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July 2018

Spring Jumps into Summer

July 26, 2018

Three weeks have passed since I wrote the piece below. Computer death and overnight trip planning minus my trusty technical side-kick took its toll but not on the garden! Veggies, herbs and flowers have exploded with all the rain and Julian's TLC in the Scranton garden and my love and attention for my Jersey pots.

A few casualties: Fava beans, planted too late and stunted, blossomed and a few beans grew. Spanish Musica beans were too old (2013). I have grown them many times and know they are lush delicious - a favorite. Okra never appeared. In its place, branching sunflowers grow.

We ate all the snow peas - or were they sugar snap? right out of the garden and in salads. Even fully developed, the peas were sweet and tender raw. We just harvested our first three French squash and I'll stuff and bake them with Julian's delectable tomato sauce. Coming up next time!

July 6, 2018

We enlarged our Scranton garden in Julian’s backyard this year to 8 feet x 8 feet and planted seeds and seedlings in May. Julian fenced it in with a double row including chicken wire to save our goodies from marauding groundhogs.

We are enjoying the bounty already. Last week we made Pasta Primavera using bow ties, heavy cream, Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic, thyme, yellow crookneck squash and from our garden – sweet and crispy snow peas, Genovese basil, Italian flat leaf parsley and green cayenne pepper. A bit unconventional but scrumptious!

We still have our balcony container garden, which provides kale for smoothies and lettuce, arugula and chervil for salad. Thunbergia and scarlet runner beans are a delight to watch grow on the lattice.

The mixed crop of tomato plants are loaded with flowers and some have fruit. Most plants were started from seed from California-based Renee’s Garden online and were either direct planted or personally grown as transplants.

In my New Jersey sidewalk container garden, poppies are popping and going to seed, cayenne grow huge, and red French lettuce is providing its last sweet, delicious leaves. The gorgeous lettuce and new hybrid French marigolds make a magical display of electric color. Two heirloom tomato plants, given by a friend, have several fruits already. And in the fifth planter, Thai basil and petunias have reseeded themselves for the third year!

Here is what we are growing: (Renee’s Garden seed –R; Organic – O)

‘Pompeii’ Roma tomatoes – R
‘Tasmanian Chocolate’ heirloom container tomatoes – R
‘Pineapple’ heirloom tomato seedling – friend
‘Old German’ heirloom tomato seedling – friend
‘Cherokee Purple’ heirloom tomato seedling – friend
‘Hungarian Magyar’ paprika pepper – R
‘Orange Balboa & Red Yardenne’ sweet bell peppers – R, O
Cayenne – nursery seedlings
‘Red Baron’ Dutch beets – R, O
‘Spanish Musica’ early pole beans – R
‘Oregon Giant’ edible pod snow peas – R
‘Robin Hood’ English fava beans – R
‘Jambalaya’ garden okra – R
Cosmos ‘Sensation’ & French marigolds – nursery seedlings
Songbird/Pollinator flowers, the Birds & the Bees Sunflowers - R
Genovese basil, lemon thyme, peppermint, rosemary, Italian parsley – nursery seedlings

Renee's Garden: www.reneesgarden.com/

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