that wonderful concoction.

    I think these vegetables look awesome! I "might" attempt a nice veggie garden next year --it will be a wild garden though --not ONE person in my house eats tomatoes, hehehe --we love sauce and ketchup but no plain old tomatoes. I know beans, peas, more onions, carrots, radish sound so good after doing a little viewing of all these yummy garden treats. Night y'all!

  25. Tina and Skeeter--The 20th works for me. I'll be out of town this week, but you've seen both the figs and the peppers, and Salix ate all the apples and pears (he really did!)--maybe in September I'll have some saplings from the figs I'm trying to propogate. I think it's a great idea. C.

  26. Well Tina, It looks like starting next month, we will see lots of veggie updates on the 20th! Yea...

    Your dirt sounds like gold Lola! Funny how we all get excited over something such as dirt! lol... Lola, have you heard about Fay possibly headed your way? I am keeping my fingers crossed for lots of rain but no wind damage or flooding or harm to human or animal.... We eat the banana peppers on salads, sandwiches, homemade pizza for a different twist...

    Anonymous, I bet your pool was splashing with all those little dolphins and frogs in it today! I snapped a pic of a cool frog for the kiddos to see so be looking for it as soon as I load it onto the puter....

    Welcome back Cindy! Not sure if Tina wants to do a little something veggie wise or not on the 20 of this month since we have this veggie update. What ya say Tina, do you have more to report in 4 days? I am sure I can come up with a few snap shots by then. Let me know...

    Cosmos, we will be looking for your update in Sept...

    We did not play pick-up sticks as planned today because a little spotted fawn was bedded down in our front woods! We did not want to disturb the cutie pie! I still have my headache and now the Saint has one as well. We are thinking the weather change with sinus being the issue… arggg…

    We opt out of a movie as planned also and just watched that fish Michael Phelps make swimming history! What a swimmer indeed. The Saint competed in swimming so he has really enjoyed watching all this unfold….

  27. Skeeter - Oh, my mistake. To start next month is fine. Not that I have much to report other than the deer took advantage of our absense to feast at the buffet called my garden. haha.

    And yes, those Olympics are addicting, aren't they.

  28. Skeeter have you ever heard of holding a half lime on your forehead to relieve a headache. Cut in half & rub lightly on forehead then just hold it there. May take a few minutes. Try it & let me know if it works.
    Thanks Anonymous will wait to hear. Sounds as though summer fun is drawing near.

  29. Yum! Everything looks so delicious! My Roma's are about the same size, but no sign of red yet.

  30. Amy, we picked several red roma’s yesterday! Will eat them in a day or two to give them a chance to ripen up a bit more....

    Cindy, those pesky deer! I love them but get so upset at them for eating things they are not suppose to eat. Especially when I feed them corn and apples!

    Lola, I have heard something on the lines of that before but thought maybe it was an old Wife's Tale. I guess if the lime does not work, I could always put it in a margarita and drink it, then I would probably not feel any pain... lol.... Does anyone know if this works???

  31. ROFLOL Skeeter you will not do. Margaritas indeed. For sure no pain after that. Will try to find the info & send it.

  32. Hi Tina,
    Loved visiting your blog and strolling around yours and Skeeter's bountiful gardens. Great photos, the veggies look so y.u.m.m.y!!!

  33. Kanak, Thanks for visiting! I too enjoy your blog all the way over in India. Amazing how gardening can bring us all together.