Posts Tagged tomatoes

At last!

After starting my seeds nearly 8 weeks later than ideal, and the long wait that has ensued in the time since, I was finally able to pick my first tomatoes yesterday!

 

There are many more coming ripe now, as well as new fruits still setting. It’s been hot for a long time but apparently, it’s still cooling enough at night for them to set fruit. Yay!

I was adamant about eating the first one simply, with olive oil and salt, where the flavor of the tomato could shine through. This is the first home grown tomato I’ve eaten ever. This one is a Margherita; I also have Brandywines in the garden but none of them has started to ripen yet.

It was very good. Not quite as mind-blowing as I’d been told to expect, but I may have picked this a day or two sooner than I should have. I’m looking forward to gathering more ‘maters in the days to come! 🙂

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Updates: baby ‘maters and fresh cut dinner

Hello all! For your pleasure here’s a garden update full of badly taken photographs. I waited a few minutes too late and there wasn’t enough light to take them without the flash – so now instead they’re all overblown and pale. Enjoy!

Below, my green beans and limas are both doing well. The green beans have been producing prolifically – we’ve picked over 2 lbs of beans in the past couple of weeks! The limas are covered in little babies and I’m expecting to begin harvesting them in a few weeks time. In the foreground of this shot, our tomato plants are growing (I plan to stake them this coming weekend) and the marigolds I planted in between are full and healthy. So far, they’re doing the trick too – no nasty critters on the tomatoes, aside from the lubbers I battle daily.

Beans, tomatoes, and marigolds

And, happy, happy day: I have my first couple of baby tomatoes. Yay!

The squash bed is coming along beautifully on the whole. The spaghetti squash vines are running all over, and the zucchini and our volunteer plants are thriving. The cantaloupes remain in the same condition they’ve been in for a month now. I’m not expecting them to do much of anything at this point, and I’ll probably reclaim that space for okra in a few weeks.

The spaghetti squash vines have several squashes growing; this one is the furthest along.

Here’s one of the zucchini plants, mere moments before I cut this beauty off to bring inside for dinner. By way of explanation: I read on a gardening forum that if you elevate squash off the ground somehow, even just placing a plastic lid under them, it can help prevent fungal problems from beginning. Since we have plenty of fungi in this hot, humid state of ours, I figured I’d give it a shot.

And here it is after harvesting, with a friend. (Aaaaah! Flash attack! Who knew my arms could look even paler!)

These were delicious. Simply awesome. They’re the “raven” hybrid from Park Seeds, which I picked because they claimed to be well suited to hot weather. They also claim to produce later in the season. I certainly hope so: I’ll be delighted to continue eating these. (Much more flavorful than zukes from Publix).

Really, take a moment to marvel with me. This is my first year veggie gardening, and it continues to surprise and delight me that it *works.* Plant seeds, water them, pamper them, and FOOD grows! Ha! This is all organic too. That’s the produce of horse manure and TLC right there, folks. 🙂

Last pic of the evening: our gardenia bush has begun blooming. First blossoms opened on Easter Sunday, which seems beautifully fitting. The bush is simply *covered* in buds so I am looking forward to many more flowers to come.

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This is no watched pot!

I’m amazed by how quickly things are growing. I puttered around the yard a little yesterday, and things changed and progressed even in the short time I was out there. I feel a compulsive urge to run outside every couple of hours just to see what’s new. Definitely having fun with this.

When I first started some seeds in pots, I had to cram them in pretty close together. I’m sure as time goes on I’ll accumulate more nursery pots than I know what to do with, but I haven’t done so  yet and hadn’t bought any. So they were crowded, and in the past few days I’ve been thinning them out and re-potting them separately. Miraculously, it looks like everything is surviving the upheaval (despite a number of seedlings having their delicate roots completely exposed).

Primarily tomato and marigold seedlings in this photo.

They're still so tiny, but they're growing quickly.

Everything we’ve sown directly into the ground is coming up beautifully. I’m amazed by how fast the beans and squashes are growing!

Green beans, one week after sowing.

They seem to get bigger every time I turn my back.

 

The first of our squash; these little seedings are popping up everywhere we planted.

The store bought plants that I finally planted a month after buying them are all recovering from their long bout of neglect on the patio; they’re settling in and growing and looking healthier in general.

Serrano pepper. 🙂 I am going to eat this.

The peach tree is continuing to (slowly) set out new blooms, as well as leaves. They’re so beautiful; I just love them!

And the citrus trees have progressed in their bloom cycle too. The tangelo has dropped probably half its blossoms now. There’s still a fragrance in the air, but it’s less pronounced than it was last week. That hasn’t deterred the bees; they are still in a flurry of constant activity around the blossoms. And now, each time a little gust of wind picks up, citrus blossom petals fall like confetti to the ground. Beautiful.

My tree knows how to party!

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