Thursday, June 4, 2009

Succession planting of squash, beans, and tomatoes

As I'm harvesting garlic and the final bit of lettuce in the main beds, I'm thinking about what to plant next. The peas are just about finished, too, and one of the pea trellises will need underplanting with beans or a climbing cucumber or squash. (The other already has tromboncino squash ready to replace the peas). I suppose if I were more orderly and less into having fun in my vegetable garden, I'd had have already planned out my rotations.

And I really should think about preserving the harvest, too (wait, I'm still determined to enjoy the process) -- Barbara Damrosch in her revised Garden Primer talks about freezing whole tomatoes, then rinsing off the skins in hot water before using them in sauces in the winter. That's my idea of a great approach.

We've had a nice bit of rain today, after some unusually hot weather that's now moderated, so it's a good time to put out more summer squash, beans, and a few new heirloom tomato transplants that I acquired last weekend.

I also thought I'd experiment sowing some more seeds of specialty peppers (Corno di Toro, Ashe County Pimento, Numex, Sweet Red Cherry) and tomatoes (Black Russian and Super Marzano hybrid) to transplant later on. Peppers do their best in the warm days of fall here, especially if summer turns out to be especially hot. And tomatoes will keep growing until whenever frost comes.

I'll have the potato beds to swap out, too, probably in the next couple of weeks. I've already harvested some new potatoes around the edges, but will wait until the shoots start dying back to harvest the rest.

The soil in my vegetable beds work hard, so I'm trying to add LOTS of homemade compost (rather than commercial) at each rotation, as clearly I'm not replenishing my beds as much as they might need. A Thai eggplant planted in a container filled with this compost is huge, the biggest eggplant I've ever grown, witness to the power of nutrients! I'll have to see if the plant produces many fruits. I did see a tomato-sized eggplant last fall (the plant), growing in a large container in a Portland urban garden -- whoa! I'm not sure any of mine will get that big.

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Blogger Corner Gardener Sue said...

I did a good job with succession planting my lettuce and greens. Now, I am in the process of planting other veggies. I keep getting interrupted in my gardening, but will have the summer off after tomorrow, so hope to keep up better. Your post reminded me I haven't planted eggplant yet.

June 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

Some day I will have a vegetable garden...but I will need a sunnier garden! gail

June 5, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger CEN said...

Freezing whole tomatoes works brilliantly- the skin indeed does peel off easily and you get a very fresh-tasting fruit for use in sauces. Drawbacks include using up a lot of freezer space and broken toes--- take it from me, do not drop a gallon bag of frozen whole tomatoes on your foot. They're basically billiard balls.

I prefer to halve them and roast them awhile, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Don't bother to peel if you don't want, although the skins will come off easily after a little roasting. Pour juices and all into your freezer bags. You can strain out seeds or skins after defrosting and you won't take up as much room in the freezer (or risk foot problems). And roasting even a little concentrates the flavor. Of course you can slow roast to an almost dry tomato if you like and add herbs or what not.

June 5, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger SNJGardener said...

I just planted my second green beans last weekend. I will plant my third in two weeks in the area where I have my radishes that are finishing up. When my onions are finished in July/August I am going to plant carrots.

June 5, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

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