Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Night Photos: 2009 Garden Update #6 (It's happy time in the garden!)

Green Zebra TomatoesIt's been nearly a month since I posted my last garden update, and truly this entire gardening season my mind has been on other things. But happily the plants have mostly thrived (even after a few sprinkling system mishaps) and now it's happy time when the garden is producing gorgeous produce. Above is my new favorite Green Zebra tomato, and I featured this plant last time too, but I couldn't resist showing how they're producing big clumps of tomatoes. I love the flavor of this tomato, and it's one I'll be growing every year from now on.

My other favorite tomato is this heirloom Brandywine, which got seriously miffed when I decided to add a path to the house renovation project, and it had to be uprooted and planted in a new spot in the garden. I wasn't sure it would survive, but now it's finally getting some tomatoes, and I've even had a few ripe ones. Brandywines are a very flavorful pink or purple fleshed tomato, and they can get as big as a pound, so they're great for tomato sandwiches where one slice can cover the bread.

I've had an amazing crop of spaghetti squash this year, and I have a couple of them on my counter letting the skins harden for winter. If you're growing spaghetti squash, be sure to pick a few when they're very small and cook the spaghetti squash as a summer squash. They're delicious both young or old.

This is my first year growing purple cabbage, and I cheated and bought them as young seedlings, but I'm having fun watching them grow. Something is eating the lower leaves, but the cabbage doesn't seem worried, and it's starting to form a head.

I have Japanese Eggplant this year, and also these Black Beauty Eggplants. I've picked a few of the long, skinny Japanese ones, but these are still too small. I'm looking forward to having Spicy Grilled Eggplant soon.

This is the glorious patch of basil that I mostly planted from seed. I've trimmed it twice, (once when I made Pistou,) and it's ready for another trim. If you haven't tried growing basil from seeds, I highly recommend it!

I moved these chives into my herb bed, and now the chives are getting a few flowers, so I guess they've adapted to their new home. Chives are a plant I didn't appreciate for a long time, but the last few years, I've been using them a lot.

I also have a huge abundance of tarragon again (at the end of this herb bed) even though I vigorously trimmed the tarragon about 6 weeks ago. (Friends who live nearby, come and get some herbs!)

In one of those gardening mysteries, the type of squash I love most (center) is the very smallest plant. Not sure why the 8-Ball Zucchini is so much smaller than the yellow squash or the ordinary zucchini plant, but I have been trying to nurture it.

All is not lost though, because I do have a few 8-Ball Zucchini coming every day or so. When the weather gets a bit cooler, I love to use these to make Stuffed Zucchini.

Last but not least, there is an abundant crop of tomatillos on the volunteer plants that came up where I planted tomatillos last year. I pulled out at least 20 plants, and I've also vigorously trimmed the ones that were left (because they were shading the cucumbers) but the tomatillos are continuing to produce!

(Links to websites selling plants are merely for information about the type of plant, and are not meant to be an endorsement of any particular site or purveyor. You can see the other garden updates for this year by using the label 2009 Garden Updates.)

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18 comments:

  1. Your garden looks beautiful. We spent a lot of time with my parents in their garden last week in GA. There's something so gratifying about eating things you grow yourself and having veggies garden to table.

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  2. Your garden is fantastic! I planted zebras for the first time this year. Can't wait to harvest, I think they are getting ready. Not quite as striated in coloring as yours are yet. Happy summer!

    Lu

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  3. Zebra tomato? I learn something new everyday!

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  4. Don't look for me in your garden at midnight...you just might be missing a few veggies.
    Could you please show us what the striped tomatos look like when you slice one? They look very interesting.

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  5. You sure know how to produce produce photos that are great ;)

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  6. Nithya, I agree completely. I love having a garden.

    Lu, you are going to love the Green Zebras. You can kind of tell by the feel when they're getting close to ready too. I notice that some don't get as yellow, but they're ripe.

    Elenka, this is a great tomato! (Don't confuse with a tomato called Striped Zebra, which I tried once and wasn't wowed by.)

    Micki, great idea. I'm using them in a salad today and I'll make sure there's a photo of the cut tomato.

    Chris, thanks. I've been not quite satisfied with my garden photos this year, so this time I used a different lens (Canon 50mm 1.8) and a lower apperture setting. I did like these photos much better than the ones I'd been taking with the zoom lens. They were taken fairly early in the morning when there was just a hint of sunlight showing in a few shots too. I don't consider myself to be anything more than an amateur photographer, but I'm trying to learn all the time!

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  7. That is one determined garden, to have thrived despite all of the construction! I love the bed of basil. And I'm going to give my own tarragon a pep talk; it has not done well with all of the rain we had early in the season.

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  8. Kalyn - Your garden is stunning! The only thing that did really well here was the zucchini. The cabbage moths decimated the Brussels sprouts and we have been hit by late blight which ruined so many tomatoes. I did my herbs in Mayan mounds and they don't begin to compare to your basil. Next year it's in the ground for them! Thanks for the inspiration! On to a fall garden!

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  9. Kayln,
    The vegetables look splendid! Living in NC it is so hot that I can only go outside in the evening. I am not much of a gardener, but I so admire your vegies.
    I have tried planting herbs, and adding soil to a place in our garden (as it is such a sandy soil here.) The Rosemary I planted never did surivive.
    Any suggestions ?

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  10. carole with an "e" in NYCAugust 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    This is one seriously jealous New Yorker. I have one little tomato plant. You are one lucky blogger. Looks great.

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  11. Kalyn, everything looks beautiful! I am so jealous. I've never gardened in my life, but I still have plenty of time to learn and I am hoping to read up on it this fall and winter so I'm ready to go in the spring. I saw some striped tomatoes just like those at the farmers market today - I think since you like them so much I'll have to try them next time!

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  12. What a gorgeous garden! I have a few tomatoes this year (after 2 years with none) but they are a bit pathetic. I planted the yellow Ananas which are delicious, and a yellow zebra.... such fun!

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  13. Lydia, I'm glad the garden was so determined! I did wonder for a while there.

    Cindy, I think the enriched soil in my boxes helps the herbs to prosper. I love having raised beds, but when I used to just grow things in dirt, I was a fan of a product called soil pep. I would get that tilled in to my soil every other year. Really looking forward to doing some fall gardening here too.

    Leamless, see the answer to Cindy above. I think soil and sun are the two most essential elements for growing a garden.

    CC, isn't it great! And I was feeling bad I never got around to planting any!

    Carole, there are nice things about living in New York too! I'm jealous of those things.

    Cara, gardening is so fun! If you have space do try it. There's a lot of information online, but I'm partial to the Sunset magazine gardening books (I buy it at Costco, new one every few years.)

    Katie glad you're getting at least a few tomatoes. I don't have nearly as many as other years either. Never tried Ananas tomatoes, very curious.

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  14. Delicious pictures! I will definitely have to try planting zebra tomatoes next year.

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  15. I am so jealous of your tomatillos, mine are doing nothing!

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  16. such a wonderful garden, i like gardening too, it's really nice and healthful to eat vegetable especially when it's is organic.thanks for sharing your garden.

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  17. i love your garden, it is very relaxing to see it and very healthful to eat, i hope you could post more photos.thanks

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