August already? And some updates.

I must apologize again, I came to a screeching halt this weekend. Oh! I have to write something! What have I been doing all week that I haven’t found time to write? Well, in terms of work life, the heat has been getting to me quite a bit. One hot day runs into another, peppered with popsicle breaks and peeking in at the little Sparrow nest in the last spruce we have for sale. I come home and the last thing I want to do is be outside again. I’ve been a bad girl! I’ve been only gazing at my turning circle drawing, watching some Orange is the New Black, and, when the temperatures are manageable (as in, it is cooler outside than it is inside, and just moments before twilight) I rush outside and try to fill a bucket with weeds, or fill a  bowl with blueberries, raspberries, and pick tomatoes. I’ve also bottled wine this weekend, and spent both days with my families. It was great to be taken away from the routine of life. It reminds me that there is more to life than just what I do every day.

For the tomato situation, I can tell you there is a little regret on my end that I have expressed a little prejudice against other tomato colors, as I have only planted yellow, ivory, or orange cherry/grape types. I’m biting into these thick skinned yellow tomatoes, chasing that high that I felt when I had my first “Sunsugar” tomato. These tomatoes are sweet, lovely, okay. But they are not Sunsugars. My heart is still forever entwined in this little yellow gem that I can’t find anywhere, in seed or in seedling. Next year I’ll browse with determination.  The good thing is, now that I’ve tasted the two yellow minis I’ve planted, I can review them.

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Left to right: (unripe) Indigo Rose, Sunshine Yellow, Golden Cherry

Sunshine Yellow is the grape type tomato. I’ve had probably a few so far (it’s still early ripening season) and I found this variety to be a little on the mealy/grainy side. The flavor is mild, and probably will sweeten as it ripens, but with time also comes the risk of skin cracking, which is something yellow tomatoes tend to do. I pick them early and keep them inside to ripen, so a surprise rainfall doesn’t cause their internals to ooze out of their tight little skins.

The Golden Cherry, and this one here is actually a little underripe, is quite sweet. The skin is softer and breaks more easily than the sunshine yellow. My dad reviewed this as very sweet like candy or fruit. I would grow these again, if I could not locate the Sunsugar tomatoes.

The last one, Indigo Rose, is not ready yet. I’m told when it ripens, it will be red instead of green, but also maintain that beautiful, almost spray-painted looking flesh. I brought this one inside to enjoy its beauty, and watch it ripen. I really can’t wait till this one ripens so I can taste it. Hopefully it is as good as any black tomato.

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‘Spheres’  ..she’s blushing! 

I’ve also been observing my daylilies. It’s coming to peak season now for the scapes to open up. I’ve been admiring ‘Orange Crush’ and ‘Mardi Gras Parade’, Spheres, and Ice Cream Emperor. I have more, but they haven’t quite bloomed yet. It’s been a repetitive theme, but vegetable harvests and pretty little daylilies are prominently greeting me and distracting me from my duties of weeding and trimming.

An update on the fertilizer tea? It’s reeeaaadyyy! It smells like the gaping mouth of death. There is a scum on the surface and I’m pretty sure that there were earwigs having a party on the scum layer. I haven’t gathered up the nerve to dip my ladle into it yet, but I’m going to do that tomorrow, i swear! I also got a free sample of another fertilizer product to try. It may be late in the game, but I’m going to try it anyway. I have two rows of tomatoes, and I will experiment one row with the tea, and the other row with this other product. We will see which one looks the best in 2 weeks.

 

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‘Ice Cream Emperor’  He looks delicious!

So that concludes July, I guess. Did I do everything I planned? I haven’t done much. I’m incredibly observant of nature and what I would call “subseasons” but there hasn’t been much of any relaxation. As the days become less humid and hot, I’ll probably muster up more energy to start cutting out some grass.

So! Onto the tasks for the beginning half of the month. I already mentioned some side dressing of fertilizer. This is the time I usually top up on soil, mulch, promix, and compost. I’ll be side dressing my gardens, boosting existing spots and mulching anything that I haven’t gotten to yet.

I’ve been really enjoying Kale so far this month, I’ve made some chips, and I made a “caesar” kale salad yesterday. I want the Kale party to keep rocking in the coldframe (what a warrior! This thing just trucked through the hottest days so far and still isn’t giving up), so I’m going to do some more seeding for the greenhouse. I expect to be able to harvest Kale well into November, maybe even December, if I seed faithfully. The same for Swiss Chard. It didn’t do so well from seed in the greenhouse, so I’ll be starting it from seed probably outdoors, some in the garden, some in cell packs to be brought in for the fall.

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‘Mardi Gras Parade’  Are you tired of daylilies yet? Impossible! There are too many to say such a thing!

Carrots had a crappy year, so I’m hoping I can take advantage of some more sowings this fall outside. In the cold frame, growing is painfully slow. They just don’t like the daytime highs of 40+ degrees.

Parsley will be sown again to be planted in the cold frame. This kept well into winter in my last house. I don’t want to have to buy a single bunch of Parsley this winter from the grocery store.

It won’t be for a while but I mentioned removing some grass. Three areas are on our radar this year: We want grape vines planted way down the back of the property, in a nice sunny patch. I have a bit of a conifer collecting phase sweeping over me, and I’m going to cut in a garden to the left of the uncovered greenhouse, and that turning circle is so getting stomped on this fall for the beginnings of phase 1 (removal of several shrubs and trees).

Well that’s all for now I guess. I will make my vows to get out there, weed things (thanks again to Manimal Dad who came to weed for me again!), conduct some experiments on insect control and fertilizers, and take pictures of things that I’m not sure if they accidentally look great, or if I intended for it to be that way…  and maybe start harvesting more vegetables so I can write up my complete reviews at the end of the season round-up post.

Happy Natal day, everyone! 😀

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