Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vegetable Garden Update-July 08

Tina's Veggie Garden Update:
Just a short note from my veggie garden. I have finally harvested all of the garlic. The large garlic above is elephant garlic. It was a delightful surprise and had the bonus of a good flower too. I dug them carefully then stored them on my covered porch for a week or two until they cured completely. They are now ready to eat.

These are a few of my red cabbages. The large head you see made a nice bowl of slaw. The slaw was so good even the Jimster ate it with gusto, though he claimed he did not like cabbage. Funny, he loves sauerkraut and it is no wonder since he was born in Germany and lived there for more than five years.

The way I harvested this cabbage was to use the knife to cut the head out of its cradle of leaves. Once the head was safely in its basket, I pulled the remaining leaves and stem out of the ground and placed it in the compost bin.

The rest of the veggie garden is growing well, albeit a bit behind most veggie gardens I have seen. I waited a bit late to plant many things, including tomatoes. Happily they are beginning to form now. The gourds are taking over my A-frames, but that is the intent. The above picture shows how the gourd vine attaches itself to the support. I don't have to add any additional support. This one vine has grown about 15 feet in several different directions. I have had to wrap it around and around the A-frame in a S-shape.

I am watering about once a week; which is not bad. Zucchinis are ready for picking, peppers and beans are forming, and the tomatoes are green, but ripening. The coming weeks will see tremendous growth in the garden....

Skeeter's Veggie Garden update:

When we moved into this house, we discovered one lone Plum tree. I often sit in front of it on the garden bench. It adorned beautiful blossoms each spring. With each year, the thing has sprouted up many saplings. We dug one up and gave it to the Saints mom and she planted it in her yard in VA. The others have remained where they popped up. This year, the thing exploded with fruit!
The last of the plums have all been picked. The deer and bunny are not happy at all but I no longer see them in this area of the yard. I am so grateful because the flower garden and veggie gardens are on either side of the plum trees! I feared that once the plums were gone, they would start working on blooms and vegetable leaves!
I have no idea what type of plum these are but they are smaller then a golf ball and larger then a cherry. I thought this tree was just an ornamental and the fruit not for eating as it was much smaller in the past years. A neighbor saw them and convinced me to eat them.
By the time I had decided to try them, the wildlife had taken most of the fruit. This was the only batch we picked. They were a bit too tart in the center for us so I passed them along to a co-worker of the Saints. She loves the things tart or not. Next year, the animals will be fighting me for the fruit!
The Veggie Container Garden no longer exist!
The drought was taking its toll on the plants as well as me. I was watering every day and the plants were yellowing and still thirsty! The containers were drying out way too quickly so I decided to ask the Saint to dig me some holes in the ground. The ground was really dry and hard and a challenge for the Saint. In time, he had the holes dug and I had the plants all in the ground with fresh Kow Compost. I now had an in-ground garden! I had put gravel in the bottom of the pots for weight to keep them from blowing over on windy days. When transplanting, I found the roots were growing in the gravel trying to find moisture below, which was not there. I think the pots were a bit too small for the traveling roots. *Make note to self, never add gravel to a pot during a drought period...

Things were really stressed with transplanting during such a hot time of year, plus drought conditions. We lost the Zucchini, Beans, Green Pepper and Gypsy Pepper. We replaced the Zucchini and Green peppers but opt out on the Beans for a Sweet Red Pepper. The Saint was not digging any new holes for me so I had to make do with preexisting holes in the ground.

All the baby Cucumbers fell off the vine except for the largest one. It grew into a strange form. Even the cat did not know what to think of it. She gave it a Cat-Scan but could not decided if it was a Cucumber or Crook-neck Squash! It looked strange but tasted good in a salad.

My first attempt at an Egg Plant was now failing. Look at how wilted the poor thing became with stress. It had been giving us tons of blooms so we thought it would produce but after the stress of transplanting it, we knew it was on its way to the compost bin.

It was so difficult trying to keep the garden watered by hand. The ground was so dry, it was soaking up a lot of the water. We finally set up the water sprinkler to give the entire area a good drink.

The gourds did not seem to stress during the move. They continued to give me blossoms and produce baby gourds.

Just look at the beautiful white bloom and cute fuzzy baby gourd!

In time, the gourds all fell off the vine just as the Cucumber. How depressing. Sniff-Sniff...

The tomatoes handled the move with little stress. We have been picking and eating tomatoes weekly.

The once prospering Peppers, lost their blooms and babies. We were so depressed and felt like such failures with our Vegetable Garden.

Then it happened... The humidity hit so high that we finally started to get those pop up showers that the Deep South is known for! We had a few nice days of rainfall which seemed enough to turn things around!

One week later; The Hot Peppers are starting to produce...

The Sweet Purple Pepper has started to produce...

The Cucumber Plant is producing "straight" babies...

The Egg Plant perked back up and started to bloom again. It had been blooming all along but the blooms would just fall off and no veggie. Or is egg plant a fruit? Hum, never thought of that before....

The purple blooms were so big and pretty, but nothing more.

Look what the Saint discovered under a big leaf 6 days ago. A baby egg plant!

This is the same Egg Plant baby in two day intervals! It is growing quickly along side several siblings. I am soooo happy about this discovery! It appears that DP Nguyen, over at the Square Foot Gardening in Nashville and I will be eating Egg Plant soon!

The Crook-neck Squash had been blooming while in the pots sharing two plants per pot. We separated them and gave them each their own plot in the ground. The blooms would fall off as the egg plant. This continued, once in the ground. We were about to give up on the squash but held on a while longer. I was hoping for something positive to happen.

Just look at all those yellow blooms and no Squash from any of them...

Then look at what I discovered 3 days ago hiding under a big leaf! Yep, one little baby Squash. I hope in time it will have many siblings for us to enjoy...

The garden section of our newspaper had a great article last week about how we have a long growing season in our area of Georgia. They went on to say that now is the time to plant for a second Fall Harvest. Guess I did not get the plants in the ground soon enough for a first Summer harvest. I recall a tonsillectomy and soggy ground having something to do with that. Ha... From Soggy to Drought, Go Figure!

We added a new Tomato to the garden as well as the Sweet Peppers and Zucchini. Hopefully they will have plenty of time to produce some goodies for us.

We were failures at Container Gardening but the Veggie garden seems to be making a comeback. The Peppers were just put into the ground on Monday. You can see them to the front of the garden in the picture below. We set up the sprinkler to soak the area since we have not had rainfall in over a week. Other then watering the peppers to get them established, we will only water (deep soaking) weekly or as needed. Hopefully Mother Nature will once again be kind to us and help out.

Eve over at Gardening on the Gulf Coast was talking about a cotton tail getting into her melons. So far the little fencing system we installed is holding its own against the cute little cotton balls. The soap hanging along the fence seems to be deterring the deer as well. Keeping fingers crossed here...

Tina had told me that her portion of this posting would be short. I replied, "so would my part" as it was a depressing time and not much other then death to report. That was a week ago. It is amazing how far this little garden has come with a couple of rainfalls and a week of growth! I ended up with a decent report after all.

No depressing Vegetable Garden Update-July 08 since things have turned around for me, In The Garden.
*Tune in Aug. 16 for more!


  1. Good job! I am so happy your veggie garden has turned around. The gourds falling off has me puzzled, very puzzled. Love the 'cat scan'. I think I would try to make some plum jam next year. Those plums were too cute!

  2. Tina - I like your A-frames, those gourds can sure get crazy.

    Skeeter - It's amazing the difference a week and a little rain can make. Your veggies are looking good!

  3. The vegetable garden seems to be doing well. The rain does help doesn't it. Loved the plum tree and I would definitely beat the animals to it next year if I was you. I plan on doing a vegetable garden next year instead of just planting in pots.

  4. Hi guys, Tina I was going to ask if you planned on painting more gourds? maybe not.
    Skeeter, next year, big inground garden? If only late but a long growing season?
    I miss my veggies all the pics makes me hungry!

  5. Great post Tina, Skeeter but no pics. I'm glad your veggie garden is doing much better Skeeter. I know how frustrating it is to do all that work then not have any thing to show for it.
    Tina maybe it's best your garden is a little late. Seems it's producing better.

    Hello All. Hope everyone has a beautiful day & a prosperous one.

  6. Great updates Tina and Skeeter but as with Lola, no pics. Actually I do have a few but most of them are MIA.

    Skeeter I am glad your garden has turned around. Mine HAD been looking great till 2 days ago and now it looks very very dry. I have 11 small watermelons with more flowers so I should get some good ones, if we ever get rain again. I am excited about that as I have never grown watermelon before.

  7. I felt so terrible for you at first as I was ready this, and then everything started perking up again and I'm so excited! It's such a learning experience, isn't it?

    I tried growing veggies in containers for two years and didn't have much success. I think the big, half barrels would work and not dry out so quickly. If I did containers again I think I would try those.

  8. Tina,
    Your cabbage looks so yummy! The Germans know how to make good sauerkraut! LOL.. We were upset when we discovered that we had let the critters have most of the fruit! I tell you, the things have only been about the size of a marble until this year. Maybe it took that long for the tree to mature or we had a perfect season for it. I just dont know....The gourds turned yellow and just fell off the vine! Maybe too much water with the transfer..?.. More babies are forming so we will see... If we have luck, next year I will have to do the A-Frame thing because they are taking over the garden!

    Hello Cindy,
    it is amazing what the rain has done for the garden! I must give credit to the ground and Kow Compost also!

    This was our first attempt at a veggie garden since moving into this house. We knew the animals would be an issue so we never went for it. This spring we took the plunge after hearing everyone Rave at how they love their veggie gardens. I took the bait and just had to have one again! The containers just did not work out for us...

    We are getting excited about the turn around in the garden and may enlarge it a bit next year. We will stick with what does well and if the area becomes soggy from the spring rains as this year, then we will just wait on planting until it dries out. Or we can put the plants into the pots and transplant once dries out. I think the trick is, to not wait until the ground is rock hard and the heat of the summer to dig a hole! Saint had a tough time getting holes dug for me. I could not get the shovel to go into the ground for me, It was that hard...

    I wonder why no pictures..?.. Hum, that’s strange. Maybe later on they will pop up for you. You have to see Tina’s Cabbage! It is a good thing we have a long growing season here because now I feel we will have some crops. You have a good day too, Once finished here, I head to the yard to water! Week with no rain and some things need attention...

    only a few pictures, that is so strange... I have never tried watermelon either but love to eat them! You need to turn a hose on them. Dont they like a lot of water? I dont know much about growing them. The gourds are my first try ever. I want to make bird houses from them.

    dont you just like a story with a happy ending? LOL, it had been sooo depressing for us then once in the ground and a little rain, it all starting coming back to life! I just hope our luck does not turn for the worse. A lot can happen in a month. You just never know, the deer may decide to walk over the fence. Our neighbor has tomatoes and some peppers in barrels and they do well for her.

  9. Your gardens are fantastic and so productive! Yummy and delicious looking vegetables and fruit! They give me costly ideas!

    Just now got off the phone with the owner of a compost business...I am going to order organic compost from him to top dress the garden. He recommends his product for building a raised bed. I am thinking I will order my soil from him if I decide to build a raised vegetable garden...gosh, blogging is getting costly...I see plants I want and raised beds to build! I can't grow enough compost by the fall to make these beds!

    Then again tomatoes and lettuce in containers is a good place to start!

    I just realized I missed the July PPS meeting!


  10. Okay, I had gotten out my Sympathy Cards to begin with, but now I see I can put them away. Good Job!

  11. I got my pics, that is strange.

  12. Gail, this blogging is becoming costly, thats for sure! I had no desires to have a veggie garden until all the talk about them! Knew it would be too much trouble with animal but heck, never dreamed a drought could be the issue!

    Tina will salivate when she hears about your compost. She is Miss Compost Queen you know, always talking about it and how good it is for the garden. I know the veggie perked up after the Kow compost! I started my first Compost bin but with lack of rain, it is not breaking down as quickly as I had hoped for.

    Raised beds, I dont even want to think of that with our drought! I have been in the yard most of the day watering everything. Nothing like dragging around a heavy hose and trying to not knock over a plant!

    I had snakes on my mind from seeing two yesterday. I was pulling weeds in the thick yarrow and I pulled a big toad out from under the earth! We both hopped to our feet! We were playing Leap Frog there for a minute. Was funny but startled the dickens out of me at first, I was thinking SNAKE! arggggg LOL...

    Sympathy Card, that is funny Randy & Jamie. We are still in a drought so hang on to it as you may need it by next months update! LOL... Things can change so quickly in the garden…

  13. Hi Tina and Skeeter, good job badges for both of you. I did use to be a girl scout leader, you know. I don't think containers can ever beat good old soil to grow veggies especially. There is hope for us all with the turnaround of the plants with the welcome rain we have gotten. I am back to watering again after noticing some things drooping. But the veggie garden gets no water, only the cuke looks sad sometimes. Good deal on the eggplants and cabbages, two things I have not been successful with.

  14. Good Evening Frances!
    A Holy Grail and Badge all in the same week! Wow!
    I only tried the containers because this area was soooo soggy when I was ready to plant. With heat and no rain, it was depressing. I caught on to the comments about Kow and good old dirt and then had an epiphany! Get them plants out of pots and into the ground!! When I asked the Saint to dig some holes in that hard dirt, he gave me a really mean look but he too knew it was best if we were going to cash in on our crops...

    I dragged that hose all over the yard today but we had low humidity and a great breeze blowing so it was actually really nice out there today, Just wish I could have been sitting on the swing or on the garden bench instead of working! How does one go into the yard and not pull a weed?

  15. Just a quick hello --I think the container gardens are harder to work. Mine dried out so much faster. Another busy day --the kiddos have been swimming. Me a little extra mowing for some friends. Have a great night --don't worry Jean --we're all doing the rain dance for you:) I do envy your cool evenings --remember how nice it felt in the mornings back home --a cool breeze flowing thru the screens. Felt great catching extra zzz's with that breeze. I do miss the mountains at times --but this nice warm climate more than makes up for it in the winter:0)

  16. Hi All, hope all are having a lovely evening.
    I finally got the pics. Don't know what was up with that. Seems your gardens are paying off Tina & Skeeter. It all looks good.

  17. I am so happy it is turning around for you. It always amazes me how he garden perks up after a rain. Even though you water it, it is just not the same as a really good rain soaking.

  18. Anonymous, tomorrow is mowing day here so Come on down! LOL, The kiddos growing webbed feet and hands yet? I bet they are having a blast this summer in the pool. I still wish I had one...

    Weatherman promises rain for Friday and he said Good Rain! Yipee..I am going to continue my rain dance just in case....

    Lola, I think Blogger was having some issues today. You were not the only one missing pictures. Hopefully they have it all worked out now… Glad you finally saw Tina’s cabbage. Looked really good to me and wish I had a bite of it but it is long gone... The tiny cucumber in the picture is really big now and should be ready to eat in a few days. Maybe after that rain fall… We had fresh Georgia peaches tonight. Yum....

  19. Well Hello Eve, I almost missed you as we were commenting about the same time. I wondered why the thing did not take my words the first time. .LOL...

    I do think that the rain provides something tap water cannot. No chemicals for one. LOl...

  20. Hi Tina-Wow! The garlic looks amazing, and there's so many of them! How are you going to eat them all?

    I love the purple cabbage. I can definitely see the delicious potential. Coleslaw anyone?

    Hi Skeeter! Thanks for the mention in the post! Your plums do look delicious. I'm sorry to hear they were a little tart, but small is always delicious. Our plums were on the small size, but very juicy and there was no hint of tartness.

    Congrats on your in ground garden. It looks pretty nice.

    I agree with you on the water sprinkler system. I think our slow growth in the garden had to do with the lack of water. The sprinkler does help all the veggies, and they love it. It's also easier on me because I know the veggies are watered every day!

    I can't wait to hear how your eggplants taste!

  21. Tina- It looks like your gourds are enjoying you A frames as well as my clematis like my arbor. I could use some fresh garlic, Cheesehead loves garlic bread. Those veggies look yummy!

    Skeeter- Yay for rain. I sure can help perk up a garden, can't it? I'm glad to see your plants taking off. I expect to see plenty of veggie dishes over at your place!

  22. I agree Skeeter. We would like to see all those veggies. You sure will enjoy them.
    What color are your plums? I had some in N.C. that were purple, slightly elongated. The tree came from Ala. I found out it was a prune plum. Only time I have ever seen one. Make delicious jam.

    Hello All---hope all are having a lovely night.

  23. Cinj,
    we hope to have lots of yummy meals with our garden goodies...

    The plums were purple at first then a purple-red color. Sweet beyond the skin but once to the center near the pit, too tart as was the skin...

  24. Skeeter, Sounds as tho you have the same kind of plum we had in N.C. Good to eat but better to make jams & jelly.