The garden is producing very well so far, and thankfully I drew out and labeled each raised bed as well as the in-ground rows so I have a reference to what did well and what didn’t do so well, hence I’ll know what to concentrate on next year. I started taking pictures of whatever I harvest right after I bring it in, not mixing it in with the previous days’ haul, so I can see exactly what I took in. So far I’ve canned seven large jars of tomato sauce, four of them being from the Park’s Whopper tomatoes, one from the Tangerine tomato, and the other two from a combo of Mortgage Lifter and Brandy Boy. The cucumbers have finally started producing, and I’ve found about a half dozen watermelons as well as a half dozen cantaloupes hidden amongst the vines. I’m okra-challenged when i t comes to growing okra, but I’ve managed to harvest a few here and there.
Regarding pests, i.e. racoons, opossums, skunks, etc, raiding the garden, I’ve noticed a strange thing–they don’t touch the Tangerine, Yellow Pear or Italian Ice tomatoes. These tomatoes have fantastic flavor, are great producers, but don’t turn red. The Tangerine is an intense yellow orange, the Yellow Pear a bright lemon yellow, and the Italian Ice a buttery cream/white. Since the critters raid at night, I don’t think they’re going on color to pick out their dinner…what is it about the orange/yellow/cream tomatoes that they don’t like? I also wonder if deer would be as picky, i.e. leaving these particular tomatoes alone? I’ve had great success protecting the red tomatoes with the use of cayenne pepper powder, but you must be diligent about reapplying it after a rain. If you have problems with pests, give those unique colored tomatoes a try, and stock up on generic cayenne pepper powder.
Here’s the continuing harvest: (Some of the photos you’ll need to click on in order to view the entire contents of the photo):
June 12th harvest, which features a turnip, a peach, sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, okra, a baby Cajun bell pepper, a Tangerine tomato as well as Yellow Pear tomatoes:
Also on June 17th:
June 18th (had already sliced into the Golden Jubilee tomato before I took the picture):
June 23rd: (Yellow Pear on the left, Italian Ice on the right)
Now I want to draw your attention to Brandy Boy above. This tomato is MASSIVE. The following photos will show it in comparison to a Sweet 100 Cherry tomato, me holding it in the palm of my hand, on a full size dinner plate, in a soup bowl and on the countertop next to a cherry tomato:
June 29th: (Can we say ‘C is for cucumber’?) lol!
All the red cherry tomatoes have come from one bush. I’ve learned the cucumbers, watermelon, squash, cantaloupe and pumpkin do much better in the ground versus the raised beds. All the other plants, however, have done much, much better in the raised beds, especially the tomatoes. I’ll keep harvesting, canning, and gathering information so I’ll know what to plant where and when next year for an even more spectacular harvest.