Early July Garden Update
Posted by Emily
I can't believe how quickly the summer is moving along! It's only July 1st and the garden is busting at the seams. I have a lot of updates to share with you before I head to Cape Cod for a week. I've been busy putting the garden in order today before I leave it on it's own for six days. In between rain showers, I've been heading outside to make sure the tomatoes are in their cages properly and the cucumbers are training up the fence. Even on a dreary day, it's nice to be in the garden.
As you can see from the picture above, the cucumbers are really taking off. As they grow, they put out long, thin tendrils that will curl around a fence or trellis. As the tendrils form, it's a good time to help them find the fence and train them where you want them to go. It's incredible to see the little tendrils grab onto the fence, like tiny alien hands.
I've been making sure that the tomatoes grow into their cages. As they get bigger, they need helping feeding their growing branches up through the top of the cages so that they stay upright and somewhat symmetrical. A few of the tomato plants are flowering and I'm starting to see some baby green tomatoes!
It is hard to believe that the tiny broccoli plants we put in the garden in May are getting so big! Remember, we started these little guys from seeds and I wasn't sure how hardy they were going to be. So far, they look like they are doing great!
I found some Cabbage Butterfly caterpillars eating my cabbage plants! It's impressive how well camouflaged they are! I actually first noted their poop - I thought for a second it was some sort of green eggs, but then I figured it out and searched for the bugs. I found one caterpillar per plant and moved them far away into the brush outside of the garden. I couldn't bring myself to kill them. I then sprayed the plants with an organic insecticidal soap. I've been checking the plants regularly and have not found any new holes, so I think the problem is under control!
The green beans are starting to flower and are really thriving! I am sure we'll have beans to pick when we get back next week. My Grammy will be proud!
Bobby and I decided to plant some corn this year, just to see what happens. We got it in the ground late, so we won't meet the standard goal of "knee high by the Fourth of July", but nevertheless it will be fun to watch. Growing corn can be quite difficult, because there is an art to allowing it to pollinate and create corn you can eat. We thought we'd just wing it these year, because the stalks will be a fun Fall decoration whether or not we actually get any corn to eat. Here are the little baby corn sprouts.
And look...the beet roots are starting to come in!!! You can see the root of the beet starting to form - these are going to be delicious! I saw some worms in the soil and tried to pick them out - I hope they don't bore holes in my beets! We shall see. It's one of the issues with organic gardening. But one I'm willing to deal with.
I don't know if you remember, but I tried a new vegetable in the garden this year - KOHLRABI! It did beautifully and was ready to harvest this week. It's ready when it's about the size of a tennis ball - any bigger, and it can get fibrous and tough. I have already pulled two, and plan on bringing the other two with me to Cape Cod. With the first two, I made a delicious Kohlrabi Slaw. Kohlrabi tastes a lot like cabbage and can be substituted in many recipes that call for cabbage. I'll put a picture of the slaw and the recipe in the Cook section of the blog. I really recommend you try this vegetable.
And finally, here are a few more pictures to give you an idea of what's going on around the garden. I hope you're having luck this year in your home gardens and I will check back in with you again in a couple of weeks.