Tuesday, August 9, 2016

In, Around and Out of the Garden - Part One

When ordering seeds this past winter, I was excited to find an old heirloom cauliflower that was "self-blanching."  The leaves naturally fold in and over the developing head making it unnecessary to gather the leaves and manually tie them up and over the cauliflower.  Well, pffft.  My cauliflower apparently didn't get the memo.  The heads have started to form (not nice, tight heads as one would desire, but ugly, separated kernels) right out in the open so I've had to resort to tying them and hoping for the best.  Truth to tell though, cauliflower likes to mature in cooler weather and our weather has been anything but "cooler" so that may be contributing to the lack of its cooperation.

Zinnias, as opposed to cauliflower, love hot weather and the plants forming a row along the north side of the field garden are blooming their little heads off.

I've squeezed my jack o' lantern pumpkins and my little pie pumpkins into less space than they would really like so I got the bright idea to train the pie pumpkin vines to climb up and over this arbor trellis.  The vines have made it to the top and are doing a good imitation of Jack's bean stalk and are now reaching for the sky.

My annual tepee trellis with morning glories planted around it has been a bit of a disappointment this year.  I had very poor germination of the seeds and it took forever for them to get up enough gumption to start climbing up the trellis.  It should be solidly covered in morning glory vines (and blooms) by now, but it's not.  Also, the carrots planted in the bed on either side of the trellis are not nearly as lush and full as they usually are.  Some of the green tops are tinged with brown.  Maybe too much hot weather this year coupled with not enough moisture?

I think this little volunteer nasturtium that has been peeking at me out from under my bean plants is so sweet.  And, yes, I need to pick some of those big beans.

The Sugar Snap peas planted this spring on this cattle panel trellis in the middle of this raised bed were all done a week or so ago so I pulled the vines and unceremoniously dumped them in the compost pile.  Before I took down the trellis, it occurred to me to try another crop of the edible podded peas to see if they would mature yet this season.  (Those are kohlrabi plants on either side of the trellis.)

That's all for tonight.  Time to go help close up our thousand head (give or take a hundred) of poultry.  Part Two of the garden saga coming soon!


Kim said...

The garden looks great! And my dad, who is 89 years old, always says, "some years are bean years and some are tomato, but every year is a zucchini year." So I alway just feel blessed with what does well and put as much up as possible cause next year it might not grow well.

My morning glories are just now starting to put on a show for us. So there is still hope. Did you plant seeds this year or are they Volunteers?

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

What an amazingly gorgeous garden my dear friend. Will you be using something to hold the pumpkins when they grow up the teepee trellis?

I love.just love your Zinnia's.....I'm a Zinnia freak :-)

Sue said...

Everything looks so lush! We've had zero rain for over 2 weeks and with this heat, most things are burnt up now.
Love the zinnias--so cheerful!
As for the cauliflower, mine all bolted due to the heat. I ripped them all out. I still cannot find the seed I used to grow--it matured in 40 days--way ahead of the heat.
Have a great week

Rain said...

I'm envious of your garden, yes, even the cauliflower ;)...I have about 8 tomatoes ready to pick, I can't wait, that is the success of this year's garden. But honestly, our summer is very hot this year, might I admit a wee bit hot for me today? It's 40C + humidity, I'm wilting like a head of lettuce.

Mama Pea said...

Kim - I got a chuckle out of your dad's garden saying. So true, so true. I think these days especially it's important for us to harvest and put by more than we think is necessary for just one year.

I do get volunteers in the garden each year from when the morning glory blooms go to seed . . . they're just never around the tepee trellis where I want them to grow! So I plant new seeds around the trellis each year, but I certainly have filled in "no shows" by transplanting volunteers I find here and there.

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Thank you! I've never grown even the small pumpkins to climb up a trellis before but I have wondered if I'll have to support the fruits (in some way) when they get heavier. I may have to get inventive!

I love zinnias, too. They make such colorful bouquets!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Yep, we can only water by hose so much before it becomes futile. We had a little rain this morning (as we were picking blueberries!) but unfortunately it didn't amount to enough. We may get some in the next two days. I sure hope so.

A 40-day cauliflower? Now that's what I need, too!

Mama Pea said...

Dear Wilting Head of Lettuce - Oh, I can so sympathize with you this year. And it's so very unusual for us to have this much heat. Is this gonna be the usual for now on? If so, I'm planting lots of corn and tomatoes next year! I could have grown them this year, I'll bet. Enjoy your yummy, homegrown tomatoes!!

Kristina said...

Your garden always looks so tidy. I have never tied up my cauliflower, and it's always done well, but this year it looks terrible. The heat and no rain must me the cause. Carrots and beets were a fail too.

Susan said...

I would be pea green with envy over your tidy garden, if I didn't know that you spend every other waking moment keeping it that way! I love the pumpkins on the trellis - I'm interested to see how that works.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I think the heat is what did in my cauliflower as it does like to grow and mature in cool weather. I've replanted some seeds directly in the garden just to see if I might possibly get some good heads yet.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - We're getting rain today (Hooray!) and the garden is drinking it up. I can see the pumpkins growing on their trellis from here. I'm pretty sure the weeds are liking the moisture also. Precipitation called for in the next couple of days, too, which we need but it's going to be hard to do what needs to be done in the garden.

Laurie said...

Your garden looks fabulous! And I love how you have so much color...zinnias, nasturtiums and the flowers behind the tepee trellis of morning glories. It sure sounds like all that hot weather you've had has played a role in some of your veggie woes.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Thank you, friend! The hot weather this year has certainly been better for the garden than anything. As for me and my inability to cope with the heat and humidity . . . another story completely! ;o)