Looks like early blight got to my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Too bad, they were my earliest main crop tomatoes. They are fabulously sweet, juicy and tastes just what I think tomato should taste like. My other tomatoes seem okay right now, and ripening.
My first planting of bush beans (Burpee Gold Mine and Burpee Blue Lake 47) have finished so I pulled the plants and donated them to our Demo Garden compost pile. I replanted them today. I had already put in another crop 3-4 weeks ago so they'll be coming into bloom soon.
I also built and put in a hand-made bean trellis for pole beans. I wanted to compare the pole beans to the bush beans. I planted Burpee Monte Gusto yellow beans and Burpee Kentucky Blue pole beans. They're doing well with a constant supply of beans. But it takes several days to get enough to make a meal for us. I have 12' of the green and 4' of the yellow. These are my personal opinions and thoughts. Because the bush beans deliver their harvest in a short period of time we got enough in one picking to make a meal (my rows are 8' because of space limitations), and have enough left over to freeze. The pole beans are a bit thinner than the bush beans, but tastier. In order for me to get enough beans from the pole varieties I'd have to build 2 more trellises, and I don't have the room. So far the pole beans are quite healthy, and have not had an insect invasion. Although I won't be taking the trellis out of the garden I'm going to focus on bush beans next year.
The zucchini and yellow squash are growing with a vengeance. At one point I picked 12 in 3 days. I have 5 plants of zucchini (in 2 mounds) and 1 yellow squash. Burpee has a real QA problem this year because one of the mounds was to be zucchini and the other yellow squash. But, 2 of the 3 plants that were to be yellow squash turned out to be zucchini (all from the packet labeled Early Prolific Straightneck). I've had other problems with Burpee seeds as well. I planted 22 Echinacea seeds in my normal seed starting mixture (Pro Mix HP) and got 4 to grow. It's not the seed starter because I had excellent results with all my vegetable and other flower seeds.
This was the first year for me to grow bulbing onions, Candy and Candy Apple. There are just a few remaining in the ground and those should be harvested by next week. Although they were good, I'm not going to planting them next year because they weren't all that big. They are tasty but kind of a disappointment.
The scallions (Evergreen Bunching) are okay, but not great. Again, another Burpee product. They had about a 50% germination rate, which is not acceptable to me. I will be growing scallions again but will be looking for another supplier, and possibly another variety.
My eggplants got off to a rocky start after they went into the garden. I started Black Beauty from seed and had a good germination rate, above 90% if my recollection is correct. I purchased another 6 seedlings of different varieties from a local store to see if we like them. The flea beetles went to town on them. I ended up spraying with 3 different products (none were chemical pesticides): Surround, Neem oil, and an agricultural soap. All were good, but the Surround caused other problems. It coats the leaves with a substance they don't like walking on, but it also gets into the flowers preventing the pollinators from getting into them. It took quite awhile for new flowers to come out without the Surround. In other words, you won't get fruit until that happens. The plants are big enough now to survive without help. Next year I'll be putting agricultural cloth over them when they go into the ground, and the cloth will remain in place until the flowers show up. By then the plants should be big enough to survive attacks by the flea beetles.
Our peppers were good but I made the mistake of planting a few too close to the squash mounds. I just pulled those out because they were being shaded by the squash leaves and killing them. The jury is still out on the peppers. I'll be growing them again next year but not sure which varieties. I purchased all as seedlings where I got the eggplant seedlings. I didn't start seeds this year because we weren't sure if we were going to plant any peppers. Next year I will be starting them from seeds. We don't want hot peppers so all will be sweet.
We've gone through one planting of Swiss chard (which was wonderful), and planted another crop. And the new crop is doing great, even in this hot weather. All the beets and radishes are long gone, and were delicious.
Dan - "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..." Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karnevil #9