Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It seems like so much has been happening in the garden lately! I'm so tired of the hot temps already. We usually have these temps in July, not in June. We're also lacking precipitation. We're 5" behind on the rainfall totals for the year. However, there's good news in the garden! We've been harvesting for the past week or so.
Today's harvest of a handful of cherry tomatoes from our volunteer cherry tomato plants, a few okra that are now in the freezer, and a lemon cucumber.
The other night, I went out and picked about a pound of Contender bush beans, a few strawberries, and a couple of okra. This was our first harvest of beans and they were really tasty! Husband put the okra somewhere, supposedly in the freezer, but I've not found them yet! LOL
This is the first year I've grown lemon cucumbers. I didn't really know what to expect, but I thought I'd give them a try. I'm in love!! What a tasty little thing and perfect for just one or two people! It's about the size of a medium sized apple, grows green, and then turns a light shade of yellow and gets stripes from the top down when it's ripe. There are little spiny things on the outside of the skin, but if you use a vegetable scrubber on them, they'll come off. The skin is tasty and the inside is nice and crisp!
Here's the inside. It's so pretty, I think!
We pulled the garlic up on Sunday. It hadn't fallen over, but it was all brown and dead looking, so out it came. This is elephant garlic passed along to me from a gardening friend who's been growing and passing it along for about 20 years now. All I can say is that the fully mature bulb is HUGE! It's about the size of a softball.
Here's my haul. The smaller bulb on the left is a 2-year bulb. I'll let it cure, then plant it again in the fall. Next year at harvest time, it'll be the size of the larger bulbs on the right. The 2 bulbs on the right were grown from full size pods last fall. They are full size cloves of garlic. We'll use one of the bulbs for cooking and one of them we'll plant in late September-early October so we'll have more full-grown garlic bulbs next June.
If you'll look at the picture of the garlic on the right, you'll notice that the outer paper husk of the garlic is not there. That's because we waited too long to harvest. These cloves are still viable, but without the paper, they are more susceptible to disease and pests. We'll have to use these first. They need to dry for about a month where it's not too dry and out of the sun. We've brushed the dirt off them, but not used water on them. Right now, they're on my washing machine, but we'll soon hang them outside under the carport where they'll be out of the sun, but can take advantage of the warmth and high humidity.
These are the small bulbules that grow on the bottom of the larger bulb of garlic. These are 2-year pods and this is what we planted most of last fall. They have a very hard outer shell that takes awhile to break down and germinate. The smaller bulb in the previous picture is what was grown out of one of these bulbules. I need to clean these up, let them cure, then they'll be ready for sharing and planting!
Until next time, I'll leave you with a pic of one of my garden visitors.