Vegetable Garden, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!  All is well in the garden – the seeds that I just planted (eggplants and some herbs) have sprouted – which I am actually surprised since it has been so ridiculously hot.  100+ temps every day for the past 3 or 4 with it continuing for a couple more days.  But the plants that have already grown, are loving the summer heat.  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and had a safe 4th of July!

Found these mushrooms growing around all of the tomatoes this morning. I believe they are the Genus Mycena, but unsure of anything else. I hope that it is a good sign! They died by Noon from the sun.

First tomato holla! It is one of the special Yellow San Marzanos too! So we know that they are not sterile at least! Let's hope they turn yellow again instead of red!

 

My neighbor's climbing rose bush bloomed again. Very pretty.

Vegetable Garden, July 4, 2011

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 – 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: