Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The vegetable garden in August

 The sky is darkening outside as August breathes her last warm goodbyes. Join me as i take a final look back at the August vegetable garden.

It's not a large garden, as you can see. Just five beds, four feet wide by twenty long divided by narrow foot paths. But it is big enough to feed us something everyday, despite the hungry birds, and slugs, and the  ineptitude of the gardener. 

This was supposed to be my salad bed this summer. The wooden frame was first used as part of a hydroponic lettuce experiment last summer but it has been reinvented many times since then. My idea this time was to create a dark fluffy bed of super enriched soil that baby lettuces would just beg to grow in. I believed the nice hardware store man when he said this

would be just as good as the Happy Frog brand of soil they were out of. Don't you make the same mistake. Soil Building wood chips is more like it. Bok choy, chard, beets, mizuna and lettuce all just wither up and die in this bed. Now you know.

Lucky for me i tucked a few things right in the ground. Arugula, Summer Crisp lettuce and this pretty little mizuna plant are all thriving in the light shade of the papaya tree. 

The Umpqua broccoli is done but the Arcadia and Fiesta plants are still producing small, tender side shoots.  That is Okinawan spinach crowding in at the upper right corner. It's a nice little plant that really deserves a post of it's own one day.

The Edirne eggplant looks bad. My diagnosis is spider mites, do you agree?  Attempting first line treatment now which is rinsing the undersides of the leaves with water . Despite looking bad it is managing to set a number of fruits. It's a pretty little eggplant but narrower than i imagined it would be.

The carrot harvest continues. This is a Red Cored Chantenay.  I have to remember to get some new seeds started if i don't want a gap in my harvests.

Zucchini waits for no one as i was reminded last week when i harvested a couple of three pound bats. The zucchini hale is getting so crowded i couldn't fit my camera in to take a picture.

The Fagiolino Dolico Veneto Cowpeas are enjoying the dog days of August. Lavender frosted white flowers burst open from apricot blushed buds each morning. The flowers fade by early afternoon. This variety was described as petite but it is growing like a half runner in my garden. The beans are held above the foliage, four at a time.  I've just gathered the first handful of narrow green pods to stir fry for lunch tomorrow.

I think this sword bean might make it! The first two beans mysteriously disappeared. This time the wire cage offers protection from the hungry birds and the plastic pot collar is a little insurance against the garden slugs.

My first Diva cucumber.  This is planted in a self watering container as Jane describes here.  I think this experiment  just might work!

I am down to just 30 mangoes on this tree but they are sizing up nicely now. It is heartbreaking to watch the baby mangoes drop but 30 mangoes is still six more than last year!

That's all for now.
 A hui hou!


Meredehuit ♥ said...

The heat of August can be hard on our gardens... looks like you have some good veggie survivors.

Mr. H. said...

Your veggies are looking good, your carrots look fantastic. It was interesting to hear about your eggplants. Every year ours always look very bad with leaves like yours and even worse sometimes, but they still seem to produce nicely for us. I have yet to be able to diagnose exactly what the issues are with them, perhaps it is as you suggested...spider mites.

michelle said...

It is amazing how much food a small garden can produce.

I agree with the spider mite diagnosis, my eggplants get them also. Insecticidal soap helps to control them.

Thirty mangos, how wonderful, I bet they are absolutely delicious.

A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui said...

Your garden looks so green and beautiful! Good to hear you have lots of production going on in your zucchini hale!

Julie said...

And hard on the gardener, too, Mere! One more warmish month ahead, time for me to get sowing.

Thank-you Mr. H, they taste good too ; ) I thought spider mites preferred it hot and dry so i'm suprised to see such a heavy infestation persist with the return of the trade showers. It's all good, i guess, as long as the eggplants keep coming...

Hi Michelle, thanks for the second opinion! Probably another month or two to wait before the mangos ripen but the anticipation is delicious. Mangos must be shared, of course, so even 300 would not be too many. Maybe next year ; )

Jane i am going to run out and pick some zucchini just as soon as i sign off here. No more zucchini bats for me! Thank goodness we are getting a little rain again, i just have no talent with a hose.

Pomaika`i said...

Aloha, Julie!
You have such a great collection of stuff! Those carrots are terrific, and I can tell you dislike thinning almost as much as I do. I just wish I could get back to there to check out the mango tree on my back slope. It probably has a couple fruits, too. I'd like to put in a cover crop of something, but the sous-gardener wouldn't agree. (not in the job description). Do write sometime about that Okinawan spinach - it looks sort of like Malabar to me.
Good to know the rains are starting again.

Rowena... said...

I love your August garden, and you know why? The mangoes!!!! Last night at the supermarket I picked one up to smell...from South America the sign said...but it had no lovely perfume whatsoever. You have a lot of variety in your plot and I'm already looking forward to what's gonna be up next.

Julie said...

i have a plan for those pesky carrots the next time, Barry, just you wait and see ; )

I think mangoes are like tomatoes that way, Rowena. Some people think that there are no seasons in Hawaii but we know better, don't we ; )

Linda said...

Your carrots look pretty good. How long did it take you to grow them. It grows well with hawaii weather?

Julie said...

Linda carrots can be harvested from three to six months after planting. I give them just a little shade and they grow pretty well. Getting them to germinate is the tricky part!

Anonymous said...

Aloha, Wow! your garden looks beautiful! I am hoping mine will look like that someday. What part of Hawaii are you located? I live in Mililani.

Julie said...

Thank-you! It has it's ups and downs ; )

I garden on the windward slopes of the West Maui Mountains at about 1000' elevation.

What are you growing in your garden?