Monday, July 26, 2010

Harvest Monday: July 26, 2010

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

Here in the Garden Spot, the Early Girl Tomatoes are living up to their reputation by ripening the first in the garden. The ones pictured below were allowed to ripen on the vine before harvesting:

Since the danger of Late Blight is near, all other tomatoes will be picked at first blush and placed on a windowsill inside to finish ripening. I know from my devastating Late Blight experience last year that this disease hits fast. Once you detect the tell tail signs, it will be too late to save any tomatoes. I would rather have a few ripen on a windowsill than lose them completely. I will consider them a harvest and include them in Harvest Monday photos once they are red.

Cucumbers pictured above were combined with those left over from last week’s harvest and made into Granny’s Bread & Butter Pickles.

It is a great year for blueberries. We are picking a bowlful every day and eating them by the handful, in our cereal, and as dessert topping:

Almost 5 pounds of Dark Red Norland Potatoes were harvested this week:

Again with Late Blight near, I didn’t hesitate to harvest whatever we could consume in a week. We enjoyed garlic-mashed potatoes, hash brown potatoes and onions, oven fries, and potatoes baked on the grill.

Not pictured are onions, celery, and herbs that are harvested as needed. It is so nice to run out to the garden and pick what is needed to use right away. Some cucumbers also missed their photo opportunity as I gathered them quickly to give away. I definitely overdid it with cucumber plants this year.

We are between lettuce crops now that we have cucumbers and tomatoes for salads. The last of the lettuce harvested several weeks ago and stored in the fridge was composted this week. There wasn’t much left. I am amazed at how long the lettuce stayed fresh in the refrigerator. It will be a while before the new lettuce is large enough for salads.

The melons are growing, the pole beans are flowering, and the peppers are finally forming. I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but the fact that Late Blight is in the vicinity is weighing heavily on my mind. There are 34 tomato plants and 32 feet of potatoes in the garden. All can be lost in a matter of days if Late Blight hits the garden spot.

Be sure to visit Daphne’s Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.


  1. I certainly hope that the Late Blight isn't as bad as last year. We all eventually lost our plants :(

    I am going to have to take a look at Granny's B&B pickle recipe....everyone is talking about it.

  2. Great looking harvest! The tomatoes look perfect. I need to read up on late blight as this is my first year growing tomatoes. What are some of the telltale signs?

  3. Lovely harvests. I do hope you miss the blight, although you're clearly being prudent. I've grown the same potatoes, I think. Yummy and productive. I don't know that we're going to have any to store, with the way they've been gobbled up here. Must make pickle relish today! Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Lovely tomatoes, I hope you escape the devastation of late blight this year and harvest many more. Cucumbers are all over the Harvest Mondays posts right now, mine are still days, if not weeks away.

  5. I'm so jealous. It's the end of July and no tomatoes or cucumbers yet. You're look great!

  6. I got hit with late blight last year too, but it didn't flatten my tomatoes. I was out every day picking off anything that could remotely be late blight (and bagging it). It worked pretty well, but it was tons of work. Then again last year I was more separated from other gardeners. This year if it hits all my neighbors will have it too (no forest between us, and lots of gardeners unlike my last house). So all you need is one person that isn't taking care of it and spores get everywhere and the whole thing goes down. Needless to say, I'm worried too. It is going to be really sad if we have to deal with late blight every year.

    On to happier thoughts - your tomatoes look fabulous. I keep thinking of trying Early Girl some year. Everyone raves about it.

  7. We've been picking the tomatos and putting them on the window sill too. Do you have photos of your blueberry plants? We just planted blueberries this year and I'm curious how big they get.

  8. As with all the others, my fingers are crossed that you escape late blight this year. I agree, harvest as much as you can, as soon as you can, just in case. I lost an entire row to early blight last year, but I'm keeping my plants in different areas around the garden this year, as it didn't spread quite the way late blight does. It just moved to adjoining plants.

  9. Yikes, this blight thing sounds scary. Your Early Girls look lovely, though, and much more prolific than my plants so far! I hope you escape the blight. How many cucumber plants do you have that you think you overdid it?

  10. Robin: I too lost all my tomatoes last year to late blight. At least this year a few tomatoes were harvested.

    Thomas: Definitely educate yourself on late blight so you know what to look out for. Last year the damp, rainy weather allowed the disease to multiply and spread fast and furious. One day my tomatoes were lush and beautiful, within two days they had black lesions on leaves, stems, and unripened fruit. You can begin here: UMass Late Blight of Tomato and Potato

  11. Stefaneener: Thanks! I hope blight passes us over this year as well. I wish I cold put a big dome over the garden and protect it. Potatoes are great new. It’s difficult to resist.

    Michelle: If you lived nearby I would give you some cucumbers. LOL! I am a bit overwhelmed with them right now.

    Holly: Yes, but no lettuce. Your harvest of lettuce and peas has me jealous.

    Daphne: Last year, I bagged up my tomato plants within 3 days of late blight appearing. There was no saving them even if I did try to. It spread really fast in the damp, rainy weather. I also remember driving to work last year and seeing people’s gardens infected with late blight…I mean tomato plants blackened and rotten still in the garden. Either people were just ignorant, or they just didn’t care if the infection spread.

  12. Meemsnyc: I don’t have pictures of the blueberry plants right now. I lost a bunch of pictures when my hard drive failed a month ago, but I’ll try to take some this weekend. We have maybe 6-7 high bush plants. Ours are of various heights from 3 to 6 feet. Pruning can control the height of the bushes.

    Granny: My tomato plants in the in-ground garden tend to get early blight too. If I prevent the leaves from touching the soil and prune out any that show symptoms, the disease doesn’t seem to kill the plants before the first frost ford. From my experience with late blight last year, I suspect a bunch of spores landed on my entire tomato crop at the same time. All the plants seemed to show signs all at once instead of moving from plant to plant.

    Thyme2garden: I only wanted to grow 4 Early Girl tomato plants, but the seeds I had were old and didn’t seem to want to germinate. So I seeded more. Next thing I knew, I had 8 seedlings growing.

    The cucumber plants…LOL! Every day I look at them I see cucumbers that need to be harvested. I seeded 8 and planned for 4 cucumber plants. All 8 germinated and grew. I had room for 4 in the SFG. The rest were planted outside the garden at the edge of the yard. All are producing. I think if I stuck to the 4 plants, it would have been enough for some pickles and fresh eating. Oh well, none will go to waste as I give away what we don’t use.

  13. I think a lot of people are just ignorant. They don't know the damage they are causing. I'm sure there are a few that just don't care, but most people don't read blogs or the extension service news.

  14. Your tomatoes are beautiful! I'm a bit envious of your cukes. Seems everyone is harvesting them, and mine are only a foot tall or so. Hopefully you will escape the blight this year. I think I must be one of the ignorant gardeners where blight is concerned. Maybe it's not prevalent in Zone 9 where I live? I will be reading up on it. Thanks for the link. Great looking harvest!

  15. Daphne: You are probably right. Although our local news also did a great job spreading the word about late blight.

  16. Dirt Lover: Cukes seem to grow fast. I am sure you will be harvesting some soon.

    Usually Late Blight isn't such a large problem for us in the Northeast. Last year was a fluke year that gave many of us a quick education on the disease. We had a few unusual circumstances that contributed to the disease spreading fast and furious. A supplier of tomato transplants to big box stores delivered infected plants, and we had an unusually cool and wet summer. Late blight spreads by mold spores that can be carried on the wind. More mold spores grow in damp conditions. Most of us ended up losing our entire tomato and potato crops to the disease last year.

  17. Hi! I'm just now finding this blog via Harvest Monday! Congrats on the wonderful tomato harvest! I'll be back to check out more.

  18. Beautiful tomatoes!
    I hope late blight don't spread to your area, it sucks not to have homegrown tomatoes 2 years in a row.

  19. I'm sorry to hear that you were one of the many hit by late blight last year. We had it in our allotment garden though it didn't totally wipe out the crop and didn't badly affect the tomatoes and peppers, mostly just the potatoes.

    Your harvest looks delicious!

  20. Keeping my fingers crossed (for you and all of us!) that late blight stays away. Your tomato and cucumber harvests look great! My early girls are actually one of the slowest to produce this year (oddly enough). I hope they catch up to the Siletz and Market Miracles soon though.

  21. Such yummy looking tomatoes and cucumbers, they're make an awesome salad! Got to love summer gardens. Fingers crossed the late blight stays at bay

  22. Kalena Michele: I love Daphne’s Harvest Mondays! It is such a great way to discover other gardening blogs to read.

    Mac: So far, so good.

    Ottawa Gardener: I didn’t grow potatoes last year, and my peppers were not affected by the late blight, just the tomatoes. It was raining at the time of infection too, so I thing there were just more spores to spread around quickly.

    kitsapFG: I do hope late blight misses you as well. I usually grow only paste tomatoes and those seem to turn red later in the season. I had some Early Girl seeds I got for free, so I thought I’d try them so K could have fresh tomatoes (I don’t really care for them). I am please with how they grow and produce.

    Prue: If only I had some lettuce right now to go along with the tomatoes and cucumbers :)