Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Midseason Look at the Kitchen Garden

Despite our hot and dry days the kitchen garden has been growing rapidly. Spring provided significant rainfall which gave the seeds a good start but we've petered out and supplemental watering has been necessary with more consistent temperatures near the 100 degree mark.

We've been picking blueberries daily. We have several varieties: Tiftblue, Climax, Brightwell, and Premier. Planting at least two cultivars of the species is necessary for cross-pollination; having three or more with over lapping bloom cycles is even better.

A new addition to our garden this year is the Pink Lemonade blueberry. The unique characteristic of this variety is the fruit which starts out pink and then turns a darker shade of pink when ripe. If you close your eyes you can't even tell the difference from a traditional blueberry.


The strawberries which were transplanted from our old raised beds are starting to put out runners and spread. They adjusted to their new home quickly and have been bearing fruit since Spring.


The Moon and Stars watermelon has been a hit with the kids. This heirloom variety has beautiful spotted foliage


and the fruit is covered with small yellow spots (stars) and one larger spot (moon).


The zucchini are blooming. These blooms are edible raw but they are delicious fried.


~For the batter~
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fat-free cold milk

Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk in milk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pour oil in a skillet to 1/2 inch deep. Heat oil on high heat. Briefly dip each blossom into the batter and add to skillet. Cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and eat immediately. Easy and delicious.


The first cucumbers are forming. The culinary possibilities are endless.


The tomatoes are looking delicious. We picked our first tomatoes last week.


The Better Boy seeds which I won from Gardens Eye View (thanks Donna!) are starting to come up. I planted them a little later in the spring so that I could be harvesting tomatoes well into the fall.


I found the first tomato horn worm of the season on the tomato plants. I have to keep a lookout for these caterpillar because they will defoliate the tomatoes quickly. They camouflage so well with all their greenness.


The eggplant 'black beauty' has finally produced some blooms. They are pretty little blooms too!


The muskmelon (cantaloupe and honeydew) are growing quickly. It looks like we will have a bumper crop.



I will be traveling for the next few weeks. I will be posting from the road as there are several gardens and parks that we plan to visit.

Hope you are having a great summer and enjoying the harvest from your garden!

14 comments:

  1. Your veggies and fruit are looking fantastic.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks great! Oh how I wish I could do this again, great going! LT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everything looks great! I hope your garden copes on its own while you're away. Have a good trip.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful Karin. I could never start tomatoes outside...my pink lemonade blueberries were toast from the late frosts...the flowers died. My strawberries were also hit by the late frosts. I love that watermelon..so cool. Happy harvest and safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful harvest Karin. I could never plant tomatoes from seed outside. Love that cool watermelon. My Pink Lemonade blueberry bit the dust with the late frost that took all the flowers. Same with many of the strawberries. Eggplants are beginning to flower here too. Happy harvest and safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's difficult not to give supplemental water during these hot times. A friend of mine also suggested battering and frying some monster zucchini that I harvested after I came back from vacation. Have a good vacation yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmm.. looks like quite the fabulous garden! That watermelon looks so interesting! The birds have taken most of our blueberries, and the kids insisted on moving our strawberry plants to their gardens in the unfenced front yard so of course the bunnies got them, but we have gotten quite a few veggies this year from our new raised veggie bed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Enjoy your trip, Karin! I hope you got to enjoy your harvest before you leave.
    P.S. I enjoy my zucchini fritters stuffed with feta cheese. You may want to try also.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are the fist person to call it musk melon and it took me back to my grandparents' cabin and we had it every morning grown locally...you have a wonderful garden...Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have lots of goodies growing!! I saw Pink Lemonaid at Park Seed last year and thought about buying it. I was already in line and decided I would think about it.....never got it. :-(
    Good idea to have tomatoes later in the season. You will have tomatoes for Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The fruits of your labor look very tasty indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A lot of hard work has been done there. You deserve a break.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hope to grow blueberries in my new garden. I'll have to try some of the varieties you mentioned, as I assume they can stand up to the summer heat... The tomato hornworm looks like a curled leaf - I had to look twice.

    Enjoy your travels!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yum, it all looks so tasty! I'm particularly drooling over the fruits--those Blueberries look delish. Safe travels!

    ReplyDelete

"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment...I love hearing from you!