jamie_z7bhz8

Veggie Tales - June 2020

Jamie
last month

Summer is almost here (in spite of the odd weather many of us had in May). Our friends in warmer zones have been picking summer produce for a few weeks now but soon the rest of us will have those first summer tomatoes, beans, squash and cucumbers as well.


Happy June, All.



Comments (472)

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    14 days ago

    STRANGE BUG ALERT..... found this weird looking thing crawling along my cucumber vine....does anyone have any ideas?





    also...pulled up all my Chesnok Red garlic today.....some bigger than others but quite satisfied!




    can you eat scapes raw? I’m not exactly sure how to use the ones I managed to cut...

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    14 days ago

    Hab King - Sure...raw scapes, why not? I use most of mine in stir frys. I continue to be impressed with what you can grow on that north facing balcony. Sorry, no idea on the bug.

    I've pulled all but 2 of my garlic. I'm keeping these 2 in the ground to let the bulbils mature, because...why not? I have way more garlic than I'll be able to use and/or share this year.

    Richard - I'm glad you're seeing a little 'cooler' temps. I do wish you'd send some of that rain on up north. We are so dry here.

    I dug a Red Norland and a Purple Majesty potato plant yesterday and netted about 5.5 pounds. I'd stolen a few spuds from the plants previously. It's looking like it will be a good potato year for me. I'll probably have a hard time using up all that I've grown. The lack-of-socializing is cutting down on the amount of produce that I share with friends and family. I need to get something figured out so my harvests don't go to waste.

    About half of my onions have been uprooted and laid single-layer in ventilated flats for drying. The rest can come out of the ground at any time, but I'm not sure where I'd put them. The onions have done very well for me this year.

    The big news in the garden is that I have a baby watermelon! Woo hoo! I thought I'd pollinated a cantaloupe a few days ago too, but I found it on the ground, separated from the vine this morning. There are a ton of male blossoms, but no more female blossoms. I'll keep searching!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    14 days ago

    Hab I don't recognize bug but does not look"beneficial"

    Thinned parsnips and saved babies for supper garnish.

  • RD Texas
    14 days ago

    Habanero, it could be a thrip or a melon aphid-maybe the larvae of one.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    13 days ago

    Hab - your bug looks like an immature AT Walker from a Star Wars movie. Not quite identical but with maturity comes change! haha

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Teaser. Will get caught up tomorrow!




  • yolos - 8a Ga. Brooks
    13 days ago

    My first harvest of Rattlesnake Pole Beans in my raised 2 x 8 foot bed. 5 lbs.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Nice photos everyone. We got our first ripe, full-sized tomato this weekend from a George Detsika Italian Red https://secretseedcartel.com/product/george-detsikas-italian-red/ We are also getting some Centiflor, Yellow Pear and Barry's Crazy Cherry https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/tomatoes/wild-boar-farms/barry-s-crazy-cherry The clusters of tomatoes on Barry's Crazy Cherry really are huge. I like the flavor of them as well.

    Scallop/patty-pan squash are continuing to roll in. I made a stir-fry with some over the weekend.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Cindy- I made focaccia this weekend and thought it was perfect, until I tasted it - I kept getting interrupted when I was mixing everything together and neglected to add salt to the dough. I had flavored it with sundried tomatoes greek oregano, basil, and chives. hahahaha I will make a braised chuck roast today and we will eat it with the sauce from that. I think that will cover up the blandness of the bread.

    I used a recipe from https://smile.amazon.com/Italian-Farmhouse-Cookbook-Herrmann-Loomis/dp/0761117911/ref=sr_1_2?crid=IEDV3DF25RV8&dchild=1&keywords=italian+farmhouse+cookbook&qid=1593437505&sprefix=italian+farmhouse+c%2Caps%2C221&sr=8-2 I've had it for years ... I have a lot of cookbooks and sometimes forget what I actually do have. I will sometimes "rediscover" one as I pass by the shelves.

  • cindy_7
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    I am also growing George Detsika Italian Red, Jamie. However, it may be about six more weeks before I get any ripe large tomatoes.

    The temp here was already 80 degrees before nine am this morning.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    It's warm and humid this morning also- 81 right now. It's pretty cloudy also- but we are not supposed to get any rain until this evening. it looks like there's a chance most of the week also. I forgot to add, that we are also picking banana and Lipstick peppers. I have had an awful time with peppers again this year- pests mostly. But- the Fish and Espelettes are doing very well as are the bananas and Lipstick plants.

  • RD Texas
    13 days ago

    It only got up to 90 yesterday, but today it is back to normal-no more benefit from sand storms-92 degrees at 10:30. Jamie I have a bunch of Fish peppers I need to harvest too. I have been dehydrating all the extra peppers-got about 8, 8 ounce containers full and will grind them into powder soon. I also have about a dehydrator full of Jalapeños I am drying today.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Nice, Richard- are you letting the fish peppers ripen all the way or are you harvesting them while they are green?

  • RD Texas
    13 days ago

    Jamie, that depends on what you consider ripened. I like to harvest them when they look like the plants leaves. They will turn red if you leave them on long enough and some will stay kind of a greenish yellow and never change. Flavor wise I like the multicolored peppers or the red ones.

    Jamie thanked RD Texas
  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    I wasn't really sure which "phase" was the best- I will try them as you've suggested. This is my first time growing them also


  • RD Texas
    13 days ago

    Jamie, I will post some pictures in a few minutes and you can see the difference-although I don’t have any that are red now.


    Cindy, and Len and anyone else that wants some, I have a bunch of Red Malabar spinach seeds both naturally dried and some run through a colander to remove as much of the berry as possible before rinsing them off and letting them dry. Anyone who likes spinach will love the Red Malabar and I just got 20 padded envelopes, so just let me know.

  • RD Texas
    13 days ago





    Jamie here are three different types of Fish Peppers




    These are some of the ones I am dehydrating today-not the tomatoes and squash

    Jamie thanked RD Texas
  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    perfect, thanks RIchard!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    13 days ago

    Richard Yes from me definitely I sent you a PM

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    13 days ago

    Richard - I'd like to give that Malabar Spinach a try. If it grows and does well in YOUR heat, then it should work here.

    All the chatter about rain is leaving me longing...again.

    Nice looking garlic, Kevin. What's the variety?

    Fellow potato growers: From the Purple Majesty plant I dug on Saturday, I cooked 4. 2 of them were fine, but 2 of them were hard. Any idea what makes them do that? I'm not sure if they would have softened up if given more time in the pot or not.

  • RD Texas
    13 days ago

    You're Welcome Jamie

  • RD Texas
    13 days ago

    Margi, I am not sure if I have sent you anything at your new address-can you PM that to me?

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    13 days ago

    Sent - Thanks Richard. A few seeds will do me, I'm sure. I bet they'd be fine wrapped in a paper towel in a standard envelope. Save the padded envelopes for more fragile seeds.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    We got our first eggplant today along with a pair of conjoined Delicata squash that fell off the vine on their own. I don’t think they are quite ready to eat as the stripes should be yellow - I might try roasting them anyway and see what happens.



    tomatoes are trickling in and the beans are slowing down for a bit - the pole beans will be ready soon



    We got a couple of peppers also

  • cindy_7
    12 days ago

    Today I harvested the remaining gooseberries. We ate two last week. There were a total of eleven this year. By the time I picked these there were only five left. Not sure if they fell off or something "stole" them. (squirrels, birds, etc.)

    Haven't eaten these yet but will sometime this evening.

  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    Jamie my Delicata squash plants did not produce any blooms before the pillbugs got them. I didn’t even know pillbugs ate squash. I haven’t had any squash beetles so far this year but the pillbugs devastated half my crop. Luckily they haven’t been bothering the mini Butternut squash too much. I think they got all my white scallop squash and most of the yellow too.

  • leahikesgardenspdx
    12 days ago

    Oh my, there are blueberries! I have early bushes that are just loaded, with later berries to come. The problem is, I have a lot of frozen berries from last year. One of my Oregon Star tomatoes has a couple of almost full sized tomatoes on it. The other one, which might have been from saved seed, is way too tall for a determinate and has not set any fruit yet.

    This bush and two others are our oldest ones, maybe 40 yrs old. They were the first ones we planted and they were pretty mature then. We had to move them from their original location because the pines were sucking all of the water plus shading them. The tulle helps to keep the birds from helping themselves.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    That's too bad, Richard. We might get 6 or 8 Delicatas this year- last year they didn't produce at all. Our Honeynuts are producing well also as are the Tahitian Melons - the vines are HUGE on those- probably already 20 feet long now.

  • cindy_7
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Lea - Those blueberries look absolutely delicious. Hope that you have a good harvest!

  • Lyla
    12 days ago

    Loving everyone's harvests -- the beans and garlic all look great!


    And wow, Lea, 40 year old blueberries! That's amazing.


    Cindy, I think something made off with my four blackberries this year too. (Well, I know what it was -- we have a groundhog under the shed. I guess next year when there's a real crop, I'll have to net.)


    That double Delicata squash is too funny. I hope it cooks up all right!


    I'm looking forward to my own fish peppers. The plants took off later than the others, but they're flowering at long last. The thai chili next to it has set pods already.


    I decided to pull my ailing Paul Robeson. It wilted slowly over the weekend and there was no white seepage from the stem when I cut it down, so I don't think this was bacterial wilt, thankfully. Maybe fusarium or pith necrosis? Nothing seems quite right for the symptoms. But it didn't seem worth risking the other plants when it wasn't going to do well. The Black Krim two plants over is absolutely bursting with green tomatoes I can't wait for.




  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    Lea, awesome blueberries that is a load of berries. Looks like they are weighing the bushes down. I love your bird repellent-was wondering how you kept them that full. I didn’t know blueberry plants lived that long- might have to get a couple.

  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    Lyla, that is too bad, looks like the Paul Robeson had a nice fat tomato on it. I agree with you, it is not worth taking a chance with the good tomato plants-Black Krim is pretty great too. If you had a place to completely isolate it from all the other plants-you might be able to dig it up and put it in a container, but if it some kind of wilt it probably won’t last long anyway.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Good morning, everyone - we are still awaiting some rain and might get thunderstorms this evening. I thought I saw some lightning early this morning, but when I finally got up, it didn't look like it had rained at all outside overnight.

    Last night I braised a chuck roast with some Pink Ping Pong and mixed cherry tomatoes (I had frozen a bag of them last summer), banana peppers, carrots, onions and some Balsamic vinegar ... it was very good! (well, by braising I mean I put it in an Instant Pot to cook as I didn't have time to do a proper braise). We had it with focaccia bread and some roasted squash. It was a nice summer supper

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    We harvested a total of around 1000 garlic bulbs (from a total of ~1600 planted), approximately 200 were pulled as green garlic, so a loss of around 400 bulbs which needs to be rectified in future years.

    These sat in our garage with fans running on them for a day or so, and we categorized them into 'seed' and 'sale' bunches of 10. Seed are obviously the biggest ones. We will sell the smaller ones first and if we sell out we will need to make a decision on whether to keep our seed garlic or sell it through and buy more again this year. There's around 300 bulbs labeled as 'seed' quality so at an average of 6 usable cloves per bulb I could almost have enough to not buy any for next year.

    Varieties grown and notes: German White (best, biggest, cleanest), Music (close second, really great flavor), Italian Purple (not as big but the flavor is great and 3-4 large cloves per bulb is nice), Ukraine Red (did not really grow too well here), and Bogatyr (love the flavor of these - low heat, and they were decent producers if for smaller bulbs).





    All are hanging in our storage shed to dry down and cure.

    Tomatoes seem to be enjoying the heat. I am getting a little bit of leaf curl on some of the cherry tomatoes that I think is due to lack of water uptake - partly from the soil being a bit on the dryer side and partly maybe due to too much nitrogen (composted pelleted chicken manure) which can also reduce water uptake. I flooded the beds yesterday for a good 3 hours and it seems that I'm seeing a little improvement in the curl.

    Ol' Reliable (Big Beef):


    We yanked the lettuce and kale surrounding the tomatoes as they were all starting to bolt. Will be bringing in a lot of compost to side dress and then either planting another intercrop (maybe green onions or more lettuce?) or just laying down the white landscape fabric like we did last year. You can kind of see some of the leaf curl going on in the below photo.



    My lovely wife has taken affection to the tomato house, and has gotten real good at pruning and training them. She lets me run the cukes (her skin gets irritated from the stems/leaves of cucurbits).



    I dont have photos of all the peppers but they are doing fantastic. Heres a fish pepper, such a cool plant - Should have planted this up in our front yard landscaping somewhere. No fruit yet.



    We also pulled the onions and shallots and are letting them field cure in this hot dry weather. Some may be a little early (tops not fully floppy) but we will market those first and hang on to the more fully developed ones longer.





    Being able to flip 8 beds at a time for our summer/fall push will be very nice... these will be getting second succession of cukes, watermelon, and cantaloupe.


    Our bed flip process for this plot will be:

    Rotary plowing the paths up into the beds with the BCS, shallow tilling to work in the vegetation, adding compost, then maybe tarping with clear greenhouse plastic for a few days to kill off any residual weeds. Then we will mulch the beds with a thick layer of well rotted wood chips (2-3 years old) since everything going in here will be longer term crops and can use the weed control/moisture retention. It looks like early next week we get a chance of rain so hopefully we can get some of the crops into here before then.

    I'll try to get some photographs of the bed flip stages if anyone is interested.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    12 days ago

    CSA share box last week. Everyone has been really pleased so far (and we havent even had any tomatoes yet!).




    We also partnered with a friend/coworker of mine that started his own bakery. We sell their loaves of sourdough and other goodies at our market, which adds yet another reason for people to stop at our booth.



  • cindy_7
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Lyla - Have had to deal with ground hogs many times and, unfortunately, netting will not keep them out. Neither will a raised wooden border/bed or metal fencing. They just dig under it. Trapping is the only way to get rid of it. Fairfax County has an ordinance stating that if you trap a g-hog you must put it down.

  • cindy_7
    12 days ago

    Kevin - That bread looks so good. Wish I could make bread like that!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    12 days ago

    Greetings from rainy northwest. It is drizzling this morning so I will go try to put things away in the greenhouse. After I got it clean trays and tools are just piled on the plant shelves waiting for order to evolve.


    Kevin thanks for the great post. You have been so busy! Please send me a CSA box to hold us until our harvests catch up. I did pull the Music garlic and have it hanging in the garage but hardneck varieties are still pretty green so left for now. Great thinking to add bread to your retail shelf; what about adding to the CSA offering?


    Sorry about groundhog Lyla hard to see that damage.


    Jamie that sounds like a great supper...our instapot gets a lot of action (DW is the operator) She has ordered me not to bring any more produce into the house for a few days so she can work down the refrigerator.


    What they don't tell you when they post designs for the 3 bay compost bins is how fast they fill up. I now have the ultimate logistic headache with two bins needing to be turned, with temps much higher in center than outside edges, and a foot of new material in the third one. Since the maturing bins are down quite a bit from the tops I guess I will just bury the new stuff as I rotate the material and let it take care of itself.



    Jamie thanked Len NW 7a
  • cindy_7
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    When I posted earlier, Kevin's post with all of the garlic, onions and tomatoes wasn't visible. A very abundant harvest!

    Jamie - Your dinner last night sounds wonderful.

    We had company on Sunday and ordered Chinese and we still have leftovers so no cooking for me for another day.

    So far, it's only 86 degrees here.

    Jamie thanked cindy_7
  • cindy_7
    12 days ago

    Urrrgg! Something ate two of my three Queensland Blue Squash plants!

  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    I hate to hear that Cindy, do you think it was a deer?


    I put everyone’s seeds into the mailbox this morning but they still haven’t been picked up yet (mail usually comes around noon). I included natural dry and cleaned seeds (total pain in the butt) and planted 4 natural dried seeds (110 degrees in the greenhouse today) so I will let everyone know how that goes. My spinach intake is getting ridiculous. I was picking leaves for 20 minutes yesterday and didn’t put a dent in it. Maybe 20 plants was too many lol. The supports were actually the 7-7.5 feet ones which are two 4 footers duct taped together, so they are not as strong as the 6 footers. There were about 10 vines growing into my neighbor’s back yard today and some of it grew about 3 foot vines and then grew back up itself which really makes them thick-they are very strong and flexible.

  • cindy_7
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Richard - I actually think it was a rabbit, or two, or more. Last year I caught one at it. Have never been successful trapping rabbits though. G-hogs are easy compared to rabbits.

    Today I added two layers of netting over the remaining seedling and used landscape staples to keep it down.

  • RD Texas
    11 days ago

    Kevin, impressive and inspirational harvest as always. It is nice to hear from a professional and I am going to have to try German White and Music garlic next ho around. I am happy with the Texas Grano sweet onions, but I have yet to harvest any garlic from sets (got 10 or 12 cloves from some that I bought at the store that sprouted).


    Mailman finally got here.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Today's photos


    Hooray the greenhouse is ready for the next season. Amazing amount of room in there after debris removed and things put away.


    These 4 babies will go into greenhouse to crop in the fall and hopefully winter. Mortgage Lifter, PPP, Chocolate Cherry (my favorite) and Black Krim. Hope to have tomatoes from greenhouse for Xmas dinner. These weird self wicking containers are compliments of internet and are totally experimental for me.



    Yesterday I added another California weave line to the asparagus rows in the new bed...quite a few more sprouts after the first flush which I think is a good thing. Also weeded and mulched.



    The photographer needs lessons....there is my first little zucchini down there but hidden by leaves.


  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    11 days ago

    I’ve not had great success posting lately. I’ll make a few notes here now and hope that things will work better for me in July. :-)

    Kevin - Thanks for the pictures. Things always look so good in your world. Neat that you’ve got bread to offer along with the honey and all of your garden goodies. I’m sure folks flock to your stand.

    My zucchini is on its way out already. Squash Vine Borer, I’m sure. I poked new seeds in today. I have pattypan squash plants that are starting to take off.

    I pulled the rest of my onions this morning. Super good onion year for me. I’m not weighing harvests this year, but I ought to weigh the onions because I think it would be impressive.

    Topped 100 today with a heat index of about 105. Tomorrow is looking to be slightly hotter. Yuck.

    Thanks for sending the seeds, Richard.

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan
    11 days ago

    Wow!! Great harvest Kevin. The quantities you grow, harvest, clean up, and sell are amazing.

    Len, the greenhouse looks great. The self watering containers look good. We (well really my husband) made two sets from large Rubbermaid totes several years ago that also had the double walls and watering tubes. They worked well and grew a lot of produce until the weather did them in after years of service. I hope you like yours as well as we liked ours.

    I've been longing for the summertime harvests many of you are getting. Today I harvested two yellow squash and two small banana peppers, and large full sized beets. Finally, summer crops to go with the spring produce. With temps in the the 90's this week I doubt the spring crops will hang on much longer.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    I picked maybe a cup of blueberries today. And almost a full plastic colander of shelling June peas. Think this is the peak of the pea season here in my garden. Seems kinda late to me. We used to call them June peas, my reason for referring to the local name. It's July, almost and I still have flowers. I want to get pole haricot vert beans in that row! Anyway, I shelled and froze a good quart after some for dinner.

    I direct seeded a patch of broccoli in the ground. I did that this spring with cabbage and it worked fine. I still have a few crowded groups of cabbage seedlings after taking what I needed out.

    Kevin - wonderful crops as usual. That bread looks great. Can we find that closer to home? I made an order to the link today. Four sports of red delicious, the really old ones. I want to find out if the old varieties lived up to the name. If I have the time!

  • RD Texas
    11 days ago

    Cindy here is the link...https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/insect-and-related-pests-of-vegetables then click on beans and peas-there are pretty detailed photos and diagrams. On the diagram it says bean aphids and green with white appendages, but they look closer to black on the pictures.

  • cindy_7
    10 days ago

    Thank you, Richard.

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