Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Veggies Update

I thought I'd do a quick post on how things are growing in the back garden.

My five Athena cantaloupe plants are growing happily among the Imperial Star artichokes.

Among my melons, Athena (F1) seems to be the most vigorous in its growth.

I'm also growing an heirloom French melon variety this year - Petit Gris de Rennes. Hopefully it's as fragrant, but sweeter, than the Charentais I grew last year.

I'm growing several types of peppers this year including Poblano, Sweet Banana, Hungarian Wax, Jalapeno and Italian Pepperoncini. I staked the Poblanos but left the others to grow supported.

The Hungarian Wax seems to be the earliest of the bunch.

My cucumbers are growing well. This year, I'm growing two varieties - Tasty Jade (an early thin Japanese type) and Diamant (a pickling cuke). Both are parthenocarpic, meaning fruits can set without pollination. I hand-pollinated my cukes and zucchini last year and while I didn't mind it at the time, I won't miss having to do so this year (at least for the cukes).

My tomatoes are just starting to set fruit, which seems a bit late this year. I should have gotten them into the ground sooner. I got my first ripe Sungold cherry tomato on June 11th last year. (Admittedly, the first ones didn't taste all to great.) While chances are my tomatoes won't start ripening until sometime in July this year, it looks as though Sungold will again be the first.

Finally, my corn is looking good. It seems like such a touch-and-go veggie to me. I had one patch last year that produced amazing ears and another in a shadier spot that produced nothing. I'm growing two varieties this year - Argent (a tender white variety I grew last year) and Ruby Queen (a sugar-enhanced variety that has ruby red kernels). I would highly recommend Argent.

Though not pictured here, I'm also growing two types of watermelon - Blacktail Mountain and Sunshine (a yellow-fleshed variety), purple tomatoes, acorn squash, Black Beauty zucchini and Titan sunflowers. These pretty much round out my hot weather crops.


  1. Very nice, Thomas! Everything looks so green....

  2. I noticed your artichoke looks just like mine! My lower leaves keep drying and falling off of it, but it keeps producing new ones and stays the same height - strange!

  3. Everything looks so lush. My tomatoes are growing, but the fruit set & ripening has been slow this year, probably due to all the lack of sun we had there for a stretch. I would normally have ripe Sungold by now as well, and I don't. Lots of fruit, but nothing 'gold' in sight!

  4. Our beans and corn are at about the same stage of growth, but your melons and cucumbers are further along than mine are. I had to replant most of them as I lost the first transplants so I am definitely way behind on those two items this year. Hopefully, a spell of warmer weather (if it ever comes) will allow them to catch back up.

  5. Your corn rows are so straight! I had to stake mine up because they were falling over.

  6. I love that word...parthenocarpic. Am growing Tasty Jade as well this year..very slow to get going but okay now. You are certainly ahead of us for production. You have peppers!

  7. Our melons are at a very similar stage as yours; we haven't seen any flowers yet. Have you? We had seedling issues with our tomatoes so we're behind.

  8. You should get a lot from your Hungarian Wax. We grew it one year and it produced really well. We didn't know what to do with them though...

  9. Looking good Thomas! I am growing parthenocarpic cucumbers this year too. They are still tiny though, wish I started them earlier in the tunnel.

  10. I wish I still had some diamants. I love that cuke. Very tasty and easy to grow. But sadly my seedlings all died early. The Littleleaf was my backup secondary cukes and are growing well. They are parthenocarpic too, but unlike diamant they aren't gynoecious so they put out male blossoms. I liked the female only ones because the cuke could hold well on the vine, but I think I'll like this one since I can collect seed. Both are nice. I just hope I like the taste.

  11. As a point of comparison, I hand pollinated our first watermelon yesterday. I'm having to hand pollinate all of my squashes right now because there are so few pollinating insects around. The cucumber beetles and stink bugs were all over my cantaloupes several weeks back and the plants are now growing somewhat deformed leaves. Now the cucumber beetles are all over my summer squashes, interestingly, buried deep in the female blossoms. My cukes were started only two weeks ago in a container because the pests were devouring everything I direct seeded in the ground. My onions and shallots seeded three weeks ago all disappeared the moment they sprouted.

    Whew! June is such a battle month.