Sunday, June 01, 2008

Plants are Flowering: 2008 Garden Update #5

tomatillo plant
Hooray for summer vacation! I can still vividly remember as a young student teacher how shocked I was when a veteran teacher said to me, "The three best things about teaching are June, July, and August!" That's rather a jaded view, but there's no doubt having nearly three months off each summer is a wonderful way to recharge your batteries, and when it's finally summer I love having time to putter in the garden. Lots of plants are starting to make flowers, (like the tomatillo pictured above) which has me anticipating the vegetables soon to come.


Some of the leaves on my pepper plants are showing the effects of recent storms, but the plant is still happily producing flowers in spite of the bruises!

My favorite 8-ball zucchini (round shaped zucchini) has a few flowers peeking out. I love using this shape to make Grilled Zucchini. Something is eating the leaves on this, and also on my eggplants.

A new herb I'm really enjoying is this Italian Oregano. It has smaller leaves and a bit milder flavor than either Greek or Mexican oregano.

I need to start using parsley like crazy. (Too much parsley is what my mother used to call "a good problem to have.")

The herb I've snipped the most so far would definitely be tarragon. I couldn't resist planting several plants, even though by the end of the summer this will be growing over the edge of the box.

I've never grown fennel before, but I'm pretty sure that new dark-green growth you can see in the center must be a good sign!

I have two recipes already already that I'm planning to try with fresh dill, which was something I forgot to plant last year. I think dill drops the seeds, so this spot by the fence will probably be a good place to keep it coming back.

The basil I planted from seeds is up and I've even moved a few clumps around to make a patch of maybe 40 basil plants if they all survive.

I was starting to wonder whether the green onions would ever come up, especially since I planted old seeds that had been left from a few years ago, but a few onions shoots are starting to appear.

I'm enjoying my first experience growing lots of things from seed, and everything is coming along. Thanks to Farmgirl Susan for the thinning consultation by e-mail!

You can tell that within a few weeks I'll be eating French Breakfast Radishes. I also planted Watermelon Radishes, but they're not this far along.

After the big frost killed lots of my first batch of tomatoes, I ended up with two of these heirloom tomato plants called Mr. Stripey. Anyone have experience growing these, and how did you like them?

The Roma tomatoes all survived the frost and they've produced a lot of new green leaves since the last update a few weeks ago.

Finally, this is my all-time favorite Celebrity tomato, which has the most flowers of any of the 11 tomato plants I have growing along my fence. This is a medium-sized tomato which grows really well in Utah.

Next Sunday I'll be out of town, so by the time I post another garden update in two weeks, there may be a few baby tomatoes or veggies starting to appear. You can see the progress of my garden by clicking the label 2008 Garden Updates.
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15 comments:

  1. Colour me jealous. So far all I have in my garden are sprouts and weeds. It's hard to be a snow bird!

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  2. I love your garden updates! The radish looks so good peeking out from the soil!

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  3. oooo, I'm excited, I picked up a Mr. Stripey as well. I haven't grown them before, but the name intrigued me. I can tell you from experience that tomatillo are rather like tomato plants and you make get lots of 'volunteers' next year if you leave a few tomatillo on the vine at the end of the season.
    Here in zone 6, my fennel will reseed and come back every year as well.
    Good luck!

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  4. Dana, I do feel lucky to have so much garden space with a very sunny yard!

    Pam, thanks. I can't wait to have radishes, I love them.

    Jo, I have grown tomatillos before and loved them. I didn't remember about the volunteers though, thanks. I will keep my fingers crossed that the fennel will re-seed here too because I'm in zone 6b.

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  5. Wow, your garden looks amazing already! I am so jealous! I love all the herbs you have!! SO FUN!

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  6. we planted a mr stripey last year. it grew to be very good sized but never produced a single tomato. the grape tomato plants on the one side of it did really well but the yellow pear tomato plant on the other size didnt produce fruit at all eiether. hope you have better luck!!

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  7. Maria, stop by and I will give you some herbs.

    Porter Family, Yikes. That must have been a drag. I ran outside to look at my plants, and one has a flower so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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  8. Mr Stripeys are a great tasting tomato.

    I am so jealous because I looked for romas again this year and have so far missed out. And the tomatillos..something I have never tried.

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  9. wow wow wow I am in awe of your beautiful, flourishing garden XD

    Question about the dill:: I just bought a small pot and it's doing badly (looks droopy). The instructions say to keep it away from sunlight with occasional watering. But I see that your dill is out in the open with direct sun? Could the lack of sunlight be the reason why mine looks so droopy? Thanks :)

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  10. Your garden looks great! We don't have that much space set aside this year...hopefully next year.

    We grow a Mr. Stripey just for Michael every year because he loves them. We've always gotten lots of fruit.

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  11. I am happy to get some better reviews on the Mr. Stripeys, especially since I have two of them.

    Noobcook, I don't know of any type of herbs that don't like a lot of light, so that might be it. My dill is actually by a fence that shades it in the morning, but it gets sun at least 10 hours a day! You could try moving it into the sun and see what happens.

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  12. Ok, thank you very much for your advice Kalyn, I really appreciate it :)

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  13. WOW! I'm madly jealous. One day when we are no longer in rented accommodation (dreamy dreams) and I have some control over my garden, I want a proper veggie patch too. Currently we only have a limited space for containers, and being flowery kinda girl, there is always competition for space between edibles and non-edibles. Also, our garden seems to be the home for all the blackfly and greenfly in England, so the plants often get overwhelmed. Do you have any tips as to how to deal with these creepies in a way that won't kill us when we eat the produce?

    That said, I have three healthy little butternut sqash plants as well as a couple of teensy tomato plants grown from seed, so if we can get past the pesky pests, we may have a harvest!

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  14. Jeanne, I like to say this is the yin and yang of living in Salt Lake. It's cold in the winter, but housing prices are low enough that you can have a big yard. I'm afraid I've never heard of blackfly or greenfly, but I do know that spraying soapy water on the plants is a good way to discourage pests. Just mix a bit of organic dishwashing liquid with water, put in a spray bottle and spray right on the plant. Utah is very dry and there aren't too many garden pests here compared to some places. I do fight against the snails though.

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  15. oh, how lovely! I love seeing other people's gardens, thanks so much for the updates.

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