Garden Fridays: Figs and a Reboot

by Shawnda on July 12, 2013

in Garden

It’s mid July and that means two things: it’s seventh-circle-of-hell hot and it’s time for Garden 2.0!

The most wonderful things to come out of the garden this last month were the figs. No question. We got our first real crop from our small fig tree and it was fabulous. This happened more than once:

Fresh figs, honey, and brie

But sadly, it was short-lived. Backyard fig season was over within 2-3 weeks.

Also extremely wonderful: San Marzano tomatoes. I have 3 quarts of pizza sauce in the freezer and fridge. 12 cups! Do you know how many tomatoes it takes to make 12 cups of pizza sauce? I stopped counting… but it was a crazy bunch.

San Marzano Tomatoes

Everything else is barely creeping along, thanks to being at the mercy of me and my water hose. We’ve had one small sprinkling of rain in the last 6 weeks. If you’ve got a spare rainy day just lying around, I’ll take it!

Still Alive
Eggplant, it’s a survivor. I don’t know what it was about that plant. It only recently started growing after being in the ground and 4-inches tall for ~4 months. But we’ve gotten our first flowers and should see our first eggplant soon.

Red and Yellow Bell Peppers are doing fabulously. The yellow bell pepper is especially happy after the cantaloupe vine was trimmed back off the netting – more sunlight!

Jalapeno – moved it to the prime position previously occupied by the 3-year-old serrano “tree.” It’s is much happier now.

Strawberries – done producing for the year but now comes the tricky part: keeping them alive during nearly-triple-digits and drought.

Red grape – Nothing this year so far.

Basil – I am temporarily over pesto and caprese everything. I aggressively cut back the basil so I have a bit of a reprieve.

Garden tomatoes

In
Tomatoes! A new San Marzano and a new mystery tomato plant. I can tell it’s not a vining plant, but that’s about it. I also started some clippings in a glass of water to root and those will go in the ground shortly. Long live summer tomato sauce!

Green beans – the spring plants got spindly and crispy so I pulled them and am planting the rest of the seeds in the ground this weekend.

Butternut squash – ’tis the season!

In Limbo
2 San Marzano and the Juliet tomatoes were aggressively pruned… and now look aggressively almost dead. They might not make it. But I’ll deal with the month-long lull between tomato crops if it means my back yard is temporarily free of those disgusting leaf-footed stink bugs. They are my nemesis. Even more so now that one tried to fly into my mouth. Luckily, my lips were pursed in preparation of releasing a very angry “Mommy word” and no damage was done to either party.

Out
Tomatillos – I will never even try again. The plants are gigantic and took over far more valuable garden real estate than they produced tomatillos. Never again.

Cantaloupe – produced a handful of cantaloupe and then died.

Serrano – after 3 years, we pulled the serrano in favor of getting the more-desirable jalapeno more light. Because you know what makes a better stuffed pepper? Jalapenos.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenni @ Jenni's Ferris Wheel of Food July 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

Figs are my absolute favorite! I wish I could grow them here, but it’s so warm and dry. I love this brie, fresh figs and honey! I typically stuff mine with goat cheese and drizzle with honey. Thank you!

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2 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking July 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Can I just live in your garden please? So amazing.

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3 Amy July 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Wow, I’m now suddenly jealous of your garden-promoting weather! It’s so hard around here, with the loooonnng winters and teensy spring, followed by short burst of summer. And back to winter :( I miss life in CA, and TX would be my next choice. Anyways – YAY for your figs!! They are so great, right? Maybe your crop will last longer next year :) And of course those tomatoes are beautiful!

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4 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com July 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

I want a green thumb like yours — bless mine, please? I have a dead basil, rosemary, mint and thyme in my garden. Can you imagine what would have happened if we planted tomatoes and the rest? :D

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5 Ani July 14, 2013 at 11:23 am

Your garden sounds like a dream…. we’re trying to get there but it’s just so darn hot. Pleased to say we have one zucchini that is doing well, and I just ate my first fig. :) Can’t wait to read more about your garden

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6 Joanne July 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

How jealous of your garden am I?? So, so much.

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7 Tara July 15, 2013 at 6:55 am

I love your garden posts, Shawnda! I’m desperately behind on mine – took a few photos a few weeks back but never posted and now they are of course old news. Your figs are GORGEOUS! And figs, brie and honey? ::rumble rumble:: Maybe we’ll try a tree next year that we can tote into the garage for the winter. Good to know about the tomatillo plants – I plunked 10 seedlings in and maybe half of them are really doing well. Luckily they are next to the peas that need to get pulled soon so they won’t be crowding anything once they take off. I’ve been thinking about you guys a lot recently since our weather has been comparable to Texas in May/June – straight 90+ degree heat for DAYS with 85+ humidity and 70+ dew point. I seriously don’t know how you guys stand it, let alone grow all of that gorgeousness every year!

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8 Patti T. July 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I too am very jealous of your bountiful garden. I planted 6 different types of tomatoes and for some reason have not gotten even one ripe one yet. So frustrating. I just checked about an hour ago, picked 4 yellow squash and spotted 4 green peppers that will be needing picked in the next few days. We have been having such hot weather that I thought the tomatoes would be ripening by now, the plants are about 6 to7 feet tall, lots of blossoms and green tomatoes but none ripening. Sigh. I planted some Marzanos in the hopes of some fabulous sauce. I hope I will be able to make some soon.

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9 Mr. & Mrs. P July 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Our garden hasnt produced much this year.. The weather in Miami has been pretty radical… Its been so hot..

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10 Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor July 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

Glad to see your garden is still doing fairly well despite the temps. We are trying to keep our strawberries until next season too and it is hard with this heat. The figs look lovely!

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