July 23, 2015: Blackberries, cucumbers, and a pink Brandywine heirloom tomato

This is the fun part! When the growing season is in full swing and my fruits and veggies are ready to be harvested. I’ve picked a number of blackberries from the bush, probably about 14 total, and today was my largest haul of cukes yet, bringing the total number to 12 this season. I’ve eaten a handful of the black cherry tomatoes this week, but not any beefsteak ones yet. This pink Brandywine will be ready in just a day or two! 

    
 

July 16, 2015: Marigolds as bug repellant 

Chemical-free pest control! Insect deterring properties can be found in many plants, including marigolds and some herbs. Essential oils in these plants act as nature’s bug repellent. Both the smell of marigolds and their roots stave off aphids, beetles, mosquitos, nematodes, and even rabbits. Of course this method isn’t as reliable or consistent as chemical pesticides, but in my backyard organic garden, they serve the purpose. And look great as they start blooming this week!

    
    
 

July 15, 2015: Ripe blackberry and tomatoes (almost)

A single blackberry fruit among the dozens on the bush has ripened, having turned from red to black over the last two days. One stem of cherry tomatoes in the backyard is also nearing ripeness, but there are many, many more on that plant and the two other plants out there that still have a ways to go. The canna lily buds are another recent development. I got the rhizomes (canna bulbs resemble ginger root) for free at Greensgrow at the end of the 2013 summer, overwintered them, planted them, then saved the tubers in 2014 and overwintered them again, then put them in the ground again in May. From gnarled, bulbous, brown roots to tall, magnificent stalks with bright red spiky flowers! 

    
    
   

July 11, 2015: Cucumbers

Two cukes! From seed starting tray to raised bed, I grew these from start to finish. While I didn’t actually pick them yet, as I want to make sure they are as ripe as can be, I am admiring them on the vine. Right now, the question is, pickles or tea sandwiches, gazpacho or sushi? Infused water or cucumber spritzer? This evening, my garden also served as a dog grooming station for McBaine and Wayne, with hose baths and brushing.