Late July 2016

Gardening and all its ups and downs continues here in NC.  We’ve been getting plenty of cucumbers, tomatoes, blackberries, and eggplants.  Basil has been so plentiful that I’ve made pesto twice and gave a large amount of excess basil to a co-worker so she could make enough to last for a year (or more) too.  I also pulled all of the carrots in mid-July and made my Taqueria-style pickled carrots with about 1/3 of them.  The recipe is accessible from the homepage (right hand side).  It’s by far the most popular recipe post we’ve ever made, as far as number of hits goes.

Summer squash was a complete bust this year for some reason.  We got a total of 4 squashes (from 6 plants!) before the plants died due to squash vine borers.  I don’t know what the problem was this year since summer squash is normally so prolific.  It was dismal enough that I seeded a few seeds in the garden about 3 weeks ago in the hopes we might be able to finagle a second round of summer squash somehow.  Time will tell…

I just finished blanching quite a few butter beans, in preparation for freezing.  There are more pods to be harvested tomorrow.  I need to get out into the garden early since it’s summer in NC and it’s particularly hot/humid right now.

We recently dug up the rest of the potatoes (Red Pontiacs and Kennebecs) and they’re curing in the basement.  We were quite satisfied with this year’s harvest amounts.  The onion harvest was also quite good this year and we chopped most of the onions and froze them – we have 4 gallon bags in the deep freeze!  That’s almost twice as much as previous years, from the same number of plants.  This will easily meet our onion needs for the year.

cured onions

Some of this year’s cured onions

Winter squash plants are running and we have at least 3 fruits that I’ve seen.  Hopefully they’ll make it!  We also have at least one cantaloupe melon that’s formed.  For some reason, the watermelon plants aren’t doing so great, but this is a common problem us.  I mostly plant watermelon just to see if they’ll make anything in a particular year – actually getting a melon would just be a bonus 🙂

We’re still having some deer predation problems but, finally, the Japanese beetle season came to an end just within the past couple of days.  It seems to have been quite a long beetle season this year – at least 8 weeks.

Fall crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) were started in the basement under lights in early July and are doing well.  It’s hard to believe they get transplanted out in just 3 weeks, weather cooperating.  Time just keeps marching on – I can’t believe that we’ve been actively gardening for 8 solid years now!

Here’s a sampling of the rest of the harvest for the past few weeks:

We hope your garden is providing a bounty as well!


5 Responses to “Late July 2016”

  1. Dave @ OurHappyAcres Says:

    Too bad about the squash, it’s usually such a dependable summer staple. I hope your late crop does well. I’ve started another zucchini plant myself. We will see how they do! The Japanese beetles are bad here this year too. They prefer our pole beans, and I hope they are gone soon.

  2. Michelle Says:

    Lovely variety of veggies so far. I have a second zucchini going also, but it’s a different variety from the first. I start the season with Romanesco and then finish it with Tromboncino.

  3. Budding and Blooming Says:

    That’s a shame about your squash. I’m in SC and I start new squash and zucchini every three weeks and keep them on the screened porch as standbys for when the vine borers take out my plants.

  4. Phuong Says:

    You’ve gotten tons of carrots and cucumbers, and those are lovely green beans. Your garden is doing so great. Basil has been fantastic here too, maybe it’s the hot moist weather.

    I’ve never had good luck growing potatoes here, when do you plant yours?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      We plant our potatoes in March on the day the New Moon falls, unless the New Moon is at the end of March. If it’s too late, we get the seed potatoes in the ground around the 15th.

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