Letters to Gardening Friends, August 9, 2009

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Greetings from my garden where I’m anxiously watching and waiting to harvest this lovely eggplant, one of my favorite, if not absolute favorite, vegetables when it is breaded and fried. And that’s just what I plan to do with this one, bread it and fry it, regardless of the mess I make in my kitchen doing it and the amount of fat it adds to my diet.

It’s just one meal! I’ll combine it with fresh green beans, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, maybe some cucumbers, and of course iced tea, for a perfect summer meal from the garden. As I like to say “them’s good eats”! And I picked a bunch of “good eats” yesterday.

Elsewhere in the garden the cantaloupe are getting bigger and the pole beans are actually producing beans. I’ll soon be eating both of those, along with all the tomatoes I care to eat.

It’s funny about tomatoes. It’s the same every year. I wait all summer for the first big ripe tomato, it finally shows up, and then the flood gates open and now I have enough tomatoes to eat all I want and still share with others. Most years I can expect to have tomatoes from now until frost, but this year, that may not happen. I am watching my tomato plants closely for signs of the late blight that is devastating tomato crops east of here. The Hoosier Gardener reported that they have found late blight a few counties north of here and also a few counties south of here, so I am at risk. Regardless of if I end up with late blight on my tomatoes or not, I’ll throw the tomato vines in the trash at the end of the season and not in the compost bin, just to be on the safe side.

I do like to keep the vegetable garden cleaned up through the season by pulling out plants that are no longer producing. (Some years I’m better about this than others, “do as I say not as I do”.) This helps to control disease and insect infestations and also keeps the garden nice and neat. And where plants are pulled out, if there is time, you can sow more crops, like the green beans, radishes, lettuce, and spinach that I sowed last week.

Of all those seeds, the green beans are up, and I see little radish leaves and even smaller lettuce seedlings just breaking through the soil crust. No sign of spinach or onions just yet, but it is still early. That’s all I’ll probably plant for late harvesting.

Now I’m turning my attention back to the flower beds, trying to get those all mulched up before the snow flies, as we say. I’m also scouting the blooms of August for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day next Saturday, the 15th already. While I’m out there, I hear the cicadas in the trees and have heard rumors that school starts around here this coming week. Summer is winding down, all too soon!

Flowers and veggies for all,

P.S. Here’s a picture of the garden taken this morning. Can you tell from the picture that it is a hot day, one of our first since late June?
Most of the sunflowers got knocked flat on Tuesday when we were pummeled with three plus inches of rain, accompanied by a lot of wind. I haven’t figured out if I will try to get the sunflowers to stay upright again or if it I should just cut them off now, or just leave them lying on top of the zinnias. The zinnias vote for cutting them off or getting them to stay upright again, as do the butterflies that flutter around the zinnias this time of year. The birds would like me to try to save the sunflowers so they produce seeds. Decisions!

Have a great week...


  1. We've already had some yellow beans, but I don't know if they were pole or bush.

  2. HI Carol,
    I picked my one eggplant today, and I apparently waited too long, because it was soft. I am so disappointed! I hope it produces more. I have another plant that hasn't bloomed yet, so if it does, I will pay more attention and pick it on time.

    I am having to pick my tomatoes before they are quite ripe, and still, some are being eaten by birds.

    I am putting compost on the areas where the earlier crops were, and am waiting until closer to fall to plant more lettuce. I do want to get some green beans in at my garden across the street.

  3. I forgot to say your garden is looking good to me in the photo. I clicked control and the plus sign a few times to see the photos larger. Enjoy your eggplant!

  4. Great harvest ... yummy summer dinner. Enjoy the warmth and the last of summer days. Your garden looks lush and prolific.

  5. Cut off the sunflowers halfway down, maybe they'll produce lateral blooms for the birds. I'm sorry to hear that blight has invaded Indiana. I hope it doesn't get your tomatoes.

  6. Perhaps some of the best words in the garden lexicon~~"now I have enough tomatoes to eat all I want and still share with others". Your garden looks gorgeous! gail

  7. Prop the sunflowers up which makes the birds happy and the zinnias are happy which makes the butterflies happy. We had to prop up the hollyhocks after our big rain and wind storm last week. I want the seeds for my dad's and mom's gardens and for next year in my rock mulched area next to the house. I like sneaking some seeds in there along with other wildflower seeds.
    Our tomatoes are starting to ripen slowly. The peas are a done deal as are the green beans. Neither produced well after we planted them the opposite end of last year's planting area. Time to yank them and lay them out to dry to mow into mulch/compost for next year. The crazy pumpkins are back with zeal again this year. All kinds of inter-mix looks going on. I like the blooms as do the bees so we keep them. Also nice for decorating for the fall.

  8. I'm saving seeds this year so my garden doesn't look as tidy as I would like. It has, however, been interesting to watch the plants go through their entire growth cycle.

  9. My eggplants are the long thin green kind this year, and very tasty indeed. I like them breaded and fried but I also love them in stir fry and making baba ganoush is one of our favorite things to do.

    Your veggie garden looks beautiful in the heat. Looking forward to ggbd.

  10. Your garden looks bountiful and beautiful my dear. I am so happy the bunnies, grasshoppers and raccoons. Enjoy all that produce my friend. You've earned it.~~Dee

  11. What a fabulous garden you have, Carol. I can just imagine you cooking up a fresh and wonderful meal with your healthy harvest. I will keep my fingers crossed about the late blight. Since I had to rip out my whole garden, I can empathize with your fear. In a few weeks, I will plant radishes and beans, too, but it's still way too hot here now. Cut the sunflowers and put 'em in a vase - be frivolous!

  12. Some meals are worth messing up the kitchen and adding fat to the diet, fried eggplant is one of those meals. Enjoy!


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