Monday, June 15, 2009

State of the Garden - 14 June 2009

And now for the garden update with loads of pictures, a few weird questions and some interesting tidbits. I hope your garden is also doing fabulous and you're getting ready for the bounty!

Wall of tomatoes - now 7 feet high

Tomato Walls from the side

Ripening tomatoes - Oh, the anticipation

Some of the Romas are ripening also

I've always heard that Romas, being determinate sauce tomatoes, sort of come ripe all at once or in a shorter period of time. This is the second year in a row that doesn't appear to be true. They sort of produce a few at a time in the beginning, a couple of really big flushes, then smaller amounts for the rest of the season. Do you all have this? Is that really what that means, just a couple of main flushes but smaller amounts all season?

Some are just huge. These show on a sling at over a pound each, but that is a swag and may not be accurate entirely since they are still on the vine.

If you peek in there, there are a dozen or more just in this one photo and all of them full sized. Why aren't they ripe yet!!!

This is one of my twinned tomatoes. It produced 17 blossoms on the branchlet, 14 tomatoes and now has 11 since I thinned 3 off for frying.

Of course, those heirlooms give their flaky shapes. Brandywine.

Some of them really weird. Mortgage lifter.

And some of them shaped downright scary. Constoluto Genovese here.

The squash patch is a bit large at this time. I'd say bordering on Jurassic.

Is it okay that some of them fall on their side? Will they continue to grow fine or should I wrestle them back upright?

Peek down there, do you see my zukes? Marrow here.

Onions look so pretty and clean at first. Then we get this. Looks like a big knot, doesn't it.

One of my herbs that went to seed this year. I lost the marker but I think it is Oregano. I think these buds look nifty.

My peppers aren't really doing great this year. I think it hasn't been hot enough yet for long enough. They really do like the heat. The Patio Marconi is producing though, so I'm happy.

My Nasturtiums are now 9 feet long and taking up the whole path between beds. Can I cut these back so they'll grow new vines?

Borage is blooming profusely and I adore these flowers. They work on mood wonderfully. If you freeze the blooms into ice cubes, you can have mood lifters for PMS'ing teenagers all winter long. :)

The pupperonskis had a bath today. They were very good but you could tell that it scared poor Boscolator. He is such a sweet old man and he smells better now.

As you can see, they got a little excited because I had squash cookies in my hand.

Thanks for visiting! Hope you can help me with my questions because I'm completely confused about some things and could use the expertise out there that I know you all have. Till next time!


SciFiChick said...

Beautiful garden!! Your tomato's rock girl. As for the squash, don't worry about it. Just let it go where it will and they will be fine. Sorry I can't help with the other question.

Sue said...

Wow, its all doing great!
Don't know about the nasturtiums, sorry. I don't know why you couldn't, but......
Anyhoo, all looks wonderful. Take care

fullfreezer said...

Ooo, your tomatoes look fabulous! Mine are blooming but not setting on- I think it's been too cool.
I agree with SciFiChick on the squash- they fall over all the time in my garden and still seem to do fine.
As for the nastursiums- no clue. Could you maybe try it on one (or part of one) and see what happens?

Julia said...

I'm amazed at your tomatoes! That's awesome... I'm several weeks behind.

No worries about the squash. They flop, crawl and spread. They'll be fine. If you're short on space, you can train them up a trellis, otherwise, I wouldn't worry.

Not sure about the nasturtiums. They're pretty hardy, tho. I agree with Judy: Perhaps, test cutting back one section and see what happens?

Angie said...

Your garden is wonderful, mine still looks like i just planted it, or maybe i am just impatient?( i think it's the first one!)you can cut the nasturtium back and they'll just keep on growing, when they start looking ugly from the heat, cut it back and it will start to regrow when it gets cooler.

hickchick said...

Your garden is so verdant and yes JURASSIC! Kris

ChicagoMike said...

Alright, let me take a crack at the questions:

1) Romas - My experience with determinate varieties has always been one significant crop then a few stragglers after. The large crop seems to have better flavor. I think these two facts are what makes this sort of tomato so great for making sauce.

2) Squash - My experience has been different than the other commenters. When my zuchs in particular fall over it has been because squash borers are working away at the stems near where they meet the ground. They usually survive this long enough to develop fruit and produce some, but they are never as productive as other people proclaim theirs to be. I only averaged 3 or 4 zuchs a plant last year and only one over the size of an average cucumber. I would take a good look at the stems.

3) Oregano(?) - That does not look like oregano to me, could you put up a picture of the leaves?

4) Nasturtiums - I have no idea, but it might be fun trying to eat them all. I am picturing a HUGE nasturtium stir fry.

Christy, you are one sick monkey to addict your dogs to squash cookies. If dogs were meant to eat squash, they would have been born adapted with little cultivators and dibbers on their paws.

And those tomatoes are AMAZING. The mild case of garden OCD I have is telling me to tell you to trim out some of the leafy growth of those tomatoes to keep fungal growth down, let some air and light in to those tomatoes so they ripen. But I won't. It also would focus more growth (nutrients) on the tomatoes now that they are coming to fruition. But thats just my garden OCD talking. Besides, I have never had a seven foot tall tomato in my life. I obsess on keeping my tomatoes trimmed. I know a guy who only allows a tomato plant of determinate variety to have three sets of leaves and indeterminates to have one set of leaves per cluster of tomatoes. For me I trim ALL leaves that touch the ground and leaves that cross each other or become entangled with others.

Anyways...I am a freak about trimming tomatoes..

Christy said...

Your peppers are doing much better than mine! My seeds never came up. I'm going to replant them.

SuburbanGardener said...

Totally awesome garden. It is so cool to see how wonderfully everything is growing. Know what you mean about anticipation. It's hard to wait. Love what you've done.

Anonymous said...

Your tomatoes!!! In my mind, that makes up for so very much! It is wonderful to see how things are growing and knowing they are alive. Your garden's state is very good indeed, I think.

ChristyACB said...

Thanks all for the support and suggestions on the nasturtiums. Believe it or not, that is only 3 nasturtium plants and I'm going to whack them like a mad woman this evening afterwork. Unfortunately, most of it is older leaves and they are just too bitter to eat now.

ChicagoMike - On the squash, I did look around the stems really carefully for evidence of intrusion but didn't find any. In order to combat the powdery mildew attacks from last year, I relocated the patch to this area which is assaulted by wind for most of the day due to the river orientation. It isn't bad, but quite brisk so it keeps the leaves dry. I think they just flopped over because of the wind and them being so top heavy with fruit and so much sail area. But it looks uncomfortable for them. :) I'll keep a look out for them though!

Gotcha on the Roma's. That is good to know so I can add some of the more flavorful heirlooms with the Roma's in the early canning batches.

I'll get some better photos of the herb. Maybe margoram? All the little markers for those pots have disappeared for some reason.

I hink my dogs might have cultivators on their paws! Just look at the moonscape they've created digging up old nuts the squirrels buried last year so they can eat that stinkyness. They got a love of squash cookies (just dehydrated squash slices) via counter surfing and outright thievery. :)

LOL on the tomato OCD! I admit to being a bit happy with the clippers right now. I've taken off all the lower leaves and am slowly thinning off some of the others on the shady side. I'm leaving the sunny side full and thick though since I have a huge problem with sunburn on my tomatoes. Also, I relocated those to that constant wind area so they would get more flow through. I think it is working because they are really growing outstanding this year. But yes, I totally get that it is jungle like and I probably should stop enjoying the green and start a little more trimming. :) Fertilizing with calcium and trace minerals...already doing it. :)

the rachface said...

Wow, this place looks great!! Nice tomato harvest coming along! My zukes and yellow squash are flopping over and growing sideways the same way. I haven't seen any evidence of borers yet (knock on wood) but I'll keep checking.

Alison said...

Your garden is fantastic!!! :-) We are so waaaaay behind here on Long Island this year. Just so much rain, very little sunshine. But the tomatos are starting to blossom, the cucumber is sending out tendrils, and the lettuce (at last) are really sprouting. All the sunflower and gourd sprouts seem to have disappeared inside some hungry molluscs. I hope our tomatoes look as good as yours in a few weeks! :-)

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Your garden looks great! I am officially jealous, mine is just starting!

The herb is marjoram, go ahead and cut it blooms and all, the plant will send out more stalks and leaves until it freezes! The blooms taste fine in cooking!

Albert A Rasch said...

Awesome gardens!

I love Roma tomatoes, but I have always pinched excess flowers and long vines. To be honest I don't remember how they ripened, but I do remember they were yummy!

Best regards,
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
Bloggers: Defenders of the Great Outdoors

Mom said...

I love your kitchen window. I wish you could have known my Grandma Strobel (your Great Grandma). She had a kitchen window just like that. I wanted to put it as my desktop - even if it was long and narrow and small - I centered it on a summer grren background. But it didn't look right. So I put your "200 or so" picture on my desktop, again centering it, and the picture is bigger and it looks nice ...and yummy. The summer green I had put on for the kitchen window matched the green tomatoes perfectly. Alas, all I can do is look at them. Wish I could be there and eat them !!! Your garden looks wonderful, Christy. I am real proud of you for the good job you have done. Not to mention how good your pictures turn out !!!