Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gardening Floyd: Finally! Summer Veg!

Despite the warm winter and early spring we experienced here in Floyd,  I feel like I've been running behind with the garden this season.  I got tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and squash in by mid-June but never did get any annual herbs planted.  I got cannellini beans and chickpeas in the ground in the Lower 40 and Michael got tepary beans in the ground in the house garden but we never got our edamame or green beans planted.  Luckily I have lots of quarts of green beans from last year.  We have harvested about a quarter bushel of Yukon Gold potatoes, but would have had a lot more if I had been more diligent.  I think we're going to have a bumper crop of fingerlings.  I'm convinced that the 3 lb./$4 dollar bag of mixed fingerlings from the produce section of the local Walmart grocery is growing better than the $12 per lb. single variety fingerling seed potatoes from a seed supplier ever would have.  Same goes for the sweet potatoes.  They're growing gangbusters from starts from a few grocery store sweets.  Major potato lesson learned there!

See those eggplants on the right?  Those are the first ever eggplants I've been able to bring to maturity since we've lived in Floyd.  Other places we've lived I've been inundated with eggplants but here we have large devastating populations of flea beetles that turn the leaves of young plants to lace, weakening and killing them.  It took spraying the transplants with Surround and pyrethrum as soon as they were in the ground and then immediately covering the bed with floating row cover that allowed the plants to get to a size where they could resist the damage.  To the right of the eggplants is the first Smokey tomato.  It's destiny is sourdough bread slathered with mayo for my lunch.  Next to that is a Carnival bell and two Corno di Toro sweet peppers.  Then a variety of pickling cucumber called Homemade and in the lower left corner, Mini-Belles.  I absolutely love those for appetizer stuffing, pickling, and fresh snacking.

The white powdery substance you see on the veg is Surround.  It's a kaolin clay product that gets mixed with water and sprayed on the fruit and veg.  It was first used mainly on apples and other tree fruits but was found effective for other crops as well.  It's a pretty innocuous substance but bugs don't like it and it also helps protect fruit and veg from sunscald.

The pumpkins and winter squash are in full flower and fruiting, the crookneck summer squash are just beginning to set fruit.  The Moon and Stars watermelons and Pike muskmelons are looking good.  It's just about time to start the fall garden seeds for broccoli, cabbage, greens and other cold weather crops already.

I don't think I'll ever catch up!

1 comment:

  1. That surround stuff sounds good. We need something...my husband killed in his estimate 1,000 beetles the other day (he does tend to exaggerate, but I'm sure it was hundreds at least). Your produce is looking good!