Thursday, July 11, 2013


There's the corn field! The tall ones on the left are corn specially bred for container gardening, from Burpee Seeds, called "On Deck." I was going to plant the right side with the same variety two weeks after the initial planting, but then I lost the packet of seeds somewhere in the house, so I just filled in with some random sweet corn variety. Even if I don't get corn from the plants, they are so pretty.

The onions are doing great. On the left are some planted shallowly, for slicing onions; on the right are onion sets planted more deeply, for scallions. We've eaten a few of them, and they are sweet and delicious.

And then there are the tomatoes.

These are Early Girl, another Burpee variety. I planted three of them in containers in the front yard, and they are breaking their green ties with the weight of their fruit. And they are early, to be sure. Within a week of their planting, they had all set fruit; I ate the first ripe one the last week of May.

I think that if I could be heartless and calculating, I'd thin the little green tomatoes so that the remaining ones would get bigger, but a 2 1/2 inch tangy-sweet tomato is just the right size for a snack, so I don't. I just tie more green tape around them to keep them from falling to the ground.

So far my ploy has worked and ants have plundered none of them.

And then there are Bernie's Romas, which are perfect for salsas and sauces, being meaty little beasties.

The Roma tomatoes just have a cage around them; they are fairly polite as tomatoes go, and don't require a lot of leash training, although as you can see, some green tape has been employed to keep those heavily-laden vines up out of the ants.

Bernie should have enough salsa to keep him in nachos until Thanksgiving.

Now these maniacs are my Marglobes. They tend to be a late-season crop, but they've gone a bit mad this year. That fence is six feet high, and the Marglobes seem determined to climb over it. Tomorrow I'm going to go in with nails and green tape and corral them so that they don't fall over and strangle the orange tree that is out of sight on the right.

Marglobes are an "heirloom" variety, thin-skinned and not too prolific. I like their taste, and their habit. They're almost secretive about their fruit, keeping it covered by leaves. Then you see a twinkle of red, and tunneling through the foliage, come upon big, beautiful orbs of juicy goodness.

I noted the first Marglobe tomato blushing pink this morning. With the temps in the 90s during the day, and no lower than 60 at night, it should be ripe by Saturday.

Alex's eggplant garden has never looked better.

Except for one point, the fluffy bloom-laden plant has not set any eggplants yet. Last year, the plants looked ratty and bug-eaten, but produced loads of black shiny yuckiness.

I'm not fond of eggplant like Alex is ... but Bernie learned how to make a killer eggplant parmesan, and so we're all waiting ... I'm ready to take a paintbrush to those blossoms and see if I can speed pollination along.

And finally, for this tour, we have the harvest of thumblike carrots. They're supposed to be short and fat like that. Their flavor is scrumptious, and they kept well in the soil until this week.

While we snack on these (should take us right up to NFL pre-season),  I'll try to get Alex to remember the variety and plant some more in September. I was dubious about container carrots until I tasted one.

Tomorrow's morning task: pick a basketful of tomatoes, and get some onions ready for a salad for lunch.

Do stop by if you can take some tomatoes off our hands -- I haven't even begun to talk about the Goliath tomatoes out back.

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