Thursday, August 20, 2009

August Veggie Garden Update

Unlike last year's weed-ridden and pest-stricken garden, the vegetable garden this summer has been a success.

The main headliner for the past month has been the green beans . . . and more green beans. This colander picked one morning hardly shows the amount of beans I have picked--all from less than one package of seed. I had intended to plant a smaller, later planting with the rest of the seeds but never got around to it. Besides, we have had enough for fresh green beans nearly every night of the week plus some for sharing and some for freezing. The green bell pepper plants, "California Wonder," I think, didn't get very big, but they have been producing enough peppers for our needs in spite of their size.

The one zucchini plant I have is still looking healthy--keep your fingers crossed that no squash beetles appear. So far I have managed to pick several zucchini while still small, so we have eaten them sauteed or chopped in a salad. I don't expect the "zucchini explosion" of 2006 from one plant, but if we do, we'll soon be having zucchini bread, zucchini cake, etc., etc.

Some of the vegetables were not intended for harvest, but for other purposes, like the dill weed from seeds given to me by Tina. If I had planted cucumbers, I might have used some dill in making pickles or I might add a little dill to dips or dressings. But I just like the looks and the fragrance of dill, which actually is planted in a corner of the Butterfly & Friends Garden.

The fennel and parsley could be used as well in recipes, but I planted them primarily as food for the butterflies. My efforts were rewarded one day when I spied this caterpillar on a fennel plant. The next day when I wanted to show my granddaughter the caterpillar, we discovered it had moved to my carrots instead; not only that, but there were now three of them that we could see! Littlest grandson not only looked, but poked at the caterpillars:) If they prefer the carrots, that's fine; I neglected to thin them out earlier this summer, so I may have pencil-thin carrots anyway.

August here at the Prairie also means it's finally time for tomatoes! I've been drooling over all the ripe tomatoes pictured on your blogs for the past few weeks, and finally I can join in the excitement. For our family, this is the main reason for a vegetable garden--fresh tomatoes. The first ripe one, other than a few small red Romas, was picked on Friday, August 14. I couldn't prepare the elaborate presentation that Carol always does for the ritual of the first ripe tomato: as I predicted, my husband sliced it and ate the whole thing before I could even whip out my camera.

By the time you read this post, I will be--hopefully--somewhere in Oregon, helping Youngest Daughter move across the country to attend graduate school. I wrote this post before I left, so I'm hoping that by the time I get back the garden hasn't wilted from lack of water. Husband may forget to water the flowers and may overlook the zucchini growing to monstrous size, but I won't have to worry about the tomatoes--he will pick every single red one he sees! I just hope there are a few ripe ones left by the time I get home:) See you next week!

Check out Tina at In the Garden for other veggie garden updates the 20th of each month.

I almost forgot . . . a very Happy Birthday to my Dad, who turns 84 today! I had hoped to showcase his vegetable garden this month, but ran out of time for taking pictures. Maybe next month--his huge vegetable garden makes mine look like that of an amateur:)


  1. Rose girl ! You have had such a bounty this year ! I love seeing so many green beans .. of course the herbs like dill are my favorite : ) .. I have yet to have success with encouraging those wonderful caterpillars aka mom butterflies to lay eggs on my fennel and dill.
    The fast food of the garden .. aka TOMATOES !! I can't blame your husband ;-) I would be doing the same myself !! LOL
    Hope the move goes smoothly and all are happy come September : )
    P.S. You almost have me convinced to try more veggies .. if only I had the room ? ;-)

  2. Happy birthday Rose's Dad.....and many more to come....

    Lovely display of veggies....makes me envious but we can't have everything....
    What joy to see the plump and bright....beautiful things to come....

    Hope all goes well with youngest daughters move.......may I wish her good luck for the future.....

  3. Rose your beans look great! Wonderful bounty from the garden..ho ho ho..sorry, had a Green Giant moment. Enjoy your goodies and try to snag a tomato before husband gets all of them!
    So are you heading east or west to take your daughter to grad school? Safe travels to you.

  4. Happy Birthday to your Dad, that is wonderful!

    Be careful out there driving and enjoy your visit to Oregon. That is a place I would love to go.

    Your veggies look great. Hopefully they will be okay when you return.

  5. Happy birthday Rose's dad.

    Tomatoes are one of my reasons for gardening. Nothing better than fresh from the vine tomatoes.

    Good luck with the move.

  6. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your dad. You have a safe trip to Oregon. Your veggie garden looks great! It is so heartening for me that it has worked out well this summer. Those beans look yummy! And your cat looks like a monarch caterpillar. They are so pretty. I've not seen any here:( Those carrots will be great. Do you know I've never successfully grown carrots. Sigh. I'll enjoy them on blogs. You have a great time and I bet the garden will be fine. P.S. I don't blame your husband for eating that first tomato!

  7. Your veggies look absolutely delicious! I hope there are still tomatoes to enjoy when you return! Happy birthday to your dad, and have a safe trip!

  8. Your produce looks wonderful! Why haven't I ever tried growing beans? I hope you harvested that zucchini before your left, or it will be enormous by the time you get back with the rain we've been getting.

  9. What a beautiful veggie garden you have! Also a lovely looking caterpillar!

    Thought you may be having a holiday, but it seems you may be needing a rest after you return! Hope the move went well and that your veg survive!!


  10. Would you pass the beans please. They look good enough to eat. Yummm. It looks like this rainy summer was good for your veggies Rose.

    Happy Birthday to your Dad too.

  11. Rose, The garden is looking wonderful, but I am too excited about the caterpillars on your fennel and carrots. You lucky gardener! I've been watching daily for signs...nothing yet! Remember this...You probably have a friend or two who will share their zucchini if yours is monstrously large and lost its taste!

    Have a wonderful time~~gail

  12. Oh Rose! You did make HLH (His Loyal Highness, (my husband) and me laugh about your husband and the tomatoes, as HLH said 'Why photograph a tomato when you can eat it!' :) I looked at the photo of your tomatoes and could instantly smell that wonderful vine tomato scent!

    What an impressive looking caterpillar on your Fennel.

    Many congratulations to your Dad for his birthday and reaching such a grand age and still maintaining his garden. Those home-grown vegetables could perhaps be the elixir of life! :)

  13. Rose, I can atell everyone how good your green beans are. Those you gave me were wonderful and hubby ate so many he was miserable. That mulch you put down must be working great-a very good idea.

    Aren't finding thos e caterpillars fun? But when mine left, I couldn't find their cocoons. :(

    After talking to you last evening, I was glad to know you made it out there with no problems. Can't wait to hear more about your trip.

  14. It all looks so good! We have the same propblem with the tomatoes in our family! Good luck with your tri, H B-DAY to your dad!

  15. Your hard work has paid off, Rose, and I'm sure your Hubby appreciates it even if he doesn't show it (besides the occasional tomato juice stain on his shirt). Lovely veggies! I'm leaning toward not even attempting a summer garden next year. Spring and fall veggies, yes, but the summer ones like tomatoes and green beans do not like it here! Or maybe it's because the critters like them too much.

  16. Oh yum Rose, your veggies look delicious. It's reassuring seeing nearly everyone's tomatoes a bit late ripening this year. My veggie bed isn't in full sun and I wasn't sure how much the slow-ripening tomatoes were related to that, and how much was due to the wierd weather.

    Hope you're having a good trip, and not working too hard.

    And Happy Birthday to your dad! What a blessing to be celebrating 84 years and still gardening!

  17. Hope you have a fabulous time on your trip...and that the zucchini isn't the size of your car when you get home!

  18. Hope the move went well. Happy birthday to your dad!

    Our tomatoes have suddenly flourished and have all turned green together. Husband also picked our first aubergine too so I must take a photo of that too. But on the whole I am bemoaning the lack of success - unlike your wonderful garden!

  19. Rose, look at you posting even though you weren't home! (Welcome back, by the way--Beckie said you were coming home today.) I somehow missed your veggie garden on Sunday, but these photos fill me in. It's going to be a while until I post about that trip as I want to finish up CO first and then there's Columbus and a butterfly garden in the queue before the St Louis adventure! :)

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. Lucky you to get some zuke's! I have not had luck with them the past two years of trying. I think next year, I may have to sprinkle some insecticide once planting to keep the bugs at bay. Isn’t finding a future butterfly in the form of a beautiful colored caterpillar neat? I can see your grandson poking at it now with being so full of curiosity. lol Soon, you will have butterflies fluttering about and can watch him chasing them in the garden! What fun. A great looking harvest you have there. And yes, Maters are yummy right off the vine!


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.