"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We're picking Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic and More Squash!

Tomatoes are coming in now.  I picked a few Anna Russian Pink, Purple Russian and Paul Robeson Black. The Green Zebra are also starting to ripen now and I picked a couple of those yesterday.  The San Marzano's seem a bit behind this year. One of my plants is struggling, but hopefully, I will get plenty from the other plant.

The green ones are from a San Marzano plant that I pulled out this morning. The plant looked sick, I don't have space for sick plants!  

 A couple of Mango's off to the left side are from the Farmer's Market.

Mortgage Lifter is loaded with green tomatoes.  The Ponderosa plant that is on the driveway bank is over 8 feet tall now and has more tomatoes on that one plant than I see on any of my others.  Although, Southern Night and Cherokee Purple are not far behind.  I picked about 6 Southern Night yesterday afternoon.

Persimmon Orange only has a few tomatoes on it.  I don't understand why, last year this variety gave us a lot of fruit.  This is in the same bed as the San Marzano so maybe the soil needs some boosting for next year.  I have been fertilizing on a regular schedule of every two to three weeks and they all get the same amount so it can't be lack of that.  The plants look good, just not much fruit.

Crimson Carmello is coming in now to and is loaded with fruit.  German Queen and Gold Medal will be a little later, but have a nice amount of fruit.

I planted 3 more San Marzano plants today, and another Cherokee Purple.  I had the plants and couldn't bring myself to tossing them. I still have more plants and if I can find space I will plant them.  I think we will have a long summer this season.  The plants I have in now will be ripening very soon so these will be my backups for September harvesting.

I also planted a few pepper plants I had , a Mexico Chili and a Sweet Pimento pepper.  These I planted in bed 4 after I removed the onions.

This is an 8 foot table.  Small ones on this end and the larger ones on the far end. I was up until 9:30 last night cleaning and removing the greens.  I let them dry a few days in the ground first, and now they will dry and cure a few more weeks. I will be putting them on drying racks today so the air will circulate under them.

 I grew all of these from seeds that we started last fall. We pulled a lot for spring onions, then left the rest to grow to full size. I do have a lot that are small and may plant these again later on in the fall, they were crowded.  I need to leave more space for them next year.  I am pretty proud of these because onions do take a long time to grow to full size and you must fertilize often as they are high feeders. And keep the weeds out too, I have found that they don't like weeds!

Tons of summer squash this year.  This is just a sampling of what we have picked, I generally get 10-20 every couple of days and have been picking since June.  The Scallop squash has been incredibly prolific this year.  I have been cutting them in half and roasting on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. This gives them a nice caramel color and are so yummy, then I put 4 or 5 in bags and freeze them.  I think I have about 20 bags in the freezer already, just of the patty pan!

I grate the zucchini and freeze it raw, this works fine for muffins and breads when the winter months come around and I want zucchini bread. I also grate the other squash when I find the ones that have grown too large for cooking.

My new idea:  When the tomato plants get so big and spread over the cages I have a hard time getting to the tag that I have in the ground.  This year I decided to make some tags that I could staple to the racks, up high so I can read them.  This is working out nice and I will do this again next year.  I don't have a laminator so I used packing/mailing tape to double wrap the label, so far it is holding up.

You can see here just how big the tomatoes are this year.  This is Ponderosa at around 8 feet, there is no way I can find the marker at the bottom of the plant, but with my new tags I can see it easily.  Of course if my memory was what it used to be I wouldn't need tags at all.

My garlic did pretty well, but I have a lot of small ones that I think I will replant in the fall.

Shallots did not do well at all.  I will plant these again in the fall.

On the other hand the Grapefruit are huge this year!

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet’s throat
Has softened almost to a sigh.
It is July.
 –Susan Hartley Swett (1860–1907)


  1. OH Carla, your bounty is blessed! How beautiful is your garden and the love you put in caring for it really shows. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Betty. You do know how much I love to grow things.

  2. You really have a lot growing, Carla. I am curious about the onions and why you are drying them. Our garden is coming along nicely. The rain we over the week end really did help. I can see a wonderful salad in your future or some salsa, perhaps.

    1. Hi Ann, we need to cure them for storage. Once the outside skins get a little dry then I will put them in baskets to keep for a few months.

  3. Just had to come over and visit to get my tomato fix...your colors and varieties are a feast for the eye. And lovely fresh garlic! Miss not having my summer squashes too - wait 'til next year!

    1. You are always welcome to come by any time for a vege fix! LOL

  4. What a beautiful garden. Great idea for labeling your plants and vegetables. New Follower.


  5. OMG, Carla what a haul! You are going to be busy. I told The Herbal Husband that we have to dig the garlic tomorrow. The wrappers are going to start splitting. It has been so hot and dry here. Not typical! Good work! xxoo Nancy

    1. Nancy, I know you will be just as busy as I am. I will be making your Lemon Verbena Jelly this year. My plant is huge this year, I dry a lot for tea, but have been wanting to make your jelly.

  6. Amazing harvest! It's like a farmer's market, I'm impressed. I have no tomatoes yet and my roma is struggling, they're small and sick looking. I want your tomatoes and squash! You have so many veggies, do you give extras away? I wish I was your neighbor lol! I'm sure you do a lot of canning too. What's your secret in having such abundant harvest, do you grow organically? Have a great Monday Carla and thanks for stopping by to visit my blog.

    1. We keep most all of what we grow. Once in a while I will give some to friends but for the most part I use it up. We do grow everything organically. I think it makes a huge difference in the yield.

  7. Carla, what an incredible harvest. I grow many of the same tomatoes as you, so I know your summer menu is extraordinary.


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog, I love hearing from you, stay as long as you like, Carla