Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Monday, June 25, 2012


the first tomato of the season!

from the Spanish word "tomate"
 Latin botanical name, Lycopersicon esculentum "wolfpeach"

Regardless if you believe that the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, it is the #1 garden crop in the US.  Native to Central and South America (grown as a perennial) the tomato is part of the nightshade family.  At one time the tomato was considered poisonous and grown for ornamental purposes only.  However, by the mid-eighteenth century, tomatoes where being consumed in the US.  China is the largest producer of tomatoes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Birds and the Bees and Squash Blossoms?

Did you know that a squash plant produces both male and female blossoms? This is also true for melons, cukes, pumpkins and guards. The male flowers are the first to bloom and the most abundant. Sometimes, you will have a plant with lots of flowers and no fruit. That's because the ratio of male to female flowers are roughly 4 to 1 (higher early on). Also, the window of pollination is 1 day!
It is easy to tell the male flower from the female flower. The stem of the male flower is thin, unlike the females, which will have a small bump at the base. This is a miniature structure of what's to come. These blossoms are edible, both raw and cooked. Harvest the male flowers, but make sure to leave a few on the vine for pollination purposes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Begin to cut when plants are 4"-5" inches tall, leaving about 1" at the base.
Quickly regrows for a second or even a third cutting.
Tender, young leaves with a sweet flavor and juicy texture!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pisum sativum

Before becoming domesticated, peas grew in the wild!

Pea production slows down once temps reach 70 degrees.
  Over 75 degrees they will stop bearing fruit, and existing pods will not fill out.  Time to remove them from the garden.  Pea roots are rich in nitrogen, so you wont to leave them in the ground.  Remove the vines by cutting them off at the base.  The vines can go into your compost pile as long as they are not disease or pest infested. 

Plant peas again in the mid to late summer for a fall crop.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A genus of about 250 species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My husband is eagerly waiting for the garlic from the garden.  That's a far cry from last year when he commented on the small size of  the cloves.  But once he started cooking with the garlic, he was shocked at how flavorful it was.  "Some of the best garlic I've tasted"  I believe he said.  He has to wait a bit longer for the garlic, but he may be pleasantly surprised by the scapes!

This is my second season for growing garlic.  The first year I planted a softneck variety from cloves I purchased from the local produce guy.  This past fall  I've planted both hard and softneck variety's purchased from seed company's.  One big difference between the two is that hardneck garlic produces the scapes.

In June, hardneck garlic produces a flower stalk or scape. 

As it grows, it forms a curl.

As the curl begins to straighten, it can be removed from the plant.
  These scapes are tender and have a subtle garlic flavor.  They can be used raw, steamed, or sauteed.