Whining for Brandywines

I use my garden like a larder. I see what's ripe and then decide what to have for lunch. This kale, eggplant, tomatoes, red onions, garlic and oregano from the garden all went into an Italian stir-fry along with whole wheat penne pasta and ripe olives.

Well, the Celebrity, Better Boy, Roma, Early Girls, Yellow Pear, (all transplants) and mystery volunteer tomato that sprang from my compost are all producing nice tomatoes. Lovely tomatoes. Best tomato harvest I’ve ever had.

Stir-fry the veggies in a skillet, add the cooked penne pasta and a can of ripe olives, top with Parmesan cheese, and you have lunch from the garden.

But the Brandywines, Black Krims, and Mortgage Lifters that I grew from seed are not producing. They are lovely, vigorous plants with a few green tomatoes on them.

The few Brandywines that have set fruit are still tiny and green.

But the tomatoes aren’t getting ripe and no new fruit is setting. In frustration, I sprayed all of their blossoms with Blossom Set, a plant hormone that increases fruit set. Almost the only tomatoes on the plants are the result of the early season spray that I gave them. I love Blossom Set. It has really increased my tomato and bell pepper success.

Come on, Mortgage Lifters. Get ripe.

Now if the weather will only cooperate, I should get some more tomatoes setting fruit. We’re due for hotter weather next week. While I won’t like it, the tomatoes will.

Hey, Black Krims, get ripe. I want to eat you.

Just to show you how bad my garden is, I’m not even getting any squash. I had to accept some from a fellow gardener. That is the ultimate humiliation for a home gardener. But gift zucchini are better than no zucchini. The Lebanese-type zucchini was fabulous dipped in a batter of egg and flour and fried in olive oil. Yum, yum.

A lovely Lebanese-type and Ronde de Nice zucchini.

We’ll have the Ronde de Nice zucchini today, probably cooked Sicilian-style by sauteeing it along with some garlic in olive oil and finishing it with a splash of basalmic vinegar and topping with Parmesan cheese.

My second planting of Lebanese Clarinette zucchini is off and running in a plastic nursery pot, and may produce some zukes before the season is over.

My Gold Rush zukes are three weeks old, and doing well in a nursery pot.

My mini Kuri has set fruit. I'm guessing that this will be a green Kuri, but it might be a red.

It's too soon to tell if these female Kuri blossoms will set fruit. The one on the right isn't even open yet. But I have high hopes.

My two Amish pie pumpkin plants are growing gang busters in a big Smart Pot. I can see tiny buds of male flowers on them. The question is, did I plant them too late in the season to get any pumpkins. Time will tell.

And that’s how my garden grows this week.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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4 Responses to Whining for Brandywines

  1. Hoiyin Ip says:

    Good job!

    Have you heard about National Wildlife Federation certificate? http://nwf.org/In-Your-Backyard.aspx Your yard might qualify. 🙂

  2. Daphne says:

    I love cooking like that too. This morning I had scrambled eggs with onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and cherry tomatoes. All from the garden (well not the eggs as I don’t have chickens).

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