Worms and Flowers

Friday Garden Update #7

Posted in Friday Garden Update by Lzyjo on July 10, 2009

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if things are actually growing. It’s really only when I look back at the photos that I see the huge progression and fast growth.

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The garden is in a sort of midsummer change of life. My first zucchini plant is turning into dust, although there are others still producing and babies just sprouting out of the ground. As the days shorten the peppers are producing more and more. The tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. I picked a total of five big fat ones, I picked them before they were totally ripe so nothing would happen to them in the wild ‘n woolly outdoors.

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The corn was such a dissopointment.  Most of the ears weren’t completely pollinated and the ones that were, were eaten by corn ear worms. Gak. Good thing corn is cheap at the store. Part of the problem was I started with only 25 seeds of each type and not all of them germinated or survived. I also don’t like using things like Sevin in the garden. Is there hope for corn? I’m really not sure. Right now I’m just hoping to save some seeds. Speaking of produce at the store, have you looked a the garbage-y zucchini they are selling for .88 cents a pound? Yuk. The ones at Kroger were dirty, had pieces of rotting flowers stuck to them, and their skins were miserably scuffed.

When I estimate the prices of the produce from the garden I use prices from the typical grocery store for item that we would actually buy For instance, we normally buy conventional, not organic, produce from the grocery store, so even though the produce from the garden is fertilizer and pesticide free I still use the price for the conventionally grown item. The quality is much better, the stuff in the grocery store for .88 cents a pound hardy resembles the fresh zukes from the garden! Another huge difference in produce freshness is the green chilies. Kroger has baskets of several kinds of hot peppers ranging from $3.49 to $3.99 a pound. It seems high but most people probably only need a few ounces at a time. Their peppers were crap. I’m sorry but there ‘s really no other way to put it. They were old, shriveled, and limp….

Unlike the chilies in the store, our chilies are doing fantastic. DH has made fresh green chili sauce twice and there’s already more to use! It was delicious and extremely flavorful. I think it might be time to have DH share some of his garden-fresh recipes on the blog. What do you think? Green Chile Sauce goes way back for DH and I. On our honeymoon, in Denver, we actually smuggled green chili sauce, from the fantastic Jose’s, on the plane home with us. We got a side order and went to  K-Mart to buy  a 1 qt Rubbermaid bottle  that was stuffed in the luggage with our cacti!

I am not usually a big fan of hybrids, but when it comes to peppers there are certain advantages. Their speed, vigor and production. I am very happy with the Burpee Hot Pepper Mix I got last year. It is an equal 20% mix of the “Five Favorite Hots.” Naturally they aren’t offering the same thing this year, but they do have a replacement Hot Pepper Mix.

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Most of these are from the mix. Starting on the left. The mildly hot Anaheim TMR 23. That means Tobacco Mosaic Resistant, (it took a few searches to figure that one out!) Light green peppers are Hungarian Wax. Skinny green ones are mostly Cayenne and some Indian peppers , called Jyoti that I bought from Seeds of India. On the far right are the beautiful Anchos, which are technically not Anchos until they are dried. A fresh Ancho pepper is  technically called a Poblano, or “people” pepper. The dried peppers are in important ingredient in moles  and chili for their characteristic mild, sweet, “raisin-like” flavor.

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I have a lot of Jalapenos  on the plant. These are Biker Billy Jalepenos, also from the hot pepper mix.  This is what the Burpee website says about the Biker Billy Jalepeno

Here’s a guy who loves hot peppers as much as we do! We discovered Bill Hufnagle’s cooking show several years ago while flipping through the cable channels. Bill is a freewheeling food lover, pepper gardener, vegetarian and Harley rider, totally committed to getting people to play more with their food, cook healthier and ride safe. Hot peppers, Bill says, make for more fun and more flavors than any other vegetable. This jalapeno is really packed with rich flavor. Billy likes ’em best when they are flaming red and at their sweetest. Fruits are very large, measuring 2″ at the shoulder and 3-1/2″ long. Upright plants up to 24″ tall.Burpee Exclusive. Grows best in full sun.

2″ at the shoulder! I can’t wait!

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Above is the famous Charentais with it’s signature greenish gray skin. I will be sure to let you all know if it’s all it’s cracked-up to be!

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The first Sugarbaby watermelon.  I’m never sure when they’re ripe because all of the indicators are so subjective. I picked it because the spot on the bottom was totally bright yellow, it sounded watery, jiggly, and hollow when tapped, and the tendril opposite the fruit was half dead. Totally dead would mean the vine is dyeing or diseased, so this is normal. It weights 3.5 pounds. I guess we’ll see! It’s pretty though!

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Here are the lemon queens, they all opened at once!

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These are volunteers, I think they are Mammoths. I think I prefer the golden yellow flowers. The color is so strong.

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Hurry up, hurry-up hyacinth bean, or I will award you the slow-poke of the year award!

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a great weekend!

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3 Responses

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  1. Faith said, on July 10, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Jo, no wonder your landscape looks so similar to mine. I’m in TN as well.

    Corn has been difficult here as well, but had trouble just getting it to sprout in the first place. Nothing got up early enough for me to see results yet.

    I hope to get my pics going again soon. I have lots of stuff happening, and no way to show it. LOL

    ~Faith

    LOL! I didn’t realize you were in TN too! I knew you were in the South, but assumed it was NC, or something!

    I always have trouble with corn, I guess that’s why there’s the old adage about planting three seeds per hole!

    Hope you get the pictures working soon, I’m excited to see what’s happening!

  2. gail said, on July 11, 2009 at 6:13 AM

    How was the watermelon? It looks tasty, but I have no idea how to pick a good one when I shop! The sunflowers are beautiful! I have taken note of the pepper info for future attempts to grow vegetables! gail

    The pepper mix is really top notch, it’s a great selection. The watermelon was delicious! Very sweet! I have no idea how to pick one either! I just assume the grocery store knows(?) My greatgrandfather peddled vegetables and my grandma always told me to pick lemons with smooth skin, they have more juice! I’m sure there are a few well kept secrets!

  3. Brian said, on July 12, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    I have a whole field full of sunflowers right in front of my house thanks to the local farmer, but we are growing our own veg in raised beds and really enjoying it.

    WOW! I’m sure it look amazing! Have you heard about the campaign to make the sunflower the national flower instead of the rose. IMHO, not a bad idea! Thanks for stopping by!


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