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Can these plants be saved?  I’m really not sure.

After a fruitful, but very hot July, my tomato plants pretty much “burned up” (as my gardening Daddy used to say).

It happens.   Tomato plants are susceptible to lots of folar diseases.  Add the stress of summer heat and insects and you get some pretty ugly plants by August.

You could pull them out like my friend Titina at Capri Flavors.  Her garden was looking nice and clean–her tomato plants vanquished–when I visited this week.

I came home planning to do the same.  But the heathy new growth and blooms at the top of the plants stopped me.

Instead:

  • I cut off most of the sick foliage.
  •  Added some fresh soil and fertilizer around plant roots.
  • Re-staked my plants and watered well.
  • For extra insurance, I cut off some nice healthy branch tips and rooted them in pots.

Will I get a late crop of tomatoes?  That’s the big question.

Much of late summer gardening is an experiment.  Some years are better than others.  I’ll let you know if my August rehab pays off.

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My parade of herbs

One of the most powerful gardening experiences is eating what you grow.  While it is a powerful experience indeed, being southern makes it a cultural expectation. This notion was so brilliantly articulated from the character “Ouiser” played by Shirley MacLaine in the movie “Steel Magnolias”when she  shares this cultural expectation involving growing tomatoes. “Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt.”

So here is what i just planted:

Tomatoes galore.  From cherry variety Sweet Chelsea to grape variety Red Jelly Bean to giant Goliaths.  I foresee salads, bruschetta and tomato sandwiches.

Yum...future tomato sandwiches

Summer Squash and Zucchini.  A staple for any southern summer vegetable garden.  Yum…sauteed squash and onions, squash casserole and zucchini bread.

Cool Cucumbers.  I went with the burpless and have both a pickling kind and salad slicer.  I need to go to a nursery and see if I can get my hands on this lemon cucumber I have heard rave reviews about.  Let’s see…images of old fashion cucumbers and vinegar and dill pickles come to mind.

A new one, eggplant.  I have never grown this one, but thought I would give it a whirl.  I got the japanese variety so wish me luck.  Don’t have a prep plan for those yet…but have some time to research.

A new one...Japanese Eggplant

Finally a showcase of herbs…basil, italian parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme and sage…this rounds out my culinary planting for now.

Basil is simply a "must grow." Plant it in pots near your house so you have easy access!

What’s in your edible garden?  Any must plants I need to add…I still have a little space left.

Happy Gardening.

melissa


So this is the first time I have tried growing green beans.  Yep, just like the package says easy to grow.  And I was so amazed at how much better they taste fresh from your garden.  Green beans are one of the veggies all nutrioutionist and calorie counters a like say you can never eat enough.  Well, if green beans tasted like this all the time, it would be a welcome staple in my food repetoire.

My first Green Bean Harvest

How to did I cook up these lil nuggets of yumminess?

Very simple: Garlic Onion Green Bean Saute

I put 3 cloves of garlic and half an onion in the food processor until they were minced.

Put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the saute pan.

Washed and pinched the tips off the fresh green beans

Put the onions and garlic in medium heat pan and sauted (about 5 minutes)

Tossed fresh green beans in pan.

Added about 1/4 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook about 10 minutes on medium-high heat

Test for texture

Sprinkle some walnuts to finish!

Voila!

My husband Brice even went back for seconds!

You should grow green beans.

Happy Gardening

melissa

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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