Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Kitchen Garden in August

Posting pictures of my garden at least a month late seems to be a reoccurring theme. August started out looking great, then things started to get a wild look...which seems the norm in my garden the end of August and in September.

The u-shaped beds provided a plethora of basil, sweet and Red Rubin. Also here, plenty of parsley, sorrel, garlic chives, swiss chard and nasturtium. 

Red Rubin is the first purple basil I have been able to grow successfully.

Strawberry Gomphrena adds a little burst of color by the green and purple basils.

I like the textures and colors of the ruffly parsley, the sweet basil, the dark purple Red Rubin basil and the silvery gray leaves of the Strawberry Fields Gomphrena together.

I love the flavor of the garlic chives, as well as the pretty white flowers, however...if you plant garlic chives, be prepared to have to weed little chive babies from everywhere, and I mean everywhere, around it. I try to cut the flower-heads as they start to dry and go to seed, but don’t always make it in time.

Admittedly, I plant Bright Lights Swiss Chard for the gorgeous color it provides. I do eat it sometimes, but most of the time it just stays there looking stunning.

See those red stems drawing your eye? That is the swiss chard.

The Alaska nasturtium has become my favorite nasturtium. It has done so well all year and is even more prolific and dense now than it is here.

 The hop vine started taking over the garden bench before I could trellis it.

One of my favorite additions to the kitchen garden this year has been the Cut and Come Again Zinnias that I had planted from seed. They add a cottage-garden feel to the beds. And look, there’s a hyacinth bean vine that reseeded from last year popping up to say hello. There is also more parsley here. I was never short on parsley all summer long.

 Look closely and you will see the bees like the zinnias, too.

The red and pink flowers are tall enough to be appreciated at eye-level.

Speaking of pinks, the pink Fireworks Gomphrena has done really well. It has flowered more than the Strawberry Fields variety.

The Mariachi Hot Peppers have not done nearly as well this year as last. Not sure why.

The yellow squash did really well for quite awhile, then it got powdery mildew, which happened last year as well. I tried using an organic spray, but it didn’t seem to help. At least I got a few good yellow squash before the plants kicked the bucket.

The Sunchocola cherry-sized tomatoes have provided a steady flow of tomatoes all season long. I wish they were a little sweeter, however, they do have a slightly smokey flavor which is kinda different.

Acorn squash! Last year I tried to grow it without success. This year I have two. I’ll take that over none!

The green beans weren’t as prolific this year. Might be because I used seed leftover from last year.

I have yet to see really good blackberries from this bush that I have had for several years. I know absolutely nothing about growing fruit, so maybe now it is time to learn. In the meantime, I get these little bitty fruits that the birds seem to like. At least they get to enjoy them!

My bed of greens was looking pretty sad in August. In September I planted some kale and lettuces to fill in.

My potted Solanum quitoense (naranjilla) has looked gorgeous, and dangerous, all season long. I absolutely love it. I have never grown it before, so I have no idea when to harvest the fruit. I am anxious to try it, though.

I don’t think I could ever live without fresh veggies and herbs from the garden now that I am so used to having them. There is nothing better. And it looks pretty, too.

Now I need to find time to post photos of the flower garden in August. Hopefully I can get around to that before October!

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