August 6, 2012

Garden Extravaganza!

My garden guard!

He's such a good boy!  He is guarding mama's garden, he knows his brother would go 'raid' all the veggies!

Well with the major amount of heat over for now atleast, I hope (it's back to 80's) my garden has started producing some more veggies.  My cauliflower has come in heavily and my broccoli plants that I have left are producing numerous side shoots.  I'm hoping to have some more broccoli for the fall, we will see.   My green beans have by far taken the brunt of the heat we've had.  I had to pull up a entire box of Contender beans, they produced once then died.  Didn't seem to matter how much I watered either, they just didn't survive.  I've now planted new beans in it's place, which are sprouting already.

So to date I have had countless and I mean countless (atleast 30) humungous cucumbers and they taste sooooooooo good!  I'm definitely going to be stocking up on Biotamax for next year!  IT's made a world of difference on them!  Tomatoes are finally starting to ripen, they too have responded well to the Biotamax, probably woudl have been better I did it when I planted but alas..   I've had to pull one Zuchinni plant out as it died, but it produced atleast 15 fruits.  I have a 2nd one going but it's only got male flowers now, only had a few fruits off of it, so I'm not sure what it's doing.  Beets were pulled and canned already, so I've planted more.  Lettuce has gone to seed, so I pulled that and replaced it with green beans.  Had tons and tons (over 100) hot peppers.. All varities.. jalapeno, pablano, habanero, banana.  My one and only serrano pepper plant didn't survive the drought.  oh well..  Green peppers are doing ok, was hoping for some sweet peppers but nothing is turning red :(  My corn in the raised beds has grown tremendously (albeit now beetles are attacking the ears!) the corn with my pumpkins not so much, it's definitely stunted by the drought and heat.  As is 90% of the rest of IL, and we are feeling it.. Gas prices are up to $4.15 a gallon today!  YIKES!  I'm wishing I worked closer to home so I could walk! 

So with all this mass amount of produce I've been harvesting  We have been eating salad atleast a few times a week, hubby and I are the only ones who will eat the lettuce, which we like but aren't over crazy about every day so we do a few times a week.  Been snacking on cucumbers for lunch, grape tomatoes and green peppers.

I have given countless zuchinni, lettuce and kale to my grandmother and my mom.  They have frozen, shredded and baked zuchinni bread with it.  (We don't eat zuchinni). 

So here's what I've canned/frozen this year so far:

10 pints of bread n butter pickles
9 pints hot peppers (listed above)
7 qts green beans (though I think I over processed them a little)
4 pints green beans
3 pints cowboy candy (candied jalapenos)
4 pints beets
2 frozen pkgs. green beans
5 pints tomatoes
50 white onions

Not too bad for being in a major drought most of the summer with no rain and temps over 100 daily.  The small amounts of rain we have recieved have done wonders for my garden.  Check out some of my produce from the last few weeks:


Mega cucumbers

Hot peppers, broccoli and cucumbers

Pickles, beans and hot peppers

These I picked Sat.

This was picked 3 weeks ago

2 weeks ago (for the pickles & hot peppers)

AND this is only some of it!  I've given away countless zuchinnis, lettuce, kale, broccoli, cucumbers and green peppers!

I can't wait to be able to make some cheesy broccoli, cauliflower soup.  Waiting for my carrots and potatoes to come in! 

How is everyone else's garden surviving?  I'd love to hear about your garden, the size, what your growing, how it's doing etc. :)

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