Thursday, August 20, 2009

Veggie Garden Update-August 09

Skeeter's Georgia Veggie Garden Update:
The compost bin in my Georgia Garden held a surprise for me this year. A potato plant sprouted from composted potato peels! I was so happy that I babied it to death. That's right, I killed the voluntary plant. It was a drought time of year and I was so afraid it would dry out that I over watered it and killed the thing.
See how moist it was when I cut it open? A sure sign of over watering on my part. Oh well, live and learn. Sigh...

We are gathering Roma and German Queen tomatoes along with Jalapeno peppers. These were planted on the outskirts of the Semi-Formal flower garden.
Our neighbor, which was motivated to plant a garden this year, had so many tomatoes that they are giving them away. Here was a batch they handed over the fence to us. I blanched and peeled them and they are in the freezer waiting for the day when we no longer have any fresh maters on the vine.
It started out just as last year, too wet and soggy in the spring to plant in the veggie garden. We were so discouraged that we were not going to put anything in the soggy area at all. But I could not let the few slips I grew in containers from seed go to waste. I put a English cucumber, a gourd, some beans, 4 squash and the purple tomato in the plot of fenced in soil. The Garden was late in getting a start but as you can see, we plucked cucumbers off the vine recently. This Anaheim pepper was the first to produce with the sweet peppers on the outskirts of the flower garden.
I made German Cucumber Salat with the cucumbers and they were so yummy.The Green, Red and Yellow Sweet Peppers are doing great! We started to harvest them yesterday along with more Anaheim and Jalapeno hot peppers and a few tomatoes. Here you see the Anaheim Peppers have a friend keeping guard for pesky insects. The baby Anole Lizard is green but will become brown in color once on a brown surface. Can you see him? They camouflage so well on the green leaf.
And lookie here Dan, I finally have tomatoes growing from the Cherokee Purple Tomato seed you gave me! Yippee... Not quite purple yet but I am patiently awaiting the color change.
And low and behold the gourds have decided to produce for me as well. The beans did not produce and the squash all died out from the borers again this year. But we are happy with the few things we harvested and may continue to plant more next year! We know what will and will not work so we will stick with the things we know will grow well for us in the Garden... Tina, this one is for you, just look at the Banana Tree! Not the one you gave me that died (sigh) but the one we have babied along for 3 years now. It is happy in its new spot and as you can see thriving for us. Look how tall it is compared to the Saint which was kind enough to pose for me.
The trunk (or is it a stalk?) size is amazing to us since this nanner has had a sad life with us until now. See the baby plants popping up around the base? A very happy Banana along with the Saint and I, In the Garden...

Now lets see what is going on in Tina's Tennessee Garden shall we....

Tina's Tennessee Veggie Garden Update:

It seems like just yesterday we posted our vegetable garden update so it is hard to believe it has been a whole month! Here is a long shot of the vegetable garden as it looks today. There are three gates into the vegetable garden proper. You can just see one next to the round millstone like stone in the lower middle part of the picture above. It is the main entry into the garden. Behind where I am standing is our deck and house. To the right of the millstone and to the left of the gate is a new Sunny Perennial Border. This area gets the most sun in my garden (excepting the driveway) so I decided to plant some sun lovers there. It is a good spot since it is on the north side of the vegetable garden and does not shade the vegetables. I will post on this garden at some point but wanted you to know the vegetable garden is actually inside of this large border and get you oriented to its layout. You can see the A-frames inside of the fenced area but you first must look past the perennial border. There is a problem with shade though even though it is not from the perennial border. Can you see the problem plants?? Mr. Fix-it sees it and says those bananas have to go! They are positively massive and still growing. They are on the left side of the picture behind the red leaved cannas. Those cannas are outside of the vegetable garden in the sunny perennial border. The bananas have spread rather quickly inside of their container in the vegetable garden. When I planted them three years ago I thought the shade would be welcomed in the vegetable garden by both the vegetable plants and more importantly by me. I still love the shade in the veggie garden but my vegetables are not thriving. Sigh. Let us see just how they are doing now and keep in the back of your mind those bananas have to go at some point.

It has not been a great year at all. First the big news. Remember that watermelon I thought I had growing in the veggie garden last month? Well, it turned out to be a pumpkin! Guess that'll teach me to pay better attention to what I plant! Ha. Right.
The peppers are slowly growing. I've not picked too many of them. In fact, one whole plant perished. I am not sure why. This is also when I planted my cucumbers and zucchini. Both of those crops are coming in well though I've yet to harvest a single thing from them! I think the baby cucumber above looks most promising. The good thing about planting these warm weather crops late is the fact that most of the time these crops have passed by now and unless you use succession planting and plant more late in the season you will be sans cucumbers by this point. This will not happen here this year and I will most likely always plant cucumbers late. So far no signs of disease or pests have reared their heads amongst my cucumbers or zucchini.
Tomatoes are still coming in; albeit slowly. I am harvesting a great deal of cherry tomatoes and a pear shaped tomato, as well as some yellow tomatoes. But overall the tomato plants are long and thin. Not at all usual and quite disheartening. The yellow wax beans were planted the end of June and are growing like gangbusters. I am not really sure how to eat wax beans and don't know why I planted them because I don't like them. There is some sweet basil mixed in with the above vegetables too. The yellow squash were pulled and are long gone. They finally succumbed to borers. The ornamentals I planted in the vegetable garden like stevia, basil, catnip and zinnias are doing well. They show no sign of letting up. I said I would not grow gourds this year simply because I had tons from last year's vegetable garden. I haven't even gotten around to painting them yet. But how could I resist gourds?? They grow well in almost all conditions, even part shade and drought conditions and are just plain fun once harvested. This year I planted a white ornamental variety of gourds and a small bottle type gourd. Both varieties are doing well. The small white one is pictured above. I hope it gets big enough to do some crafts with this winter. We shall see.
That will do it for this month's vegetable garden update. How are your vegetables growing....

in the garden....


  1. Everything looks great!! We've had a great year with cucumbers and peppers here. Ciao from lil bundle and me:0)

  2. Hi Tina and Skeeter,
    I don't have time right now to read your posts. I have to look for my swimming suit, because I didn't do it ahead of time, and I assist special education students in swimming class one period a day. Anyway, I did my post last night, and while the photos were uploading, I was looking unsuccessfully for the suit and getting other things ready for the day. Silly me! I plan on doing one on the garden here today or tomorrow.

    Cheers! Sue

  3. Hi Tina and Skeeter, both of your gardens look great! Mine is sort of fizzling out. Your harvests look delicious! I'll will be looking for Salat Cucumber next year. Tina, don't worry about your bell peppers. I find they are one of the slowest and more difficult things to grow. Mine are pretty puny right now.

  4. Hi guys, it's neat how you post simultaneously like this! Both gardens are producing so nicely. Skeeter, I envy you growing that banana, will be cool when you can get fruit. And Tina, you're pulling yours out...oh no! I thought that white gourd was an eggplant ;) Are yellow beans as tasty and sweet as their green cousin?

  5. You ladies have great veggie gardens and have a nice load of produce. Skeeter-- did you make enough German Gerkin Salat for EVERYONE?!?!?!? Glad I didn't sign up for a monthly veggie update-- all I could show is half eaten tomatoes laying in the garden. aughhhh

  6. Skeeter, what a beautiful harvest. I'm also experimenting with a couple of old sprouting potatoes that I found. I planted them but not much seems to be happening...I'm especially impressed with your peppers since I've gotten so few.

    Tina, I can relate to the shade problem. When I was planning my beds, the trees weren't leafed out yet, so I totally underestimated how much I'd have! Still you have some gorgeous stuff- the yellow tomatoes?! yum! Good luck with the gourds!

  7. Skeeter,

    Your gardens doing great! I didn't even see the anole until you mentioned it. Good look with the Cherokee purple tomato, ours have been very finicky to get an edible fruit.


    I think I'll skip this months update, not much to show. The beans are doing great but I'm depressed on the tomato front. There are signs of some good things coming along though, we'll see. Once the bugs trickle back some things might do better.

  8. Hi Skeeter, I had several potatoes sprout and grow in my compost pile. It surprised me because the compost is in deep shade. Your veggies are looking good.

    Tina, nice pumpkin. Veggies are looking good in your garden too. I can imagine it must be very difficult growing them in a shady area.

  9. I think everything looks great! Love the fresh veggies!

  10. Good selection in both gardens.
    We have some of the same growing here but only tomatoes are ripe at the moment. Funny how it's easy to get guys to pose for a picture. :)

  11. Good morning all!

    Skeeter, It is just amazing what the right spot will do for plants-I say tongue in cheek. Glad your banana is happy and the veggies look happy too. Just not the potato. Can't wait to see your gourds!

    Anonymous, You might need to share some of those cukes with me then-I've had none so far! You guys have a great day.

    Sue, Your veggie garden is looking great! Especially those potatoes and winter squash. Yum! Have fun swimming!

    Lzyjo, I will hang in there with those peppers then. They have been so slow but it is okay. Less time I have to spend in the kitchen, a good thing.

    Lynn, A funny thing on those bananas huh? Too much of a good thing can go bad fast. We all know that. I am afraid to cook those wax beans but perhaps tonight. I much prefer the fresh green beans I can eat in the garden right off the vine but it is okay. Live and learn. Skeeter and I have been good partners in this blog for a while and that won't change. We have fun.

    Janet, If Skeeter made enough she sure didn't share with us while she was visiting Tennessee! Maybe next time Skeeter??

    JGH, That shade is a difficult thing for sure. Hard to judge just how much you have and gee, the trees still continue to grow! Sigh. From now on I think I'll grow only yellow tomatoes. They are so mild and juicy. Very good!

    Dave, Everywhere folks have been complaining on tomatoes. Well, perhaps next year will be a bumper year?

    Marnie, It is nigh on impossible to have a veggie garden. I am threatening to turn it into an ornamental bed. I might even intermix some veggies. We shall see. The trees overhead are so happy they grow wider each year. I never realized just how little sun it gets then the bananas. They sure don't help. Oh well.

    Dawn, Fresh veggies are good for sure!

    Patsi, Those tomatoes are most photogenic for sure. Gotta love them!

  12. That lizard is the cutest thing ever! Wish they lived in Maryland. What great natural pest control. Happy Gardening!

  13. Hi girls! I always enjoy your veggie posts. Makes me green with envy usually because my first attempt at growing veggies is not going well. I'm glad to hear even experienced gardeners are having a few problems this season ~ maybe that will give me the heart to try again next year? I'd be happy with that pumpkin Tina ~ it looks good. Enjoy the fresh pickings, I'm hoping I'll get to harvest something before it's time to throw in the towel!

  14. It's fun seeing what you have growing where you are. I wish I had the space for gourds, they just look neat growing with all of their unusual shapes. We're doing pretty good withe veggies here, we've gotten a good amount of tomatoes, but not as many as other years. Most people around here are having their best year. I think I need to "rotate my crops" next year.

  15. Tina and Skeeter,

    Your vegetable gardens look great! So many lovely vegetables.

  16. It's been an odd summer. It started out so cool & wet that somethings took a bit to catch up. My beans are almost spent now but the tomatoes & peppers are doing great. Looks like your veggie patch needs a bit more sunlight & it will be fine. Nice thing about gardening is there is always another season to look forward to huh? :)

  17. You both have such beautiful, yummy things. Harvesting of my jalapenos has begun, but my Bell Peppers are having problems. I wish I had room to grow a pumpkin. Tina's pumpkin looks so wonderful already.

  18. Well done, ladies. Love the pumpkin! I also now have a craving for a BLT! H.

  19. Superb gardens, and superb gardeners.
    I am so glad I am not the only one that plants things and surprises come up. :)

  20. Good Afternoon everyone! I me the Saint for lunch then ran errands and then could not get on the computer once home. Storms all around us and I drove in the rain then once home, no rain but the thunder and lightening instead. Arggggg, if I cannot get on the computer due to storms, I at least would like some rain!!!!! Clear for now so just jumping on here. Tina, I thought that was an Egg growing and not a gourd. I have never seen a white gourd before. Neat for sure…

    Tina, Tell Mr Fixit to stay out of your Garden and get back into the garage! LOL. Do not remove your killer bananas! I mean killer in a nice way as they are awesome! Maybe you can move them to another spot in the yard…?.... I hate to see you remove them as they are such neat things in your garden. We were just looking at ours again today and since that pic was taken yesterday, a new leaf is popping out today! We think in time this nanner will take over the planter but that is fine by us as we have wanted one so badly for so long that we welcome its growth. Well, for now anyway. We may feel differently in a year from now… hee hee… Love your Watermelon, I mean Pumpkin. Hee hee Will you eat it or carve it for Halloween?

    ********, the Anole lizards are my favorites. They have such personalities. Yep, I said it. A lizard has a personality!

    Kathleen, Glad you enjoy the Veggie update posting! We dont mean to make you green with envy though. lol. It is funny how Tina and I dont share our Veggie harvest until the 20th of the month. Had I known she was not getting any cucumber, I could have taken her some to TN last week! I am lucky with our late planting as living in the Deep South, we have plenty of warm days long after everyone else has harvest all their crops. We had said that we would give up also after two years of soggy planting season but once we pick a veggie, we change our minds. So dont give up, just decide what works best and stick with that! That is what we plan to do next year....

    Catherine, Maybe a good crop rotation is in store for you next year! We seem to have the best luck with the Roma tomatoes. But they dont slice well for a sandwich. lol the neighbors maters have worked for slices though. The gourd is not taking up too much space in our garden. I am allowing it to trail along the fence and it is doing great. It has gone outside the fence and thus far, the deer and rabbit have not touched it. Not sure they would but if they do, they have not. I may have just jinxed myself. I would not doubt it if it is completed gone tomorrow! hee hee. Gourds were my best memory with crops last year as I made the birdhouses for the birds and the blue birds had two broods in one of them! Fun for sure...

    Sweet Bay, Thanks! I was depressed with it early on but now, all is better for us as we are getting some things to eat. Fresh is so much better then store bought but store bought is always easier to harvest. lol...

    Raquel, you are so right about the following season. I was so depressed in the beginning of this year just as last year. But I forget that I must be patent and things will grow with our long growing season here. We started out super soggy then hot as the dickens then dry and cool. Am surprised we have anything with the strange weather this year...

  21. Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, We have had luck with the jalapenos each year. And they are super hot this year with an early hot spell back in June! I make the Saint take out the seeds when cooking for me. He left the seeds in one time for his meal and he was on fire and he can eat some really spicy stuff! I had to laugh at him when he called me wimp for making him take the seeds out. Funny thing though, tonight when he was cutting them up to go into our dish, he took the seeds out but I did not say a thing to him. He is not so tough when it comes to these jalapenos! lol. Our bells are smaller then we would like but they are yummy so we cannot complain. I saw Tinas pumpkin when I was in TN and it is the cutest thing hiding amongst the leaves and not a watermelon! lol...

    Helen, all we need is the Pig right? lol, go make yourself a nice BLT with juicy red mater! The Saint eats Tomato on white bread with mayo, salt and pepper. I prefer my tomato sandwich with Bacon and lettuce also. BLT's are great in the summer!

    And Janet, Come on down, I will make you some Gerkin Salat any time!

  22. Rosey, Surprises are great! And I did not plant a potato and it came up for me. That was a super surprise but too bad I killed it. Sigh...

    Tina's Pumpkin was so cute when I saw it. Kind of made me want to plant one next year...

  23. Lola, I hope your eyes are doing well. I forgot to mention that earlier. Stay off here until you get them back to normal as we don’t want you in pain or stressed with blurry reading. And keep out of the sunny yard although not much sun lately with storms popping up all around us. I assume you are getting those as well. They say we are in for cooler temps and dryer air this weekend. Looking forward to that for sure!

    Anonymous, thanks for the pics you sent me. They were great even though my favorite little man was not feeling in tip top shape. Girl Model more then made up for his absence. She is a cutie pie and I enjoyed the time I had with her as well. I just love their ages the best of all. Little Bundle will get there soon enough. Hee hee.. And Boy 1 still impresses me with his daddy skills. Boy 2 Well, he was to busy fishing with daddy. hee hee....

    Nina, I hope to get some pictures organized by tomorrow if the storms hold off long enough! Today was a no go and I am running out of time for posting. Arggg, I may have to go with a Plan B instead of the Plan A this weekend. I want to do your garden justice instead of rush it…

  24. Hi again, ladies. I never did find my new swimming suit, but did find the old stretched out one that I'd worn the one time I went swimming with one of my nephews this summer, and left in a sack a couple days before hanging it up. I had planned to wash it, but didn't get to it.

    I enjoyed reading about the veggies you are harvesting, and how your gardens are growing. I always love the close up and farther away photos.

    Tina, you said something about my garden looking nice. I guess I didn't include the photos that show the not so pretty parts. Those were the only 2 sunflowers that look half way decent. The others are falling all over themselves. The 2 in my garden over here are looking better, I assume, because they get more sun.

  25. Just a sect here. Great looking veggies ladies. Mine all have bit the dust. Weeds galore. My gourds are looking ok. Was surprised to realize one was growing just above a hanging flower pot.
    Feeling ok, a little more discomfort.
    I hope everyone had a lovely day.

  26. That is lots of produce! Most of my tomato flowers become the deers' snack, only a few left and continue to survive. It is going to be a short season this year.

  27. All the veggies look great ladies. Glade to see the cherokee purple coming into fruit, I just picked two of them today.

  28. Sue, Maybe you need to get a dresser full of swim suits then you will always have one ready to go! lol, I hate swim suit shopping so only have a couple myself. I prefer one over all so after we go out on the boat; I put the suit in the washer as soon as we return so as to not forget it. I cant speak for Tina, but I for one try to look the other way when seeing weeds in anyone's garden. What garden has NO WEEDS? Not mine that’s for sure...

    Lola, this is the time of year for most veggies to fizzle out but Tina and I both got a late start in planting so we are lucky to still have some things producing. Take your meds and keep cool and out of the sun and heal those eyes!

    Vuejardin, We noticed a few blooms missing on the tomatoes this year for the first time. We suspect the deer as the culprit as well. They are stinkers with garden theft!

    Dan, I am happy about the Cherokee and hope to pluck one soon! I have several on the plant and am thrilled...

  29. Yum Skeeter and Tina! It's been a weird summer weather-wise in most of the country it seems. Considering the slow start everything got and the challenges along the way, you've both got some admirable harvests.

    The Lawn Man's out this evening, and I'm eating dinner while catching up on some blog reading. Dinner was a mess of green beans, a cucumber salad both from the garden. I've got some orange and red peppers ripe, and just picked the first Cherokee purple tomato (but it's not really purple.) Some of the other varieties of tomatoes are starting to ripen. I've made 6 jars of bread & butter pickles with surplus cukes, and a big jar of pickled jalapenos with all the extras, and frozen some green beans. A few squash are still ripening - Kuri and Lakota. I'm amazed by how much this tiny, only part-sun, jam-packed garden is producing.

    Hmmm Skeeter, that's a great idea -I might try on purpose growing potatoes in the compost - sure would save space!

  30. I've never planted pototoes. I think I'll try that next year. The home grown tomotoes look yummy. :)

  31. I've just started eating sweet peppers this year. I've really been missing something good. The bad thing was when one of them turned out to be hot. My husband thought I was putting him on but a few weeks later he got one too. haha. He was yelling for me to bring the buttermilk!