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July 2014

Turn, turn, turn: weekly photo update

I cut up the eggplant plants today. Yesterday I realized that many of them were overripe, although only a couple were full-sized. So I picked those, might do something with them, might not. They will be bitter if not done right. Sadeggplants

And today I picked all the rest and cut the plants apart. Now the jalapeno and serrano peppers will spread a bit more, and continue on their merry ripening way. Happyeggplants
Hotpeppers

A couple weeks ago, I counted 16 tomatoes on the forlorn Lemon Boy plant. It was hit first and hardest by the septoria. Before today I'd picked 4, and today I picked 5, so there are 7 left to ripen on its Charlie Brown Tree remains. As soon as they are sugared-up enough, I'll pick the rest, and pull up the plant. Next to it, the septoria has done far less damage; different varieties are more or less prone to it. But all six planted in that area will have a short harvest life. Lemontree

Did you think about how I appear inconsistent in using words or numerals for numbers? Actually, I am not, even though I don't always follow protocol. I do them a bit like books and chapters, albums and songs.

The Royal Burgundy snap beans are the most prolific I have ever grown. This week I'm planting more wax beans, and some Kentucky Wonders, but Royal Burgundy will definitely be back in the spring. Bowl

Indigo Rose tomato plant has done very well, and so has the wild currant tomato. But I am less likely to plant them again next year. I might do the wild currant in a new spot, just for interest. I've picked about a quart of those little guys, but they are more novel than useful for lunch. Indigo
Trellis

The Cherokee Purple has a few fruits that are just starting to turn. Cherokee
It was kind of an afterthought, and I'll probably skip it next year, as well as the Black Krim. Both are always low-producing for me, and I'll have to focus on heartier, hardy varieties. The Cherokee is hardy but not hearty. If that makes sense. The Krim tends to be neither, although those guys taste amazing. I'll find Rutgers again, and Early Girl, and definitely stick with a Brandywine or two. I haven't decided about the German Queen. It's a gorgeous plant, but also not a high producer, and if I plant fewer plants, I want more fruit from them. The Queens have a little less flavor than the Johnsons, too, although they are still pretty nice, and rather more reliable.

And Mister Stripey, well, I love that guy. He's always hit or miss, but always welcome by me. Hopefully I'll have pictures of what he ripens to next week.


101 days til first frost

This is an all-sorts post. It's going to rain all day and I want to put more poles up for my winter squash, but I'm not sure I won't wait until tomorrow.

I've been reading more about crop rotation and about mixed plantings. Well, mixed plantings work so well for me, rotation becomes something of a crazy puzzle each year. Normally I do figure it out, but have to be extra careful of next year to make sure the leaf spot fungus is thoroughly eradicated. If I owned this space, I'd just expand...

I want to plant some kohlrabi. I could put it where the zucchini are now, or between the two artichokes I grew mainly for corner interest. But I'd planned on my cabbages along that side next year. I could put it up where the lettuce was and onions still are for now, and the remaining lettuce would help keep white flies away. That might be where the in-ground tomatoes need to be next year, with a ton of soil amendment. That spot might not have enough nutrients just now for the kohlrabi.

Or I could put it in where the snap beans and carrots are growing. If I do that, the soil there will require more amending next year than I'd planned, but then I'd put onions there. This might make the most sense.

Then I think I'll plant some more beans where the onions are now, and that will help for putting tomatoes there next year.

Here are some photos I've taken over the past few days. This week will be both good and bad for those tomatoes; cooler air means they won't mourn for all the shelter I've cut away. But they are very soggy right now...

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There's just no in-Between

Every year I plant two eggplant plants and harvest 1-3 eggplants. This year I planted three eggplant plants, and flanked them with jalapeno pepper and serrano pepper plants, because I read it's good for their root systems.

I don't know if that's why, but this year so far I've picked a dozen (well, 6 today, so actually about 15) eggplants, there are 15 more still growing, and my boys don't even like eggplant. I am going to make melanzane parmigiana (my mother would pronounce that meelannjohnny,) though, and make them eat it. I'll cook sausage with it. I am aware this is Japanese eggplant rather than Italian, but so what? (What is that it is a little sweeter and requires less drawing out of water.)

I have pretty much gotten the knack of growing only as much zucchini as I can use, but with the eggplants, I'm not certain I can hit the middle ground target. Next year I'll just grow two, though, and still with hot peppers. 

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