I have a pretty good crop of squashes and pumpkins this year.
Here, there is a choice of them: the white patty-pan squash 'Scallop' ( a bit difficult to figure out how to peel and slice them), the butternut squashes 'Waltham' and ''Harrier', the pear-like, orange 'Hokkaido', and the Turk's caps, which I mostly keep as a decoration in my kitchen. The big one in the back is supposed to be the one with the orange 'meat' and good to bake it in the oven.
This is one odd Turk's cap without the cap!
This miniature pure yellow-orange pumpkin is 'Jack Be Little' and the other one is 'Hooligan'. In fact, they are gourds, but only the botanist call them so.
They are not only a pure decoration. They can be roasted in the oven, plane or stuffed, equally good as a sweet or savoury meal.
Yesterday afternoon I was checking up my pumpkins and was really surprised to realize how much cherry tomatoes are still there on the crawling branches. These are self-seeded tomatoes and I never gave them any support because there is plenty of lands for them to spread. They grow between pumpkin and squash vines and seem to tolerate each other well. If the weather would be favorable, I would soon have another good harvest of tomatoes.
I also harvested another kind of tomato and kohlrabi. I pick up the carrots and parsley, runner beans and swiss chard. The summer was pretty hot and many vegetables, like runner beans, for example, were in some state of dormancy, if I may say so. Now, with lower temperatures and proper rain, they came alive.
I certainly have prepared the soil well for the root vegetable. The carrots and parsley are pretty long, but this one on the photo broke the record with 47 cm!
It is time to collect and sort out the seed. I have already collected the seed of many flowers. Now I am drying the seeds of butternut squash and cucumbers. I found one big yellow cucumber that I missed by picking. I'll see if it is going to germinate the next year.
Every year all over my vegetable garden appears quite a lot of cherry tomato seedlings. As they fell off, the seeds survive in the ground even the harshest winter. I leave only a few of them in my vegetable garden cause they are pretty vigorous plants and need lots of space.
On the other hand, on a patch of ground that actually isn't my garden, but I have a permission to use it, I leave about 10 plants. I don't stake them, but simply leave them to crawl and spread. I harvest them every other day as they ripen.
At this very place on the other side of my garden fence, there are wild brambles growing through the bushes. The berries are pretty big and shiny so, I believe they are crossed-pollinated with some of the cultivated ones. Last autumn I cut them all to the ground. This year the new stems are full of fruits.
I picked up this bowl of blackberries in just ten minutes. And, it is only a third of the total that I should pick up today. There are lots of red, semi-ripe blackberries and I am looking forward to another good harvest.
We have been through the third heat wave this summer. The temperatures break the records going up to 42°C in some regions. My thermometer measured 39°C in the shade yesterday. The temperature in the full sun is certainly higher. As you can see, Croatia is all red. This Saturday is supposed to be the last day of this unbearable weather. I don't garden at all, only water the vegetable and flower beds in the evening every other day.
It is amazing how the plants successfully survive such conditions. In the night, they take up the water I gave them. During the day, the foliage looks as if they are going to wilt but no, it is only a way to endure the heat. As soon as the sun goes down, they came alive again. On the picture above is my giant pumpkin plant. It is so enormous that I cannot take the picture of the entire plant in one shot. Don't know the name of the variety, the skin is grey and it is excellent baked in the oven and as a soup ingredient. I got it last year from a friend of mine and sowed its seed.
I will have a good crop of various members of Cucurbitaceae family this year: courgettes 'Romanesco' and 'Spaghetti', pattypan squashes 'Scallop mixed', 'Hokkaido', 'Waltham Butternut', 'Turk's Cap', 'Harrier' and a small pumpkin 'Jack Be Little'.
This is the young 'Hoolihan'.
I hope it will rain properly tomorrow. And thanks, but no, thanks, we don't need a hail storm or hurricane wind that destroyed the entire crop in some parts of Croatia.
Every gardener knows what a pleasure it is picking up the fruits and vegetables from ones own garden.
The days are pretty hot and dry and I need to water the garden frequently. I water the vegetable garden every day in the evening. The flower beds are densely planted and I can do the watering every three days.
The Day Lilies and Echinaceas are blooming tirelessly. The white Phlox and Oxeye daisies are the new addition to the whole display now. The bees and the butterflies are everywhere.
The vase at the house entrance is not as lush as the last year because this year I couldn't find the plants I wanted. Anyway, it doesn't look so bad, does it?
And, one interesting thing to end up this post. I had a few potatoes from the last season left in a sack in my cellar. They formed the new potatoes on the shoots. It is a proof that the potato tubers are anatomically stem tubers. The roots are not necessary because old potato serves as the feed storage. At least for some time
Tomatoes look good this year, maybe because the weather is dry and there is no trace of any fungal diseases. I do water them regularly, spray with horsetail soup and feed with my homemade comfrey fertiliser.
I have no idea what sorts of tomato I have except 'Maskotka' and 'Gigantomo' that I grew myself from seed. But, these two bear no fruit yet only the flowers.
I picked up a few ripe tomatoes yesterday. Soon it will be more.
This is 'Jabučar' (meaning 'Apple'), the Serbian breed. The plants have grown enormously big up to bamboo canes, 1.8 m! If I had known they would be so big I would give them more space.
The fruit will be pretty big, a handful of just one tomato. This variety matures a bit late in the season, so I am supposed to have enough tomatoes throughout the season.
This gourd accidentally germinated right on the spot where I sowed the ornamental bindweed.
As it seems, they two happily grow together.
In spite of very hot days, 33 - 37°C in the last week, all the pumpkin and courgette vines grow like crazy.
We haven't had much rain and regular watering is in order.
I am happy to say that almost every flower of the squash 'Harrier' (Cucurbitamoschata) is successfully pollinated and there will be lots os squashes from only two plants. It's a butternut squash type, one of the earliest maturing variety.