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Garden Update 8/13 ~ In a holding pattern…

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This is the time of year when my garden falls apart. I really need to spend a good afternoon out there pulling weeds and getting rid of some sunflowers, but I’m busy picking and preserving instead of weeding. My garden is still going strong, but it’s not as pretty or as weed free, as it was a couple weeks ago. Here’s what’s going on in my garden:

red onion harvestI harvested all of my onions this week. I planted 100 red onions at the end of March and another 100 yellow onions a few weeks later. The red onions did much better, but I’m impressed with all of them. It was a good year for onions, I guess! I’ll be braiding and hanging some, chopping and freezing others, and cooking with the rest. I pinned a link to vinagred onions on my canning board that look really good and will try that out in a few days!

organic harvest

I’m taking care of a friend’s garden while they’re away from a few days, so some of this bounty is from their garden – cucumbers, dill, and strawberries. In addition to the onions, I’m still harvesting beans, potatoes, banana peppers, and flowers from my garden. I’m waiting on a lot more:

cherry tomatoesMy tomatoes are turning orange. We’ve picked a only a small handful so far, but I’m ready! Bring on the red tomatoes.
tomato jungleI’m not sure how I’m going to get the tomatoes out of my jungle since I didn’t tie or prune, but we’ll figure it out.
kaleI’ve got a couple nice looking kale plants that I plan to start picking any day now. A nice bacon, tomato & kale salad sounds yummy!
side shoot cabbageI harvested all of my cabbage before we went to Paris, but I left the plants in the ground. See why? These are the little side shoot cabbages! Aren’t they cute? I’m going to turn them into homemade egg rolls in a few days!

green peppersMy peppers are also loaded! This is the Ozark Giant variety I bought from Baker Creek and started from seeds. Just waiting on them to turn orange and red!

jing orange okraThis is another seed I bought from Baker Creek – Jing Orange Okra. They’re starting to grow, but it’s been on the cooler side at night here so the growth seems slow. I’ve never grown my own okra, but my dad grows it every year in Missouri and I know they prefer hotter weather. Tonight’s low is 49!! Crazy, crazy weather out here in Eastern Iowa. I’m not griping about the cooler weather except that I think it’s the reason the okra and the tomatoes really aren’t coming on strong yet. And looks like the nasty Japanese beetles like okra too. 🙁
eggplantsI have baby eggplants! Yummy!! They look great and are growing by leaps and bounds each day.
baby watermelonI ripped out all of my zucchini, squash, and cucumber plants before we went to Paris to try to thwart the cucumber beetles and then squash bugs. I was sad to do it, but burning those nasty little bugs did put a smile on my face, I have to admit. I hoped getting rid of the pests would save the watermelon plants, and it did, so far! Hopefully, there’s enough time for the few little watermelons to grow and ripen before frost. They aren’t growing very quickly.
luffa gourd plantAnd finally, I also planted luffa gourds. The plants are big but I haven’t seen any flowers yet.
luffa gourd flowerMaybe this will turn into a flower? Time will tell.

This week, I hope to harvest the rest of my potatoes. They have all died for the most part and there are tons of potatoes in the dirt waiting to be dug. I also need to get busy weeding. A nice rain would come in handy about now to facilitate, but sadly, there’s not much chance of the rain in the next few days. And I also want to plant some fall crops – more peas and lettuce for sure.

And that’s what’s going on in  my garden! How’s your garden growing?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankKelli says

    I am getting like 5-6 red tomatoes every day now! YEAH! And planted my fall stuff (peas, beans, radishes, more lettuce and spinach) about a week and a half ago. Hope it wasn’t too early!

  2. blankAmy says

    Our cherry tomatoes are really taking off one plant is almost done, our big tomatoes are slowly turning. We have peppers too the banana peppers really took off this year. We got our plants from a local high school program that sells plants for a fundraiser and have been really impressed by them. Do you know if it is to late to plant carrots? Are they a fall vegetable? Thanks

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