Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Wild and Crazy Garden

Went away for a few days on vacation and came back to a garden that is looking like a jungle.  The tomatoes are growing like crazy and have already outgrown their original supports. The two zucchini plants are huge- hopefully a good sign for a successful crop this year.  The pole beans were starting to grow back down their support, twisting and twining into a big mess of vines.  I've been trying to clean everything up a bit so it looks less wild and crazy, more tidy and pretty. 

To fix the support issues with tomatoes and beans, I have been stringing twine from post to post in an effort to corral everything. Hopefully it will all hold up in strong wind, but I can't guarantee it will last through a hurricane, should one hit this year.

For the pole beans, I pounded a piece of electrical conduit into the ground and made a tepee out of twine, strung from the tops of the original supports. I carefully untangled the vines and with luck they will continue to grow up the strings, creating a little 'roof'. 

I'm loving two new plants I tried out this year.  The first, Trombonico Squash (ordered from Annapolis Seeds), is growing really well out of container.  It is a vertical climber, so I have it growing up a makeshift support.  The fruit is really fun looking.  I haven't tasted it as yet, but this beauty should be ready soon. 

The second new find is Andeen Paste Tomato, also from Annapolis Seeds. I love the tear- drop shape. Some visitors to my garden thought they were peppers. The description for the plant said that it has 3' vines, but so far mine has surpassed that and is well on its way to 5' and more.  The fruit is quite large, which I can only assume will make it great for sauce making.  I can't wait to see how it tastes!
This year, I don't seem to have any San Marzano paste tomatoes.  Not sure how this happened, but something must have gone seriously wrong at some point during seeding/labelling last spring. I was planning on having 3 San Marzanos, and 2 Black Plum plants this year, but it seems I have ended up with all Black Plum. Not a terrible mishap as Black Plum really produces a lot of fruit that turn into a great sauce.  Still, I shall miss the San Marzanos. 

In general, the tomatoes are doing really well.  I've been snacking on the odd sungold, but it looks like the next week or two, I should start harvesting on a larger scale.  The only problem I've had so far this year, is a little bit of blossom end rot on one of the black plum plants, growing in a soil bag.  Not sure why this one is the only one having problems, but I've added a little mixture of water and epsom salts, which I read may help prevent it from affecting new growth.  Time will tell. At least I have 4 other Black Plum plants to fall back on ....

Meanwhile...the other tomato varieties I am growing are for fresh eating:  Cosmonaut Volcov (Hope Seeds), which were so tasty last year and Tigerella (Hope Seeds), pictured below. Tigerella has a great stripped colour when ripe.  I managed to grow this plant from one single seed I had left from a pack I bought at least 3 years ago.

I am on my way to having my first Costata Romanesco Zucchini.  Can't wait.  The plant this year is looking great and I've had no major disasters with it so far (as in years past).  So hopefully, fingers crossed, it will finally have a half decent harvest (at least more than the 2-3 zucchini I had last year).  They taste so great grilled on the barbecue and in grilled veggie sandwiches!

The cucumber plants are finally starting to pick up.  I have one plant doing better than others, although it is in a spot that does not get the most sun.  Had troubles getting my cucumbers to grow from seed this year, so all of the ones I put in the garden were transplants from Halifax Seed. 

The pole beans have been growing like crazy, despite a little visit from some deer a few weeks back.  Pictured below is the True Red Cranberry beans from Hope Seeds.  You'll notice there is a 'hole' on the bottom where the deer had a meal.  It has recovered nicely though and is starting to produce lots of pods.  I grew this last year as an experiment and LOVED the flavour/texture of the dried beans in soup. 
And finally, I've pulled the first Rossa di Milano onion, which was grown in a container. 

1 comment:

Gardeningbren said...

Am so pleased you posted about the Andeen Paste tomato. They look great, and hope to try them next year. How are they holding up to blight?

I was sort of hoping the Paul Robeson Tomato from Annapolis Seed would only be the three feet noted in the seed catalogue but like your Andeen's it has proved to be a giant and very prolific.

Your crop looks fantastic! Great following your progress.