Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grandson's First Tomato Picking Experience

I was very tickled and proud of our almost 20 month old grandson today when we picked grape tomatoes. I told him to pick the red ones, and showed him some, and he only picked 1 green one early on.

Look at that reach!

Going for the red ones:

I tried to take a photo of him holding the bowl, but he dumped them out. We got them picked up, then he dumped them again. I'll have to check them over to see if any are damaged.

I only picked a few of these. I think the little guy did quite a good job!

I ate a few cracked ones while we were picking, and offered him some. He said no the first couple times, then finally tried one, but spit it out.

Camera Critters 8/29/09

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back yard, front yard blooms for Friday

Katarina, at Roses and Stuff hosts Blooming Friday. Check her blog for more blooms or to put a link to your blooms.

Starting in the back yard, Larry's snail vine is finally blooming.

The garlic chives are blooming, and will be deadheaded before they go to seed so they don't get planted in the ground.

The rough goldenrod is fully blooming now.

After taking the above photo, I tied it up. I think I tied it too tightly. I'll have to loosen it.

A close up of the bloom and a couple of those lightening like bugs:

I had green nicotianas in this pot last year, and this came up just recently and didn't take long to start blooming.

Some of the pansies are continuing to hang in there!

The next 2 photos are from in front of the veggie garden at the back of our property. The eupatorium blooms are opening up. It's related to Joe Pye weed. This one has variegated leaves.

The flea bane just started blooming, too.

Now, to the front, these photos were taken at dusk. I used to call this my new bed, but now that I have the new bed by the curb, I'm going to have to call it something else. So far, I think of it as my, "bed of many colors" but I don't know if that will stick. I'm enjoying the cleomes this year. The orange blooms are Mexican sunflowers.

I hope the name of this Menards purchased bulbs will turn up. I sure like them, and hope to dig and save them over the winter. Since I have 3 clumps, I may keep one in the ground to see if they come up next year.

I wanted to include some more views of the "bed of many colors". If you click on them, they will enlarge, or you can click on, "control" and "+".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Veggie Garden Update Part 2- Back Home

I took these photos of my home veggie garden on the 20th for the In the Garden veggie garden update, where they have links to others' updates. I posted part one, about my garden across the street, and didn't get to this right away, then almost forgot.

So, here is the entrance, with self planted greeters, black-eyed Susans and lemon balm, with marigolds on the inside of the fence.

Facing north, this area was full of lettuce, spinach and radishes in the spring. I left room between the peppers, tomatoes, a couple eggplants and the other plants, like kale that were planted early with the lettuce, so that I could apply compost and hopefully reduce the spread of disease. As you can see, the tomatoes are having problems. I need to be taking the diseased leaves off and throw them away.

These are more of the bush tomatoes I started from seed. I have some at home and across the street.

Turning to look west a long view, with a nice sized datura next to the fence:

We are now heading west from the north side of the garden. This is last year's kale that bloomed earlier in the season. I've kept it there in hopes the cabbage whites will lay their eggs on it, and not the kale I planted this year. I have Verbena bonariensis all over the garden that the butterflies and bees enjoy. The 2 peppers and the cucumber plant I have close ups of in the next photos.

These are Thai hot peppers I planted for our son, and haven't been brave enough to try yet.

These Kung Pao peppers are also for our son.

If this looks familiar, it's because it's the same kind of bush cucumber I planted across the street. They are awfully viney, though. (I finally picked my first one across the street last night. It sure is pretty.) This was planted in the space my early maturing onions were in.

Continuing west, are the onions that are supposed to be keepers. I'm having trouble keeping them dry at this point, like you are supposed to.

This one is looking more south and west.

Back to the north side of the garden, the huge hollyhock did not bloom this year. Behind them are some stems of things I didn't want on the compost pile that I figured could be a brush pile for butterflies. There are two cockscombs, apparently from seeds from my neighbor that I don't remember tossing there in the fall. (Look right under the sunflower bloom for the gold one, and the lower right corner for the pink one.)

Now you can see them, and a couple onions:

Do you remember what is behind this fence?

Yes, the compost piles! I have done a good job turning and using compost this year. We have some new lattice to divide it, but haven't gotten it in yet. Oh, and if you click or hit the "control" and "plus" keys to enlarge, you'll see I have morning glories coming up. They must be from a few years ago, because I remember getting after my husband for putting morning glories there after the frost has killed the vines, and he stopped (I think) doing that. All I know, is that I'm also pulling them from my new curb bed. At least they stay pulled.

Heading back east, the kale here was planted this year. There are 4 volunteer tomato plants behind the kale.

A few steps more:

The volunteer tomatoes, mostly grape:

The tomatoes on this one plant are larger. I think I had some kind of heirloom tomatoes last year that were just a little larger than these. I read somewhere a couple weeks ago that you shouldn't let volunteer tomato plants grow because it causes diseases like late blight to spread more or be worse or something. The volunteers I allow to grow don't get diseased any sooner than the ones I plant. I remember a neighbor coming over when we first moved in, and I was digging in the garden that hadn't been planted in 7 years. He told me I wasn't going to be able to grow tomatoes because there is disease in the soil. Well, I always get a crop before the plants get sick and die. It's happening to my cucumbers, too. I suppose I should look up organic ways to manage these things other than putting up with them.

I forgot what kind of eggplant this is. I need to harvest them before they get soft, like my regular kind did.

I have some borage growing along the garage side of the garden. I keep forgetting to do something with it.

Looking back west and south, I have a cucumber plant growing next to the borage.

This is the area to the east of the entrance, next to the Susans and lemon balm. The four o' clocks are fun to grow, and mingle nicely with the larkspur and take over when the larkspur are finished.

I forget to show my herb garden, which is a small area surrounded by cement in our backyard and driveway, and our neighbor's yard, which is where these black-eyed Susans are. I like to plant a couple veggies in there from time to time, too. There are chives, summer savory, which is blooming, salad burnet, thyme, parsley, both flat and curly, tarragon, sage, and basil in here.

I like the rain barrel in the car port, because the hose can be put into the herb garden. The cucumbers have appreciated the rain water put on them when it's hot and dry.

I have been enjoying the orange oxeheart tomatoes, and have striven to pick them before they get bites eaten out of them by critters. I am tickled to have a huge perfect one right now, ready to be enjoyed.

You can see the pink and white morning glories on the other side of the fence, where the tarragon, sage, summer savory, and thyme are their neighbors.