Sunday, August 8, 2010

Flower Power in the Veggie Patch

There’s still lots blooming in the veggie patch.  Not everything is edible; but the blossoms attract pollinators to the patch and production remains very, very high.

DSC_1903_4854  The Texas Ranger busts into bloom starting in May and continues until around November.  The bees are drunk on all the pollen they are loading up.  Texas Rangers are easy to grow in zone 9.  They thrive in the dry heat and aren’t fussy, temperamental plants.

DSC_1907_4858 Marigolds sprouted from last season’s seeds; so I left them alone growing amongst the Al Kuffa Tomatoes and the Borlotto Solista Beans.  I need to remember to be careful when I clean these out in the fall.  There are loads of spiders in them (Black Windows included).

DSC_1909_4860 Okay.  All the tomatoes continue to produce.  This has been a banner year for tomato production.  Truly overwhelming.  I really thought that these plants that were started by seed on March 1 would have been finished by now and I would be preparing the beds for the fall/winter crops.  No way.  They just keep on giving.

DSC_1910_4861 The Serrano Peppers are enjoying the heat of summer and all the plants are loaded with lantern like blossoms.DSC_1911_4862  These little butterflies flutter all through the peppers.  Grasshoppers are a problem that I believe I’m keeping under control with my grasshopper hunt each evening.  Slap.  Squish. Stomp.  No grasshopper is safe.  At the beginning of summer they would give me goose bumps.  Now, I am a grasshopper exterminator using my gloved hands and Croc covered feet as my weapons of destruction.

DSC_1912_4863 Black Hungarian Peppers are similar to the Serranos except they are deep purple. Cue the Deep Purple soundtrack.

DSC_1914_4865 The Malali Watermelon continues to produce as well.  Charlotte here will not let any bees or butterflies near this blossom she rules over.

DSC_1916_4867 The Lemon Squash will not stop.  Note to self:  plant two seeds next season and hope that only one germinates.

DSC_1918_4869Borlotto Solista Beans have a delicate, soft pink blossom.  I think that grasshoppers find them delicious because there aren’t that many beans yet.

DSC_1919_4870 Thyme is blooming and the bees love it.  I need to get out there and give it a snip.

DSC_1928_4878English Lavender continues to attract the bees and butterflies.  The spittle bugs seem to be gone for the time being.

DSC_1922_4872 The chives are starting to develop seed heads that also need to be snipped.

There it is.  A garden update on all the flowers in the veggie patch.


Maureen said...

Wow....very impressive! Since we are not having nearly the tomato harvest you are, I've already started planning the winter garden....sigh. I did want to ask you what you thought of the Al Kuffa tomato? Next year we are doing more paste tomatoes and tho we had several that were successful, we do need to find a few more that will work in sauces.


Maureen said...

ps. Lovely photos!!!


*Maureen: Thanks. The Al Kuffa is very tough. The plants are about 3 feet tall, bushy, and lush. The production is very heavy. I have had to add heavier support to 3 of the plants. They were so heavy with tomatoes that they fell over even with a cage! The fruits grow almost in clusters very close to each other. They are small tomatoes. A bit larger than a golf ball. There is minor cracking at the stem; but I haven't had problems with bottom end rot. Pests don't seem to linger on these plants. They prefer the other varieties. They are tasty. My mother was over this evening strolling through the garden and munching on some Al Kuffas. They are juicy though.

Life With Dogs said...

You take some truly great macro shots. Gorgeous!

Bill Bird said...

Wonderful photos -- and I cannot begin to tell you how jealous I am with your weather. The best we can muster up here is an 84. But if you're in the riverbottom -- like we are -- cut that to 81. And at night it gets DARN cold. You appear to be having the year we had last summer -- when everything just came up roses...


*Life & Bill: Thanks for the compliment. The camera does all the work. Bill you can ease you jealousy by paying much less to PG&E than I did in July.