|July 6 tomatoes, Rutgers PHOTO/Amy W.|
Since the beginning of the month, we have enjoyed meals that included zucchini, beans, potatoes, tomatillos, shallots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, salad peppers, and cucumbers from the summer garden.
We have pickled peppers – both Jalapeno and Poblano – and made several batches of fermented cucumber-pickles. Beans have been blanched for the freezer, and we have been giving away our extra zucchini.
We also have begun thinking about where to plant the cool season vegetables that will provide fresh food in the coming fall and winter. It seems so soon. The tomato harvest has barely begun! If there isn’t a plan, though, it usually turns out that no room is available when it is time to plant the seeds for carrots, beets, lettuces, collard greens, and other cool-season crops.
I know where the carrots will go, because I have a buckwheat cover crop growing in a bed as a place-holder. Behind those are cowpeas that will stay until closer to frost.
|A little something for the pollinators. July 6. PHOTO/Amy W.|
Other cool season crops will be planted where the zucchini and cucumbers are now; those typically don’t survive far into August, and their spaces open up in time for planting some fall crops.
The heirloom tomatoes won’t last into September, either. Already the Cherokee Purple has a wilting branch, which means the rainy spring gave the soil-borne fusarium fungal-wilt a big boost this year. Luckily, Rutgers tomatoes resist the wilt, and those plants still look healthy.
The weeds, of course, look pretty healthy, too, and they are growing so well, even in the recent dry weather, that it is hard for this gardener to keep up with them. Meanwhile, this is the second year in a row that the birds began eating the blueberries before they even really ripened. If I want blueberries in my freezer, I am going to have to buy them (!). That just seems so wrong….