Monday, July 21, 2014

The Promise of Future Harvests

As we slowly approach the end of July, the kitchen garden is bursting with growth and the promise of future harvests.

I think this is one of my favorite times of the growing season. The plants are getting really large, but they are still growing and there is a lot of the season left ahead. As you can see the three varieties of Winter Squash have now grown together, but there is still room to walk between they and the onions. I know that in a few more weeks it will be nearly impossible to make that same walk. 

Here is an immature female "Queensland Blue" squash. I hand pollinated the bloom yesterday, so I am hopeful that this squash will soon begin to swell and then fully develop.

An even more immature "Butternut" squash. This bloom is still a week or more away from opening. I am excited though because this is the first female bloom that I have found on my two plants. The "Butternut" squash are the farthest behind of all of the Winter Squash that I am growing this year.

Leading the pack is my "Delicata" plant. I think it has already set 5 squash and has many, many more with blooms yet to open. It's looking to be a very good "Delicata" year.

Once again my peppers seem to be struggling. This "Creme Brulee" plant has only set one pepper so far and it is a little damaged. 

At least this "Lunchbox Yellow" sweet pepper seems to be doing a bit better. It has four small peppers set and has many flowers yet to open.

The "Frontier" onion bulbs are sizing up nicely. I have been working hard to keep them well watered during all of this hot, dry weather.

The "Camelot" shallots are ready to start pulling and eating.

The "Red Russian" Kale continues to grow well despite the heat of the last month. I am still smitten with its grey-green leaves and pink veining. 

It appears that my rookie year of growing watermelon is also going well. I have five marble sized watermelon on my  four "Early Moonbeam" plants. It looks like my hand pollination has worked and that all of the melon have taken. They even have pretty green stripes at this baby stage.

All five tomato plants have now begun to set fruit. Here is a nice tress on the "Black Plum" plant.

 The "Bumblebee" cherry tomatoes are already showing signs of "bumblebee stripes" even at this early, green stage.

A truss of "Indigo" Amethyst Jewel Cherry tomatoes.

So far the "Bloody Butcher" tomato is the only plant to have ripen any fruit. It isn't producing a ton, but it certainly is early. And pictured below, three green "Moonglow" tomatoes. I think that they are going to be the biggest tomatoes that I harvest this year.


Margaret said...

Your garden is looking lovely. This is the time in the garden season that I enjoy the most as well. The Bloody Butcher tomato was the first to ripen for me too - although we have only gotten one so far, with another couple to pick today or tomorrow. This is the first time I've grown the Camelot shallots - they are huge, although I think yours look quite a bit bigger than mine. To me, they seem to be more the size of onions than of typical shallots.

Mindy said...

Hand pollination?! You need to come to my 'hood and teach me the ways of the homegrown food world. Free perennial starts in trade. :o)

Soooo, the watermelons. Okay, so I planted mine, what, a week or two behind you? I put two in the ground in two different locations. I gave one to my sister, who probably got hers in the ground a little less than a week behind me. Yours has fruit coming. I have ONE that is just barely starting to vine. The other one is still just sitting there. My sister's is four feet in both directions with solid flowers. What the heck?!?!? Hers is right next to a lemon cucumber that I gave her at the same time. Her cucumber is doing NOTHING and we've been eating off ours. I swear, I can't keep up. If I knew all the secrets behind gardening, I'd be RICH.

By the way, I pulled two buds off one of my new dahlias today. It hurt. It really, really hurt. My one year old's two sets of threes already had swollen buds, so I couldn't do it. I haven't been to the front yard yet to see what sort of damage I could do out there, though.