Thursday, July 15, 2010

Veggie garden bloggers' bloom day!

Here's some of what's in bloom in the vegetable beds at the Derwood Demo Garden today:

Butternut squash and its relative, luffa:










My favorite vegetable flower of all, okra:

This is Star of David okra, and I'm looking forward to getting some pods from it - it's one of my favorites because the pods stay soft and edible even when they get large, which happens a lot when you're not at the garden for a week!


Here are cinnamon basil (awaiting flower pinching, though I like it in bloom as well), and the
amaranth we cut down today before it went to seed, since we know from experience it will keep coming up all over the garden if we let it.















And some of our ornamental annuals, because they are an important part of our vegetable garden.

Isn't this an interesting zinnia?




'Mr. Majestic' marigold, and Bombay celosia:















And sunflowers, of course!

Hope your July garden is blooming beautifully, attracting lots of pollinators, and producing something to eat!

10 comments:

  1. "Star of David" okra - I must remember this! Lovely photos.

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  2. Thanks. All okra flowers are beautiful, and there are lots of great varieties with handsomer foliage, but I do like that one.

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  3. Love the okra too. funky zinnia! and beautiful sunflower! Pretty!

    happy day!

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  4. Beautiful photos. How do you get so many squashes? I've had a terrible time this year with squash bugs and squash vine borers.

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  5. Thanks, Christine. I've had a big problem with vine borers too, in fact I think two more plants are about to succumb, though I saved one by removing the borer. Squash bugs (and their eggs) can be crushed by hand, and perseverance pays off. And so does really rich soil that keeps the plants strong and healthy.

    Butternut squashes (and others in the C. moschata group) are more resistant to borers than others.

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  6. Thank you for your response.

    I had to pull out seven mini red turbans and a pumpkin because the borer kept coming back and leaving more eggs. I pulled three borers in one place out of an acorn squash just a few days ago. Then I picked 32 squash bugs, not including the nymphs and the eggs that I picked off, that came out when I watered down the birdhouse gourds to drawn them out, and I can't count on both hands how many times I have done that. I guess my soil isn't rich enough this yr or my first yr with a big garden is a bad yr for squash. : -P

    Next yr it will be successional planting, starting late with fewer plants that are in the C. moschata group, and having a trap crop but I definitely will be trying the luffa squash next yr.

    Thanks again!

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  7. Wow, Christine, that does sound like a major infestation. Sorry to hear. Successional planting is a good plan, or if you can stand to take a year off planting squash that might starve some of your pests off.

    Actually you do want the moschata squash - butternut, Long Island Cheese, zucchetta tromboncino - as borers are less likely to attack them, and squash bugs attack them a little less.

    Good luck!

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  8. Not a bad idea to take a year off, though my daughter loves to watch her halloween pumpkins grow. I guess I will have to find a nice spot for them far away from the garden.

    Sorry I missed typed before. Instead of 8 of the same plants at once (along with other squashes), I will do two or three plants in succession of the moschata squash.

    Also, I saw you grew amaranth, and I was thinking about trying it next yr. Is it the same plant that you can eat the seed as a grain? And can you eat the leaves? In Bakers they mention eating the leaves in one description and the seeds/grain of another, but not both under the specific descriptions for the plants.

    Many thanks again!

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  9. Amaranth does get divided into two general categories, a more Asian-associated kind that you eat the leaves of and a Central American sort that's grown for grain. You can eat the leaves of the grain sort, but you have to get them really young or they get tough. And I suppose you can grow the other kind for grain too, but it's probably not as good.

    If you let it go to seed, just watch out, because it tends to seed itself all over and come up for years afterward.

    Then there are the sorts grown ornamentally like Joseph's coat and love-lies-bleeding. Probably edible but not so tasty? I've never experimented.

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