Summer in the Garden

Summer in the garden. . . The winter squash are swelling on the vines, sunflowers are blooming, peppers and tomatillos are setting fruit, bees are buzzing on the flowers. We have harvested the Dalmatian Peas — purple podded peas to be dried and used for soup. Dalmatian Peas are a New Zealand heirloom variety that we’ve never tried before. We only grew enough this year to fill a single jar, but if they prove to be tasty, then we’ll aim to grow more of them in the future. We have also been enjoying the first of the globe artichoke crop, and amaranth greens from the Tampala, or “coleus-leafed amaranth” — a very decorative green vegetable.

Coleus-leafed amaranth

Russian giant sunflower


Good news on the tomato front: Our tomato plants seem to have survived the late blight that attacked them. We may yet get a decent crop of tomatoes. We recently read with interest and sympathy about another gardener’s battle with the blight. Based on evidence from his own garden, he speculates that tomatoes grown in mature garden soil that has been properly amended may have greater immunity to blight. His observations give us great hope! At the moment, our whole vegetable garden is newly developed and still full of clay clods. We hope that as we continue to add compost and amend the soil, problems like blight will become fewer.

Even as we pick our summer vegetables, I’ve been looking ahead, and have just put in our Autumn seed order. Soon it will be time to turn the living room into a seed nursery once again.

One Response to “Summer in the Garden”

  1. chrisb says:

    Your amaranth is beautiful, and I’m glad to see someone else growing and eating it. I just received my seeds in the mail from I’m in the other hemisphere and we’ll be starting them indoors.