22 June 2009

Wynne Garden: Stage Two

"Corn Tassels at Sunset"
Maybe that's a silly name for this pic, but I'm quite proud of the corn stalks we've grown. When a corn stalk grows its tassels, you know you're getting close to harvesting multiple ears of sweet, tender goodness. This variety of corn, silver queen, is my favorite of all types of corn. All of the pics in this entry were taken June 9, the night before we left for Ireland. Even though the garden looks great in these shots, you wouldn't believe how much it changed in the week we were away. For instance, there are several ears currently that are ready for harvest that weren't before we left the country.

These flowers aren't in my garden, but they are at my mailbox. They are poppies. Flashbacks to "The Wizard of Oz" anyone? This is my first time growing them, and they put out an incredible number of brightly-colored blossoms. The only trouble is that our hose doesn't reach to our mailbox, so they aren't watered as often as they need it. Their stalks are browning and feel like paper. I'll most likely have to pull them up and replace them with something more drought-tolerant.

Tiny pepper! I'm a huge fan of bell peppers. In fact, I buy them every week at the grocery store to put in sauces or on a salad. This variety is called carnival bell, which means they will turn one of five colors: red, orange, yellow, white, or purple. Yes, purple! After a bell plant makes a white blossom, it falls off, revealing the immature fruit, just like you see here. It can be picked before it turns one of the aforementioned colors, but know this...All bell peppers start green, so when you eat a green bell, you are consuming an immature bell. If you let them stay on the plant long enough, they will turn another color.

The corn has grown so tall, it's now taller than me. As you can see, the stalks on the right side of the bed are much shorter than the rest. They haven't gotten enough sun. We're planning on digging out all of the potatoes in the bed to the left and planting corn there for a late-summer harvest. Hopefully, that bed of corn will get plenty of sun and produce stalks that are the same height.

Close-up of an ear. Look at how beautiful the silks are! Once they turn brown, they will be ready for harvesting. Then we'll have ourselves a corn cook-out. Corn on the grill is heavenly.

My cukes seem to be doing pretty well. They should be producing dozens off each plant, but I'm fine with just a handful. They don't grow much larger than this, as they are hybrid cukes meant for pickling. That's next on my list of things that I must learn how to do.

Remember the shot of this bed from the last blog? Here it is again. Pear tomatoes, purplehull peas, and big beef tomatoes. The veggies in this bed have grown more out of control than any other. We've actually had to cut branches off the pear tomatoes because they're growing over the aisles now.

My roma tomatoes, which is something else I usually pick up at the grocery store. They have a firm, meaty texture and are perfect for slicing up as a pizza topping. Michael picked 3 of them this morning, as they had ripened right on the vine.

Grape tomatoes growing in bunches...it doesn't matter how many times I look at his plant, I'm still taken aback by the amount of fruit growing together! I just wish they would all ripen at the same time. The branches of tomato plants are very strong and sturdy, but they get weighed down and need extra support while bearing fruit.

My herbs are looking pretty good. I'm ready to have enough fresh basil so I can make pesto. I still don't know what I'll do with the chamomile Michael bought for me. Chives are great for baked or mashed potatoes. Mint is really great in sweet tea. The possibilities with herbs are endless.

My Meyer lemon tree. These lemons will be sweeter than a normal lemon, but alas, there are no blossoms on the tree. The best part about these trees is that they are evergreen and will continue to grow and produce through the winter months, so long as they are brought indoors. Eventually, it will need a larger pot, as the size of the pot limits the size of the tree. At their best, they should produce several dozen fruit in one season. We'll see...

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