Vegetable Garden, June 27, 2011

I’m reviving an oldie but goodie.  I am always so amazed by how fast a garden will grow.  So I will do my best to take a picture every Monday and post it that night.

This is currently my Garden for 2011:

Tomatoes

Copia – slicing tomato named after the now defunct COPIA center in Napa.  Developed in their gardens (which were AWESOME!)

Juane Flamme – French orange fleshed globe tomato – tons of tomato flavor

Yellow San Marzano – this might be a new strain, from right here in Sacramento!  Let’s hope that out of the three that I planted that one stays true to the fruit!  They were gorgeous San Marzano tomatoes – just a bright yellow!  A little more acidic too- which I liked in sauce that I made with them last year.

Red Zebra – Oldie but a goodie heirloom

Hartman’s Gooseberry – Yellow cherry type tomato – good for eating right off of the plant

Beam’s Yellow Pear – Yellow pear type tomato – great for salads

Then I have my Ajicito Plants in the front purple pot (aka Aji Dulce, Cachucha Pepper) that I overwintered in my home, since they are so special to Puerto Ricans!  Looking lovely and sprouting tons of flowers.

Crecer Hijo de puta! Crecer!

My strawberries are doing very well too- their second set of fruit should be ready in a week or so.  And the Rosemary bush completely hacked back to allow as much light to the tomatoes as possible.

And then in the black tray in the front, I am trying to grow more Ajicitos, my favorite eggplant: Listada de Gandia, and just some extra herbs like oregano and cilantro.  I know it is very late to grow from seeds, but I figured, why not?  After all the craziness of this growing season, I think anything is possible.  So I am crossing my fingers for the peppers and eggplants, but prepared for nothing to happen.

Well that about covers it- excited to see if by next week the seeds will sprout in these high temps.  Also, Whitney’s Gladiolus and Lily bed sent up its first flower spike.  If you know anything about Whitney, of course it is purple!

Purple? Surprising!

Vegetable Garden, June 27, 2011

Vegetable Garden, August 20, 2010

Posting kind of late- but ya know.  That’s what happens!

A sea of peppers. Mostly heirloom bell peppers and italian frying peppers.

Thai green eggplant. They taste just like Chinese/Japanese eggplant, but are just green when ripe.

My cubanelle peppers are doing awesome and changing color currently. Another week or two of hot temps and they should be ripe!

Vegetable garden, August 20, 2010

Vegetable Garden August 4, 2010

Wow.  It has been two months since my last garden post.  So much has grown!  We have lots of ground to cover, so let’s get you up to date…

These are my Ajicitos. One of two Puerto Rican peppers that I am growing. They are not spicy, even though they look like Scotch Bonnets.

Speckled Roman tomato. Absolutely beautiful

Cubanelle pepper. The other Puerto Rican pepper. This plant is LOVING Sacramento and is loaded with peppers. Can't wait until they turn red!

This strain of tomato is named "Copia" after the famed Wine and Food Center in Napa that was started by Robert Mondavi and Julia Child. If you did not get to visit it, you truly missed out on something amazing. Hopefully this tomato captures the elegance and love of food and wine that the center did before it closed.

The famed “San Marzano” tomatoes. Any foodies’ mouth should be watering right now. Though they are not quite AS tasty as the ones grown in Italy, I can attest to their quality when grown in the States.

Green Zebra strain. These turn a soft yellow, and keep their green stripes when completely ripe.

Melons, melons, everywhere. The vines have gone crazy! Even though the melons are rather small (Which is okay, since Whitney doesn't eat melon) there are many of them. And this section of the garden is starting to have that musky, sweet scent of melons. I can't wait!

Van Duren, Moon and Stars strain of watermelon. Notice the large "moon" splotch and many smaller "stars". This would be a great seller at Farmer's Market.

These eggplants are beautiful. They are called "Listada de Gandia" from Italy. Even though I have not eaten these from my garden (A couple of days more before the first ones are ripe) I have bought them from farmer's market and they have a remarkably silky flesh and really thin skin. Delicious!

A sea of peppers. The peppers are doing very well this year. Last year, the plants sort of grew and then didn't fruit. These are loaded with peppers, all waiting to turn a nice, yummy red.

Vegetable Garden 08/04/2010.

So that’s how my garden is doing, how is yours?

Vegetable Garden June 8, 2010

Finally the strange weather has stopped and it is finally heating up in Sacramento!  For the last several days we have had our normal 90°+ temperatures.  Because of that, the garden is starting to really wake up and grow.  The tomatoes are really growing, but I am behind as some friends already have green tomatoes on their plants.  But at least mine have started to flower!  Partially my fault for waiting so long to finally transplant, and partially this crappy weather’s fault with not deciding to stick with a season.  What will it be Mother Nature?  Winter, Spring or Summer?!  Devious little hooker.  Quit messing with me.

Well here are some pics of what is happening around here…

The melons really starting to vine out

The first tomato blossoms of the season

The tomatillo plant is doing very well, with lots of blossoms

The raised bed with the eggplants and peppers loving the heat

One of Whitney's flower beds started from seed. Looks promising.

Vegetable garden, June 8, 2010

Vegetable Garden May 25, 2010

Yeah.  It’s raining.  In Sacramento.  In the end of May.  We got a quarter of an inch of rain today.  Doesn’t make for good picture-taking or great growing for summer vegetables.  So we will see how successful this garden will be; if the season is very short.  The nights have started dipping back into the mid 40’s and not getting warmer than mid 60’s during the day.  I am sure this is totally stupefying plants and animals, not only in my backyard, but across the region.  Here are two pics that I sneaked out and took during a short, five minute break from the rain.

The raised bed contains starting from the bottom: Rosemary, Parma Onions (You can't see them), 4 Varieties of Eggplant, 6 Different Peppers, and then Leeks and Scallions.

May 25 2010

Vegetable Garden – Day 36

Everything is going well. Most of the initial seedlings need to be transplanted to their final containers or the garden bed. I transplanted some of the carrots this weekend, into one gallon containers as they will be harvested before they reach full size. Speaking of containers, I am hesitant to grow a lot in the raised garden bed this year due to the constant need for water last year. I could water in the morning and the bed would be bone dry by the early afternoon, which is when the Sacramento heat really sets in. Even though I got a pretty good crop of tomatoes and eggplants, the peppers suffered greatly for this. I have added spagham moss to the bed and some of the native Sacramento clay soil in hopes to up the water retention. The bed has lots of organic matter from the compost pile and worms from around the yard during the excavation of the patio and a flower bed.  

Actually the most success I have ever had in a garden was on my 3rd story apartment balcony, where I grew everything in containers. I got more bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, cilantro and tomatoes than I knew what to do with! And that’s saying a lot for a Puerto Rican! The 100 square foot balcony was even northeast facing! So I am really hoping that the containers will be more successful this year. I plan on trellising most of the tomatoes against the back fence, and being heavy-handed with pruning so that should help with a healthy albeit smaller crop. 

Planned on transplanting most of the plants throughout this week, except there is a “huge winter storm” coming (can you tell how skeptical of the “weatherman” I am?). So hopefully it will pass quickly and I can get to transplanting this Wednesday or Thursday. This weekend is out for gardening, because we are having Easter again this year, so I need to be focused on preparing for that on Friday and Saturday. 

Carrots (Minicor) and Onions (Evergreen Bunching)

 

Brought in for the forecasted storm

 

Nosey Nathan Dog during phototaking

 

Puerto Rican Culantro (not to be confused with cilantro!)

 

Puerto Rican Gandules (a.k.a. Pigeon Pea)

Vegetable Garden

So I have been thinking of how I should share and document the process of my vegetable garden this year.  I am going all out and there will be a lot of info.  I decided in order to keep my sanity that I am going to post at least weekly about what is going on…  So here we go.

We are now into Day 25.  I started everything from seeds or cuttings this year and it has been working out very well.  I purchased a massive quantity of seeds from only two companies this year:  Seed Savers Exchange and High Mowing Seeds.  Both offer a diverse selection of heirloom, mainly organic seeds.  Seed Savers Exchange is just absolutely amazing with their selection and history and they are a mainstay in the seed world.  High Mowing Seeds (HMS) came as a referral through a pretty strange avenue.  Emeril Lagasse has had a show on Fine Living Network about “green and sustainable businesses” and HMS was showcased.  I really liked what the owner had to say and how they had their whole set up, so I got some info and ordered from them.

I am growing a huge assortment of vegetables this year.  My main goal is grow enough vegetables so that Whitney and I don’t have to buy our food from farmer’s market except the stuff I can’t grow or raise (mushrooms, chickens for eating, pork) for most of the year.  And then I kept adding more stuff until I came to the hope that I can sell or trade the surplus this year.  A quick, but not all-inclusive list:

  • Tomatoes (17 different varieties)
  • Melons (11 different varieties)
  • Peppers (7 different varieties)
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Beans
  • Okra
  • Puerto Rican vegetables (Culantro [a.k.a. Recao], Gandules, Aji Dulce, Cubanelle, Callaloo)

Well I think that is enough info for now… Time for some pics: