Friday, August 3, 2012

Woohoo! First Tomato of the Year

In all its glory...
 Picked my first ripe tomato today, it's the Oregon Spring one that's been hanging around for over a month.  In a normal year the first tomato would be picked in mid- to late June.  This has not been a normal year.  On the plus side it weighed in at 7.5 ounces.  Also the two volunteer cherry tomatoes I left in the ground still haven't ripened anything, so I don't think my late planting really affected the other tomatoes; they are right on par with their volunteer cousins.  It would seem that the weather alone has been responsible for the tomato tardiness. 

Tomato and the first two pickling cucumbers.
 The pickling cucumbers are finally beginning to produce, not a lot so far.  I have a dozen plants, but if they don't start doing better i will never have enough cukes at once to pickle.  The slicing cucumber is cranking out fruit faster than they can ripen, I'm guessing I'll have about 3 cukes ready to pick tomorrow and more a few days after that.

I didn't take a photo of the onions i pulled earlier this week, nor did I weigh them, they are curing in the laundry room/grow room/pantry and once cured they will be weighed in and photographed.  I only pulled the ones with good sized bulbs and developed skins, which accounted for about a quarter of what was planted.

Herbs (this basket holds about 2 gallons)
Also, above is the photo of the herbs I trimmed the other day.  Most of this is rosemary, which is buried under the thyme, sage, spearmint, and lavender.  The oregano wasn't big enough for trimming yet, and the cats have mauled the catnip too much to harvest.  All of these herbs were lightly rinsed (to remove spiders and dust), blotted dry, bundled, tied up, and hung to dry.  Once they are crispy i will strip them from their stems, crumble them a bit, then mix up seasonings or bag and freeze them, or fill my nearly empty spice jars with them.  I am a bit disappointed the oregano didn't grow more, I was hoping not to have to buy it for making Italian Seasoning Mix.  The mint and lavender will likely be saved for potpourri or teas, since I don't do much cooking with them.

The one other major thing I did was pull a few problem plants: the last celery that I left to flower for the beneficial bugs, the cilantro (it had long ago gone to flower and was seriously shading out the rhubarb and some peppers) and the dill that was completely infested with aphids and ladybugs.  I let the dill stay in the garden long enough for the ladybug eggs to hatch, and the nymphs to grow into adults, but they were failing at eating enough aphids fast enough so I moved them onto other plants and tossed the buggy dill.  I'm disappointed that I lost the dill before the cucumbers were ready for harvest though, i had hoped to use my own dill for pickling.  The nasturtiums have done their job of black-fly-aphid-traps so well that the aphids are killing them and moving onto other plants nearby, so I pulled a few of the most infested nasturtiums and left the others to continue their work.  Hopefully the aphids will stay out of the other plants again and move into the healthy nasturtiums.


  1. My dill came and went before the cukes even thought about producing. It's been an odd year.........

  2. Congrats on your first tomato. It is a much anticipated event at our house!

    1. Here too. i'm looking forward to slicing it up thin and serving it with my first 4 cucumbers, some tsatsiki and some pita this weekend at a potluck.