July garden report

Lazy Housewife pole beans

I mentioned yesterday that the lettuce and spinach varieties we planted this year did really well for us, so I thought today I’d share what other vegetables we’ve been impressed with so far. For the most part we tried to use all heirloom seeds this year.

The lettuce was Bon Vivant Mesclun Blend from Vermont Bean Seed Company, and the spinach was Bloomsdale Long Standing, also from VBSC. Both stood up to the heat through the end of June, longer than I expected.

Our other early crop, peas, was a success as well. We planted Little Marvel from VBSC. A heavy and prolonged producer for such a little plant. It’s small size would make it ideal for a small backyard garden.

We’ve also been enjoying Calabrese broccoli from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Cabbage loopers are the bane of my gardening existence, so we tried row cover this year. When we saw a cabbage moth fluttering underneath the row cover we pulled it all off, thinking we’d failed. But when it was time to start harvesting we found no worms! The worms have just appeared in the last few days, so I think the row cover helped us beat the life cycle. Next year we’ll leave it on longer.

We’ve been picking Lazy Housewife pole beans from Seed Savers Exchange for over a week now and loving them. About 10 days earlier than any other pole bean, and they stay tender even when they get way too big.

For bush beans I’ve been very impressed with Empress, also from Seed Savers. They had much better germination than Kentucky Wonder Bush, which we haven’t even begun harvesting yet. We’ve been harvesting Empress for 10 days now.

We’ve just today started harvesting zucchini. We planted Black Beauty and Golden, both from Baker Creek. I can’t wait to make zucchini cupcakes and zucchini cake. Unfortunately it’s going to be too hot the rest of this week to even think about running the oven. Anyone have a microwave zucchini cake recipe?

So that’s what we’ve harvested so far. We’ll be having our first cucumbers in the next day or two! The tomato plants are loaded, but nothing is turning yet. I’ll give an update when we start pigging out harvesting.

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2 Responses to July garden report

  1. karl says:

    Bacillus thuringiensisis a bacteria that specifically kills soft bodied caterpillars. it only affects soft bodied caterpillars and has no side effects to humans. it is considered an organic solution. just google it there is loads of info regarding it. i hope this helps your broccoli. it definitely works 100% on loopers, we use it. it is cheap we get it at MFA.k-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Owning a greenhouse has been a way of providing our guests here at the Fish Creek House B&B in Southwest Montana with quality, fresh and mostly organic fruits vegetables. and herbs. We have found growing our r own herbs is very easy and lots of fun!Here are just a few of the herbs you might want to consider for a tea garden.Chamomile: Remember the favorite tea of Peter Rabbit? Only the flowers of this fragrant herb are used when making tea. Chamomile tea can be enjoyed by itself or you might prefer adding mint or lemon verbena.Lemon Balm: This herb is lemony with a touch of mint and makes a soothing cup of tea. It’s easy to grow (almost too easy!) so remember to keep it clipped back.Lemon Verbena: An excellent herb to grow in a sunny spot. It makes a delicious tea. You might try combining it with orange mint or spearmint.Mints: There are many mints available. Generally, they are aromatic plants and they are aggressive. It may be a good idea to plant mint in a pot and then put the pot in the ground so it doesn’t take over your herb garden. Spearmint, peppermint, orange mint all make wonderful teas, alone or along with chamomile or any of the lemon herbs.Herb teas can be made with fresh or dried herbs and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.For one cup of hot tea, use one teaspoon of dry herbs or up to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs. Bruising the leaves of fresh herbs will help release the flavor. Pour boiling water over the herbs in a glass or china pot. Metal pots can sometimes leave a metallic taste. Let steep for 5 or so minutes. Strain and enjoy with a little honey to sweeten.To make sun tea, simply fill a jar with water, throw in a handful of crushed fresh herbs, and set in the sun for 3 or 4 hours. Stir in a little honey to sweeten, pour over ice and enjoy.Trying different combinations of herbs is fun. Remember that you can also add spices you have on hand, such as cinnamon, cloves, etc.TThere are many benefits to growing and making your own herbal teas. Gardening itself is very relaxing and rewarding. With herbs from your garden, you can soothe away your troubles with a cup of chamomile tea or make yourself a refreshing cup of peppermint tea after a hard day of exploring Montana!!! Then you can relax and unwind as you enjoy breathaking views of the Tobacco Root Mountains that encircle our property.

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