I planted basil on August 15, both on the porch and in the plot, and it is doing really well. All herbs are doing great. I also have glass gem corn growing and hot peppers (the jalapenos are now all harvested). Only a couple more tomatoes. The Fairy Tale eggplant sadly fell victim to Hurricane Ida.
I made a small batch of garlic scape pesto with about half the scapes I harvested (15) and home-grown basil leaves (the basil leaves from the porch are huge!). I just pureed all of it with olive oil and salt. No cheese, no nuts. More versatile this way. I froze the surplus for future use. This pesto is so great on pasta, pizza, roasted veggies, or mixed into a pesto mayo for sandwiches …
First peas, first strawberries, first garlic scapes. Much more to come. Lettuce is winding down after our five day-heatwave. Plus a few sprigs of mint. Big salad for dinner tonight.
Today, I planted the remaining seedlings. I meant to do it last weekend (Memorial Day Weekend), but it was so rainy and cold (in the 40s at night) that it seemed wise to wait. In order to make space, I had to take out most of the walking onions and six humongous leeks. I planted 2 eggplants (Fairy Tale and Ping Tung), 1 pepper (the mystery one), 1 more tomato (Striped Roman), 3 kale seedlings, 3 Swiss chard plugs, 3 cucumbers (pickling, Dekah and Tokiwa), 3 winter squash (Butternut, Delicata and Lakota), 1 zucchini and 1 watermelon. I also interplanted the tomatoes with marigold, planted camomile and sowed glass gem corn among the squash and Zinnias with the Swiss chard. I don’t think I can fit anything else in my plot.
The only thing not in the ground yet are green beans. I will plant some with the corn and squash once the corn has a good height and will plant a lot of beans after I harvest the garlic. Last year, I planted beans late in July and it was very successful.
I spent a good three hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading compost and planting tomatoes, basil, parsley and dahlias. I planted a total of ten tomatoes: one each Striped Roman, Paul Robson, Black Krim, Valencia, Break O’ Day, Poll Robson Angolan and two each Green Zebra and Baker Family Heirloom. That’s a lot of tomatoes. I was going to go for eight, but alas ended up planting ten … I used the central stake method this time, which will be a first for me. I am just so tired of these flimsy cages. They will serve me well for growing cucumbers though.
I also planted dahlias in the back of the plot near the fence, where I usually put my flowers. No edibles there because dogs like to raise their legs on the other side of the fence. I planted two dahlias each of: Arabian Night, Lakeland Autumn, Park Princess (Cactus) and Star Elite (Cactus). I ordered three each from Holland Bulb Farms and all except one are looking healthy and have new growth. Very excited about the flowers. The remaining four (or three) dahlias will be planted in my front or side yard. Need to find a full-sun spot.
Tomorrow, I will go back to the garden and tie the tomato stems with garden velcro. I also will sow Zinnias and sunflowers (and harvest some leeks and lettuce).
It has been (and will be) really warm these days and I could not wait any longer and planted my porch containers today: hot peppers (Early Jalapeno and Thai), Thai basil, Green Zebra tomato (with the parsley, and I am planning on using string to trellis it), Fairy Tale eggplant. I had fertilized the soil a few days ago.
I spent a few hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading manure and planting. I sowed a few more peas (to fill in the gaps), rainbow carrots and beets (Chiogga and Burpee Golden). I also planted lettuce mix, head lettuce, flat leaf parsley, one curly kale plant and some Bok choi. (The Bok choi and lettuce mix came from Neighborhood Farm).
The overwintered leeks are looking nice and strong. I will pull them in the next few weeks. The arugula and spring greens and overwintered lettuces are looking good as well. And I have peas this year! So far they have not been destroyed by rabbits or birds.
I lost a few seedlings yesterday: lettuce, all Zinnias, all Genovese basil, all cilantro, all but one Thai basil, all Dr. Wyche’s Yellow tomatoes (my favorites, sigh) and one Break O’Day tomato.
Currently, my seedlings are either under the grow lights (2 butternut quash, 2 Delicata squash, 3 Pickling cucumbers, 3 Dekah cucumbers, 3 Tokiwa cucumbers, 3 watermelon, 1 lettuce, 1 mystery pepper, 1 Thai basil, and some very mangled cilantro) or are in bigger pots and grow next to the window or under regular table lights in the evening (1 Darkibor kale, 2 Fairy Tale eggplant, 1 Ping Tung eggplant, 1 Thai basil, 1 parsley, 3 Green Zebra tomatoes, 1 Break O’Day tomato, 2 Paul Robson (?) tomatoes and 2 Baker’s Creek Family Heirloom tomatoes).
I will supplement the loss with seedlings from the Neighborhood Farm and/or the Trustees. I will get basil, cilantro, flowers and a couple of heirloom tomatoes. Lettuce is growing on the back porch, so I will just transplant a few of the larger heads into the garden.
Whole Foods had an herbs sale ($2 each), so I got English lavender “Vera”, creeping rosemary, common thyme “Faustinoi” and sage to put on my porch. I also got two parsley plants to put into the big planter with the flowers.
I will add more herbs to this container plus a plant in the center, probably an eggplant or pepper or perhaps a dwarf tomato. I love having herbs on my porch. I still have my old, woody rosemary from two years ago (I overwintered it in the kitchen), and my chives from last year (they overwintered on the porch). And I will plant cilantro and basil, and mint of course (which I will dig up from my garden plot. I can’t seem to get rid of it.)
This afternoon, I repotted the remaining tomatoes (Green Zebra, Paul Robson, Break o’ Day – Dr. Wychee is still in its seed trays) and eggplant (Pint Tung and Fairy Tale), peppers (the gifted mystery pepper), cilantro, parsley, kale and Zinnias. I also started new seedlings: cucumbers (Tokiwa, Dekah and National Pickling), winter squash (Waltham Butternut and Honeyboat Delicata) and a watermelon (Sugarbaby, an heirloom variety). I started three each for the cukes and the watermelon and two each for the winter squash. I just realized that I have not started any summer squash yet. But as, with my daughter away for college over the summer, I am currently the only one in our family who will eat Zucchini, I might want to rethink planting them. Still, one plant would be nice.