Friday, August 12, 2011

Garden News

I'm glad that I don't have the space for a big garden. Since it's been such a long time since I've had a garden it's nice to start small. Even my 4x8 patch is proving challenging at times!
My most recent challenge occured when one of my zucchini plants started to grow in the direction of my romaine plants. A large zucchini leaf cast a shadow over a struggling romaine plant. When I was out gathering romaine leaves for a salad I made a startling and revolting discovery. The shade provided by the zucchini leaf not only stunted the growth of the romaine plant, it also created a perfect living space for earwigs. Ugh. I hate earwigs. They really creep me out. I attempted to redirect the zucchini plant so that it's leaves weren't shadowing the romaine but when I checked the next afternoon the zucchini plant had repositioned itself over the romaine plant and the earwigs continued to thrive. Since the plant was being attacked by both shade and pests I decided to cut my losses and dig up the romaine plant. I carefully (with my hand as far back on the handle of my spade as possible) dug out the plant and was able to balance it on the spade and transplant the earwigs to their new home in my compost pile. I'm sure they'll thrive there too but at least it has some benefit for me instead of grossing me out!
Luckily, the rest of my red romaine plants are thriving, check out my awesome romaine jungle!

In an earlier post I talked about how my Belgian Giant tomato plant was taking over the tomato area of my garden and so I attempted to transplant it to save my other tomatoes. After a week of touch and go and then another week of hope it became apparent that my tansplanted tomato plant wasn't going to make it. The limbs were hanging lifeless and the 2 tomatoes it had produced were being eaten by bugs. I pulled it up and added it to the compost pile. Luckily my Green Zebra is thriving now that it has the room. It must have 30 or more tomatoes and 1 is starting to ripen. My other plant, I can't remember the variety of herloom, is doing well and has produced about half a dozen VERY large tomatoes. One is about 5 inches in diameter.
Check out all the greenies on my Zebra:

I was worried that I'd never see a single zucchini from my plants. Zucchini plants are strange. A lot of the under leaves have died as the plants have gotten larger, making me worry that the plant would dry up and die. I've had tons of blossoms and I keep thinking that the next time I peak under the leaves I'll see a baby zucchini but every time I've been disappointed. Until last night. Behold, my first zucchini. It's already pretty much big enough to pick now but I have some zucchini from the co-op that I need to use first.

I also have a lot of basil that I need to pick (pesto!!) and a TON of lemon basil (that plant is gonna turn into a basil tree if I don't stop it!) but I'm not sure what to do with it. I'm thinking a lemon basil cream sauce for pasta with grilled chicken, and tomato.

I am going to be doing some kitchen experimentation tomorrow. I am going to try to make homemade cheese to use in homemade ravioli. I will probably be buying the tomato sauce in a jar because I still need more glass jars! If all goes well I'll post the recipe and some pictures here next week!

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