Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #19

Monday, August 11, 2008

Garden Update #19

This week's garden update is a mix of progress and regression. On the regression side, we have serranos, super chiles, poblanos, broccoli, and tomatoes. On the progress side, we have hungarian wax, banana peppers, petite bells, butternut squash, and tomatoes. I know, I know, tomatoes are on both sides; I'll explain. The Roma has slowed in terms of producing new blossoms while the ripening process has come along nicely. Our better boy has been, well, a "better boy," but the mystery tomatoes have taken a turn for the worse.

The zucchini plants look about the same except for the one I accidently pulled a large chunk off of earlier this week while trying to remove insect eggs:

And this little guy was begging to be photographed:

The summer squash looks about the same, as well:

This mystery tomato is on par with the zucchini and summer squash; pretty much the same as last week:

The other mystery plant is done for, I'm afraid. Poor conditions in addition to "no-holds-barred" competition with the butternut appear to have been too much for this straggler:

Speaking of butternuts, we have some old-timers getting ready for harvest:

...and a couple of newbs:

Our better boy, however, is straightening up his act; we're proud and astonished at his recovery from what - months ago - appeared to be certain death.

The roma is frighteningly productive. Under the weight of all these 'maters, it has been nearly impossible to keep it off of the ground. Whenever I have tied it, the "branch" bends like an elbow at the tie-point within a day or two. Thus far, however, no tomatoes are touching the ground:

Our in-ground banana peppers have made a healthy resurgence from "under the rule of butternut hegemony," so to speak:

Our container garden:

This banana and our second-year serrano were hiding behing the jalapeno in the group photo, so I had to catch them while they weren't looking. I think the serrano might finally be done producing, but I've given it more food to see if that helps:

The super chili has seen better days. I've finally come to the conclusion that these little peppers would be better suited to soil with better drainage; it's been slowly drowning all summer. We don't really care, though, as we haven't been all that impressed with their flavor.

The broccoli is still alive; that's all I can say for it:

This is a pretty poblano but only one of two (can you see the other one hanging out back there?), and there is no sign of newcomers on the horizon. It's a large and beautiful plant, but it has used more resources than it was worth.

The hungarian wax is infested with blossoms. I estimate that it currently has more blossoms than leaves; I'm still trying to wrap my head around that as even possible, but I've seen it. I only hope that you can see it too:

The long red cayenne has double the peppers it had the "last round". We're hoping they ripen in time to get another round in before the season is over; that would make for a decent ristra from just one plant!

The petite bell is still going strong. It has far fewer peppers on it than a week ago ('cause we ate 'em), but there looks to be no shortage of new ones getting started. Here is one of the few left which is now getting good and ripe:

The jalapenos are rocking the place! We keep picking them, and they keep on coming. They are peppered all over this impressive plant in various stages of development. It's been a real treat to have around this summer:

The two banana pepper plants that we have in containers are making up for lost time:

The "regular" bell seems to be pacing itself, and not so much to our pleasure. I was hoping for more productivity even though I'm not the biggest fan of bell peppers. But they're still nice to look at:

A ripe serrano:

...and one that's starting to ripen:

Believe it or not, these are seeds we started germinating on Thursday for our first attempt at an indoor winter garden. That's right folks; we've had this much progress in just FOUR DAYS since first planting! I'm using an old cooler to keep moisture in and maintain soil temperature; it seems to be working really well so far:

And finally, Jennifer's dad and stepmom came to CoMo on Sunday to deliver this little bundle of joy for her birthday present. It's a dwarf avodado tree! Since this is a tree we do not expect fast progress here. It's also likely that it will not fruit for a few years. So, we're only going to update on it monthly instead of weekly. Of course, if there's breaking news, we won't wait until the turn of a calendar page to talk about it; there's no way we could contain the excitement for long. Oh, and Gabby wanted to be in the picture:


VeggieGirl said...

Looks like the progression far outweighs the regression - gorgeous garden!!

Aww, Gabby :0)

selina said...

looks like things are moving along good. my green bell peppers have been VERY slow as well... but i'm not sure if it's the plant itself of the deer attack it suffered last month. your jalapenos look beautiful. my is producing little jalapenos like crazy too. i love having it in my garden. your butternuts are very cute!

im super super jealous of jen's little avocado tree. i hope to procure a dwarf lemon tree soon.

i hope you get some broccoli out of your plant. i just transplanted some for my fall garden. we'll see what happens.

i can't wait to follow along your winter garden updates.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I had high hopes for your poblanos, one of my favorite peppers! Sorry they haven't fared better.

Catherine said...

I think I might need an avocado tree, too!! :)

Liz said...

I've only gotten 2 poblanos from my plant, too. The tomatillos sort of took over their space and they aren't getting much sun.
I'm really jealous of the avocado tree! I miss avocados like crazy!

Catherine said...

Oh -- and I replied to your comment with my granola recipe!

jennycestcake said...

Absolutely gorgeous garden. Congratulations!

jessy said...

everything looks so super awesome! thanks for the update, Brett! and that's so awesome on the dwarf avocado tree! yay! the peppers, squashes, tomatoes - they're all do'n great and looking mighty tasty! i can wait to see what you do with the butternut squashes....

Brett said...

Veggiegirl - progress is still winning out overall as it should - although slowly and less so than in previous weeks.

Selina - if that had happened to our plants, I think we'd be pleased with any recovery whatsoever. Jalapenos seem to do very well; I think I understand now why they have been so widely available in the industrial food system for my entire life. I was delighted to get a photo of that butternut with the open blossom; I honestly hadn't ever seen that before.

We're incredibly pleased to have the avocado tree, but I'm reserving what excitement I can until it has had some time to acclimate to our apartment. It did come with a warranty, though. Now, I'm looking around the place and making a short list of candidates for eviction so that we might also have room for a dwarf lime tree. Then, it's back to guacamole city for Jen & Brett!

I think we've pretty well given up on the broccoli at this point; we don't expect much, if any, production, and we have winter plans for their pot. We've also come to realize that having a winter garden presents nomenclature issues for our garden updates. As of now, we plan to unveil the new system at the turn of the new year; that is, assuming we've come up with an alternative by then.

Lisa - We had high hopes too. It has been the tallest pepper plant since way back but also the least productive. I'm not quite ready to give up on poblanos, though. There HAS to be a way we can get better production.

Catherine - With Jennifer around, I think we might need a couple more ourselves ;) But one is all we have room for here. Thanks for the recipe. Jennifer is excited to give it a go; she loves granola, and I love almost anything that doesn't require more effort than "open and eat".

Liz - Ours has suffered from no shortage of sun having been the tallest of all our pepper plants. Also, our jalapeno claims to need full sun but actually seems to fare better in the shade with its dark foliage. Jennifer suspects that the poblanos and bells are underpotted, and if she's right, the primary competition between your tomatillos and poblanos might be taking place underground. I'm also going to look into pruning as a potential strategy for encouraging better productivity. So, next year, we'll put one in the ground instead of a pot, and I'll prune it and see what happens.

Jenny - Thanks; we're very pleased with what we've learned this year.

Jessy - Your welcome and thank you. Admittedly, the tomatoes look tastier than they are, but that has more to do with how we're eating them (sliced w/ salt - not the best way to eat romas) than anything actually wrong with the tomatoes. Next year, I think we'll have more slicers - maybe yellows. I think Jennifer has plans for the butternuts, and what she can't account for, we'll give away.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

An avocado tree! I bet you're happy about that :-)
The garden looks gorgeous as usual.

Brett said...

Alice - Oh, we are VERY happy. I thought Jennifer did a good job of grabbing photos from the 'in-ground' garden this week. Somehow, the photos always make the garden look just a little better than it does in person, but I'm not complaining; we're very pleased with our first garden plot.

Courtney said...

Wow--those romas look amazing! What a treat to have those!

Your cat looks so small and cute next to that beauty of an avocado tree!


Happy Herbivore! said...

WOW. holy shit Jennifer -you're the amazing!

Brett said...

Courtney - The romas do look good; can't wait to eat 'em. Would you believe Gabby is our BIG kitty? She's got a kitten sized face and the body of a Tom.

HH - Jennifer is totally the amazing!

apad 2 said...

A great deal of effective info for me!