Sunday, June 6, 2010

Monday Garden Club. (We have purple cauliflower!!!)

I made a controversial decision today and ripped out all but one of our pumpkin plants.  We had 6 plants in the garden and even the one I left may die because I still had to obliterate parts of it entangled in the other plants.  My husband and kids love pumpkins and I do too but they were on their way to COMPLETE GARDEN DOMINATION and had started to climb my tomatoes and green beans. I simply could not allow this when all we will ever hope to get is a couple of pumpkins that we only will use for decoration! Our garden isn't big enough.

The pumpkin plants never saw it coming.

So, I ripped them out and put them in the compost bin.  I replaced them with some big but more reasonably sized winter squash which we do love to eat and store really well.  I did leave one lone pumpkin but if it so much as touches my pepper plants consider it gone too.  We will try to find another spot separated from the garden for the pumpkins next year.  So, it's sad but it had to be done.  Sorry pumpkins!

On a lighter note, we had our first *RIPE* grape tomato!!  I ate it right off the vine this week.

 The first red tomato of the season. 
Our green beans started flowering a couple weeks ago and we have itty bitty green beans on the plants.  I'm so psyched

My eggplants appear to be recovering from those nasty flea beetles.  Flea beetles are black bugs about the size of a pin needles that love to munch on eggplant and potatoes.  They jump like fleas when disturbed and they are a b*tch to kill.

Last, but not least we have purple cauliflower! I did not edit these photos.  They are crazy fuchsia colored.  It's a variety called 'Graffitti' that I picked up last year from Territorial Seed.  Apparently they retain their color when cooked so I can't wait to try them!

The cauliflowers are not quite ready for harvest but should be soon.  They are about the size of baseballs now.  I don't want to jinx myself, so maybe this is it?  I honestly didn't think it would happen at all this year.  I have read that the best way to get cauliflower in the mid-atlantic region is to do a fall harvest because the season gets too hot, too quickly here and the heads fail to develop due to heat stress.  We have been experiencing temps consistently in the 90s for a while now so it is definitely less than ideal for the cauliflower.  We may just have squeaked by thanks to our extra early transplant date.  It also helps that the part of the garden I put them in gets dappled shade in the afternoon.  I've also been watering it in the morning to help keep them cool.  So far, it looks like the measures we've taken have been working out.  **Crossing fingers**

In a week or two I will sow the fall crop of cauliflower.  I'm going to do an experiment and grow half via direct sow and half indoors and transplant them.  For fall, I chose a traditional white with a short maturity date.  Unfortunately we ran out of the purple cauliflower seeds from Territorial with this third attempt at growing it.  I couldn't find any purple cauliflower seeds locally and the shipping cost on one pack of seeds from online companies are ridiculous especially if you are going to get just one little pack (try 5 bucks).  So, traditional white is what we'll grow this fall.  Maybe next year we'll try the Graffiti again.

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Blogger Aliceson said...

Pumpkins can go everywhere if you let them. We're trying giant pumpkins this year (the kids picked them out) but too I think I'll have to pull out at least one (I Planted 4!) if I don't want them to takeover my entire vine crop garden. Plus now you have a good reason to go to the pumpkin farm with the kids in the fall!

Purple cauliflower, I love it! I had trouble with my (plain old white) cauliflower last year. They started to grow the head then never got very big at all. I have also heard that you should cover the heads of the cauliflower with their own leaves using a piece of garden twine to protect the heads from too much sun. I have been told that even the ones that say 'self-blanching' on the seed packet should be protected as well. So far mine look great out in the garden but have not started forming the head yet.

June 6, 2010 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Mrsblocko said...

Wow! I can't believe how far along your veggies are. My 2 wimpy cherry tomato plants only just got their first blossoms last week.

June 6, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

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