Sunday, June 21, 2015

What's Blooming / Ripe In June, Zone 6A Oklahoma, Part 2

This is in no particular order, unless we call it, "In Order Of Being Noticed".
Our first tomato, picked on June 16.  This one's a "high protein" tomato.  Heh.

On June 17, I looked at the garlic that has all started sending up scapes.  Now is the time we're supposed to hold off on the water so the garlic bulb will skin over well and will be quick to dry out once it's out of the earth.  But with more rain coming, THAT's not gonna happen.  So I decided to just go ahead and pull them.  I don't know how well they'll keep, they are just soaked.

My garlic harvests have been poor for the past several years because of poor soil, neighbors' dogs digging in my raised beds, and all the heat and dry conditions.  To make matters worse, two summers ago I got them all mixed up and lost track of which was which.  Several of them are so much alike.  So now I have a choice between just buying new seed garlic and starting over, or growing what some people call "Land Race" garlic.  I believe the term is meant to mean that you've grown it amongst other varieties and had them cross pollinate till what you have is a variety that's not quite what you planted to begin with. 

More daylilies, the top was a distressed plant I bought marked down at Lowe's two or three years ago, the bottom four came from Glenda the fall that we did a plant trade.

The seed for this hollyhock was sent to me in a seed trade through GardenWeb.  I asked for seed for a yellow hollyhock.  When I received the seed, I planted it in what was then the zinnia bed.  Hollyhock germinates better if it is cast on the ground rather than buried.  It's nature's way.  And I should've cast it instead of planting it.  Nothing came up at all last year.  Then this spring I saw leaves that were sort of hollyhock-ish, but instead of being rounded, they were lobed.  I believe these are those "Indian Spring" hollyhocks, and so I'm not terribly unhappy that it's not yellow.

These are 'Tater Onions.  I've been trying to get these to multiply well for about seven years.  Last year was a good crop and I used some of the bigger ones in the kitchen.  Whew!  Pretty strong.  Not so good eaten raw unless you like to exhaust steam out of your ears.
Brown Berry Cherry tomato.  Picked June 14.  I've never grown this variety before, and for the most part, I'm not all that crazy about cherry tomatoes.  Too much bother to pick, for one thing.  But these just might be worth the growing.  They're a little bigger than your standard cherry tomato. 

Hubs won't eat tomatoes that are not red, and he wants the ones that are big enough to slice.  So these will be mine.  There are six bushes of these, I'll get all I can stand, I bet, and probably will send some across the street for Cathy's little grand-daughter, and some to grandson JR for his little one.  Kids love small veggies.  I also have some Cherokee Purple tomato plants in the ground. They'll be "all mine", too.

This is the onion bed outside the yard fence, near Hubs' shed.  As you can see, they're falling over and I pull them as they do, rather than leaving them in the wet ground.  I won't replant anything here till after the fence has been replaced.  Construction-types are pretty careless where they step, and while they were pretty careful on the last fence job, it just wouldn't be right to create any more obstacles for them than are already present.  Sometimes I grow turnips here. 
After I pull the onions, I bring them up to the patio and put them in these trays to cure.

This is Rainbow Kale.
This is Blue Kale.
This is Red Russian Kale

I'm growing several kinds of kale this year and one issue is that there's that bitter taste unless they've had a little zap of cold weather.  This is mid-June now and so THAT ain't happenin' in Oklahoma till at least October.  HERE is information on a "massaging" technique that's said to remove the summer-induced bitterness from kale by breaking down the cells.  Kale is in the brassica family and we all know how good brassicas are for us.  I saw a TV show about people in Alaska where they were planting kale to keep them going through the winter.  So there's much to be said for kale, and if we can eat it during the summer months when our lettuce has all bolted to seed, that's a better option than buying that pale green head of lettuce at the store.  I watched a You-Tube presentation that was done by a raw foods guy and saw him tearing kale off the center rib in pieces (you don't eat the rib), putting those pieces in the Cuisinart and running it with the chopping blade.  Then he dumped the chopped kale in a bowl, added lemon, garlic (pressed) and avocado and smushed it all together with his hands till the avocado was fully combined with the lemon and garlic into a creamy salad dressing.  He added something else in place of the salt that he said all people who eat a raw foods diet know what it is.  That wasn't me, but I'd think if the dish needs a little salt you could use sea salt, or, as pictured in the website linked above, Parmesan cheese instead of the avocado.  Both in the same dish might be too much fat and I'm not sure they'd taste good together. 

The wild Chickasaw Plum bushes are starting to drop ripe fruit.  The plums are about the size of a large cherry tomato and are sweet.
 Also has a Robin's nest in it with two babies.

This is a little succulent that I used to keep in a planter.
Then I got the idea of planting it in the spaces of the rock walks.
I don't know how well it's going to work out.  They've spread in the two years since I started this and so far I haven't had too much trouble with Bermuda grass coming up in them.  I had a green Perilla plant that self-sowed in this area and I had to pull a lot of them out of these spaces and that's how I ended up with the little pieces of it because they clung to some of the Perilla I pulled out.  I'll plant them somewhere.  But it's dicey, transplanting anything this time of year, unless it's raining.  Shhhh!  Let's don't go there.  At least not till things have dried out some.
Indian Blanket, naturalized here.

The red bergamot is just beginning to bloom.  That's Lance-Leaf Coreopsis behind.  They've been in bloom for awhile.

Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate.  It comes up where it wants to, and I leave it alone.  If I try to transplant it, it dies.  This year I'll collect seed and broadcast it elsewhere.  Looks tropical, doesn't it?  This is one of the plants Thomas Jefferson introduced into America.

This corn-looking thing is Broom Corn.  I planted what's called "Rox Orange" Broom Corn this year, out in the corner of the garden, and it didn't take.  But this came up from self-sown seed from last year's plants.  
Blackberries on the Chester plants are ripening.  They ripen earlier than the Doyles.
These are Doyle Thornless.  They are lots more prolific, as you can see.  But they ripen later.  They will get about the same size as the blackberry in my hand.

That's Oregano in the center, I've already harvested the leaves once and looks like about time to do it again.  Just to the left is one surviving spinach plant.  In the front part of the picture are those onions I raised from grocery store onion bottoms.

Russian Sage.  I think this fall I'll move some of this out to The Deer Garden.  This is a tough plant that seems to thrive on neglect.

There won't be any grapes this year.  Black Spot again.  I'm about ready to throw in the towel with grapes.  They don't all ripen at the same time, even when they're doing well, and I have to drag a stool out there and pick them, one grape at a time.  What a drag.

A couple different Rose of Sharon (Althea).  

I've been calling this "Purple Clover", but I guess it's really called "Red Clover".  It's a perennial, so I'm trying to establish it around fruit trees.

Rugosa Roses, this variety still loaded with flowers.

This is called a "Cup Plant" (Silphium perforliatum), because the leaves form cups that hold rain water or even dew, and the birds come along and drink out of the cups.  Goldfinches just loooooooove the seed, and will sit on the plant for long periods of time, eating, drinking and singing.  It's related to the sunflower. 

This, and bird netting, is how I'm trying to keep the birds off my bush cherries this year.  So far the excess water has done a real number on them, but one of the bushes has some on that are still in the process of ripening.

Cascading red petunias.  These are from Carole and are too young yet to cascade.  I'm looking forward to it.

Lettuces going to seed in The Sweet Potato Bed.

Seafoam Swiss Chard needing to be harvested.  I'll take my knife out next time I go.

Plants from grocery store cantaloupe still doing ok.  I've thinned them out several times.

Another carrot from last year going to seed.  If all goes well, I should not lack carrot seed.  The rain has made my garden a jungle and now the heat has made it really hard for me to stay out in it for long enough to get caught up. 

That's kinda what's happened with the dill population.  I don't make dill pickles anymore, so now it's a problem, except the umbrella plants do attract beneficial insects.  I saw a dragonfly today.

This is a volunteer Petrovski turnip.  This big white turnip's getting huge.  I pulled one up a few days ago and the roly-polies had gotten into it and split it right in half.

Achillea.  Almost died out after I moved it.  It can just kind of "go wild" where it is now, if it will.

Next to it, the big-leaved plant, is a new plant for me: Elecampane (Inula helium).  It's related to the sunflower, is a biennial,  and it gets quite tall in its second year. 

Well, that's about all I can think of for this time.  I've had lunch and a nice rest and will probably slip outside and do a little something just one more time before I quit for the day.  Thinking about pulling the rest of those onions that are outside the fence.  Then, if the men do show up next week to start working on the replacement, that'll be one less spot to worry about. 

Rock on... 

Hugs xoxoxo


  1. I love your day lilies! I have several colors; doesn't it seem a shame that the blooms only last one day? Sorta gives an insight to the words from the Bible. I want a big bed of hollyhocks! I've saved seed and they always come right up, but most of the time they die. They just seem to say "Grandma's garden".

    1. Charlotte, I do, too!

      Hollyhocks are biennials, which means they do nothing but make round leaves on short stalks the first year. Then the second year, they send up that tall stalk. When they finish blooming, I always cut them down to just one or two leaves and they will come back and bloom again the next year, sometimes for several years. By then, they've self-sown enough. But wind is hard on the plants when they're tall, it pushes them over and sometimes breaks the stalk. And if the ground stays too wet, sometimes the roots rot. So in some climates, they just don't do well. I think Glenda says she has trouble with hollyhocks because they get rust, that probably means too much moisture and she does usually get more rain than we do here.

  2. What a fabulous trip through your garden! Some varieties we are going to try. Our Dill here has jumped the fence and now is growing in the next door neighbors flower bed....

    1. Fiona, glad you enjoyed your visit! I went over to your blog and had a little visit, too! I'm trying to get Cumin started this year, there are some baby plants. When Cumin makes seed, it's Coriander, and I think that's cool, one plant, two products. Been pulling out the dill, there is so much of it. But I will leave some for the beneficial insects. I might try to be better at breaking off the umbrellas once the seed starts to dry, though. OMG....

    2. You think you have dill! I will take a picture of mine and blog must like moisture!

      I will havest some to dry in case the cucumbers ever do anything.......

      Enjoyed this one so much. I still feel like this gardening year is the worst ever!

    3. I thought I posted my reply to you here, but instead it is below.

  3. When I was making dill pickles and the dill would be ready before the cukes were, I'd mix up a batch of brine, pour it into a gallon jar, and store my dill umbels in it (kept in the refrigerator). But it is a lot simpler just to gather the seeds and use them instead of umbels. I just always liked the looks of an umbel, one hot pepper, one clove of garlic, and a grape leaf in each jar with the pickles. I have weeded out sooooo many little dill plants from every possible place. They came up so thick where I planted beets, I think that might be why my beet seed didn't germinate very well. I've had trouble getting my cuke seed to come up this year. That I know of, I think I only have one plant.


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