Friday, July 25, 2014

My late July Garden

The grass is growing very nicely and greenly after we recently put down fertilizer with 16% nitrogen.  St. Augustine grass is greedy and thirsty and it has a tendency to travel.  My husband and I try to get up early in the morning and do some yard and garden work, but we must have coffee first.

We have just pulled up the corn stalks.  It's no need for them to sit out there and tempt the nematodes.  For a change, we had a good crop of healthy and full corn cobs.  I froze some of them after shucking, blanching, and cooling in cold water.  Some of the cobs weren't quite full so I cut the corn kernels off, blanched them too and put them into the freezer.

Since we have a year round garden, there is no time for solarization which takes too long, about six weeks under clear plastic to be effective.  Instead of solarization, I sowed black eyed peas to cover the areas that we have harvested.

The peas provide nutrients to the soil; the beans are easy to pick and shell; and freeze well.  It doesn't matter if we don't get any peas, the greens can be turned into green manure when the garden is tilled for the fall season.  It also prevents weeds such as the dollar weed to completely invade the garden.

The Sieva butter beans are producing a mega crop and we are picking as fast as we can, shelling, blanching, and putting into the freezer.  I also planted Mezcla pole butter beans which some say is a replacement for the Sieva.  In my blog, the jury is still out on the Mezcla.  They look the same as Sivea and the texture and size seem to be the same; however, tasting the uncooked Sieva, it is sweeter and Mezcla is nuttier and less sweet.

We are also getting a fair amount of green peppers.  I am told that if the peppers are cut lengthwise in strips, it may be put in the freezer without blanching.  I have done just that in previous years, but I prefer eating them fresh.  They do have a fairly long shelf life in the fridge.

A stray pumpkin also appeared in the garden and we let it grow.  I put a Styrofoam tray under it to keep it from rotting.  I just cut it in half, seeded it, and cut it into yet smaller pieces, and put them in a pot of water to boil them until soft.  I will remove the flesh, mash it, and put it into the freezer, and make pumpkin bread at a later date.

Tomorrow is another day and we plan to remove the tomato vines too.  Then we can turn the soil over in that garden plot and spread compost over the area.  Ah, that reminds me:  I have to turn the compost too otherwise it will mat because it consists mostly of grass at this time.  A gardener's work is never done.

Have a great weekend.
Drink plenty of water.
Thank you for visiting my blog.

1 comment:

  1. Our garden is not doing well this year. I'm on my way to go and check on it now and pick some spinach and beets for dinner. Our container plants are thriving though, tomatoes and lots of different kinds of peppers.