August 9, 2012

Volunteers & Other Plants in my Garden

 Oh tomatoes, the glory of the summer garden!  

I haven't had much success with tomatoes in my garden in the past few years, but last spring we had our huge tulip tree removed, which means the garden gets more sun.  Discouraged by my past failure, I did not attempt to grow any tomatoes this year. Apparently some of the compost I used this year was immature, because my garden is full of 'volunteers.'   While I would have liked to get a harvest from the seeds I actually planted (melons, okra, gherkins, luffa), figuring out what all these volunteers are is entertaining in its own right.

This plant has clusters of heart-shaped tomatoes, about two inches in diameter. I'm still waiting for them to turn red.  This article gives me hope that they will turn red, after the smoke clears and the temperature drops a bit (how many days of 100-degree weather have we had so far in August?!).

Oh, look!  This little cherry tomato is ripening!

We have one cherry tomato plant with lots of tomatoes on it, two plants with what I would call medium-sized tomatoes, and a couple stunted plants that sprouted in an area that is not getting enough water or sun.

 I planted three kinds of melon: a baby watermelon, a Bidwell casaba, and a cantaloupe, but that area of the garden seems to be overrun with the 'volunteer' plants: a couple varieties of zucchini, a cucumber vine, and the stunted tomato plants.  This is the only melon I've found under all the leaves, and I don't know what it is, do you? I'm eager to cut into it, but I'm waiting, because, being the only melon in the garden, I want it to be ripe.
 When this little volunteer sprouted up underneath my quinoa, I thought it was a cucumber vine due to the leaf size and the dime-sized yellow blossoms, but the fruit (at last count there were four on the vine) appear to be a variety of pumpkin.  What do you think it is?  Do you think it is edible?  

Chives, sweet alyssum and garlic chives. (Not volunteers.)

I first planted these chives two years ago.  I planted the garlic chives last year and they've faithfully produced since then.  What a great cut-and-come-again herb!

A friend of mine gave me some quinoa seeds.  Due to limited space, I have 2-3 good-sized plants (about six feet tall). My understanding is that we wait while those green grains mature and dry a bit, then we harvest some quinoa!

Huh?  What's this?  Back in the volunteer section of the garden, at the far end that doesn't seem to get enough water or sun, tucked in amongst the dried remnants of spring's pea plants? A tomato that's actually turning red?!  It appears to be a paste variety.

This morning's harvest:

  • 9 slicing cucumbers of various sizes
  • 1 handful of purple podded beans
  • 1 West Indian Burr Gherkin -I planted at least six of these seeds, but, being in the area overrun with volunteers, I only got one plant.  It's producing well, but probably not enough for a batch of pickles.  The girls and I like them straight off the vine.  They are crisp, spiky and just a little lemony.
  • 3 green podded peas that I found hiding under the zucchini foliage.
  • 3 zucchini picked while still small and sweet
  • 3 pickling cucumbers, all of which managed to get bigger than I would like for pickling.

No comments:

Post a Comment