Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Corn! (And an update on a supporting cast of fruits and vegetables)

As described here, vegetable gardening is a relatively new experience for me.  My former garden was too small and too shaded to allow me to grow much of anything edible.  Now that I have a dedicated area designed for this purpose, I'm trying out all sorts of herbs, vegetables and fruits, although most of my selections are fairly mundane.

What could be more mundane than corn?  Yet, as I've never grown corn and didn't imagine that I could grow it even in this new garden space, corn is exciting!  I put in seedlings from a 6-pack container in early June, half-expecting that they'd immediately die or just lay there not doing much of anything (like my peppers).  Instead, in a month, the corn stalks have grown from some 6 inches tall to 55 inches tall.  (Yes, I got out a tape measure.)  Tassels are emerging.  For the first time, I'm imagining that these stalks could actually produce real corn.  The stalks are even pretty, especially with the light shining through.

This picture was taken a few days ago - the tassels are already much further developed

The green pole beans are also growing like gangbusters.  Put in from seed just days before the corn was planted, the vines have already reached the top of the 6 foot high support structure.  No sign of any beans yet, though.

I thinned the beans a little after this picture was taken but they may still be a little crowded

While the basil plants are finally beginning to fill out, the few peppers my 3 plants have produced are still stunted.  Too little fertilizer?  Not enough heat yet?  The peppers were late to develop last summer too.

These green peppers turned red while I was waiting for them to achieve their predicted size

My Rumex, grown as much for its ornamental appeal as for its use as a salad green, also remains puny in size, while otherwise appearing healthy.  It's supposed to be kept evenly moist so the periodic disruptions in my watering schedule may be accountable.

Rumex 'Raspberry Dressing' (aka sorrel or dock)

Meanwhile, the lemon cucumber is producing more cukes than we can use.  The leaves are badly disfigured but that doesn't seem to affect production.

The squash has been slow to develop but it looks as though it's picking up speed.

Based on this photo, it also appears that some leaf miners I hadn't noticed may be working on a couple of leaves

The plum tomato is beginning to pump out tasty fruit but the larger-fruited variety, planted late, is just getting started.

Just one unripe tomato so far

Despite periodic interventions on my part, the squirrels managed to strip the blueberry plants on the back porch; however, it seems that they've yet to discover the strawberries.

There were more strawberries here than shown - I ate about half of them while picture-taking

Unfortunately, the lone ripe plum was sampled by birds (or squirrels) and left to wither on the ground.

The grapes are ripening and there's no sign of pillage yet.  Maybe the bird scare tape is working.

'Red Flame Seedless' grape

On the citrus front, the lemon tree is still producing its continuous supply of fruit.  There are a few Mandarin oranges left at the top of the tree, where I can't readily get to them.  The naval orange is developing new fruit but it's months from ripening.  The lime tree is also developing fruit.

What new and exciting edibles do you have on the way to your table?


  1. California gardens are so great at producing food. :o) I have no edibles on the table yet but there are several in the making. I'm hoping to have tomatoes soon. I had to resow my beans because the bunnies ate the first batch. What do those lemon cukes taste like?

    1. The lemon cucumbers taste like regular old cucumbers - maybe just a little milder. The name is entirely due to the color and shape. The surface is slightly prickly, though, so you have to peel them prior to serving.

  2. What a fun garden! It is quite productive! I love visiting gardens and will certainly be back!

  3. I could never get my lemon cucumbers to produce much last year, so I didn't put any in this time around. Plus, mundane or not, any vegetable that's new to me gets me excited! This year it's broccoli. I can hardly believe how huge it has gotten, and I'm busily finding recipes to use it in as we speak!