Thursday, August 7, 2008

Garden Update

I took all of these pictures yesterday and had every intention of doing a post last night, but a vet appointment for Penny, phone calls and "The Greatest American Dog" all conspired together against my best Blogger intentions for a timely post, so without further delay, here are some pictures and an update on my gardening efforts.

Even though it's been pretty dry lately and my watering efforts are irregular at best, the garden is thriving. We've eaten a couple cucumbers already this week. Here's another one that's almost reached the ideal size for supper. These are Japanese Climbing Cucumbers. They seem to be doing much better now after a couple good doses of Liquid Fence. Did you know deer LOVE cucumbers? And because they're climbing up a trellis, they're at an ideal height for a deer to nom, nom, nom!

This is Bright Lights Swiss Chard. I picked some the other night and cut it up for Swiss Chard Patties. I also have another recipe I want to try for Braised Swiss Chard. (Both recipes are from

Here's a real surprise--garbage can potatoes! Don't they look fabulous? And they tasted fabulous too! I tend to forget about them in their own little spot in the yard, but decided it was time to dig down into the dirt and see if there was anything resembling potatoes hiding in there. I was so surprised that there were potatoes and they were really nice ones too. I didn't even have to peel them, just scrubbed them clean with water and the vegetable brush, cut them up and boiled them for supper. This has been my most successful garden experiment so far this summer and I'll definitely try it again next year--maybe even add another garbage can to my collection for more potatoes.

Here's the yellow zucchini. I've already picked several of these--made a chocolate zucchini cake and zucchini fritters one night for supper. The really nice thing about these yellow zucchini is that you can SEE them and pick them before they turn into the size of a baseball bat. Those green zucchini sometimes can hide under a leaf and grow really fast if you miss them for a few days.

My squash is growing like crazy now too. This is Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash. Isn't it cute? This is a white acorn-type squash. I've never grown squash like this before and it looks like I'm going to have plenty to share from just 2 plants.

The tomatoes are still slow. I've picked 6 red grape tomatoes so far, and there are a couple more hiding in here and just turning ripe. These are a little bit bigger than grape tomatoes you buy in the store--they're almost 2 inches long, but very tasty right out of the garden.

The regular tomatoes are growing, but still no signs of ripening at all. All of the tomatoes took a bit of a beating from high winds in a thunderstorm early last week. Even though I have them in the heavy-duty cages, a couple of them were almost completely toppled over when I got home from work. I set them to rights and tamped the dirt back down around the roots, but the bottom branches came out of the cages and I had to remove several that were laying on the ground.

We had a little rain shower yesterday evening around suppertime. It was a nice surprise because we haven't had much rain for several weeks.

It rained pretty hard for about 15 minutes. This chipmunk found a good spot to stay out of the rain and continue stuffing his fat little cheeks.

And you know what happens when the sun shines while it's raining........
Can you see the second rainbow?

I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to post again tomorrow, but if I don't, I hope you all have a splendid weekend and get a chance to enjoy nature in your backyard and beyond.


Debbie said...

Your garden looks great, Ruthie. Love the rainbow.

Anonymous said...

Ruthie, you have a beautiful garden with lots of yummy things to eat, cucumbers, my favorite. Everything looks so healthy, growing so well, if you can keep the deer and the rabbits out. Does that little chipmunk just eat bird seed or does it sneak thru the holes in the fence for a treat?

You don't get to see a double rainbow very often and they are so stunning, nice pic.

It looks like you and Mr Johnson will have plenty to eat.


Martha said...

You made my mouth water with all your delicious photos and narrative.

Windyridge said...

Swap weathers? It's rained almost every day, temps are below normal, gardens aren't doing so well in the tomato department.

Julie said...

Great pictures! Glad to hear that your garden is still growing strong. I'm sure those in our area suffered from last weeks heat, but this week is so much cooler. Makes me think autumn is here, but no we've got another month or more of summer still to go. 63 degrees on my way into work, so much nicer than 84!
Here is a site you might be interested in. Click on the link a little down from the top, on the far left and you can learn how to can or freeze (I prefer freezing!) just about anything! I've put up zucchini for winter and will likely put up some corn.

Marsha said...

Your garden is really doing great! I really love the rainbow shot, it is just gorgeous.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Debbie. We haven't seen many rainbows this year, but the sun was shining brightly, so this was a really wonderful rainbow (and a bonus double!)

Hi Mom,
There are chipmunk-sized holes in both of the gardens. I can't see they're eating anything--just the holes into the dirt.
I'll try to remember & bring you a couple cukes tomorrow night (they're not too "burpy")

Hi Martha,
Thanks for visiting my blog. I really like being able to walk out into the backyard and pick stuff to eat for supper--it's nice knowing where your food comes from and how it was grown.

Hi Windyridge,
I'm sorry to hear about your weather--we had similar last year and then an early freeze--I only canned 6 quarts of tomatoes, so I hope things get back on track soon (for me AND you).

Hi Julie,
I rode my motorcycle to work this morning and went through a couple low & really cool spots--my hands were really chilly by the time I got here (and I had to wait till 5:30 so it was light enough to "see & be seen").
Thanks for the link on preserving, I'll check it out.

Thanks Marsha. I'm amazed by the garden too--especially after the poor start it had this spring.

Mary said...

I see the second rainbow! I confused about something: what in the world are garbage can potatoes?

Your veggies look great. Remember how you worried about the clumpy soil? :o)

Martha/All the Dirt said...

Oh, it all looks so appetizing!

Don't you love acorn squash? Did you plant those from seed or were you able to find the plants to buy someplace?

Everything looks well-loved.

Jayne said...

Wow Ruthie, my how your garden has grown! I am so impressed. :c) The rainbows made me smile. You have a great weekend too. I am playing catch up today.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm. Zuchini cake! I haven't had that in a while. Everyone thinks that it will be disgusting (vegetables in a cake?!), so that just leaves more for me.

Dave said...

I sure got hungry after reading that post Ruthie.

Mary C said...

Ruthie, your garden really looks good. It's so much fun to reap the benefits of home grown fruits and veggies, isn't it? I was going to mention about squirrels and chipmunks possibly eating your cukes, but someone else mentioned that. My husband has had a few cukes this summer partially eaten by our backyard squirrels. Beautiful double rainbow! I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

LauraHinNJ said...

Garbage can potatoes? I must have missed that post!

Do tell again, please!

Your garden looks to be thriving. I'm surprised that my NJ garden isn't very far ahead of yours - though we did plant kind of late.

Meggie said...

Me, too! I missed the post on garbage can potatoes. Can we have another tutorial? Pleeeease! Your garden looks great, Ruthie! I saw the second rainbow... beautiful!

dguzman said...

Nice veggies, and I want to hear more about these garbage-can taters as well!

My cherry toms are ripening slowly, yielding a few each day, and I just picked my first three 'Early Girl' toms this weekend--finally! The 'Celebrity' toms are huge and still green though. Nice cukes! I've never been able to grow them. Maybe I'll try in a garbage can?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary, Laura, Meggie & Delia,
Garbage can potato project in tonight's post!

Thanks Martha, this is the first time I've planted any type of squash other than zucchini. It's growing EVERYWHERE, but I'm amazed to see some good looking acorn squash in my garden. I should have plenty to share. I got my seed from the Seed Saver's Exchange in Decorah, Iowa and have been very pleased with them.

You know Jayne, I'm amazed too--especially after looking back at the photos from just a couple months ago. It's nice to have fresh produce and even some to share!

Hi ScienceGuy and Dave,
I love zucchini too--such a verstile food that can be either vegetable or dessert!

Hi Mary C,
I'm pretty sure there are chipmunks or gophers in the garden (I can see their holes) but still haven't found any evidence of them munching on anything yet (keeping my fingers crossed!)