Cucumber & Squash Bounty!

Check this out …

Had to harvest a bunch of cucumbers today because the weight was pulling the cage over. There are as many more cukes still growing on the vine as what I picked.

Also picked these three squash, which were ready and gorgeous.  I’m waiting on some special organic fertilizer that is high in calcium to hopefully help correct a deficiency in the zucchini.  The lower leaves are yellowing, and while the plant is enormous, it isn’t producing many fruits.  What fruits it has produced have been yellowing and experiencing some blossom-end rot while on the plant, which sounds like a nutrient problem with the soil.  Hopefully it isn’t too late to correct with some fish fertilizer and lime.  I have another zucchini plant outside the box that’s smaller but should start producing anytime.

Here is a shot of the slings I’m making for the melon … I found some netting online that worked nicely – –



I’m starting to wonder what to do about this situation.  Overly healthy and productive cantaloupe plants.

I planted two vines under a single trellis (which now I realize is not large enough to adequately suspend said vines).  The vines are spilling everywhere and running amok in the garden.

And not only that, they are chock-full of developing melons.  I count at least ten infant melons, which means that there are at least twice that number I am not able to see among the leaves.

I’ve decided to try to sling the melon using old t-shirts that I’m going to cut up and tie around the trellis. I’m just hoping the trellis can manage to hold up under the weight.  Any little wind and I’m afraid the whole thing will end up on the ground.  I might try to tie the trellis off somehow to avoid disaster, like roping down a tent.

We’ve had an incredibly wet year.  Yesterday Kansas City was hammered by intense storms.  I had a foot of water in my basement (which means a foot of water probably fell over the garden as well), and my power was out all day.  I haven’t watered the garden in a couple weeks now because there has been no need.  I’ve been wanting to feed it, but can’t.  I guess it’s not really something I should be overly concerned about with all this rain.

The plants sure seem to be drinking it up, though.  The tomatoes are suddenly popping out everywhere on both the hybrid and heirloom plants.  The beans are bean-o-riffic, the watermelon has suddenly decided to go nuts, and the squash and zucchini … sigh … they have competing claims for taking up the most real estate in my back yard.

The storms blew over one of the squash plants, which bummed me out … but I tied it back up so hopefully it’ll be ok.  I went ahead and planted some more lettuce and corn last week too.  It may be a little too late for the corn, but I’m hoping it will produce by September.

Sneaky Hiding Vegetables

Seems like no matter how hard I look, there’s either a zucchini or a cucumber hiding under some foliage somewhere that sneaks past my attention.  Sometimes I’m certain that the vegetables have somehow acquired self-awareness when I wasn’t looking and it is their goal to take over the planet, starting with my back yard.  I must continue to fight the good fight and consume as many as possible … for the good of humanity.

I check every single day now, but even so, things slip by.  This cucumber is about a foot long and probably 4-5 inches in diameter, but fortunately I found it under some leaves before it reached a size that gets beyond the tender and tasty limitations for cukes.  It’s going to make a terrific bunch of cucumber salad tonight! 🙂

Edit – – I decided to go all out and make bread and butter pickles with this cucumber.  It made three jars worth and smells wonderful.  The whole house smells like pickles!  Love it … can’t wait to eat some tomorrow.

Yellow Squash

Here’s the first yellow squash of the year:

It literally popped up overnight.  Wasn’t there yesterday!  I have four others growing, but this is the first contender.  This plant grew so large so fast that it suddenly fell over under its own weight last week and I had to tie it to the trellis with a plastic bag.  Seemed to do the trick.  The plant loved it and blossomed instantly.

I went ahead and picked it this afternoon.  It was five inches long and two inches in diameter, which is just about perfect.  Don’t want ’em to get too much bigger or they take on different flavors, become tough, and aren’t as good.  I sliced this one, then tossed it (and the blossom) in flower before frying in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Salt, pepper and ranch dressing made this a real treat.  The squash flower is wonderful after frying (no dressing needed).  It’s considered a delicacy.

Kickin’ Bruschetta Recipe

Today I made some bruschetta that is just mouth-wateringly good … here’s what I did …

2.5 cups fresh basil
1 tbs fresh oregano
1 tbs fresh cilantro
3 cloves fresh garlic
5 or 6 small, vine tomatoes
1/2 tbs minced red pepper
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Some of this is approximation.  But basically, I minced the basil, oregano, cilantro, red pepper & garlic together, then added the olive oil & vinegar to the food processor.  Next the tomatoes and remaining ingredients.  I like to have more basil to tomato ratio (because you can’t have too much basil in my book these days).  Once it’s all mixed together, store in a mason jar in the fridge or put immediately on anything from eggs to baguette or fresh bread.  It’s practically good enough to eat plain!

I’ll make a LOT more of this as the summer goes on, use some, store some.  The flavor is just amazin’ and I can’t get enough.  It’s the second time I’ve made it already!

This is basically my recipe for salsa too, only I add more cilantro, half an onion and a couple of jalapenos. mmmmm

Five Weeks of Square Foot Gardening

Time for a few more progress photos.  I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I got up and went out to see what was happening in the garden.  Dew had made this really cool pattern on the outside edge of every leaf in the garden, so I thought it was a good photo op!

Cantaloupe Dew 2

My grapes have started changing color …

Compare these against the ones in the very first post when the garden started a little over a month ago (below) … AMAZING!

The Finished Product

WOW … this is going into my favorite recipes list and I’m not going to lose track of it.  It tastes sort of like quiche.  Just unbelievably good flavor.  I really recommend using baguette or French bread of some type. Really made it delicious.  I plan to make it exactly the same way as I described below when I make it next time too.  I altered the recipe a bit from similar ones online.  It’s a must-try dish.