Soil and Cellar

Growing and preserving foods in Seattle

August in the Garden

2 Comments

Flowers from "Velour" beans. Gorgeous color!

Flowers from “Velour” beans. Gorgeous color!

Did you know it’s the middle of August? Yeah, that snuck up on me. I had brilliant plans for the garden this year, like getting my raised beds in and doing tons more veggie gardening, and it just didn’t happen. It fell way down the list of important things to do, and therefore didn’t get done. BUT, I have a few little plants plugging away and producing charming little fruits.

My vegetable garden. This is where we will be putting a couple of raised beds once these veggies are done producing.

My vegetable garden. This is where we will be putting a couple of raised beds once these veggies are done producing.

When last I wrote about my garden, I was harvesting peas like crazy. Well, shortly thereafter I pulled those plants out and replaced them with bean seeds. I think that was late June, just before we went to India. By the time we got home, the little beans were popping out of the ground. I knew it might be late but still wanted tomatoes. I always have tomatoes! Well, it turns out mid July is WAY too late to buy tomato plants that don’t look like death warmed over, nuts. So I bought a couple cucumber starts instead.

Velour bean plants. They are producing really well.

Velour bean plants. They are producing really well.

And I will pat myself on the back by saying that, even though it didn’t meet my goals for an epic harvest, I’ve been more active in the vegetable garden since our first year in the house. I am a perfectionist (not in a good way, if there is such a thing) and don’t start unless I can see how it will end perfectly. So the fact that I didn’t completely throw in the towel when I fell behind is a big step for me. Pat, pat.

Speedy beans. There are probably more beans than leaves at this point. The plants haven't taken off but are still giving me plenty of snacks.

Speedy beans. There are probably more beans than leaves at this point. The plants haven’t taken off but are still giving me plenty of snacks.

On to the veg! We have 2 kinds of bush beans, Speedy and Velour, both from Territorial. We got the seeds from our garden club, which has been doing this wacky bean-fest thing all summer. Speedy is true to name, and quickly produced tasty green beans. They are quite nice for snacking. The plants haven’t really taken off with the neglect I provided them, mysteriously. I haven’t had enough at any one time to cook them. But maybe soon?

Velour beans. Holy smokes, the color on these kills me.

Velour beans. Holy smokes, the color on these kills me.

Velour is so dark that the pods are almost black. The flowers are beautiful bright purple, too. Territorial Seeds says they turn green when cooked, like most dark beans. They are so beautiful that I’ll probably just use them raw. They, too, are quite tasty. I feel like they’ve handled my neglect with aplomb, and are doing their level best to grow in spite of me.

Cucumber Summer Dance. This is the biggest fruit, I think I'll pick it today for dinner tonight. I like to refrigerate my cukes an hour or two, to give them that classic cold crunch.

Cucumber Summer Dance. This is the biggest fruit, and the photo was taken a couple days ago. It’s longer now, so I think I’ll pick it for dinner tonight. I like to refrigerate my cukes an hour or two, to give them that classic cold crunch.

Finally, I have two Summer Dance Cucumbers. I bought them as starts. This is a Japanese burpless type, and I’ve had luck with similar plants in the past. I almost always make garlic sesame cucumbers (recipe here – I just use the top half, not the vermicelli.) It’s hard to imagine a more flavorful crunchy salad. It’s like the cucumbers you get in Chinese restaurants, but better because you made it yourself. If I have plenty of cukes I may also slice and pickle some.

See how well this plant is growing on the tomato cage? Its sister plant is a little more rebellious. I'm liking the use of the tomato cage though, normally my cucumbers just sprawl all over the garden.

See how well this plant is growing on the tomato cage? Its sister plant is a little more rebellious. I’m liking the use of the tomato cage though, normally my cucumbers just sprawl all over the garden.

Cukes have always grown really well for me. This is my first year using the tomato cages to try to keep them off the ground. It seems to be working, but I keep needing to put one of the plants back onto the cage, it hasn’t grabbed hold. The other plant has been behaving nicely. Newsflash: plants do what they want!

OK, that’s my garden report for August. Hopefully soon we’ll be eating it all up, and I will definitely tell you about it when we do.

2 thoughts on “August in the Garden

  1. It looks and sounds lovely. I’ve got my little cousin IT plant going gangbusters, but the squirrels continue to strip my tomatoes clean – I need to build a fence next year. It’s been so wet & cold here that my beans never did a thing – I even replanted at one point. Better luck next year. Meanwhile, I’ve moved onto fall crops, planting some greens & beets the other day.

  2. Those little cucumbers in your yard look so cool, I’m still tempted to try them next year. No fall crops for me this year… I am determined to get those raised beds in the ground in time to plant garlic in October, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s