Dear Friend And Gardener-July’s Harvest


“A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all, little by little, it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.”  ~Gertrude Stein



And boy do I love that my veggies are producing.  Usually by the end of July, I am finishing many veggies, getting ready for others to start or ripen, and thinking of starting a fall veg garden.  I think one of the main reasons I love putting all the effort into a veg garden is because I am eating close to the earth.

garden-badge1-1-of-1The nutritional value and the flavor are even more amazing when we can eat right out of the garden, if we are so lucky.  And there is a sweetness in these fresh veggies I cannot adequately describe.  I am grateful every day for each bean, beet, carrot and pea my garden is producing that I can eat. 

So it is time to share what has happened in July in my kitchen garden.  I am joining in again with Dee Nash@Red Dirt Ramblings for her virtual garden club called, Dear Friend and Gardener.  





Let’s start on the patio.  The celery, in the red buckets,  is slow but progressing even in our dry heat wave we have had here for 2 weeks…all around us the flooding continues but here we are bone dry.  The green chiles are progressing slowly and the watermelons, still small plants, I am sad to say will again not produce.  I will have to think of another spot to grow these next year, and start them earlier under cover.





What is up with the potatoes?  Well they are already going down, and ready for harvest given the dry weather.  I plan to dig out a few bags weekly.  Seems the red potatoes, Mountain Rose, are the first to be harvested.  They are very high in antioxidants, like my All Blue potatoes in the orange grow bags.




veg bulbs harvested

I have been patient with the red onions letting them grow bigger this year.  We have only harvested a few so far.  And yes we have garlic pulled and dried and ready to eat.  The Tuscan garlic was ready in late June, and we pulled another third of the garlic in early July.  By the end of this month, I will be pulling the last of the garlic.  





Here is the pea and bean bed.  And yes those are cukes growing.  I have harvested a few pickling cucumbers already and loads of beans, both bush and pole.  We hope to pickle some beans and cukes soon.  The last of the peas are shown at the top of the post.  It was tough weather for the peas given the early heatwave.




growing harvest herbs veggies

The dill (top left) is popping up all over, and I love when it grows wild.  The smell is amazing and mixes perfectly with cukes (bottom left).  Basil (bottom right) is doing fine as well.  And yes we have loads of green tomatoes, which we hope will ripen soon.  We have had to start watering the beds as there has been zero rain….feast or famine as they say.  21 inches in June, and almost 6 inches of rain in early July.  Zero from mid July to now.

Don’t you love the purple beans in the center.  I am growing yellow, purple and green bush beans, and so far we have harvested one large bowl every few days.  I should have staggered my plantings, but most years we barely get a few cups of beans so I was anxious to have enough beans planted.  You might remember I used the Seeding Square to plant the beans, and I love how wonderfully lush they have grown when planted in a square. 





The tomatoes are growing so huge, they have well exceeded their cages, and we are taking off the netting hoping the deer stay clear.  Sweet frying peppers also are growing well and will be ready to harvest soon.  In this bed, my annual volunteer sunflower is growing and shading the peppers and some of the okra so it is slow going.  

But the eggplant are in the sunniest spot with some of the tomatoes so I am seeing the eggplant are sprouting lots of flowers.  This bed should have had some early tomatoes, but they are all late in producing due to the cool and rainy June.





Here’s the squash bed.  In spring it is planted with lettuces, Swiss chard, beets, carrots and herbs.  Then in early June the squashes are planted to go over the trellises.  





Lots of flowers on winter squash and zucchini but no squash…mostly due to more male flowers and very few female flowers.  Now with the recent heat wave, we are seeing more female flowers coming out.





I pulled up the last of the beets and half of the carrots.  And before you know it, I will be planting more of both in hopes of a late fall harvest.





One of the sweetest foods are fresh picked carrots.  We are growing orange, white and purple carrots this year.  And we harvested red, golden and striped beets.





I just cut all the chard and lettuce…so much to eat now with chard, loads of beet greens and lettuces.  Fresh salads daily.  Don’t you love the striped stems of the ‘Peppermint Stick’ chard.  Almost too pretty to eat.  The dry warm weather helped this plant to put out some amazing leaf growth.




radish seed pod picklesI let 2 radish plants go to seed in the pea bed.  If you have ever done this, then you know you get a huge tangle of stems with amazing little flowers and loads of seed pods.  Did you know you can eat these seed pods?  I saw a recipe last year, but since I like to make pickles in the refrigerator, I just substituted these seed pods for cukes in my favorite refrigerator pickle recipe.  You can really add any herbs.  They are yummy and different in flavor; light radish flavor when eaten raw.




What has been your best producing veggie so far this season?  Will you be starting a fall garden?



In A Vase On Monday 




I just had to highlight the amazing wild rudbeckias growing near the patio and in the Arch Garden.  They have all self-seeded with quite a wide array of different flowers among them.  I spied one of the gladioli, I planted in spring, finally starting to bloom so I added that to the vase.  A lovely coral-red that looks perfect with the yellow blooms.




large yellow vase

Also added to the vase as a filler, are the flowers of Lady’s Mantle also known as Alchemilla mollis.  Growing among the Rudbeckia is an orange pom-pom echinacea.  I don’t have many of these pom-poms as most don’t survive long in my garden, and the pollinators don’t like them.  But I thought it would look great in this vase.

I found some Gaillardia still blooming and Heliopolis that is seeding in the front garden that needed to be pulled.  They made a nice addition along with a few dried teasel found in the meadow that we promptly pulled.




small ylw vase

I also cut a few Queen Anne’s Lace, that I let flower in the front garden for vases.  But it was too big for the original vase, so I took the QAL and left overs from the first vase, and made this lovely little vase. 


So there are my vases this week.  I am joining in with a couple of link ups this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.  Visit both to see all the flowers people are growing and flaunting.


Next up on the blog:  

Next Monday will be time to review the July garden already…the season is flying by so savor each day if you can. 

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 

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