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Veggie Tales - August 2020

Jamie
2 days ago

This month snuck up on me- it’s hard to believe that we are 8 months into this very odd gardening year. For me, August means making sure I have all of the seeds ready For our fall garden- even starting some of the ones that need a little extra time.

Our summer garden is taking a break - we are still getting tomatoes and peppers as they are ready, The plants aren’t setting any new fruit. Sporadic rainfall has also meant that we need to be extra diligent with hand watering, Our cucumbers generally succumb to some sort of malady by the peak of summer and need replacing (I have back ups ready to go now) and we are awaiting the production from our third succession of bush beans.


Happy August, everyone!

Comments (37)

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

    Happy August!

    For me, August means melon season! I picked the first watermelon last Tuesday. It is unusual for me to have a watermelon before the first cantaloupe, but that's what's happened. The 27 pound Crimson Sweet is awfully good. I'll pick another 1 or 2 in the next few days with 10 more coming along behind. The first Ambrosia cantaloupe will be ready either today or tomorrow, I think. We're having unusually mild weather right now with highs in the 80s, which will probably slow down the ripening.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Jamie - Last night for dinner I made these: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14019/eggplant-croquettes/

    Even my DH liked them and ate three! (He's not a fan of eggplant.) I was thinking that they would be good with tzatziki, too. I reduced the amount of bread crumbs so the carbs would be lower. I also baked the eggplant first instead of using the microwave.

    I now have more cucumbers than I can use and my neighbor doesn't need any because her's are producing well, too.

    Jamie thanked cindy_z6b/7a VA
  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    2 days ago

    I picked this fused patty pan squash yesterday morning. I’m still picking a bunch, and we’re living them.

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

    ^loving them.
    (Sorry, can’t edit original post)

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 days ago

    Fun squash picture Margi. Living them loving them...it all works. DW is not a fan of eggplant either so I have not grown any so far. Maybe next year. It is cool this morning which is welcome. I'll do some photos to document the first of August; I'm way behind most of you in warmer climates and approaching the peak of the year in the garden.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago

    It was 86 degrees at 10 am today which is 10 degrees cooler than yesterday but with the 80% humidity it still feels pretty hot. August usually means to me that it is time to round up all the hundreds of dead tomato plants and put them in the garbage. I should get rid of them as soon as I take them out of the rotation as it would cut out some of the Septoria and mold problems, but I always get a few tomatoes off them. It is definitely not worth the trouble. I have to change my ways.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago

    Margi, are you trying to edit from the computer or a phone? I had trouble with the phone before but now when I click on the three dots at the bottom right of the post it has an edit feature.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago

    And now I'm getting Orange Ping Pong fruit. The yellow-green one is Yellow Ping Pong that isn't quite ripe but picked because rain is predicted later today.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago

    First sweet corn of the summer and the ugly tomato winner so far this year.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    Margi i had some conjoined delicata squash also hahaha

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    That’s interesting Cindy- have you ever had this happen with Pink Ping Pong in the past?

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago

    Jamie - No I haven't. I did plant seeds that I had saved from two years ago. I'm planning to save seeds from the orange fruit this year and see what I get next year.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 days ago

    Cindy that 🍅 is definitely butt ugly.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago

    Thanks, Len! I'm planing to send you seeds for Elfin so don't order any.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago

    Cindy, how did the ugly tomato taste?

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    yesterday

    Cindy - And also. I'm assuming your ripe corn is Ambrosia. How was that corn. When I feel a cob on the plant mine feel kinda skinny. I hope they plump up some. The silks are browning on the first cobs.

    We got some serious rain today. It's 74°with thunder in the distance right now at 5;30PM. It has looked like a winter day in Pittsburgh all day today. A solid gray sky with no definition, perhaps a little brighter than a winter sky. We really needed the rain.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    yesterday

    Richard - That tomato tasted really good!! Pretty sure that the seeds were from you, too. Thanks!

    John - Yes, it's was Ambrosia. I love the flavor of it. To me, it's just the right amount of sweetness. I may have (no doubt about it, I did) harvested them a couple of days early. They were still delicious. I much prefer corn on the young side though my DH prefers the opposite. (old corn)

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    yesterday

    18# of purple potatoes. ad's I probably missed enough to plant out next year.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    yesterday

    Yes, Richard, I was trying to edit on my phone. When I want to post a picture, I use my phone rather than having to get the picture from the phone to the computer. I'll take a look at your 3 dots suggestion.

    Len, My first Dahlia is mostly open. Thought about taking a picture, but I thought I'll give it another day to see if it opens up more. So pretty.

    I did end up picking the first cantaloupe today. 7.5# Sadly, when I looked at the bottom, there was a significant rotten spot. I trimmed it out, and hubby says the rest is reasonably good. Not as sweet as usual, but still far better than store bought. I'm guessing that it "looked" and acted ripe a little early because of the bad spot.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    yesterday

    It's looking like the effects of Isaias will be here very late Monday and early Tuesday morning. Since we will be on the west side of the storm it should only be rain for us.

    Len, if your fall frost date is pretty late you could re-plant the small potatoes and get a second crop this season. I've done it many times.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    yesterday

    Len - I planted Canela Russet potatoes last year on July 28 and I got a good crop of potatoes the same size as those planted earlier in the spring. That variety is a late potato. What I planted was seed potatoes left over from the spring planting. A little soft but they worked fine. Some folks say you can't plant potatoes in a hot climate late, but you and I are in a cool climate, and apparently Cindy's also in a cool enough climate.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    We cleaned things up yesterday in the lower yard at same time as I dug the potatoes. I took some pictures this morning.


    The asparagus bed seems to be thriving. Plants are throwing up more strong ferns every week which must mean the roots are happy. I gave them Alfalfa Meal and greensand 2 weeks ago. Hardest thing is pulling up the old lilys that used to live there. I hope they give up soon.



    That maple tree looks like the top is on fire with the new growth. I need to keep my pruning shears away for rest of the season!


    With the path cleared this hydrangea is awesome. She is out over the path a bit but not going to cut on her while she is blooming.


    I think I posted about eating daylily buds...they are delicious and we have a huge crop ready to pick.


    I'm not sure what this squash is. It does not look like Lakota, is definitely not spaghetti squash, maybe a pumpkin? I had some baby bear pumpkin seeds. Anyway there are a dozen of them on and the vine is rambling so we will see soon.


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Dahlias

    This little girl is my new favorite!


    New one this year brilliant orange!


    And if size matters here is Harvey Koop. If I keep deadheading he will give us 6 of these or so over the growing season.


    Also new; I'm so glad I made my new friend on the Nextdoor app. She told me that the trombocini plant I gave here has a 2' squash on it now. Mine in hoop house has not had a female flower open yet. It finally has a male flower so maybe there is one in my future.


    This is snowbound.


  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    6 hours ago

    Margi - I think that I am going to have to grow cantaloupe next year because of your reviews. I grew it years ago and it's kind of hit or miss here. If it's a really wet year, they have no flavor at all.

    Because the tropical storm has slowed down a bit, tomorrow is looking like the day that it will arrive here. I just went out to pick every tomato that had any color, as well as cukes, some peppers, and Swiss chard. Managed to get three bug bites in the process. Didn't want to put on bug spray for just 15 minutes of being out there.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    5 hours ago
    last modified: 5 hours ago

    Cindy - I’d say, go for it with the melons. Seems like I recall that you have ample space. Maybe your chef friend would trade for those too.

    Here’s my first dahlia blossom! I can’t wait for others to show themselves.

    Len - I love seeing your dahlia pictures. I have a snowbound coming along too. Can't wait! I need to figure out something to support the plants. I realized this morning that the plant which holds the flower pictured is really flopping all aver the place. I need to find some supports.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 hours ago

    Cindy - as long as you can keep the Raccoons and Possums away from them melons are pretty easy.

  • Sunflowers
    4 hours ago

    I have a new personal best record for heaviest tomato!


    This bad boy took some serious guarding to protect from squirrels in my backyard. I had it double bagged in mesh produce bags and at one point had to zip tie the branch back together because it started to break while I was bagging it. The only bad part? I don't know what type of plant it is. This plant was one of the extras I grew in case my other plants didn't make it after transplant. So it's either Wes, Big Zac or Burpee Steakhouse Hybrid.....

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    4 hours ago

    Chelsea - Wes and Big Zac are both red so I don't think it is one of those. Not sure about the Burpee one.

    John - I planted some of the Spanish Roja bulbils to see if they are viable. Some of them remained whitish instead of turning purplish/brown. I assume the latter are viable but I wanted to see if the whitish ones are too. I'll give them about 14 days to sprout and then I'll mail some to you along with some bulbs.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    4 hours ago

    Well done, Chelsea! Jack - that looks like a red tomato to me, just not super ripe yet.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 hours ago
    last modified: 4 hours ago

    Margi that is a great shot. Dahlia people have all sorts of ways to support them. Some just plant close together and let them form a forest. Tomato cages work great but are not very attractive IMO. I set a 4' bamboo stake behind each plant when I put tuber or seedling out. This year I'm using some green twine to tie them up.


    Chelsea that is a big old double tomato for sure!


    Granddaughter Madison and I harvested green beans yesterday...close to end for the first provider planting, but got first handful of Half Runner pole beans so the flow is happening. Half Runner, Lazy Wife Lazy and Red Eye Fall bean vines are up to top of the arches and the Mr. Tung beans that I planted later are climbing away.


    Good luck with the storm Cindy

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    4 hours ago

    SAHUARO HYBRID peppers -- love them!

    Tony

    Thanks Cindy!




  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    3 hours ago

    Question for you garlic experts. I am going to plant my garlic in blocks this fall in a bed about 3' wide. I see suggested spacing of 4-6". That seems tight to me please advise.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 hours ago

    Len - Sounds good to me! I usually try for five inches apart. However, I plant them in long rows because then I can plant a spring veggie behind them before the garlic needs to be harvest. Once the garlic is lifted, then I plant beans and beets where the garlic was.

    This past spring I planted potatoes on one side, then a path, then tomato plants. The garlic is usually around the perimeter where my best dirt is.

    You're welcome, Tony.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    1 hour ago
    last modified: 1 hour ago

    Tony - welcome back stranger! Hope your garden is doing well.

    Cindy - It looks like the rain is starting to close into your area. One band is moving up from your south.

    Len 6" spacing in row is enough but I'd allocate more space between rows if you want the largest bulbs possible. If you orient the seed cloves with the flat side all facing the same direction then the leaf fan on the plants will all be oriented the same. You want the leaves to get as much sun as possible for maximum bulb size and if the rows are crowded then the plants in adjacent rows will be competing for the same sun.

    I crowded my garlic this year planting a 7x19 grid with 6" spacing in all directions. I still got mostly 2" - 2.25" bulbs which is fine with me but nothing to brag about.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    1 hour ago

    Jack - It just started raining lightly here. They keep moving back the arrival of the tropical depression. It just isn't advancing very quickly though is is picking up momentum.

    Question: Many times my garlic cloves have two flat sides with the outer part being rounded. Is it just a toss up as to which side you face the same direction? And which direction do you want them to face? South? (I usually do not plant the interior cloves as they seem to always be smaller.)

  • labradogs
    50 minutes ago

    Len, that is fascinating about planting the cloves with the flat sides facing one way. Could you elaborate on which way we should place that flat side for maximum exposure of the leaves to the sun?


    Linda


  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    31 minutes ago
    last modified: 28 minutes ago

    Taken about 45 minutes ago in Stafford VA, almost due south of here.