Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Tomatoes, Veggies, and Purslane! (2011 Garden Update #7)

Herbs and vegetables are flourishing in the garden, and it's a good thing I love purslane!

The farther we get into summer, the more I am loving my new garden system of drip sprinklers and raised beds surrounded by cloth/gravel for weed control.  Actually, the system may be working a little too well, because it's turning me into a lazy gardener, now that I don't have to do much weeding at all to keep the weeds in control.  Last weekend I was in San Diego (attending BlogHer11, where I'm sorry to report I didn't take many photos) and when I got home the garden had exploded with produce, even though I had people pick things when I was gone.  I love this time of year when my biggest worry is what to make next with my garden produce, and I don't even mind the weeds when they're a tasty edible weed like Purslane, shown above growing next to my rosemary.  (If you have purslane growing in your garden, I recommend eating it in a salad.)

I've still only had a few ripe tomatoes, but my plants are loaded and I finally had my first ripe Green Zebra tomato.  When I got back from San Diego I trimmed all the tomato plants so they'd start to ripen, and this photo shows how many tomatoes are on the Green Zebra plant closest to the steps.  (If you're new to the blog, I've been raving about Green Zebra tomatoes for the last few years, and they're definitely still one of my favorite tomatoes for flavor.)

And here's a side view of the three Green Zebra plants growing along my deck, just so you can see how many Green Zebra tomatoes I'll have once they start to ripen!

I always plant Celebrity Tomatoes, which are a medium-sized hybrid tomato that grows well in Utah, and although my Celebrity plants aren't huge, they are loaded with tomatoes and starting to ripen.

The other Celebrity plant has some of that blight that causes the lower leaves to turn yellow (I need to cut those branches off and throw them away!)  Luckily though the plant is still producing plenty of tomatoes.

And these two little guys peeking out (next to the tomato sign I got from Chris) are Big Red Cherry Tomatoes, an heirloom variety with good flavor.  I've had several handfuls of ripe ones, and many more to come.

I mentioned this in the last garden update, but just for any tomato gardeners who weren't paying attention, I credit this organic tomato fertilizer for the abundance of tomatoes on my plants.  I bought it at Home Depot, but if you can't find it where you live you can buy Mater Magic at Amazon.com.  I'm so glad I discovered this and plan to use it every year on my tomatoes.  (Full disclosure, if anyone follows that link and buys it at Amazon.com, Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar, so thanks!)

They're growing in a spot where they are almost completely overgrown by cucumber plants, but my Japanese Eggplants are finally starting to get big enough to use.  I love these for grilling because they skin is thin enough to eat.  (If you think you're not an eggplant fan, please try my Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint.  I think that could make an eggplant lover out of almost anyone!)

I'm thrilled with the onions I planted from starts grown by my brother-in-law Clayton!  I think they're ready to use but I still have store-bought onions in my basket so I'm letting them go a bit longer.

The garden is still producing an abundance of straightneck yellow squash, 8-Ball Zucchini, and Zucchini.  I've made Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake several times and am going to experiment with more summer squash recipes next week!

The Swiss Chard has bounced back, after I had to replant seeds when the quail ate it again this year!  If you look closely you can see it's happily growing under the garden netting I learned about last year.

And finally, if you look at the Dark Green Kale and Red Russian Kale, you can see why I've been making dishes like Kale and Feta Breakfast Casserole and Pasta with Hot Italian Sausage, Kale, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes!  I'm cutting kale leaves about every other day and the plants are producing them just as quickly! 

You can see more updates on my garden from earlier this year and other years by using the tab GARDENING at the top of the blog.  If you're a gardener, how well are things growing at your house?  Let us know in the comments about what kinds of goodies you've been enjoying from your garden. 

Blogger Disclosure:  
I purchased the Mater Magic shown in this post myself, and the company has no idea I'm writing about their product.  Any links in this post to sites selling seeds or plants are only to illustrate what type of plant it is, and not necessarily and endorsement of that site.
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27 comments:

  1. I am so not a gardener and am in awe of you and yours

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  2. WOW... This is my first year as a gardener... i have an 8X4 plot and a few containers. Sadly, I had to plant late this year (long frustrating story), but my herbs are going great... My peppers really great, my cherry and grape tomatoes are way above average and my tomatoes are NOTHING.

    So, off to home depot. Hope it's not to late

    Dave

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  3. I relieved to see that your plants are loaded with tomatoes that haven't ripened yet. Mine are, too, and I was beginning to wonder if I just had "slow" tomatoes! As usual, everything in your garden looks so lush!

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  4. Maris, I'm betting that someday you'll have a garden! I didn't start until I had my own house.

    Dave, hope the Mater Magic will help!

    Lydia, it seems that once they start to ripe it comes quickly but it's hard to wait! I am craving a tomato sandwich big time!

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  5. Your garden looks amazing. When did you plant your kale? I have never grown it, want to start, but I thought it was a cool weather plant.

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  6. Your garden looks fantastic Kalyn! I'm envious!!

    Bruno

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  7. I am in awe of your garden! If/When I can get another house with a backyard I can mess with, I will be calling you for sure. Love the sign! :)

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  8. Kalyn, I'd say your new system is working and splendidly! Wow, everything looks so amazingly green and healthy. I think I did spy some purslane, but not in my yard ... in a neighbor's. ;-) I'm going to tell all my tomato-growing friends about that Mater Magic. :-)

    Shirley

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  9. Debbie, I planted this kale in late May in between rainstorms here! I think you can plant now for a fall crop though. I find it's very easy to grow.

    Thanks Bruno!

    Chris, I hope you do get a garden to plan in soon.

    Shirley, purslane is really abundant here. Hope your tomato-growing friends have as much success with the Mater Magic as I have!

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  10. I loved this! You have such a green thumb -- puts my pots to shame. I do remember the "mater" fertilizer which I'll need to try next year, and the size of your kale has me thinking about planting something that will grow late season in my extra pot. Great inspiration :)

    You're so lucky BlogHer was last weekend. We've been socked in every day since -- super grey, heavy skies. I've even needed to put on a sweater.

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  11. Kelly, I am really loving my garden kale (wish I could give you some!) I"m glad I missed the cloudy weather. We have enough of that in Utah!

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  12. Here in East Central Illinois we've only had 1/2" of rain in the last five weeks: third bad year in a row for my tomatoes, but clearly worse for the farmers. But I have to laugh about someone actually planting purslane, it grows abundantly in the cracks in our driveway! (I did try it a few years back, did not care for it, myself.)

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  13. Paggasus, sorry to hear about the drought. I didn't plant the Purslane, it just shows up every year!

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  14. Love seeing the photos of your garden every week. I'm not too far from you at the northern end of South Jordan. Question for you about cutting back the tomatoes - are you mainly referring to topping them? Wasn't sure if that or cutting out suckers? Found my Mater Magic last weekend at Hope Depot and going to give them more today. Thanks for all your help...

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  15. Oh, wonderful and whenever I see photos of people's gardens and the bounty of vegetables and fruits that come out of the love and care I get more excited at my husband's talk of buying a house with land for a garden!

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  16. Maureen, here's a post about how I trim my tomatoes. There is a link to a good article at Fine gardening in that post too. Hope the trimming and Mater Magic will help you get lots of tomatoes.

    Jamie, you will love having a garden!

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  17. Maureen, forgot to say that my sister lives in South Jordan!

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  18. Kalyn, we have an acre and a nice big veggie garden. Summers are fun here even though busy outside.

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  19. Maureen, that sounds nice. My sister in South Jordan is the one whose husband grows things in his greenhouse for me!

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  20. You must have a green thumb... I don't. I go to Farmer's Market...lol
    Debbie

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  21. Debbie I guess I do have kind of a green thumb, plus I've been gardening for about 30 years so I've learned a lot!

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  22. wow, what a lovely garden. Beautiful pictures. I am only growing tomatoes this year, but I struggle with these squirrels and rabbits, putting a fence around my plants is not helping as it seems they are climbing it :(

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  23. Priya, so sorry. That would make me so mad.

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  24. I would LOVE to come and see your garden sometime. Mine needs some major help.

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  25. Becky, I would love that. This week I am cleaning out my dad's house. Want to come for lunch next week? I will e-mail you.

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  26. Your garden looks really great!I can't wait for my tomatoes to ripe too... they're all green and here and there a little red smudge on some of them!

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