The garden’s well and truly looking summer-y. We’re up to here in chard, all manner of summer squash and cukes — but instead of these high-producers, I’m sending along some snapshots of some of the veggies that are still in the I.O.U. stage.
First up, sweet peppers: we grow these from seed in the greenhouse — they love the heat and we love the long growing season available in there. This particular plant’s one of several bells growing in small-ish containers, as the greenhouse bed is full of hot peppers this year.
There’s winter squash (butternut & sweetmeat) growing in an open area we’ve spent several seasons reconditioning. Five years ago the space was a jungle of pine stumps, holly and a monster hedge. Ooodles of mulch, homegrown compost and a rotation of cover crops is slowly producing something that’s starting to resemble soil.
We’re hopeful that there’ll be enough heat hereabout to see the corn mature. We had to plant this bed three times — the first two attempts failed, as hot days repeatedly turned cold and the corn failed to germinate. We switched to a short-season variety and think we’ll be eating and freezing corn by mid-September.
Here in New England, I’ve reached the point where I swear that next summer I’ll put in fewer tomato plants and only buy proven favorites. The temps have been August-moderate, in the low 80s, but the humidity has been hanging in the ‘oppressive’ range, and the “fall” allergens have bloomed as early as everything else this year. So while I’ve been getting a decent range of ripening tomatoes, I’ve also had to cut back and discard a lot of blighted vines… while sneezing & sniffling & generally feeling like I’m trapped in a bathroom where somebody’s just taken a three-hour shower.
I’m not impressed with the new Indigo Rose tomatoes — they set fruit early here, and the top of each tomato promptly turned purple-black, but they take forever to ripen to dun-buckskin-orange and the flavor is distinctly meh. I need to try roasting one or two, just in case, but they’re looking like an experiment I won’t repeat. On the other hand, the one perfect Paul Robeson tomato we got before the plant failed was fantastic… come February, I need to remind myself to leave more space to coddle one or two Paul Robesons instead of getting distracted with too many novelties.
How are things looking in your gardens? What are the tomato varieties you grow (or look for in the local farmers market) every year?