Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My garden...

has been wet lately. Muddy, too. Northwest Oregon has been having a period of unseasonably cool and wet weather. It's been a relief, actually, from all the hot and dry we had in July and August.

My first piece of good news is that each of my tomato plants now (finally) has at least one tomato ripening on it:

I thought they'd never ripen. Other parts of the country, like Illinois, have been pulling in wagons full of ripe tomatoes for what seems like months. This Tumbling Tom cherry plant suddenly has scores of little 'maters turning various shades of red. They are tasty:

..but they have an annoying tendency to split before they're fully ripe:

I ordered seeds from WinterSown.org earlier this year which gave me a sampling of many different heirloom tomatoes:

The green one in my basket above is called "Aunt Ruby's German Green". Fun, huh?

The edamame are still growing strong:

and are finally "plumping out". It won't be long now until we can add yummy, salted edamame to our table:

Probably my most prolific producer this season has been the yellow crook neck squash:

Fortunately, these crook necks keep a long time and look very pretty in a basket on my counter. (There are only so many nights one can eat squash with dinner, you know?)

My peppers have been very, very slow to ripen. Shown here is an orange pepper ripening - my first of the season - with about three others still completely green next to it. I'm wondering if they'll make it before the first frost:

I've been quite successful with weeds this year. They're growing very well:

It's funny how you think you're staying on top of things and then you take a few rainy days off from the garden and -POW- you're way behind again.

My potatoes this year have done tremendously well. Planted in two rows each are Yukon Golds and Red Fingerlings. I probably should get out there and harvest them, but so far, I've just been digging up what we eat right away:

Digging potatoes in the mud is therapeutic, I believe. It's hard to think or worry about anything other than the task in front of you. Fascinating, too, is how many more worms I am counting in my soil this year from last year:

All these came from just two plants:

I think my biggest challenge this year is going to be storing them. I have a pantry, but it stays at approximately 70% humidity. Far too moist to be a good root cellar, sadly.

Tell me, is cauliflower not THE slowest growing vegetable in the garden??! Or am I just being impatient? I swear I planted these about four months ago and they're *still* not ready:

Peas. Ah, peas. I should write a poem about this family's love of peas. The lower part of my Alderman pea row is starting to die back and get some powdery mildew on it:

While the upper part is a vibrant green, growing madly and blooming in an attempt to give me more peas before the first frost:

The middle section is my favorite. It's presenting me with peas:

Is this normal for September? Look at this beauty. Not that I'm complaining, mind you:

Perhaps I've mentioned it, but do you know what my Jim's absolute, number one favorite crop in my garden is? That's right:

The beans have done fairly well and I have had fun experimenting with different varieties. The purple beans are almost finished with their season. These are the last of them:

The yellow wax beans are still producing, but took a hit early on from a root maggot problem I battled in April, so it's understandable that I didn't get as many of these as I had hoped:

The green bush beans are the winners this year and continue to produce:

My zinnias make me soooo happy. I have never grown these before:

They make an amazing cut flower, too, and last a long time inside in a vase:

Rounding up the September 8th tour of my garden, here is a volunteer sunflower. It was a gift from one of our local squirrels. I am dying to know what kind it is. It's over nine feet tall and all those blooms are on that ONE stalk! I know you can see another stalk behind the main one, but all those blooms are just on that one plant. Just when I think it's finished, another bloom will develop:

And here is a frog's bottom. Otherwise known as The End:


  1. See the bottom of the tomato that's above the ripening one? It's starting to ripen too. Everything looks great!

  2. I love THE END! What a fitting comment to the end of your pictorial garden narrative.
    I can't believe you have had all these wonderful veggies to harvest. All this from a city girl's hands? I am so impressed!

  3. Your garden is beautiful. Much better producing than mine is right now.

    Is that a frog I spied in your green bush bean photo too?

  4. I forgot to add that you might try making yellow crookneck squash soup. Pureed squash (crookneck, zucchini, butternut etc) soup is very tasty and pretty darn easy to make.

  5. Awesome post...love the tour. I'm surprised that your tomatoes and peppers aren't ripening sooner. I'm only in SW Wash and I have had ripe maters since the 4th of July. I must say those zinnias are just sweet as can be! The frog hiney, well what can you say about that? The perfect ending to a wonderful tour, thanks for taking me along, Kim

  6. I had a volunteer sunflower a few years back that was just like that. More like a bush than a stalk. It came from our guinea pigs food.

    I've seen those wangon loads of tomatoes in Illinois, its amazing!

  7. The frog photo is priceless.

    I enjoyed the tour through your verdant garden. I could almost smell those tomatoes.

  8. I love seeing people's veggie gardens. Your's looks great! Aren't we lucky to live in this temerate climate!? By the way, the splitting tomatoes is due to the rain...I have a few of them too.

  9. Interesting! How alike MI and OR are this year! I finally got my first few ripe tomatoes today, and the peppers? Forgetaboutit! Almost makes me want to move to Ill..almost... ;)

  10. Wow! My garden has been dead for about a month. It's amazing to see yours doing so good. I don't think I've ever seen that many sunflowers on one plant! Very cool! Love the frog too, lol!

  11. Oooo, I am so jealous of your garden! and your frog! I hear frogs around here, but have yet to find one. The summer garden here didn't really get going, but we do have a good start to our fall garden, I can't wait! :)

  12. Great pics, great post, great garden! When I see gardens like this I vow to do better with mine next year!

  13. Wow - I don't think I've ever seen peas that big!! What variety are they? Your garden looks wonderful - ours didn't do very much this year.

    Your zinnias are beautiful! I plan to dedicate a flower garden to them next year. I found a volunteer that popped up in my strawberries and I've never seen such a beautiful flower.

    Your sunflower bush is awesome! And I love the froggy hiney pic ;-)

  14. Peas, peas the magical fruit
    They're so good they make you hoot!
    Green and crispy, snappy sweet
    In Danni's garden,
    Jim's favorite treat!

  15. Wow! Everything looks so great. Where to start, where to start? :) Yay! for ripening tomatoes. Thats one of the best parts of the garden is to see those maters turning that pretty ripening, red(or green!) Youll be pulling in wagons full before you know it. And then, Ill come help you eat them. I am from Illinois after all and we love a good tomato....

    The edamame look totally perfect! Yum!

    You really should get busy pulling those weeds. Actually, Ill help. I have the dustpan.

    I heart digging potatoes. Each one you find is like a little surprise!

    That cauliflower is looking good...

    And all your glorious peas! I can only hope that I have as much luck next season as you did this season. Peas like Oregon.

    Zinnias and sunflowers? Which way do you look first? They are both so beautiful. Im thinking that you will be growing zinnias again, huh? Seeing your zinnias all blooming like that brings a very special memory to mind. :)

  16. Just beautiful!

    We had frost last night. The hubby got up at 3AM to put the sprinklers on to try and keep thing OK in the garden. Looks good this morning.

    Our tomatoes are STILL green. *sigh*

  17. A lovely garden, to be sure. However, WHAT?! You DID NOT grow any Peanuts?????? Hrmpffff.

  18. I too am jealous of your garden! It got tomatoes months ago then the plants all died. And I got zucchini. That's it. Everything else died. Then it rained for a week and the weeks took over the garden to the point that you can no longer tell where the garden is. It blends in with the lawn now.

  19. Love the picture of the frog. Your garden looks so much better than mine. My grape and cherry tomatoes are doing the same as yours. the tomato splits open when it is ripening. Some have split after I have picked them. I have also had tomatoes ripen that had barely started to grow - they were so small you could barely see them, yet they were ripe. It has been the strangest growing season here in WI that i have ever seen.

  20. Wow, what bounty!! Just think of all the money you're saving on groceries...you can tell where my mind goes, hmmmm?

    I still maintain you have some of the most endearing critters. I'm growing rather fond of that little frog.

  21. Those are all so beautiful! My garden dried up weeks ago.

    You really did a great job with your garden.

    It makes me want to go plant something right now!
    Have a great day.

  22. Um, chook, I thought you agreed we'd never talk in public about her frog butt.....

  23. Penny - I'm ok with her talking about it, as long as she thinks it's CUTE. lol

  24. I grew zinnias for the first time this year and I agree...they are wonderful and make me happy too! I am saving seeds and hoping for tons more next year!

  25. Brilliant flower, almost looks like a planet in the photo, so vibrant. The End is classic. I wonder if I can find an equal critter here in the city ? lol

  26. I loved the picture tour. My mom grew zinnias this year that were supposed to only be 2ft tall or so. They tower over my mom and I and we are both 5ft! I hope you continue to get ripe maters. We lost ours to blight this year. Dont know what the prices are in your neck of the woods, here in NH they range from 1.99lb to 2.99lb!!

  27. Wow, your garden is BEAUTIFUL!! I'm SO jealous! Great job :)


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