Posts Tagged ‘cucumbers’

Stuck in the middle with no place to grow

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Although I love my volunteers, in this case, I think maybe I should (gasp!) pull a few tomato plants. Can you even tell in the middle of the photo above that there are cucumber plants growing there? If I didn’t know it, I wouldn’t be able to see them. Of course, if some of my green tomatoes would turn red, it would make the decision much easier!

It’s a jungle out there

The tomatoes are finally starting to produce enough so that I have more than I can eat. Which is OK with me because the opposite of that means I’d still be waiting, wanting and possibly weeping.

All my plants have produced at least one red tomato and most, especially the smaller ones, have yielded many. It’s ironic (at least to me) that the Early Girl plant didn’t really start any earlier than the Better Boy or Celebrity plants. All seem to be ripening about the same. The Beefmaster tomatoes are ripening a bit slower, but my gosh are they big! Continue reading

July 31: Saying goodbye to July

At the beginning of July, I made a promise to myself that I’d pay more attention to the garden. June had been a less-than-stellar month in terms of my caretaker responsibilities, and I knew that I needed to kick it into high gear if I was to get any “booyah” out of the garden.

Given the extreme heat we had all month and the lack of rain during the last half of June and first half of July, my garden needed all the help it could get. Early on in July, I enjoyed the heat and the way it helped the garden grow with the help of my sprinkler. By the second week of July, the heat got to be pretty overbearing on everyone and everything. Watering the garden helped, but it was clear it couldn’t replace the real thing.
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July 23: Beans frozen and tomatoes waterlogged

It’s 95 outside and my beans are frozen. OK, it’s 8 p.m. and not 95 (or 99) anymore, but nevertheless, it’s still hot outside. And I’m tired, so this is going to be a short post tonight.

Despite the heat, I knew I had to pick the beans and cukes again today or suffer strings and seeds. It actually didn’t seem that bad, although I only spent about a half-hour in the garden. Continue reading

July 22: The philosopy of weeding – or not

Spent about an hour and a half in the garden this morning, mostly weeding the lettuce, onions, carrots and flowers that ring the garden. I decided to start early (about 7 a.m.) because of the high humidity, but it didn’t matter all that much. It didn’t take long before I was drenched in sweat and so hot that my glasses kept steaming up on me.

I had a two-fold reason for weeding, the first being that I wanted to cut the lettuce and didn’t want to have to pick out the grass when I washed it later. Continue reading

July 20-21: Vines hiding all the good cucumbers

Note for next year’s garden: Remember to thin the cucumbers.

That they are so thick may be one of the reasons some of the cukes are getting bigger than I’d like them to. It’s difficult to see the cukes when they’re small — even when I turn over the vines and think I search really good, I miss a few.

By the time I do see them, they’re what we called “slicers” on the farm. They’re big and seedy, and don’t taste very good sliced and raw. If you pick cucumbers for money (like I did as a kid), you also learn quickly that the smaller the cuke, the more money it’s worth. Slicers brought in very little money. And Mom always knew that if there were a lot of slicers we weren’t doing our job searching for all the cukes under the vines.
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July 18: Fresh beans for supper

Surprised I even got in the garden to pick beans and cucumbers today after getting almost 3 inches of rain Tuesday afternoon and overnight. The garden is now completely drenched.

Everything seemed to come alive with the outpouring from the skies. Mother Nature is so much more nourishing than what my sprinkler doles out! I staked a few of the cosmos that were still leaning this morning, but by mid-afternoon the beans and potatoes bounced back from being batted around by the rain and wind.

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Summer officially has begun — the race to fresh veggies is on

I always feel a certain sense of satisfaction when my garden is finally planted. And so it is. I spent the last two evenings first tilling under the weeds that had grown since the first go-round in April, then planting several more rows of peas, lettuce (photo below) and onions, plus beans, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower and potatoes.

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And, of course, I planted tomatoes. I am thrilled to say I broke my pattern of buying the biggest
tomatoes I could find in order to get ripe ones by early July. For those of you counting, that’s the third thing I pledged to do differently this year — the others being not tilling and planting everything in an eight-hour period and planting a few early crops.

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Summer 2011, what didn’t work: No love for zucchini here

Actually, it wasn’t that the zucchini didn’t do well in the garden last summer. It did way, way, way too well! I’ve heard others say that it just keeps giving and giving, and it did. Once again — like my neighbor’s advice that corn wouldn’t grow in my garden — I didn’t listen. Plus, it turned out no one in the family really liked it. Couldn’t give it away either. Won’t. Plant. It. Again. Ever.
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