Monday, July 10, 2017

CLOSING UP PART OF THE GARDEN FOR SUMMER

So in addition to mowing and weeding this weekend, it was time to close up parts of the garden.  

Raised bed garden before
Here it is before...

Tomatoes were done, so were the root veggies that I just left in the ground because they weren't doing much (or so I thought, more in a bit).  Zucchini was gone and cucumbers were no more.  And of course, the garlic was a fail.  So I pulled it all up.


And here it is after....

I didn't get to "Audrey" the basil plant, it was just too hot and by the time I had pulled up everything else, turned the soil, pulled weeds and grass, I gave up.  We still have the herbs, two jalapeño plants, two eggplants, and two okra plants. 


Here is the last harvest of a few of the plants.  Not bad actually (and kind of pretty, ha).  The last tomatoes, zucchini and a couple of cucumbers.  Oh, and when I pulled up the zucchini, there were two yellow squash that had grown before the zucchini took over the bed.  Not sure how many more eggplants we'll have but we had a few of those and of course, jalapeños (including a forgotten one that turned red) and okra hiding under all that.  

Remember I said there were some root veggies? 

Carrot harvest
Behold!  Carrots!  
In July!

I just reached down and pulled up a huge bunch of greens all at once, thinking that there would be nothing on the other end.  Instead, we were rewarded with carrots that were pretty decent sizes.  Some were still small but I had already pulled them up and disturbed the soil so I had to finish. I pulled up the few remaining and took them all back to the house, washed them and cut the greens off.  

Looking at some carrot canning ideas today, though they've been so good, we've eaten a few just raw.  Such amazing flavor. I think next season, we'll do one whole bed devoted to carrots and stagger the planting dates so they aren't all ready at once.  This was a test after all. Might have started them a bit late but I'd say, overall, it was a success 

Now we are down to just the heat loving veggies, jalapeños, okra and maybe a few more eggplant.  

Oh and basil.  
Lots of basil.  

Happy harvesting!

19 comments:

donna baker said...

I'd say the carrots were a huge success. You can can them with onions and jalapeños for a hot pickle relish.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

jeeze! i'll be lucky if i ever get anything close to your one harvest. my okra plants are only about 8 inches high. and the carrots...wow! you can pickle them. just like refrigerator pickles. i make them all the time and they are soooo good. they last a long time in the fridge.

Marcia said...

Looks like a lovely harvest. You should be very proud of it all.

Rain said...

Is that Audrey in the middle??? WOW is all I can say, you should see my piddly little basil plant! I'm guessing they love the heat to thrive!!! You have such nice harvests, and for me, appearance goes a long way to overall enjoyment of the food. Nice carrot harvest!!! I haven't ventured into even checking mine yet!

Elephant's Child said...

I only like carrots raw - and those look GOOD.

FionaG said...

We freeze our carrots. I wash and peel them, then slice them up. They then get put into ziplock bags but who knows, if I had a canning unit I might be canning them. LOL.

Janie Junebug said...

It's hard to believe that enough summer has already gone by for part of your garden to have ended. Your produce photo is beautiful. I call dibs on that tomato.

Love,
Janie

Texas Rose said...

That's a beautiful basket of your clean-up harvest - so colorful! You'll get several good meals from it.
Like yours, my garden is down to peppers, some herbs, and okra - with this heat, my okra is really producing.
I looked in my Ball canning books and there are several recipes for canning carrots - carrot salsa, dilled carrots, pickled carrots, chow-chow, even carrot jam and marmalade.
Talking about your carrots reminded me that I forgot about some late-planted carrots left in my herb bed - gotta dig those up tomorrow. Mmm, looking forward to fresh buttered carrots in July!

1st Man said...

Definitely, not sure if I could have left them longer to get a few bigger but hey, we'll take it (and next year plant seeds earlier). Great idea for relish, thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Thanks for the fridge pickle idea, love that. Your okra will be there soon enough. If I lived close I'd send a basket your way. :-)

1st Man said...

Thank you very much!!

1st Man said...

Audrey the basil  Yep, she's a monster. A very kind blog reader emailed us directly and asked what our secret was, they never get basil that big. Not sure, it's just in full sun, a raised bed, and gets regular water. Whatever it is, it LOVES it.

1st Man said...

We've eaten about half now raw, I need to get some into jars to savor them, ha.

1st Man said...

Freeze them? Really? Hmm, tempting to have fresh carrots in Winter. Thanks for that idea.

1st Man said...

Isn't that crazy? Planted in March and fizzling out now. Thank you for the kind words and sadly, the tomato was eaten in a knife and salt frenzy. HA!!!

1st Man said...

Yummy, buttered carrots? Dang, so many uses so few carrots left, ha. Isn't that funny about our growing season? I was watching a youtube video with a Houston garden and he was pulling up his tomatoes and other plants and said the exact same thing, herbs, peppers and okra were doing great.

I have a Ball canning book a very dear friend gave us, I will have to look through there. ;-)

Need to see just how many we have left now.

Practical Parsimony said...

You can eat those carrot tops or at least mulch them. Blanche and freeze them for soups, put them in salads. Has the horse had a carrot treat? You can just store the carrots. I thing they need cool, dark, and humid, but you can look it up.

What variety of basil did you plant. Basil will bolt and be ruined. I am surprised that it has not bolted in the heat. You can let one plant bolt and have seeds for next year.

Basil is like catnip to me. I could roll in it. I think it is an aphrodisiac for me.

Colleen said...

Good crop of carrots and nice bounty of your late veggie crops as well.
You where truly well blessed with some wonderful veggies considering your garden wasn't cared for on a day to day basis. You should be very proud of yourself.
Okra is actually a traditional southern plant and grows well in the Texas warm weather. Save some okra seeds to start come next year.
You can start okra seeds indoors in peat pots under full light 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.
You can also start okra directly in your garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date as long as you cover the plants with a cold frame or grow tunnel until the weather warms up. Make sure that the covering is 2 to 3 feet tall so that the plants have room to grow.
If you do not start your okra plants early, wait until there is stable warm weather. You can plant okra in the garden when the soil has warmed to 65° to 70°F.
Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full light about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. You can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water to help speed up germination.
If you are planting okra transplants, be sure to space them 1 to 2 feet apart to give them ample room to grow.
Okra plants are tall, so be sure to space out the rows 3 to 4 feet apart.
Beware of them pests and disease:
Aphids
Corn earworms
Stinkbugs
Fusarium wilt

First harvest:
The first harvest will be ready about 2 months after planting.
Harvest the okra when it’s about 2 to 3 inches long. Harvest it every other day.
Cut the stem just above the cap with a knife; if the stem is too hard to cut, the pod is probably too old and should be tossed.
Wear gloves and long sleeves when cutting the okra because most varieties are covered with tiny spines that will irritate your skin, unless you have a spineless variety. Do not worry: this irritation will not happen when you eat them.
To store okra, put the uncut and uncooked pods into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. You can then prepare the okra any way you like throughout the winter months.
You can also can okra to have it throughout the winter.
Here is a list of some herbs and vegetables that can tolerate drier conditions and higher temperatures.  
Amaranth (harvest and eat leaf amaranth like spinach)
Arugula
Asian Greens (a wide selection here)
Asparagus. This is a perennial. You plant it once and let it grow in that same area. Don’t move it! A well prepared bed will produce spears for at least 15-20 years. And that is a cost effective bargain!
Beans (bush and pole)
Broccoli (Sun King Hybrid)
Cabbage
Chards
Chinese Cabbages
Cowpeas
Cucumbers
Dandelion
Eggplant*
Endive
Garlic
Leeks
Lettuces (leaf varieties, harvest young and early in the season)
Melons (cantaloupe, honey-dew, watermelons, etc.)
Okra
Onions (sets and plants)
Peppers* (sweet and hot peppers)
Pumpkins
Rhubarb. This is a perennial and another cost effective bargain. Again, plant it where it can remain for a number of years. If you need to divide or move it, do it as soon as it breaks the surface in early spring)
Spinach (New Zealand, Malabar)
Squash (summer and winter)
Sweet Corn (lots to choose from-white, yellow, yellow and white)
Sweet Potatoes (Georgia Jet, Vardaman, Wakenda)
Tomatoes (thousands to choose from-Solar Fire, Sun Leaper, Sunmaster, Equinox, many cherry varieties)
Woody stemmed herbs (Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Winter Savory)  

(sorry for long comment)

Carol said...

It's pretty well known that horses like carrots, but maybe you dion't know that they absolutely love carrots with the green tops attached.