Tuesday, March 3, 2009

August 2008 in my Vegetable Garden

I had trouble limiting the number of pics for this post, so will not be enlarging them.  They will enlarge if clicked on.

The first 4 pics are from August 4th. This area is just inside the entrance, and it shows my funky hose guides protecting the Freecycle marigolds.

I can't remember what kind of cucumber this was.  It's to the other side of the entrance, on the other side of the 4' O Clocks and other flowers.

The tomatoes were starting to ripen. The squirrels got my first ripe one, though.  Can you see the Monarch Butterfly near the swamp milkweed?

The next 5 pics were taken August 13. Here's a volunteer Cleome prettying up an area that's not so pretty. This one did not get as big as the one in the front in more sun.  (This is the north side of the garage.)

I didn't mention this before, but I have had trouble the last few years growing cucumbers because they get diseased from something given to them by cucumber beetles, and die after getting a small harvest.  If anyone has any organic solution to this, I may try it.  I'm thinking I've heard of one before, but can't remember.

The sunflowers were blooming, and the larkspur and holly hocks were finished. The tomatoes were ripening on the bush to the right. These were a smaller, heirloom kind, but I can't remember the name. They tasted good.

When I first started digging in the garden after we moved in, a neighbor guy came over and told me I wouldn't be able to grow tomatoes, because of the disease in the soil.  They do get diseased and die, also, but I get a better harvest than the cucumbers before they die.  I try to take off the bottom and diseased leaves, but don't always keep up.  The globe thistle on the right was blooming now.

The zucchini was blooming here. I decided not to put the pic of the one that had a zucchini on it, around the 21st.

I must not have gotten pics of the dill that was growing.  Here it is, after having gone to seed. I have dill in the herb garden as well as the veggie garden.  I dried lots, and have been using it. There were a lot of Painted Lady butterflies this year, and they loved the verbena that seeds itself all over.  This was the summer I paid more attention to the butterflies and learned a lot of the names, but I'll need to get my books back out to remember what some of them were. This was taken August 15.

I enjoyed taking pics of bees, and other critters, too.  I am excited for this summer and using my new camera.  August 17:

When onions have formed skin, it's best to avoid watering them.  I've mentioned they can be picked at any time for use raw or cooked.  I also chopped a bunch, and froze them on a cookie sheet, then put them in freezer bags.  I just ran out of them a couple weeks ago. If you have the kind for keeping, they should stay in the ground until the stems are dry all the way to the onion. I put these and the garlic I harvested, which are shown on the right, in my basement to store.  I would bring a few up to the kitchen at a time.  The onions were used up by the end of December, and I still have some garlic.  Some of it has dried up, and I need to be using the rest of it soon. This was taken August 20.

The Black Eyed Susan and Lemon Balm volunteered to grace the entrance to the garden, and shared space with the cucumber that grew through the fence. This and the next pic were taken August 21.

I'm not sure if I found out what kind of caterpillars these were.  I got lots of comfort and hand holding through letting the caterpillars eat some of the leaves of my plants. I was assured they would not kill the plants.

The next 3 were taken August 28.  Here's my lovely kale and peppers. I left lots of room between plants after the lettuce, potatoes, and the like were harvested so I could apply compost.

The rest of the pics were taken August 31. The zucchini was still alive. I usually lost them to the worm that gets into the stem.  I kept putting dirt over the stem, and that seemed to help.  The hollyhock is bushy, and stemless, because I had cut the stalks down. I put them in a pile next to the compost pile, because I didn't want the seeds in the pile.  

That's the dill and verbena bon. to the left of the zucchini.

Peppers, tomatoes, etc.

The sweet potatoes were still growing here. The rose in the tub had been in the ground, but I didn't like where it was, and don't know how to prune it properly, so I put it there a couple years ago. That's the entrance to the garden next to the rose. I think I'll move that next year, as it reached out and grabbed me a few times last year.

My husband said we start Daylight Savings this weekend.  Spring has to be around the corner!


  1. Oh my gosh Sue, you had so much. I love the red sunflower. Do you remember the variety? And great info on the onions. We just planted some and I had no idea what was involved, so thanks. Also great tip on chopping and freezing them.

  2. An other Catherine to visit you today. We must be attracted by your wonderful garden, the need to watch Green.
    It must take a long time to take care of all these varieties of plants. And what a pleasure to eat your natural products.
    Hope soon, you'll show us the new "generation", Sue.

  3. That is too bad about the cukes and tomatoes getting diseased. Have you done a soil test? That is the first step in fixing the problem. It may be the soil that is stressing the plants. Next, plant resistant varieties and be sure to rotate your crops. Turning over the soil in the fall and adding compost is also a good help. It will take time but you should be able to fix the problem. I'll do more research later on your disease on the cuke, just for my own info. On my way out now. Those caterpillars do look like butterfly caterpillars. Not sure the kind, won't even guess.

  4. Hey Sue, I love the way you combine veggies and ornamentals. I hope to do some more of that this spring in my garden.

    Are you using disease resistant cucumbers? That would be my only thought. If you can get your extension to ID the disease check out this table of varieties that tolerate certain diseases.


    Everyone has trouble with tomato disease. My extension recommends a 3-4 year rotation if you have the room. I'm having some success with adding about a foot or more of fall leaves to the tomato site. By spring they have compacted and composted to a couple inches and I plant the tomatoes directly into it. They still get some kind of late wilt but produce pretty well.

  5. Spring is near!

    Here in South Florida (zone 15 and a half, it seems), my cucumbers are already poking their little heads above the dirt.

    Thank you for the garden porn this morning. This is my first year with a vegetable garden and I spend as much time surfing the web to see what other people are doing as I spend time with my vegetables. I'm hooked.


  6. Sue, you are an amazing gardener! I'm so inadequate, really:( I don't have 1/8th as much as you in the flower garden and I have zero in the area of a veggie garden! I am impressed with your talents, and perseverance:) I don't have the proper environment for all of that here. We have a homeowners assoc. as well, which would prohibit most of that here in 'OUR OWN' (hmm?) yard. That's the problem w/HOA's. Oh well, such is my life right now.
    Your varieties of veggies should be super this yr...I can't wait to see the blooms this spring & summer. Your's is a garden I want to be sure 'not to miss';-)
    I like the colors of sunflowers...in fact, I just bought some seeds with the various colors. Not sure where I will plant those yet...since they can get tall and you know, HOA, etc. Have a great day!

  7. Sometimes I feel I would like to have a garden. Usually when I saw such nice photos which show how keen gardener is the person who takes them. A bit awkward sentence:-) But people who burn, always scorch me. And I really like it.
    Wonderful garden, Sue. I am looking forward to another photos.

  8. Lovely photos and a wonderful garden. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  9. Catherine #1, I'm glad you learned something from my posts. The sunflowers were from a mix, and I can't remember the name of it.

    Catherine #2, I am so excited for that new generation. I enjoy both working in the gardens and eating the produce. I don't get canning done, but hope to freeze more and more. I'm doing a good job of using the food from the freezer.

    Tina, I haven't done a soil test here. Since I put a variety of things on the compost pile, I have assumed that the soil was being improved anyway, so I didn't think a test would be needed. Maybe I should do that. I do look for disease resistant varieties, though. It's hard to rotate crops with the size of the garden, but I try to. I may plant a couple tomato plants in the front garden. When I did in the herb garden in my back yard, they got diseased, too. I don't put tomato plants on the compost pile, but do put tomatoes and dirt from the garden on there. Since I use compost on my beds all over they yard, the disease organisms may be in there. Thanks for your interest in what the disease on the cucumbers is. Someone knew what kind of cats they probably were, but I don't remember what they said.

    Marnie, It's bed time, and I'm just getting to comment back on my comments, so I'll have to check that site tomorrow. I like the idea of adding so many leaves. I put compost, but not that thick. Another thing I'd like to do is find a way to water that is not overhead.

    Matt, I visited your blog, but was not able to leave a comment because I am not a member of your blog service. I like the pic of the sunset over your veggie garden. When you are sweating, and it's too hot to enjoy your garden, I'll be enjoying mine. ;o) Yes, this blogging thing hooks one.

    Jan, When I visit your blog and see your photography skills, I feel inadequate. It makes me feel good to know you like my gardens. I hope you find a good spot for your sunflowers. Your birds will love them. I can't remember if you have squirrels that would compete with the birds. They'll eat them not quite ripe.

    Namnet, Thanks for your visit from South Moravia. I understood the first part of your comment, but the part about people burning and scorching you, I didn't. I'm glad you like my garden and blog.

    Garden Tips, Welcome to my blog. I'm glad you like my pics. I do put lots of them on my blog.

    Well, I'm off to go to sleep!

  10. I am attuned to play with words a lot in Czech (my mother tongue), and I sometimes forget not to do so in English. Sometimes I write exactly what is in my mind, just quickly translate the words. So what is very clever in Czech,can turn in something not so clever (or even not understandable) in English.
    Ok, the sentences above are also a bit awkward, sorry.
    I am glad you told me. I am still learning thanks to my mistakes:-)

    There´s a proverb in Czech which says - who is not burning cannot scorch anyone. It means that you should be fully dedicated to things you do, to be able to provoke some feelings (about those things)in people around.
    As a pedagogue, you should like (or at least be good at) the subject you teach. Because if you don´t like it, students will recognize it and they would pay no attention. It´s like: she´s bored about this subject, why should I be interested? OR She finds it so interesting, knows many fascinating things and enjoys herself while teaching this subject, so there´s must be something on it, let´s learn it.
    Is it understandable? If not, let me know. I will do my best to make it more clear:-)

  11. Great blog. Can't wait to get started in my yard.

  12. Namnet, Thanks for explaining the saying. I take that as a huge compliment. I admire people who can speak more than one language, and to be able to write, even if it is a "broken" version, is awesome! So, you don't need to apologize.

    Judanna, Thanks, I like your blog. You don't keep two like I do, and combine your Christianity with your gardening and other interests. Now, go get that garden started!


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