Archives for category: Warm Season

Please watch and share my latest “Late Bloomer,” “Growing Corn Curbside,” the 20th episode and end of season 1! Also, the corn episode completes the corn, tomato and watermelon trilogy. Watch here, or higher resolution, including HD, on youtube.

Once again, I have to deal with my hard, clay soil, but, it was worth it. With corn this fresh, who needs to cook it?

What’s in store for Season 2? Well, more Monarchs, my winter garden, and lots, lots more! Thanks for your support! Comments welcome! – Kaye

I’m from the South, and there’s nothing I love more than corn, tomatoes and watermelon. I knew if I had a garden I had to grow all three. You’ve seen my tomato episode. Please watch and share “Kaye’s Watermelon Story” – Episode 19. Since I only had a 6’x6′ space, I had to grow baby watermelons.

If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would grow them in raised beds with trellises to save space. Hope you enjoy my little tale! – Kaye

My tomato episode is online, and I would love for you to watch it and share with friends. It was a long time coming, because, I kept waiting for my tomatoes to finish for this season, but, it’s November 3, and I’ve still got tomatoes growing! Click here, or for better quality, watch on YouTube.

I grow tomatoes for the first time in my first ever, organic urban front yard garden, with guest, James Kenney, wildlife photographer and expert tomato grower! And Linden the Cat makes an appearance.

Thanks for watching! – Kaye

My baby watermelon plants are confused. Do they not know it’s nearly Halloween? I think they think they are pumpkins!

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Baby Watermelon Growing in Late October

I photographed four baby watermelons, on separate vines this morning at 8AM.

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Two Baby Watermelons

After a long summer of low production, my neighbor, C.L., remarked he thought I should be watering more. Because I hand-water everything, I get tired of standing over my watermelons with the hose, and the water was staying near the surface and not penetrating through my hard clay soil to the roots. When I started leaving the hose dripping over each vine overnight once or twice a week, the plants started coming alive and I have numerous blooms and more little melons.

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Yellow Watermelon Blossom

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Sweet Baby Watermelon

The infamous Santa Ana winds are blowing and did a number on my newly planted Asclepias speciosa milkweed last night. But, the baby watermelons are snug to the ground so it will be interesting to see how these develop and how long it goes. I vow not to pull up my vines as long as there is a melon growing on it!

Thanks for stopping by! Are you still nursing summer crops or is that all finished for this year in your garden? – Kaye

October Garden Vegetables

October Garden Vegetables

Yesterday, I stopped into the Waldorf school, where one of my sons spent five years, to say hello to Farmer Jack, who was giving a biodynamic demonstration for the children. You will remember Farmer Jack from episode 7 of Late Bloomer. I hadn’t seen him in a while. The children were taking turns stirring water with compost in a big bucket, creating a vortex, then, stopping the vortex, creating chaos, and back to stirring the vortex again.

I said to Jack that I had a burning question for him. “I have thirty green tomatoes on my vines. What should I do?” I asked. “It’s finished! Finished!” he exclaimed. “People want to hang on to their squash. It’s done!”

Brandywine Tomatoes

Brandywine Tomatoes, Late in Season

The summer vegetables have done their job and it’s time to move on. Hmmmm. I still have a few Patty Pan squash on my vine, and a handful of tomatoes will ripen every few days. This is yesterday’s harvest.

Yesterday's Harvest by Kaye Kittrell

Yesterday’s Harvest

And I have five beautiful green peppers starting to turn orange.

Ripening Orange Bell Pepper

Ripening Orange Sun Bell Pepper

And a couple of Japanese peppers from my five seedlings started late summer.

Immature Japanese Pepper

Immature Japanese Pepper

But, the weather has shifted. The air turned cooler almost like clockwork on October 1. The days are shorter, and the sun is dropping lower, which means less sun on the tomato vines. So, it’s just a question of time. But, doesn’t time have everything to do with gardening?

Celery Plants

Celery Plants

My cool season celery, planted in the parkway September 8, is doing great, as are my tubs of carrots.

Carrots growing in a Barrel

Carrots Growing in Barrels

The main focus the last few days, though, has been caring for my Monarch caterpillars (I could only find three today) and admiring the butterflies that grace my garden. I need to find the time to plant some more cool season vegetables and make the mental shift away from my tomatoes and cucurbits. There’s that word “time” again! Thanks for finding the time to stop by Late Bloomer! – Kaye

It’s been five days since my last post, and eight days since the onset of a doozy of a chest cold. I’ve spent no more than an hour in the garden any day for the last week, not enough! Three days ago, my zucchini plant looked great with several fresh new leaves, blooms and zucchinis growing. However, when I looked out on Friday, it was wilted. Since it has not been that hot, I was worried. I posted this photo on my Facebook page on Friday.

Witted Zucchini

Witted Zucchini on Friday

The other vine, coming from the same plant, looked fine.

Zucchini Wilt on One Vine

Zucchini Wilt on One Vine

I had recently been treating the powdery mildew with 10% milk in water solution, and it seemed to be doing well. But, I also added some compost around the base and changed the watering a bit. There is such a thing as water wilt, but, it should have perked back up by the next day. Today, it looked worse.

Zucchini Bacterial Wilt

Zucchini Bacterial Wilt

Though I never saw one in my garden, striped and spotted cucumber beetles are carriers of a bacterium (Erwinia tracheiphila) – it overwinters in their gut – and this bacterium will turn the vines to mush. It cannot be controlled with pesticides (which I wouldn’t use anyway). First the leaves wilt, then the developing squash turn to mush. When I lifted the vine to see what condition it was in, it easily came away in my hand. The whole middle was mush. I read that, first, one vine gets hit and then it spreads. The only thing to do is get rid of the whole plant. Which I did.

Zucchini Vine with Bacterial Wilt

Zucchini Vine with Bacterial Wilt

It was a shame, because I had a lot of fresh leaves and blooms opening. I love this sight!

Young Zucchini Leaves

Young Zucchini Leaves

I cut off all the developing zucchinis and juiced them. This was the last of my illustrious zucchini made famous in “Zucchini Madness,” the 17th episode of “Late Bloomer!

The Last Zucchini Harvest

The Last Zucchini Harvest

I’m sad to see my zucchini go, and truthfully, I don’t know if I will try zucchini again next year, because it requires a lot of space, and is so susceptible to powdery mildew where we live. But, February is a long way off, so I shall see how I feel then. Thanks for stopping by!

Please visit my Facebook page for tons of interesting articles related to gardening, farming, raw foods, all over the world. I am encouraging a world-wide audience for “Late Bloomer.” (Unfortunately, I can only speak and write English!) – Kaye

Just as the sun was making it’s appearance, I observed what’s new in the garden. Everything’s green! I barely spotted this 3/4″ cabbage worm resting on a baby arugula leaf.

Cabbage Worm Larva Camouflage on Arugula Leaf

Cabbage Worm Larva Camouflage on Baby Arugula Leaf

Kale’s a’ comin’! My baby kale is sprouting in a pushed up hill in the middle of my white pot. It was planted 10 days ago.

Baby Kale Sprouting

Baby Kale Sprouting

Blackberry shoots are sprouting up all over my tomato bed. I’m not sure what to do about it. Since I can’t get berries this year, should I pull them out, or let that be where my blackberries are next year? One thing’s for sure, they will take over the small garden if I let them.

Blackberry Sprouting in Tomato Bed

Blackberry Sprouting in Tomato Bed

Celery seedings planted two week ago have tripled in size. I water them carefully every day.

Celery Seedlings

Celery Seedlings Have Tripled

Just when I think it’s all over for watermelon, one of these babies starts to grow. If it stays hot till December, it’s got a chance.

Baby Watermelon Starting to Grow

Baby Watermelon Starting to Grow

Thanks for enjoying my sunrise with me! What’s sprouting in your garden? See you next time! – Kaye

I thought it might be interesting to go out the morning after my “Evening Observations” post to see what I missed last night. Turns out, there were a few things, particularly this critter lounging on my red cabbage. That notch of missing leaf just beside it’s head was in its mouth.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larvae on Red Cabbage

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva on Red Cabbage

I call a lot of caterpillars cabbage worm, and I know I’m not accurate all the time. This one appears to be. They are fuzzy, green with a yellow stripe, and this one was about 1 1/4 inches long. When threatened, they curl up in a ball, like a Roly-Poly. Caterpillars are one long intestine, and they eat and defecate constantly in their short life before metamorphosis. As I see cabbage moths in my yard all the time, I know to watch out for these. They’ll eat anything.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Coiled on a Stick

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Coiled on a Stick

This cabbage grew back from a stalk that I left in the ground in June, after I harvested my last one. Something’s been eating on it, maybe more of these, and nibbled off the head, so I’m probably going to pull it out and start over with cabbage when it gets cooler. As I went in for a closer look to see if there were more caterpillars, I came face to face with a pile of its feces. Like I said, one big pooping machine.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Frass

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Frass

Next, I moved on to my watermelon patch. I’ve cut out so many drying up vines, that I’m starting to lose hope. There are several blooms still and a few little babies. If I can just get the watering right, maybe there will be time for these to develop.

Baby Watermelon

Baby Watermelon Sprout with Bloom

I’ve got five of these almost this size. This is the biggest. As I am the world’s worst at discerning when a melon is ripe (I always defer to the produce person at the market, and they are not always right, either), I have no idea whether I should cut it now. Clearly, they are never going to get as big as they were supposed to get.

Baby Watermelon on Vine

Baby Watermelon on Vine

I’ve got quite a bit of squash action, still. Here are blooms on my zucchini.

Green Zucchini Blooms

Green Zucchini Blooms

And a half dozen zucchinis ready to harvest.

Green Zucchini

Green Zucchini Growing

And there is life left in the patty pan squash on the parkway with new blooms and leaves.

Patty Pan Squash with Bloom

Patty Pan Squash with Bloom

And the little purple pepper plant is finally starting to produce. There are three little black ones and one red one.

Purple Bell Pepper, Red Stage

Purple Bell Pepper, Red Stage

I would happily spend the day in the garden, but my next episode,”Growing Tomatoes,” would never get finished. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

The days are definitely shortening. I took a break from the computer late yesterday afternoon to pull up a chair in the front garden and just sit and observe. Meditate on where I stand with things. As I sat staring at my tomatoes, an orange butterfly I am seeing more and more in my garden landed on my tomatoes and slowly started pressing it’s wings closed and open. I ran for my camera and shot two frames and it was gone. I learned it is a Gulf Fritillary. Like the Monarch, the larvae are poisonous if eaten, and they feed exclusively on species of passion flower. If I want more of these in my garden, I need to get some passion flowers!

Orange Butterfly - Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

After the sun had gone down, I looked around to see what was new. The Japanese Climbing Cucumber had delivered a lovely suprise.

Japanese Cucumber

Japanese Climbing Cucumber

There’s a fresh set of leaves coming, so I think I can expect more cucumbers! I had all but given up. Trimming off the nasty leaves and adjusting the watering must have given it a boost.

Japanese Climbing Cucumber Leaves

Japanese Climbing Cucumber Leaves

The two new Stupice Heirloom tomato plants have five and two tomatoes, respectively.

Stupice Heirloom Tomato

Stupice Heirloom Tomato

One of my Orange Sun Bell Pepper plants has five nice peppers on it. These last few hot weeks have really helped everything.

Orange Sun Peppers

Unripe Orange Sun Bell Peppers

I’m getting fewer, and smaller, but good tomatoes, with less blossom end rot. You will see my tomato story in my 18th episode of Late Bloomer.

Brandywine Tomato

Brandywine Tomato on Vine

It started to get dark and the nightlights came on. You can see from this shot who rules my garden, spiders!

Nightlight with Spider Webs

Nightlight with Spider Webs

Before the light was all gone, I got my clippers and trimmed dead tomato and watermelon vines and leaves, a few more zucchini leaves that were coated with mildew, and picked some tomatoes, gave a few to neighbors, and headed in as the mosquitoes were starting to bite. What’s still producing in your garden? Do you sit in the garden and meditate? Thanks for dropping by! – Kaye

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Information for commercial vegetable production in Ontario