Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garden Update 31 Jul 2011

We had unsettled weather this week. A lot of cloudiness, some rain, cool evenings, but daytime temperatures in the mid-80s. With the occasional rain and my resolution not to over-water my beds, I haven’t done a lot of watering this week, concentrating mainly on watering transplants and the salad box. All the beds are looking good. The peppers, in particular, are greening up and growing. One of the Poblanos has rocketed up about five inches and the Thai chili, while still petite, has set 4-5 fruit (picture below). The rest of the garden update is below the fold.

Thai pepper

The cucumbers are battling wilt but look relatively good and have been yielding cucumbers. I picked another one today. Downy mildew is epidemic around town now and wiping out entire beds of squash. This morning, some of the cucumber leaves were showing fuzzy white spots, so I sprayed them with copper and hope I can keep them alive for a few more weeks. One of the slicers actually has a long, smooth cucumber on it which will be harvested in a day or two. Up to now, all the slicers were producing fruit that were ridged, warty, and spiny just like pickling cukes.

Cukes on trellis

The collards and kale are doing great under the floating row cover. I harvested a large amount of collard greens today, my second cutting, which will make a nice meal with lots of leftovers.

Collards_31Jul2011Collard harvest 31 Jul 2011

Bean Provider is still producing a large amount of beans. The bean Jade plants will be picking in a couple of days. In addition, I got two zucchini off my Raven plant. These were hand-pollinated with a cotton swab under the row cover. These are from the two out of three female flowers that were hand-pollinated, the third fruit is turning yellow and shriveling. Here’s a picture of today’s harvest.

Harvest 31Jul2011

Since my wife is back from visiting college daughter, dinner tonight is a spatchcocked chicken over direct coals with a chunk of hickory for smoke, with green beans and a tomato-cucumber salad. If you don’t know what a spatchcocked chicken is, check out Steve Raichlen’s How to Grill. The beans and cucumbers are mine, but not the tomatoes. I use Hendrickson’s dressing on this type of salad, despite it’s sugar content (17 grams of carbs in a 2 tablespoon serving, at least it’s not HFCS). It’s great on a simple salad like this or just a leaf lettuce salad.

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