WOWZA! What a good week for growing in the Northwest, things are really taking off in my garden. It’s looking bushy, bountiful and it’s getting hard to navigate between the raised beds!
Earlier this week we were able to harvest some lettuce for a simple salad with a little caesar dressing and sautéed mushrooms. YUM!
But today we harvested a bunch more produce! This is what having a garden is all about – “shopping” in your backyard. This morning I harvested red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, green beans, broccoli, peas, chives, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and some basil. I’m especially tickled about this because our fridge is nearly empty of fresh foods and without the garden I’d be making a trip to the store today for produce!
This little pepper is just chugging along, see a photo of it from last week. I have really enjoyed photographing my garden week-to-week and documenting the changes. Look at how far it’s come in only one month!
My spinach and lettuce is doing great! Do I need to thin out my carrots? When do you do this?
My pumpkin plant is trailing out and getting bigger! So excited for our pumpkins this fall!
The rainbow chard just keeps coming back! And I’m just not sure what to do with it. I’ve sauted it a couple times and it just got soggy, unfortunately I don’t think we are fans and I’m not sure I’ll plant it again next year. Sorry, chard-ie.
My zucchini plant is out of control. It’s HUGE. There are a ton of blooms and big leaves. But I’m having some trouble. My zucchinis seem to be rotting before they get big enough. I trimmed back the plant a bunch today – hopefully it won’t kill it. But there was so much stuff laying on top of each other that I thought it might be causing some rotting issues. It seems like the plant is spending a lot of time growing new sprouts and flowers – instead of growing the current zucchinis. Should I trim it? Or leave it alone?
I spotted this huge pickle in my garden this morning. I did plant pickling cucumbers but didn’t expect a pickle so soon. I have no idea how to pickle anything. My dill has gone to seed. And I only have one big pickle. What should I do with it – can I actually “pickle” just one of them? Should I let it grow longer? I’d love your advice! I have a bunch of smaller pickles on the vine, so I better figure it out before they come along.
My tomato plants seem to be getting bushier and bushier but only some of them have baby tomatoes. Again, I feel like there is a whole lot of energy putting into growing the plant and not the fruit. Should I wait it out? Should I be trimming them back? I have no idea – please help!
If you’re just now joining my gardening journey, I’m learning as I
go grow and sharing along the way:
- First I built the raised beds
- Then I added dirt
- Then I added plants
- and for fun, we created a DIY Worm Compost Bin
- and then Mavis came and gave me some advice – um, give your plants some room
- Our first harvest, lettuce rejoice and be glad
- June 23 – Saturday in the garden – built two more raised beds and harvested bok choy, cilantro, radishes
- June 30 – Saturday in the garden – Harvested green lettuce, swiss chard and bok choy, more greens pop up!
- July 7 – Saturday in the garden – Fava beans bloom, zucchini plant doing great, green/red leaf lettuce growing
- July 13 – Saturday in the garden – Zucchinis, Peppers, Greens, Beans, Carrots!
The garden is part of our quest to be more self-sufficient this year. We also recently got chickens! See our chicken journey here.
Amazon has The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys & More on sale for $13.19 (reg. $19.95)
How are things growing in your garden this summer?
Kari M says
I’d have to agree with the comments you’ve gotten already. I wanted to add that I always can smaller “cocktail” cucs for pickles and we love them, especially the kids they think they are just for them. I also have used a “Tomato & Blossom set spray”. It basically pollinates the flowers/blooms. We live right next to the Olympic forest in Wa and it’s just a little cooler and great to make the flower get pollinated sooner in the cooler weather. I haven’t used it on my zuc’s but I’m sure you could. It’s at your local hardware/garden store. My Mom up in BC turned me onto it a few years ago. It only takes a few sprays right into/onto the flower and the yield is amazing. We also love to eat the chard in our salads and stir-fry’s. Good Luck. 🙂
I thinned out my carrots a couple days ago so they wouldn’t grow into or around each other. Ended up with a huge handful of baby carrots to snack on (most were about the size of my pinky). A friend of mine just made pesto out of her carrot greens that she swears is amazing.
I was going to say what Desiree said about the chard! It will get wilty~ but it’s divine! Add more or less balsamic vinegar to your taste. My entire family (5 yo and 11 yo) love it!
Or use it to barter with a neighbor for something you don’t have? If you don’t like chard I’m sure someone else will!
My mother makes a super easy cucumber salad that I’ve been enjoying since my baby days.
Slice 1 cucumber. Add a tbsp of either mayo or miracle whip (we use miracle whip for the tang), a cap full of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and that’s it. The mix creates this white sauce that I use to throw on top of my rice. I love it. You can also add tomatoes to this recipe.
The other thing I like to do with cucs is to slice them up and use them as “chips” for my chips and dip night. I make a ranch or onion dip to go along with it.
Follow Amy’s advice! And for tomatoes you should prune them, otherwise the energy is put into growing the plant and not fruit. U try eating the chard stems? YUM! and silly girl, just eat the cuke on a salad.. peel it first. 🙂
Amy G says
Most likely your zucchini are not getting pollinated. When you see a new female flower (the ones with the baby zucchini behind the flower) pick a male flower (the ones on a straight stem), pull back the petals and swipe the pollen into the female flowers. I’ll bet you’ll see a difference.
I agree, They are probably not getting pollinated. That is an easy fix. I also have had problems with that on my pumpkins. Keep an eye out when they blossom.
Desiree Gabel says
Chard: try cutting up the stems and sauté them until almost tender but still pretty crunchy in olive oil and garlic, then add the cut up leaves and when jut wilted stir I. Balsalmic vinegar and maybe a little lemon juice. This makes sure it all gets cooked and doesn’t get too soggy.
As for any ground veggie such as squash and pumpkins, try to make sure they don’t rest on earth because the moisture will make them rot faster. You can set them on paper plates and that will save them from both moisture and certain bugs. Also, sometimes they just are ripe and start rotting because the gardener thinks they will get bigger, but they won’t.
As for the pickle, you can use it to make a refrigerator pickle (I think ball had a mix for this) or just pick it and wait if you think other pickles will be ready within the next 2 days for regular pickling. I hope that helps!
Desiree – Thank you for your tips! I’ll give these ideas a try!
You can slice that one pickle and add it to the pickles you have in the refrigerator if you have some just put them towards the bottom and in 2 or 3 days yum. You can do that up to 2 times