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Zucchini is coming on daily. So far, picking squash when it is 6 or 7″ long, is working. I see a chocolate zucchini cake in our future…
Green beans are in a small patch we must collect a few pickings for a meal. In a couple of days, cucumber production will explode. For now, there are enough cucumbers for fresh eating.
There are plenty of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes for salad every day. The few red slicer tomatoes from My Garden Post were used for the first BLT of the season.
Read about the garlic and onions curing in the shade on the porch. Its garlic season
is all about the first juicy red tomatoes of the season. Those early full-sized tomatoes were grown on two foot tall plants!
I’m excited about a new container perennial on my deck. ‘Perfect Storm’ is a hardy hibiscus with giant white flowers and a bright red center. These big, bright blooms are the star of the show.
Summerific® hibiscus has huge, 7-8” wide, white flowers with a bright red eye that radiates out the veins, with the petals edged with pink.
I’m also growing the dark foliage of ‘Summer Storm’ Hibiscus, but it gets too big for a small garden space (decks, patios). So, ‘Perfect Storm’ keeps the dark foliage and shrinks it down. ‘Perfect Storm’ makes a great container plant or fits in a small garden space.
Only 3 feet tall, ‘Perfect Storm’ has huge, 7-8” wide, white flowers with a bright red eye that radiates out the veins, and petals edged with pink. Expect blooms from late summer into early fall.
This is a trial plant, sent to me by Proven Winners. It will be available in garden centers next spring. I’ll be talking more about Summerific® ‘Perfect Storm’ – Rose Mallow – Hibiscus after it has had a longer trial in my zone 6, Southeast Missouri, USA garden.
The garlic bulbs are dug up, but there is much more to do to preserve the harvest. Handle freshly dug garlic gently. Bulbs can easily bruise.
Spread out bulbs away from direct sun with good air circulation. Allow the roots and entire stalk to dry, turning brown. The bulbs are ready to clean up and store.
Cut the stalks about an inch above the garlic bulb. Clip off the roots. Carefully wipe off the dirt with a soft brush or cloth. Try not to remove many layers of skin.
This year I grew two kinds of garlic, Chesnok Red Garlic and California Early Garlic.
With long, warm fall at planting time, I could have waited until November, instead of planting cloves in October.
The long, cold rainy spring is also part of the reason I had a smaller harvest of garlic.
Learn more about growing organic garlic, onions and shallots.
Herb Bouquets include garlic scapes.
The purple-striped hardneck has large and easy-to-peel cloves. I’m growing it because Chesnok Red is a good baking and a good storing garlic. (4 – 6 weeks.)
The garlic scapes of the hardneck garlic makes for a secondary harvest. Use scapes for vinegar, stir fry, pesto. Expect about 15 garlic bulbs per pound and approximately 9 or 10 cloves per bulb.
These garlic bulbs grew smaller than the California Early Garlic. Chesnok wins awards as an excellent baker. I’ll be using those smaller bulbs to make creamy roasted garlic.
The California Early Garlic was harvested two weeks earlier. The bulbs are big and white. For the past three years, I have success growing this popular American garlic.
These California Early Garlic bulbs are mild enough to be used raw in recipes or fresh pickles. This is not a hot garlic. It’s a good choice for mild garlic flavor, not heat.
Known as a long keeper, California Early Garlic is a softneck garlic, good for braiding. I like the mild flavor and large cloves. There are about 12 garlic bulbs per pound and 10-16 cloves per bulb.
I am having big juicy tomato success on My Garden Post. These are the tomatoes that I am growing.
The best choice for My Garden Post are plants that are less than 2 feet tall.
Determinate tomato varieties grow to a limited hight and usually do not need staking and caging.
Choose dwarf or bush type tomato plants. Look for plants bred for containers.
Extended release or slow release fertilizer applied when potting the plant will be one less thing to worry about.
I bought Bush 506 as a plant from The Tasteful Garden
I bought the New Big Dwarf tomato as a plant from The Tasteful Garden
“I often recommend the Bush Steak tomato and suggests planting in the large planters. The Bush Steak Tomato matures at 20 inches in height, and produce a medium size tomato in large numbers,” says Oliver J Gardner, Director of Sales and Marketing, My Garden Post.
Grown from seed. Exclusive. Renee’s Garden
My container grown tomatoes benefit from the easy-to-set-up and use My Garden Post irrigation system. It’s the best system I’ve used on the deck or patio. Adjust the timer to accommodate the season; longer daily watering when it is the hottest.
I’m growing three different kinds of zucchini. Before you ask why, let me just say I love zucchini. To me, it would be like growing only one kind of tomato.
As production picks up, I get creative. Chocolate zucchini cake is a favorite. Details and the recipe are on my Hub Pages.
Soon, there will be days when I wonder why I planted so much. What was I thinking? Well, it’s a test. Which is the best, the earliest, most squash bug resistant, is attractive, has the longest shelf life and, most important: best tasting.
Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. The yellow variety is slightly sweeter. The round, “Eight Ball” or “Ronde de Nice” are bred for stuffing.
Clarimore is a pale green and slightly speckled. It has an almost creamy texture. Like most summer squash, no need to peel these fresh, young vegetables.
Dark green (almost black) Raven and Golden Dawn yellow zucchini and are the long, straight varieties we most often see when we think of zucchini.
I like Green Tiger, a European hybrid is named for its light-colored stripes. It has a mild and sweet flavor with a tender crunch. Green Tigers slightly nutty flavor is good cooked or raw in recipes. Not as straight and cylindrical as other zucchini and is best when served small.
Zucchini prevention tips
for stuffed zucchini blossoms. Pick them in the early morning (or at night) when the flowers are closed. The closed blossom makes the perfect vessel for stuffing.
More blog posts about summer squash:
Trimming herbs will tidy the garden and provide fragrant culinary inspiration in the kitchen. Keep a herb bouquet in the kitchen to inspire using fresh herbs in cooking. A handy sprig of fresh oregano may be just what the tomato sauce needs.
Clip or trim herbs to encourage, healthy, bushy growth. For example, a basil plant will produce more leaves if kept trimmed. Learn more about the importance of Pinching terminal buds for better plant growth.
Herbs add greenery and fill a bouquet to colorful blooms. A handy supply of herbs in the garden will always brighten any bouquet. Replace filler like baby’s breath and leather leaf ferns with your own home-grown herbs.
A herb bouquet on the kitchen counter will inspire you to use more fresh herbs. Often, cut herbs will last longer than a floral bouquet.
Later, the lavender will flavor lemonade. The garlic scapes and cilantro will be added to salsa.
Plant enough to use fresh, to preserve as pesto and in herb vinegar. Keep a pot on the patio or right outside the kitchen door. Read more about basil: Seed starting, growing and storing Basil
Basil flavor is best when fresh. If you keep basil cuttings in a kitchen bouquet, don’t be surprised in the stems form roots.
Discard the rooted stems and use only the leaves in cooking. (Or, plant the rooted cuttings.)
Keeping basil pinched or cut back will produce more leaves. Keeping a glass or jar of those cuttings in the kitchen makes it much more likely that you will use the herbs at their best.
If you’ve never tried growing potatoes, containers or growing bags makes this a fun project. Flexible fabric containers will grow potatoes in the garden or even on a sunny deck. Home grown potatoes come in such variety, the tastes and textures may send you on a tasty potato obsession.
I grow potatoes not found in the supermarkets, like fingerlings or colorful varieties. Seed potatoes in a raised bed or growing bag are easy care, usually weed and disease free. It’s very easy to control insect problems on such a small-scale.
Grow potatoes in well worked soil or potting mix amended with compost or slow release fertilizer. Easy access to water will mean less work for you. Fill the bag with 3 inches of soil, place the potatoes, cover with 3 more inches of soil.
When potato plants are 6 inches tall, cover the plant with soil, leaving only the top 2″ uncovered. Continue the process until the bag is filled with soil. Plants will produce more potatoes along the covered stem.
Covering the potato with soil keeps them from getting sunburned. Sun exposure causes potatoes to turn green and bitter-tasting. They need consistent moisture, either by rain or watering.
Harvest a few new potatoes about 10 weeks after planting, usually in early July.
At season’s end, plants will yellow and wilt. Withhold water for 2 weeks. Dump the bag to harvest potatoes. Clean and plan to use the bag again next year. I’ve used the same growing bag for three years.
To learn more about growing sweet potatoes in the traditional way: G6368, Growing Sweet Potatoes in Missouri
Used by the Andean Indians for at least 2,000 years before the Spanish Conquest, the potato, Genus Solanum tuberosum, family Solanaceae, was introduced to Europe by the mid-16th century, and reputedly to England by the explorer Walter Raleigh.
An obligatory lecture:
In Ireland, the potato famine of 1845, caused by a parasitic fungus, resulted in many thousands of deaths from starvation, and led to large-scale emigration to the USA. This is why you should only grow certified organic potatoes.
I’ve been snipping lettuce leaves and pulling radish and onions a few, each day, for a couple of weeks. But today I got a basket full. So, let this be 2015’s first harvest basket of the season.
There is enough lettuce for a sandwich or to add to store-bought lettuce. Radish and onion from our garden make it close to perfect.
This little bunny, maybe the third generation so for this spring, is “hiding” by the kitchen door. I can only hope this one does not like green beans.
I mix lettuces together when sowing. This allows for a beautiful variety when thinning and harvesting.
Slow to bolt and rarely bitter, Green Ice leaf-type lettuce, it’s wavy, fringed leaves are a dark green color and crisp.
Flashy trout back lettuce, a European heirloom Forellenschluse (Austrian for speckled like a trout’s back) romaine is a prized lettuce varieties. Soft, tender, juicy.
And so, without further ado,
Vertical Gardening with My Garden Post.
My Garden Post (MGP)* Cool Season Crops.