Dear Friend And Gardener-July’s Harvest

peas

“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.  

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.  

 

 

 

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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. 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.  

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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?

 

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In A Vase On Monday 

 

 

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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.

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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. 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

 

72 comments

  1. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Your veggies look delicious! I have zucchini growing everywhere and they are enormous. I never got around to planting tomatoes this year and I miss them. We have one volunteer cherry tomato plant that started growing at the steps of our back deck and it is very happy. Figs are almost ripe. I love the last photo of all your harvest. It makes my heart sing! Your fresh cut flowers made my Monday morning. Thank you!

    • Donna says:

      Those volunteer tomatoes seem to grow the best sometimes….wow would we love to have figs…especially my husband. How nice to hear this made your heart sing Karin!

  2. Donalyn@The Creekside Cook says:

    Isn’t this the best time of year? Thanks for including my pickle recipe! Now I am totally regretting pulling up the last of our radishes, instead of letting them go to seed. I will definitely try that next year. Have a lovely day, Donna 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Every time I make pickles, I include your recipe Donalyn…I also make pickled green beans and scapes with it as my base….I just vary the spices sometimes. Best pickle recipe ever!

  3. Nadezda says:

    Donna, lovely vase with Queen Anne’s Lace, very bright! Your harvest is abundant, I see you have lots of garlic, lettuce and fresh carrot. I love to eat fresh picked carrot as well.

    • Donna says:

      QAL is a wonderful flower in a vase….just pulled the last of the garlic this week. And we are eating lots of greens.

  4. Donna says:

    Wonderful select of vegetables, Donna. You should be very pleased. I did not plant any besides herbs this year, always meaning to pop a few in, but garden walk season and traveling have been far too busy this year. I did not even get to one Garden Walk Buffalo garden this year either. Like you, I planted glads and many have bloomed and already been set to vase. The strong winds helped me do that.

    • Donna says:

      Wow not even one walk…you have been busy Donna. I have been growing the shorter Glamini glads and they seem to stay upright even in high winds.

  5. DeniseinVA says:

    Your veggies and flowers and the flowers in your vases are a delightful sight Donna. Thanks so much for once again linking with Today’s Flowers. Have a great week 🙂

  6. Christina says:

    your vegetables look great, so healthy and fresh. As you say there is nothing better than picking and eating something directly out of the garden; a pleasure that’s hard to describe to a non gardener.

    • Donna says:

      I agree Christina….I think the key is bringing a non-gardener to your garden, pick the food and then eat it…then there is no way they can’t taste the difference.

  7. rickii says:

    We grow a few standard veggies every year, but I like to mix it up by trying something unusual each year. This time it was Romanesco and Armenian cucumbers. Both were a roaring success.
    With the bounty that is summer, I often wind up with more than one vase, too. I like your leftovers vase as much as the featured bouquet this time.

  8. Kris P says:

    I like the touch of coral in your vase this week, Donna. And your vegetable garden is fabulous! I skipped vegetable this year in order to use my raised planters for sunflowers.

    • Donna says:

      At some point I may use a raised bed or two for cut flowers but not yet I think! That coral glad was too good to pass up!

  9. Susie says:

    Your vegetables look so wonderful. What a treat to have that fresh, nuanced taste. Beautiful flowers again Donna. The Rudbeckia have great color and wow! The echinacea is something else.

    • Donna says:

      I love when the flowers growing together just make a vase with little help from me Susie! That was this week’s vase.

  10. Sarah says:

    Beautiful vase, delicious veggies. When I first started growing on the allotment a friend said “What’s wrong with Sainsbury’s?”. Guess what, she’s now converted!

  11. Cathy says:

    How lovely to see all your veg, donna. The ‘peppermint stick’ chard looks SO pretty! I grow very little veg but have been enjoying both mangetout and climbing French beans recently- and the first few tomatoes, which are far earlier than usual. Your rudbeckia and other sunny blooms are lovely – and as always look brilliant in that mosaic format. Thanks for sharing

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Cathy. I am overwhelmed by the rudbeckia this year. Your veggies sound wonderful too! Each day is more yummies!

  12. Susan Troccolo says:

    Hi Donna,

    I can’t tell you happy I was to see your garden this year. In some strange way–even though I don’t get to harvest the good stuff like you do–I felt like I was sharing in your garden. It was just so beautiful. And I know so deeply the joy of growing your own food. Blessings and garden happiness.

    • Donna says:

      I love sharing my garden with you my friend so I am pleased you are enjoying our bounty! Especially those BEETS Susan! 😉

  13. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    You are busy, busy as always! I love your vegetable trug. And I definitely agree about the Swiss Chard–I’m not crazy about it as a vegetable, but it sure is pretty as an ornamental!

  14. Jill says:

    Love the Rudbeckia Donna, I have just planted a dozen seeds myself getting ready for spring and reading that yours have self seeded it good news!

    • Donna says:

      They don’t stay in the same place and mine have moved from my meadow to the patio…quite a distance in 5 years….I need to move some back to the meadow. Actually the rudbeckias near the patio have multiplied and stayed put now Jill…enjoy yours!

  15. Eileen says:

    Hello Donna, it is awesome you able to grow all these wonderful veggies. I can imagine the taste from eating the veggies right out of the garden. We only have some tomato plants here. And your vase with the blooms is beautiful. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week ahead!

  16. Indie says:

    Looking great! I had no idea you could eat radish seed pods! Our veggie garden got started a bit late this year as it took us a while to build and fill the raised beds. We did get loads of snow peas, and a few zucchini. Can’t wait until the tomatoes and tomatillos ripen!

  17. Starr White says:

    There are few things in this world more satisfying than eating veggies straight from the garden, and you have such a bounty! The heat and lack of rain has done our little garden in, I’m afraid. Only tomatoes left. Can’t wait for August to start planting again!!!

    • Donna says:

      Oh I am sorry to hear that Starr about your garden…We were lucky this year with rain and now heat….wishing you a bounty later in the season!

  18. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, Your garden is producing extremely well. I know you are pleased. We have had a lot of green beans and cucumbers, and some tomatoes as well. It has been very hot – or if not hot, raining – and it has been difficult for me to keep the garden weeded and the produce picked. The produce I don’t pick in time, like the oversized cukes, go to the compost bin. I’ve still had plenty to eat but would rather share with the neighbors than let them go to waste. You grow a large variety of food plants and I congratulate you on your success in the garden!

    • Donna says:

      I agree Beth…we love to share our bounty too. I wish we did have a bit more rain…very dry in July and hot, hot, hot!

  19. ramblingwoods says:

    Oh wow… to be able to grow and eat your own veg… I am glad that the weather hasn’t ruined it as it has gotten really warm now. Beautiful flowers. What is the one that is yellow on the outside and orange toward the center. I want to plant that. How silly this comment is going to look to all the gardeners.. … Michelle

    • Donna says:

      No the rain really helped so much grow in June and now with the heat it is producing nicely…a bit more rain would help.

      Your comment is not silly at all Michelle. The rudbeckias you are describing are rudbeckia hirta…sorry I don’t know the name but ‘Rustic Colors’ is close.

  20. Jean says:

    All your veggies look delicious. I love cooking and eating at this time of year. I once had dinner with friends in a family where the husband was so adamant about eating their garden veggies fresh that he wouldn’t go out to the garden and pick the ears of sweet corn for dinner until the water to boil them in was already boiling! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Now that is fresh Jean….each day is another fun day making a yummy salad or figuring what we will make with our pickings.

  21. Chloris says:

    I loved seeing what veg you are growing Donna. Your veggie garden is so productive. I agree about growing your own food, it is such a unique pleasure, it tastes good but there is something deeply satisfying about it, apart from the taste. An atavistic pleasure.
    I like the idea of the ‘ Dear Friend and Gardener meme. On, and thanks for the radish seed tip, mine have gone to seed and I was going to discard them all today.
    Lovely flower arrangement.

    • Donna says:

      Just in time then Chloris for you to pickle your radish seed pods! I agree there is something so satisfying in growing your own vegetables…for me an ancient sense of accomplishment…ancestral even.

  22. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    My garden is pretty dismal once again this year Donna – again I cannot keep up. My tomatoes are small, my beans are small, my peas not worth the harvest. However, my squash is HUGE and I’m full of summer squash with some baby butternuts on the way for fall. The chard I harvest almost daily. The basil will become a super batch of cashew and traditional pesto. The garlic I need to get up the nerve to harvest as I am afraid of what damage the leek moth might have done. I am enjoying some fresh raspberries right now! I love the garden, dismal or not. I am taking this afternoon off to work in my own garden despite the heat.

    • Donna says:

      I am glad to hear you have had a harvest Kathy….I went out for a hour hour to keep working on the front weeding but I had to come in after a half hour…the heat and humidity were so oppressive. Good luck and don’t overdo it especially today. Keeping my fingers crossed for your garlic.

  23. Alistair says:

    A real veggie bonanza Donna. I always think growing shrubs,perennial plants, in fact anything ornamental is easy going, edibles require skill well done, the carrots look scrumptious.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Alistair….skill and the weather gods have a lot to do with it too! I’d say here you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve to outwit the weather. Those carrots are delicious!

  24. catmint says:

    Donna, your veggies look wonderful, especially the different coloured carrots. I am planning to plant some veggies in an old wheelbarrow. I like the idea of planting radishes and then letting them go to seed. Presumably the radish flowers are edible? I have dill popping up wherever it wants to, like you do.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Sue. Yes the radish flowers are also edible…it is amazing how many flowers in my garden are edible. I should try more!

  25. Tatyana@MySecretGardenT says:

    You can be proud of your vegetable garden, Donna! I love pickling cucumbers, and I planted mostly them this year. Boys love them!
    This is the first time ever when I regret about not covering tomatoes with a net , I never needed it before. Deer ate my tomato plants! Tall wire cages helped a lot, but I had several plants in short ones.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Tatyana….We uncovered one tomato and hope the deer stay away….my husband hates cukes so I only grow pickling ones and we make pickles which he will eat….

  26. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow says:

    I enjoyed catching up with your garden and lovely flower arrangements. I had a very nice yield of green beans…they are about done right now and I’m going to plant a new round. Lettuce has bolted but I’ll plant more late summer. Early tomatoes, cukes etc coming along nicely but nothing like the variety that you have ! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Your harvest and garden sound wonderful Deb….with our short season, I generally do not have much luck with a fall garden….but I keep trying.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Your descriptions make me long for a harvest of my own. I am lucky we have a good Farmer’s Market, but it is expensive. So much cheaper and more delicious to have a fresh harvest of your own.

  28. Jason says:

    Looks like you are having a great harvest this year. I’d love to take a bite of those carrots. And boil your red potatoes to eat them with a dollop of sour cream. You wouldn’t think so, but fresh dug potatoes really do taste better.

  29. Ann says:

    a lovely, vibrant vase! I love the orange pom-pom echinacea and am waiting patiently for my own to bloom and I adore the softness of the QAL in the second vase.

  30. Sara D.B. says:

    Hello, Donna!
    Is there a lovelier view than a bunch of happy-looking, colourful, healthy vegetables?!
    Well, perhaps your flower arrangements…
    Have a beautiful Sunday!

  31. Debra says:

    Nicely done! Grats on the great harvest. I can never quite get over the fact that so much bounty can come from something as small as a seed.

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