It's the end of July and the tomatoes are just starting to come in ripe and delicious on a daily basis. The weather has been very dry this month, so it's been a delicate balancing act of watering them enough without over-watering them. Some of the oxhearts are splitting, but the San Marzano tomatoes are doing excellent and are as delicious this year as I remember from last year. I know I will need to learn how to can and preserve them for winter as soon there's going to be no way for me to keep up with them all.
The dry, high heat of July has caused most of my salad greens to bolt to seed, alas. But, the bees and butterflies are enjoying their flowers so I'll leave them be and try to collect the seeds as well. While I've got a second crop of radishes started, I also left some in the ground to flower and they are producing heavy, full seed pods now.
I'm enjoying the two varieties of basil I ordered from Seeds from Italy very much, and the other herbs are also growing well. The sunflowers are beginning to bloom along the fence line, small colorful heads of different varieties - a surprising change of pace from the classic giant sunflowers of American variety. The wild arugula is slow-growing but delicious; I need to get a second crop started and hope I have time for it to grow before it gets too late into the summer and fall.
Still waiting to see some real action on my Sicilia Violetto cauliflowers; the insects seemed to like their leaves quite a bit so I lost a few to hungry garden pests. The San Michelle Cabbage too seems to be a favorite of the beetles in the garden, alas, but some are just starting to form beautiful, tight heads now. I hope we'll get at least some tasty cabbage out of them before the bugs eat them all! Of my non-Seeds from Italy, I've been doing well with my organic purple beans and purple kohlabi, the first bulbs of which will be ready to try out this week. It may have been too hot a summer for the fennel I tried to grow as well as much of it is bolting quickly to flower. However, the delicate fronds are a tasty accent even if I get no good bulbs from them. I'll leave the bolted ones alone for now if just to harvest the seeds later (and perhaps try with a fall planting as some garden sites have suggested work better in our climate.)