Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Fruit Payoff

Green Tomatoes Just Starting to Ripen
I've enjoyed having the garden, and go out early every morning to check on progress. Every night when I get home from the day job, I go out and see if anything needs to be picked or taken care of. 
See the Pink Tones at the Bottom?
 The tomato cages I bought this year were brightly colored. I got them for my granddaughter, so we would have a "rainbow" garden. Right now everything is getting ready to be picked, so the red, blue, green and yellow cages don't show up as much as they did in April when I first set them out.
First Come Male Zucchini Blooms
 Using the Growboxes is new this year. The zucchini bushes get so large, they take up 9 square feet in a square foot garden, not leaving much room for anything else. I thought I'd try the zucchini planted in separate Growboxes, to let them expand and have as much space as they needed, with only 2 plants per Growbox. If they still get too big and expand past to start shading other plants, I can just move the Growboxes over. You can't do that in the ground-based garden plan!
Then Come the Female Zucchini Flowers for Baby Squash
 This plant survived the big windstorm we had. One thing I will do differently next season in the zucchini Growboxes - I will put tomato cages, round ones, around the zucchini plants in the Growbox. When it's very windy, the stems can get thrashed around and sometimes they break. I think if I had trained them up inside a round tomato case, instead of letting them sprawl down on the ground, they wouldn't have gotten any injury even in a heavy wind. We'll see how it works out - for the fall zucchini I'm going to try the experiment and let them grow up inside a tomato cage.
Yellow Banana Peppers
The sweet yellow banana peppers have been covered with fruit since June, and I just keep picking them. Lately, it's a game to see how large I can let them get on the plant before snipping them off. If they stay on too long, the plant will stop blooming. So far, my timing has been good. They keep making new peppers higher up on the plant. 
     I have found that roasting or sautéing zucchini with yellow banana peppers in a lemon-butter-olive oil mixture is so tasty!

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