Garden Update: July 25, 2012

Corn overlooking the pool

Well since our last Garden Update we have lost some and won some. Here are the reports: The Strawberries were an awesome experiment, but they dried up in the hanging baskets I made. They definitely needed more soil and root space and I was unable to keep up with them, but next season we will go heavy on the strawberries.

The raised bed was deepened with hand laminated cardboard and the Spinach & Broccoli were taken out. We did get the opportunity to save some seeds for next season when we will plant the Spinach earlier and avoid too much direct light, which was part of the issue. The Broccoli would have done better with a deeper bed as well, but we needed to get our second harvest going.

Outback Garden
Pumpkin flower closed around 2pm

 The second harvest in our updated and deepened raised bed includes Peas, Melons, Cantaloupes, Onions, Pumpkins and Watermelons. Pumpkins grow very fast and quickly take over. We left just 2 plants on either side of the bed and on each corner we added another melon. The onions and peas are in the center, but it may prove to be too sunny for both of those more sensitive crops.
Pumpkin flower open for business
We have a customer! I wonder how many 'Hits' or 'Likes' we've gotten.

Right next to the raised bed are several containers holding our Sweet 'Tollie' non-bell peppers and regular green to red Bell Peppers Chocolate Cherry, Brandywine and a Striped variety Tomato. There are also Eggplants, Hass Variety Avocado Seedling, which won't set fruit for another few years, but will probably be used as rootstock for my West Indian/Caribbean variety avocado. There is a Cavendish Banana plant and it's suckered baby, which was separated and has been brought upstairs so we can keep a better eye on it and hope the Mother plant sets out a few more. In the Musa banana family is also a Giant Puerto Rican Plantain plant, a recently added Golden Pineapple, which will probably be ready for next season and lastly our Calamansi and Dwarf Orange trees.

Still have a few Sweet Peppers (Non-Bell)
Brandywine largest Tomato variety we currently grow
 In the front garden area, which falls within our community living space we have several Corn plants,  Soy, Carrots, Onions, Tomatoes (Sun Sugar variety), Hot Peppers and a few recently transferred Watermelon, Pumpkin, Cantaloupe and Melons plants from the back. The Pinto beans were already harvested and eaten tender before they hardened too much on the vine. No wonder I couldn't keep up. Most of these crops are experimental to see, which varieties grow well and tastiest. Next season we will focus on growing more of fewer better quality crops unless our space gets bigger! :) Enjoy the pictures.

Pumpkins already starting to set fruit.
Banana herb plant is NOT a Tree. This stem/trunk will never get woody.
This will one day become a true Giant Plantain Plant.

Some of this seasons fruit all Red-dy for action!
Towering Corn

Another Pumpkin fruit. Should be ready for Halloween!

Arroz y Habichuela - Rice and Beans

Arroz y habichuela are rice and red beans in particular to Caribbean Latinos, but rice and beans could mean many different types of bean to people from different parts of the world. They range and can be broad beans to the red, green, pigeon, black eye etc but at the end of the day they provide nourishment to keep most of the world functioning. Even though beans are relatively inexpensive to grow and harvest they diminish in importance to those that need it most in the drier environments because of the scarcity of water needed to cook bean (not including string beans). String beans are usually any beans taken off the vine just before ripening to be eaten green. At this stage the beans inside the pods are pretty tender and tasty already. When left to mature and ripen on the plant then the beans become true seeds as well as individual beans that will need moisture in order to be palatable.
This in particular is medium grain rice plant with red pinto beans plant.
The owner of this planter here should be able to eat a first meal in about 2-3 months.
This string bean is ready to go, but most likely will be harvested as dry beans.

Another shot of the Superhero - Rice and Beans!