Posts tagged pickles
The garden looks pretty good. For the past week we have had some very hot weather and just one day of rain. The soaker hose seems to do the job when it won’t rain, but the plants can tell the difference. There is no substitute for a real drenching rain.
The tomato plants look good. We picked the first couple of grape tomatoes, but it may be a couple more weeks before we can harvest the bigger varieties. We have let some of the broccoli flower and it turns out that it is pretty and the honeybees like it. Who knew. I picked one small orange Hungarian Wax pepper and the rest are coming along. It was nice and ‘spicy’, by-the-way. We planted more bell peppers this year because they seem the most versatile and we will use them. One Jalapeno plant will do for this year.
The peas are just about done. We froze some and will freeze more as soon as I get around to it. I don’t want them to sit in the refrigerator much longer. When I pull those plants next week, I will plant another bunch of cucumbers and pole beans. The okra looks as good as last year, but it has another couple of weeks to go. There are some flowers forming. I will probably pick the first few small cucumbers in the next day or two. They are perfect pickling size now.
There were some germination problems with the beans and edamame, but the plants that made it look good.
The problems are with the vines: the cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash. Germination was terrible, the rabbits ate the early shoots, and now the plants are dying. It seems like a root or stem problem. I think the soil is not as good as it should be in that part of the garden. I will plant some in another section when I pull out the remaining broccoli plants.
Today is pickle day. Hopefully, there will be more pickling days, but we will have to see how the pickle vines – some might call them cucumbers – do in the next few weeks. Like everything in the garden, there is a long build-up to seeing fruit and then a relatively short harvest. It seems like forever – planting and weeding and watering and watching – and then shortly after you see a few blossoms, the fruit is there. Then shortly after that, it’s gone. Tomatoes and peppers are a bit of an exception. They take longer from blossoms to mature fruit and the season last a good while. But the radishes, spinach, lettuce, peas, beans, and cucumbers explode with fruit and then it’s over.
Now that the cucumbers are here, we will do some canning. The beans are slowing down, but we have saved a few pounds of them to can with the pickles. We will use the same pickling juice for the beans. I love dilly beans. Not sure where or when I had my first ones, but I am looking forward to making these again this year. The Derby bush beans have yielded beautiful long straight beans that will be ideal for putting in jars. And this year’s pickles are clearly better than what we got last year already, so these should be good, too.
Last summer was hot and unusually dry. The lawn lost almost all of its green color and actually died in large patches. We kept the garden barely alive by watering with the soaker hose, but the weather clearly made this a struggle. So far this year has been a little better, but still a bit dry for the past month or so. We planted the squash and cucumbers in between the tomato plants and so far this has working out pretty well although it is a bit tricky finding a place to step.
We planted two varieties of cucumbers: Sassy Hybrid and Miss Pickler “Pioneer”. I’m not sure at this point which is which, but everything we have picked so far looks great.