Category Archives: Washington

Nightshades on Parade

Tomatoes are iffy here.  To do well you have to find a sunny spot, a warm micro climate works best.  My garden spot just is at the edge of the garden and as such doesn’t serve tomatoes well.  Our little balcony is another story.  High up on the south side of the building, the sun warms the area early and continues through most of the day.  Varieties suited to containers are my mainstay and this year is no exception.  This past month has seen the harvest of the Tiny Tims I purchased at the local garden center.  A packed purchased on Amazon was either crossed with something else or mislabeled unless Tiny Tim has grown in to Jack’s Giant. Fortunately a neighbor with more space adopted Jack’s tomato and my little TT has been putting out fruit for the past couple weeks.  The Lil’ Bites cherry that I started from seed has also started ripening.  Wow are there going to be a LOT of cherry tomatoes.

Of the nightshades that have done wonderfully this year are the Russian Banana potatoes I planted back in April.  We had our first ‘official’ harvest a couple of weeks ago.  Almost 5 pounds from one small tuber.  I planted 10 and am planning to stagger the harvest to have potatoes well into the Fall.  These fingerlings are wonderful roasted or baked.  I’ve not tried preparing them any other way so can’t speak to how they would do boiled or mashed.

The zucchini are thriving with the Oya.  I’ve only watered them through the clay vessle.  It probably helps that we’ve had fairly frequent showers this summer so far.  Not sure how they would fare in a drier year.

Some green onions and a couple of leeks from the early planting.  The leeks can be harvested any time from now on.  They’ve done quite well.

The beans have started coming in.  Nothing really seems to bother them here.  I’ve yet to run into Mexican bean beetle or rust.

Harvested:

  • Beans – Roma & Topcrop
  • Cukes – SMR-58
  • Green Onions
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes – Russian Banana
  • Tomatoes – Tiny Tim (purchased as transplant) & Lil Bites
  • Zucchini

Planted:

  • Beans – Contender

Cool Summer

One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about this part of the country are the cool Summers.  The past week has been clear to partly cloudy in the mid 70s.  While I’ll never grow eggplants or other heat loving crops well, I’ll gladly trade the heat and humidity for the lush green cool months.

Beans
A 4′ row of Contender bush beans went in where the beets came out (see below).

Beets
Lots of activity in the garden in the past 3 weeks.  I’ve grown to love the Cylindrical beets.  They take up much less real estate than their globe shaped counterparts.  They cook evenly and make lovely evenly shaped slices.  I typically rub them with a little olive oil and roast them whole either in the oven or in the ceramic cooker.  Two 4′ rows that went in early was harvested to make way for a row of beans.

Dill
The dill I started from seed all died before going to flower.  Perhaps the area was kept too wet.  Need to look into this before next year.

Lettuce & Radishes
The lettuce and radishes planted in the shade of the peas worked out well.  Both were about done and have been cleaned out to make way for some Zinnias.

Harvested:

  • Beets – Cylindrical
  • Chard (ongoing)
  • Kale – Red Russian
  • Lettuce
  • Potato (new) – Russian Banana
  • Radish
  • Snow Peas (ongoing)
  • Flowers – Dahlias, Nigella & Zinnias.

Planted:

  • Beans – Contender
  • Zucchini fr transplant (6/11)