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September 2013 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Cilantro blossoms

Plant cilantro periodically through the season and you’ll see a lot of cilantro blossoms. Many of my cilantro plants are volunteers—seeded by earlier cilantro plants.

Had to travel on Bloom Day this month, so I don’t know whether this will make the linky, but I enjoyed a morning in the garden yesterday, and I’m posting photos one way or the other!

We’ve had a very cool summer and my garden has been challenged by the low temperatures. I’ve harvested a lot of food, but tomatoes and winter squash seem in no hurry to mature and ripen. Lima beans also seem to be growing slowly, and I’d like to see at least three more frost-free weeks in hope that’s enough to bring in a few more bushels of produce.

Summer is winding down, but my slow-growing garden seems unaware. Nearly every type of vegetable and herb is in bloom as if there is still plenty of time to produce viable seeds. Nearly every blossom in today’s post will be disappointed, no doubt, when frost hits in late September or early October. Oh, well. The flowers are pretty now. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did yesterday morning.

Horehound blossoms

Direct sunlight washed out the blossoms in my horehound photos, but the crinkly leaves were more interesting anyway. I love this new addition to my garden. I bought a small seedling at a plant sale in Ithaca in early spring, and the plant now fills a three-foot diameter circle.

Fairytale Squash blossom

Blurring the line between squash and pumpkin, these beauties turn butternut brown and have deep orange flesh. I caught a flower in front of nearly mature fruit—a squash that’s bigger than a basketball. The vines continue to put out male flowers though it has been several weeks since I spotted any female flowers.

King of the Garden Lima Beans

If you’ve never grown King of the Garden lima beans, I encourage you to give it a try! I erected two seven-foot-tall tripods and planted 4 seeds around each foot. That’s 24 seeds, and I’m confident that at least 6 of them failed. The remaining 18 plants have completely concealed the tripods and continued to twist along twine stretching 10 more feet to the top of the kids’ play set. This crazy mass of bean plants is bursting with clusters of flowers and young pods—easily more than 1,000 flowers… and it looks as though 70% or more turn into pods. If frost holds off for three or four weeks, I may harvest a billion lima beans from these 18 plants (that’s a tiny exaggeration but there’s no question it will be more than 10).

Yellow French Filet Pole Beans

My new favorite bean, the Yellow French Filet Pole bean, isn’t as dominant a plant as a King of the Garden lima bean plant. However, the vines are prolific, the beans grow straight and smooth, and most of them grow above waste level so I don’t have to stoop to harvest the. I loved that a vine was laying flat against the trellis where I could capture flowers along with young beans that should be ready to harvest by the week’s end.

Purple Jalapeno Pepper flower

Purple jalapeno pepper plants have become a fixture in my small kitchen garden. The flowers are gorgeous, and the peppers they produce look exotic—deep purple—until they ripen completely to a nearly neon red. I love to add a ripe jalapeno to each jar of home-canned bread & butter pickles, resulting in what I’ve dubbed “sweet-hot” pickles.

Purple Jalapeno Pepper flower

Couldn’t make up my mind which purple jalapeno flower photo I liked best, so I posted two… several others felt sad that I left them out.

Tomato Blossom

A portrait in futility! My best-performing tomato plants extend about four feet above their seven foot trellises, and they’re producing blossoms away up there. Unless we see five more frost-free weeks, I expect these blossoms to produce green marbles so small they discourage any desire to harvest them as food.

Sweet Potato Blossom

Conventional wisdom is to harvest sweet potatoes after they blossom but before frost. Over the years, I’ve grown sweet potatoes three times, and they’ve never flowered. The fourth time’s the charm: There have been flowers throughout my sweet potato patch for several weeks… and they’re gorgeous! I started my own slips this year, but kind of late, so I’m psyched at how well they seem to be doing. Next year I’ll start slips, perhaps, in early February so they’re well established by the time I set them in the garden in late May.

 

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