Once again, it is time to share the latest garden update for the month. It feels like I just posted about it, but that may be because I haven't had the opportunity to post much in between. Well, there are worse things than only ever talking about fruits and veggies. I do have to live up to the first "P" in my moniker after all. 😉
First up, I'll share a few of the fruits of our labor coming off the vines now as things start producing. The image above is indeed a cucumber as part of my title suggests. The Lemon Cukes are starting to explode with tons of tiny little babies growing all over. This was the first time we tried growing this particular variety of cucumber, but after tasting the first bite I'm so glad I ordered this particular type of heirloom seeds.
The name comes from the shape and yellow hue of the cucumbers, but the flavor is all cuke! The skin is thin and not bitter at all, the flesh and seeds inside refreshing and mild. Cucumbers are not always my favorite summer item for some reason, but these I am enjoying very much so far. We will make sure to harvest these as they mature so as not to let any of them get too big and tough to keep them a joyful eating experience. Hopefully I'll get plenty to share with some friends and family who are interested in giving them a taste. Below is a shot of one of the plants, as we do have two or three of them growing in different spots in the garden.
The more traditional pickling cucumber plant is also starting to produce. It is amazing how one day you see a few tiny little babies, then you go out the next and realize you have multiple cucumbers that are ready to be plucked. I think we made some missteps with our bean plants, so with the exception of a few cowpea plants that are still hanging in there waiting to produce, I pulled up the yellow wax bean plants and the Borlottos to let the cucumbers take over the whole bed. We did learn a few good lessons for next year!
We went up to see @dksart's parents for Father's Day last weekend and had his mother teach us how to make her fermented pickles as a great way to use up the cucumber overload. Of course it is ridiculously easy--water, salt, pickling spices, dill, garlic and cucumbers. I'll try to remember to share about the final result in a few days once they're ready. If they come out anywhere half as good as hers, we'll be in pickle heaven. That is one way I always love cucumbers. 😛
The other good producer so far has been our patty pan squash. We only had two plants of these this year, but I would definitely try for a few more next year to really get a good harvest. They grew well and have been giving off quite a few delicious squashes over the season so far. The first ones were smaller, then of course as we started harvesting the later ones bulked up like the one above. Even when they get larger they still maintain their tender flesh. I made some with freshly foraged chanterelle mushrooms for Father's Day dinner with my famiy and they were absolutely delicious. No leftovers from that dish.
The plant has well overgrown the container it was planted in, but still seems to be "hanging" in there. If we can get a few more weeks of squash I'll be pretty happy. Between the squash and cucumbers we're getting a nice little boost to my farmers market hauls each week.
The other squash plant that I am really excited about is our Georgia Candy Roaster beast. This is another plant that just continues to grow and take up some good real estate in the garden. This is another one we probably should have planted in the ground level beds, but we're making it work as is letting it rest on the raised bed next to the one in which the main plant is living in. As I think I've said in previous garden posts, I have never tried this squash either, but I love all of the other orange-fleshed varieties like butternut and acorn.
We have quite a few of them growing along the vine, but this one is just about ready to be plucked. You can see in the picture below compared to my hand just how large it is! Should be fun to weigh it when we pull it off to see just how heavy it is. We have the one plant here, but then it seems like there is another one that popped up elsewhere in the garden. Perhaps a seedling misplaced?
Finally...the tomato jungle. I've been trying to keep these plants pruned, but with all the rain we've had lately it is a bit of a losing battle, haha. I saw @erikah had some great tips on where to trim back your plants, so I may get out there later on to continue to cut back any excess branches that may be hindering the growth of the actual fruit.
The cherry tomatoes have started giving off some fruit to enjoy, but some of the others have been slow to actually produce. Lots of flowers all around, though, so hopefully these guys are just late bloomers. There are a few of the larger variety popping up underneath the mass of leaves that give me good hope. I believe these are an orange heirloom variety, which are some of my favorite!
I'm not sure what type the ones below are as we did plant a few different varieties between new seeds, saved seeds that weren't properly marked, and the cherry tomato was gifted to us.
I intended this to be a short one, but as always I got a bit carried away once I got going! If you've made it this far in the post I hope you enjoyed the garden stroll. Thanks as always to @simplymike for hosting the virtual Garden Journal each month! I look forward to perusing everyone else's endeavors for the month here soon.
Happy gardening my friends!