Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In the Garden This Week

Last weekend I checked to see if my garlic had cured after two weeks of hanging up in the shade outside my back door. To test it, I cut a couple stems about an inch above the garlic head. When you squeeze the stem and no moisture is present, it is fully cured- and it was! So I took down the braids, cut off the tops, re-tied the tops of the braids tightly, cleaned the heads a bit, and trimmed off the roots.

With several heads in the basket in the kitchen for this week's cooking, the rest are hanging up in my storage unit in the basement, which is cool and dry, as opposed to my sometimes very humid apartment.

With some good summer heat and daily waterings, the garden is coming along nicely. The onions are probably as big as they are going to get, and I will harvest them as soon as we've used up our last couple store bought ones. The kale is the same batch that I planted in late February, and it has been producing wonderfully for almost five months! As long as it gets picked regularly, the leaves just continue to grow back. This is the Dwarf Scotch Blue variety, and I really love it.

I also discovered that the cucumber plants given to me by a coworker are, in fact, summer squash plants! I don't mind a bit, but it was a little surprise, after not paying too much attention to them, to find that the yellow fruits I thought were going to be lemon cukes were in fact crookneck squash! Having never grown lemon cukes, I didn't pay attention to what the plant looked like. Now that I think about it, had they been cucumbers I think they would have been more vine-like and actually climbed their trellis!

I'm rather amazed that my pepper plants are still alive, and now producing a few peppers! They had such a hard time of it, what with being attacked by aphids and then enduring six weeks of cold, rain, and mud as soon as I transplanted them into the garden. But here is a Hungarian Wax pepper, almost ready to be picked, one of three on this plant so far:

All of my tomato plants are loaded with green fruit, I estimate that within the week I will have my first ones gaining some good color. These are Brandywines:

We currently have Sungold cherry tomatoes out our ears. I've been picking a good batch almost every day, and there are so many more green ones on the plants:

The nasturtiums, as always, are going crazy, and we have them in all of our salads.

It took awhile for my flowers to get going (the ones that survived the spring), I love this shot of my big cosmos bush in the late afternoon sun:

My hanging geraniums are still flourishing. These plants are about 3 1/2 years old now, and I don't ever want to part with them. I love how red and dark pink geraniums seem to glow, even without light directly on them.

Here is the tangle of spearmint, nasturtiums, and sweet peas against the house:

And some beautiful pink sweet peas:

I think this week will bring the pulling up and curing of the onions, small as they are, so we can eat some of them before we move. I will also need to pick a big batch of kale, and probably make some crispy kale for dinner tonight or tomorrow. I also have several loads' worth of laundry needing to be done, so that will have to happen tonight. I've finally finished all my gift projects for the summer, so will turn to mending a few things for the trip and putting together the small sewing kit I will take with me. I went through my closet last week, pulling out all the clothes I am going to get rid of, or am on the fence about. This week I will try and do the same thing with my shoes and all the clothes in my dresser. We did get our visa applications in on time, I checked the tracking on the FedEx website to confirm that they were received at the BUNAC office in Connecticut yesterday morning! We also gave our 30 days' notice on the apartment, so that is taken care of. Whew- now that all the big purchases and bureaucracy are out of the way, it is time to turn to packing. I predict this will either happen a little bit at a time, or all in the last two days before we leave! We'll see...

No comments: