Monday, July 20, 2009

Veggie Garden Update-July 09

Skeeter's Veggie Garden Update:

We were away from our Georgia Garden for a few days. We had a surprise waiting for us when we returned! Red Roma Tomatoes! You can see a small purple onion as well. The onions were planted too late so they are not really doing what an onion should do, which is grow!

Where the Onions are lacking, the tomatoes are putting smiles on our faces with their plentiful bounty! I can taste the fresh spaghetti sauce as I type. Yum...
The Purple Tomato (which Dan from the Urban Veggie Garden passed along to me as seed) is still growing strong but not producing any fruit as of yet.

I see blooms but no purple tomatoes. Maybe soon, I say with fingers crossed.
The hot pepper plants are producing for us as well. Maybe some Pico de Gallo will be made from some tomatoes and these peppers. Click Here for the Recipe.
The sweet bell peppers are coming along nicely for us. Ah, another ingredient for the spaghetti sauce!

And of course fresh Basil will go into the sauce also. Yum, I can taste the spaghetti sauce now!

I put some of the puny potted veggies into the ground and they seem to be doing well thus far. No rain again just as last year. We have gone from soggy ground, to late planting with drier conditions to now a dry yard again. I just cannot win for loosing with this area of the garden. No more attempts as we are giving up after this go at it. But no big deal as we are enjoying the tomatoes, peppers and herbs and plan to continue to grow them each year!

Now lets see what Tina has going on in her Tennessee Garden...

Tina's Veggie Garden Update:

July's vegetable garden is doing quite well. The disappointments of May and June are behind us now that we have the summer garden in and growing full force. I was very late this year in planting the summer garden but I think it will work out for the best. My vegetable garden is quite small. It is shaped like a shield and the dimensions measure approximately 25' by 18'. I have six beds I use for vegetables, and one circular bed that contains bananas and a few herbs or the occasional vegetable. My slow down in getting the summer garden in was getting the winter garden out. I have finally done this now with the exception of Brussels sprouts; which are still growing in the garden under the watermelon vines. The shade will actually help the cool weather Brussels sprouts to last longer so not to worry. We've really enjoyed yellow squash. I've cooked it up with kiebalsa and just plain. It has been delicious! Unfortunately, squash vine borers got to both plants. One plant died and had to be removed. The other one is still trucking along. I slit the stem open and removed the young borers. Once they were disposed of, I then taped up the stem and added some Sevin in order to protect it from further damage. So far so good, knock on wood.The watermelons are doing great. My daughter actually identified this watermelon for me. I usually do not plant vining crops like watermelons and pumpkins because they take up so much room, but must've gotten weak this year and dropped in a few seeds. Oh well, we'll enjoy the watermelon once it ripens.

We've had several tomatoes ripen. I enjoy the yellow varieties of tomatoes so I planted a yellow Brandywine. It was the first full sized tomato that ripened this year. Christine and the Jimster did not eat it, but Mr. Fix-it and I enjoyed it very much. Christy says she does not like yellow tomatoes but they are my favorite! We've picked grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, but they just aren't the same as the big ones. I made a mistake in not planting enough tomatoes this year. I thought 3 tomato plants and one cherry tomato plant would be enough for us. I have been sadly mistaken and had to add another tomato plant. It seems I either grow too many tomatoes, or too few. There is never a happy medium. Anyone else have that problem?

Also growing in the vegetable garden are: stevia, catnip, green peppers, basil, zucchini (these were just planted this month), green beans (just planted), and cucumbers (only recently planted). While the cukes, zucchini, and beans are quite small, they will have plenty of time to ripen before cold weather sets in and I think planting late may just help avoid all the pesky insects. We shall see. The above picture is a long shot of the vegetable garden as seen from our deck. There is a perennial garden on this side (northern side of the veggies) of the garden. It is a new garden and about the only spot that gets decent sun. If you look past that garden you'll see the A-frame with the watermelon twining on it, the bananas, and part of the trellis I am using for beans. More on that later. This stage of the veggie garden is just right. The plants are well defined yet lush, and there is room to move around in the garden easily. Next month it will not be the same at all.

The really great thing with this vegetable garden is that because it is so full, the plants themselves help to shade the soil. I've only watered one time this season so far. All of the beds are mulched with newspaper and straw. I basically walk through to pick the vegetables and pull the occasional errant weed. You would not believe how many weeds can come up through the bricks in the paths! Urgh! Anyhow, that's it for my Tennessee vegetable garden. I hope yours is growing well!

If anyone has a veggie garden post I will be happy to post it on my sidebar. If you do not wish me to do so, please let me know ahead of time.

in the garden....


  1. Good morning to both of you! What wonderful harvests you have Skeeter! Tina looks like yours is coming along great!! I tried Brussel Sprouts one year and it didn't do well. Never went back to them. Had a hookworm on the cherry tomato plant on the deck. Finally found him and plucked him off! I have only had one red cherry tomato and have lost 4 large still green tomatoes. Hope the farmer's market has a good supply!

  2. Beautiful gardens and I think a wonderful harvest......our veggie gardens stink again this year...We have 'grand' plans to try again though. So, now I want spaghetti for breakfast!

  3. Skeeter, your tomatoes look great! The fruits are so big and the plants look SO healthy!

    Tina, WOW! Your bananas are huge! Congrats on watering only once! I still haven't fully mulched the garden. Laziness got the better of me! Aren't those yellow squash delicious! We had fried squash with spaghetti last night. Delicious! So sweet and much better texture than store bought! MMM!

  4. The veggie updates are so fun! I had three zucchini waiting for me when I returned from a trip to CO. I also have a few tiny tomatoes, but the majority are still blossoms, as are my hot peppers. My green peppers and eggplant don't even have blossoms. Garlic and onions looking good, but not ready for harvest.

  5. Skeeter, your veggies look delicious! I'm so envious of the ripe tomatoes--mine won't ripen for awhile yet. I know vegetable gardens can be a challenge each year, depending on the weather and the pests. Last year I lost all my late tomatoes to a fungus. I hope you won't give up completely; maybe just a small garden next year?

    Tina, sorry about your squash plants. My yellow squash didn't even come up, but the zucchini is doing fine, also planted late. That watermelon is looking good! Watermelon don't do well here, but my Dad has had some success by adding sand to an area of his garden. My vegetable garden is even smaller than yours, and now I know why I can't plant as many different veggies as you--my tomatoes take up all the room! I have about 20 plants:)

    I've posted an update of my garden today, too.

  6. I always plant lots of tomatoes. I bring some to work to share, give them to friends and relatives and took some to the food pantry last year. I didn't plant any Brandywine this year because they produce so few fruit--altho they do taste great.

    Skeeter, your Romas look good. I wish I'd planted a few green peppers this year.

  7. Good morning Skeeter & Tina. Skeeter, I envy your ripened Romas! Mine are still green but looking pretty good. Looks like inspite of Mother Nature everything is coming along nicely. Tina, that melon looks mighty tasty! I've tried growing melons in the past, but the amount of space required is difficult for me too. I love the yellow maters too, their so sweet. Thanks for adding my veggie post link to your sidebar! :)

  8. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing melon next year, I only did it because of hubby. They don't grow well up here especially with it being so cool lately, Strawberries sound better! Skeeter and Tina your beds looks great!

  9. Skeeter - Congratulations on growing such a beautiful Cherokee purple plant from seed! They take a while to produce fruit, over 80 days from transplant I believe. I am really surprised that I have one Cherokee purple ripening already, must be a fluke.

    Tina - You have such a beautiful veggie garden. The squash and watermelon look great. I just ordered seed for crookneck squash which I think that's what your squash is. It will be a very late planting but I am hoping they produce something before the October frosts. I really need to remember to do a full update on the 20th!

  10. Good morning Skeeter and Tina, both your veggie gardens seem to be doing very well in spite of the challenges, and the veggies (and fruits look delicious. I wish I had room for watermelons Tina!

    Trellising the squash has worked well for me in my tiny garden. Maybe next year I'll try a couple of watermelons or cantaloupes on a trellis too (after I appropriate more lawn from the side yard, hopefully this fall.) My mom trellises all her vining plants. I never used to trellis anything, but that was back when I had more space (and planted bush instead of pole beans.)

  11. Looking good girls!

    Skeeter your Romas are gorgeous - did you plan for a spaghetti sauce garden or did it just work out that way?! Cant wait to see your purple tomatoes, too.

    Tina, I'm so impressed that you went in after those squash vine borers and taped it up. Now that is determination! Everything looks beautiful. I'm curious about your experience with Stevia - what does it taste like? Does it have an aftertaste? What do you use it for?

    I hope to post a veggie garden update later this week.

  12. Everthing in both gardens look great. Wish I had a taste of your harvest Skeeter!! Be a while fefore I get a harvest. Well I have had lots of peas and radish and lettuce but I want tomatoes.

  13. Good Morning everyone! The veggies have been a challenge again this year but not a total bust. I am not sure if anything will come of the veggies in the veggie garden but the other stuff I incorporated into the flower garden is doing great. This is where we should have put the veggie garden in the first place but now too late as there are way too many bricks into the ground that I refuse to relocate! Anyway, we are happy with the success we have even though a small success....

    JGH, Nope, I did not plan a Spaghetti garden at all. It just worked out like that. lol. We love Roma's, peppers and herbs and those are our favorites...

    Tina, your bananas are looking great as usual! Our banana is really taking off in its new spot and I think it will be a great one such as yours in time now with its forever home! I envy the watermelon as it looks so yummy. The squirrels would surely ruin that one for us if we tried it. Looking good as always Tina even when you are late at planting, you make it work out....

  14. To have tomatoes already I just can't imagine! And the watermelon is great, I can't imagine growing one here. Tina, I'm very impressed that you performed surgery on your squash plant :) A borer-ectomy!
    I'm going to do my update tomorrow, I got mixed up on the date.

  15. How very wonderful, don't we just love when it is time to harvest.

    Pure Joy!

    LOLove Tyra

  16. Great looking gardens girls. Having bounty like that sure is good.
    My maters are finished till cooler weather. Ggs got a few pole beans & cukes. This vision situation sure is putting a cramp in my gardening. Maybe next yr.
    Hi Anonymous, Dawn, Jean & Nina.
    Anonymous I know those kiddos are staying busy. I like that.
    Dawn, I hope your garden does well even tho you had so much "water". Like us.
    Jean, You will have maters soon & they will be worth the wait.
    Nina I hope you have had time to garden & get some goodies also.

  17. Janet, The farmers market should have a great supply-I don't know how they make it look so easy. Bad ole squirrels!

    Darla, Spagetti for breakfast sounds pretty darned good!

    Lzyjo, You lazy? No, I don't believe it at all. You were doing other more important things. Your veggie garden looks great.

    Monica, It won't be long before the garlic and onions join those zucchinis. They taste great fried together too.

    Rose, You've done great with your garden! Yup, I think that is the problem with your garden-too many tomatoes. I usually have the same issue:)

    Marnie, Fresh tomatoes are most good. I should've planted more so I can give them away. There's always next year for sure.

    Racquel, You are welcomed! That yellow tomato made for a good sandwich for lunch.

    Dawn, Your beds look great! What an awesome job you all have done!

    Linda, Trellising sure does help with saving space. It's great you have a veggie garden! Now go get some of that lawn from the lawn man So you can have more veggies:)

    JGH, Yup, it was a borer-ectomy like Catherine said:) So far so good. The stevia is a pretty good plant. I will post on it one of these days. It is quite large with large leaves. I pick one and break it in half and suck at the juice. It is pretty sweet but not like you'd expect. A bit of a plant taste with it too, but overall ok. Most pick and crush the leaves then boil them to get a liquid sweetener. This is probably what I'll do. I may take cuttings for next year too as I find the stevia fun.

    Mom, Peas and radish are great! Did you get your new tomatoes in? And how are the potatoes doing? Before you know it you'll have fresh maters.

    Skeeter, Your veggies look great! I'm coming to your house for spagetti sauce one of these days:)

    Catherine, A new term! Borer-ectomy!:) That is exactly what it was too. So far so good-the plant is still pushing out squash. I love them and have don't know why I've never grown them before.

    Tyra, Harvesting sure makes all the work worthwhile. No doubt about it.

    Lola, Beans and cukes are good! I hope your vision clears up soon. The thing with gardening is that if you can't do it now, there is always next year or next month or even tomorrow. I love that-you never really miss an opportunity.

  18. those veggies are making my mouth water. cant wait till my tomatoes get goin!

  19. Tina,
    That pumpkin looks huge!
    WAy to grow!

  20. Hi Skeeter and Tina,
    I enjoyed reading about your vegetable gardens and looking at your photos. I have a couple stevia plants in a flower bed. I need to trim them, and I guess dry them.

    I posted an update on mine this evening. Please add my post to your sidebar if it's not too late. Thanks for doing this. I'll have to check out the other ones.