Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Photo Tour of the 2013 Garden!

It's been a while since my last update, and the garden has been busy!

One thing I enjoy is that I started everything in the garden (with the exception of the mint and chives) from seed this year. Petunias were the toughest for me last year, but this year they came up with a vengeance!

We recently harvested our first few cucumbers and two dinners worth of cooking greens (one bunch of rainbow chard and one bunch of kale). Both were delicious, and if you like kale there is nothing better than fresh, tender, garden kale. I grew the dwarf blue variety and it not only stands up to the heat very well, but also lacks the bitterness that other kale varieties can develop in the heat of summer.

Speaking of cucumbers, I'm growing 4 types this year in an attempt to find a variety that can stave off the mildew plague we get every summer. I'm growing an heirloom called delicatessen, straight 8, lemon, and bush champion. So far I've harvested 3 straight 8, 2 lemon, and 1 bush champion (see picture below).

Rainbow Chard and Straight 8 Cucumbers

Kale, Tuscan Kale, jalapeno, and 3 types of cucumbers (from left to right): straight 8, bush champion, lemon
As I mentioned, I have struggled mightily for years with powdery mildew on my cucumbers and squash. This year, I've been spraying the plants with a mister bottle once a week using a 50/50 mix of skim milk and water, and so far it has been kept 95% at bay. I say 95% because powdery mildew is a bit like Michael Jordan: you can't stop it; you can only hope to contain it! Also, you must begin spraying long before you see any signs of mildew, as it is more of a preventative measure than a curative one. So far so good in that department, as I've only noticed a few spots here and there on isolated leaves, which I prune immediately. For comparison, by late July last summer I had lost all of my cucumbers and squash to the mildew, which covered the entire plants and eventually killed them. For whatever reason, this is a major problem in Western New York, so it's a battle you have to keep up with by spraying every single week.

Without further ado, here is a quick photo tour of the garden! Everything is doing well, even the plants in my homemade soil mix. Until next time, happy gardening!

Looking one direction
Looking other direction 

Bush champion

Bush champion

Petunias... the seeds came up this year!



Anaheim peppers

Long eggplants


Roma tomatoes

Abe Lincoln tomatoes

Green zebras

Sweet 100s

Purple tomatillo

Roma tomatoes 

Basil trio

Mint and Rosemary

Bush champion and lemon cuke, chard


  1. Love how much you can fit in your space and your experimentations!