Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What's growing on

Though this time of the year can be exceedingly busy for me, I thought it was important to share a few things about what is happening in each of the gardens I work in.

As one can expect from a gardener this time of year, a number of things have been going on. In the backyard garden the majority of my tomato plants were killed or badly damaged when they were splashed with over-chlorinated pool water.

Chlorine damage on tomato plants. The rest soon suffered damage too.

In order to keep my summer plants from drying out, I decided to try having a big reservoir for my container plants. However, my intention eventually morphed into a  kind of modified Kratky hydroponics method – which I had no intention of doing.

Learn from my mistake: Never fill the water above the root oxygen line

Though my wine barrel continues to house tomato plants and a purple kale plant, much of the red leaf lettuce has bolted.

My main garden is growing a carosello variety that I acquired from a gentleman in the Salento area of Italy. What the name of the variety will be, I am not sure, but it is extraordinarily delicious and exhibits some unique properties to its color development. I even made a little video about this new variety

A striped carosello cucumber variety from Leccese

Meanwhile, I decided to do another growout of the Carosello Massafrese cucumber variety. I planted seeds in the fertile garden. They grew incredibly fast. The only problem is that in the fertile garden I have to be extraordinarily careful to keep things aired out. The owner likes to water a lot and sometimes the yard sprinklers overwater the cucumber beds. This time my son took a video of me and the cucumbers.

The Carosello Massafrese in 2019.

Finally, the chicken garden has really been coming along. Though it continues to lag behind in fertility, the production will likely be much more than it was last year. This year I planted out some tomatoes and the owners will likely have a very nice tomato crop. In this garden I decided to try growing one of my dark Leccese carosello varieties. I’ll be sure to continue taking pictures and update everyone on the progress as I get the opportunity.

Well, that is about it for now. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my gardening venture and of my blog, my little Cucumber Shop and of my cucumber varieties.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Baby Tendril

Here is a picture of a baby tendril from one of my new Carosello Cucumbers vines. Often the ability of these cucumbers to adapt is quite amazing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Spring Garden Visits

Before the end of the school year, I appreciated some small gardens at local schools and neighbors. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.

The first garden is located in the middle of the school grounds. The halls of the school go around it on 3 sides. As staff and students walk around the halls, they can see the garden in the middle. For me, walking by the garden is quite a rejuvenating experience.

Flowering Fava Beans

Onion Flower


Borage and Nasturtium

Orange Nasturtiums

Sprouting Cauliflower with Aphids

More sprouting Cauliflower

Interesting shape of the Cauliflower as it blossoms

One last look

A bed of onions.


Black eyed Susan?

Favas with seed pods.

A close look at the fava beans

This bean is sideways - or is it a sideways picture?

Fava beans are prolific!

Another look at the prolific fava beans

One last last fava picture

These strawberry plants are doing quite well.

A closer look at some mouth-watering strawberries

I'm resisting the urge to pick these

One last look at the strawberry plants

The second garden is located on the west side of a school, near the younger grades. There are plenty of interesting things to see here as well.

An assortment of winter vegetables

Flowering Kale

Swiss Chard anyone?

The sign says it all.

Potato Plants

Flowering Carrots

Another bed of assorted veggies.

Some sweet pea flowers

Some radishes

Some kind of celery plant sprouting up from the roots.

Another celery plant sprouting up from the walkway

Celery again.

Celery and assorted veggies.

Swiss Chard and other veggies.

Cale and flowering parsley or fennel


Now the strawberry patch is being infested by the celery.

Some strawberries are growing.

Ripening strawberries

One last look at this garden

Not all gardens are kept up. Here is one that could really use a little more attention.

A neighbor of mine always has a very well planned-out garden. Here are some pictures from his front yard.

Zucchini of some sort.

The color is just exceptional.

The zucchini continues to grow.

My neighbor's tomato plants.

Some wildflowers in a lawn in the front of a school.

Things are not always as they seem. In the next garden I was really impressed with the beautiful color of the lettuce pictured here. However, once I tasted one of the leaves, I regretted my decision. This variety is apparently very sensitive to the heat and becomes very bitter.

A mix of spinach, lettuce and carrots

As you walk around your neighborhood, I hope that you will be able to encounter some beautiful gardens like these. Even if we are not enthusiastic about getting our hands dirty in the soil, vegetable gardening is good for all of us in so many ways.


One last look at the purple kale from the second school garden