In today’s episode we will show you how our garden looks in the month of July, give a tour of our raised beds and containers. We will show you some harvests we made this month followed by things to do in your home garden, and a delicious recipe that you can make using fresh ivy gourds harvested from your home garden.
In the first raised bed we have planted some onion sets and the bulbs are now getting bigger, we also have interplanted some bunching onions which we are growing for the greens. Towards the center we have some eggplants, the loofah(luffa) plant and pineapple ground cherries are planted on the side which make an excellent ground cover.
In the second raised beds we have okras and soybeans growing. Our okra plants are loving the heat and have produced abundantly this month. We added a watermelon plant and Japanese cucumber plant that is climbing up this new arched trellis that we built between our raised beds It’s a great way to maximize space needed for growing vining vegetables.
Our third bed has peppers inter planted with a flowering plant called Portulacas which are flowering plant that act as good companion plants for pepper, add color to your raised bed, and attract lot of pollinators. We are growing different varieties of peppers like the Giant Marconi pepper, cayenne pepper, candy cane pepper, bell pepper and Poblano pepper in this raised bed. We have struggled to grow peppers in the past but this year our pepper plants are doing well. We have been feeding them with organic fertilizer every 10 days and water using fish emulsion and Vermisterra earthworm casting tea. We have added our second arched trellis in this raised bed and have some tiny bean plants trying to grow and soon enough it’s going to take over the entire trellis.
In our fourth bed, we have eight different tomato varieties growing and they are inter planted with lettuce and some flowering plants like nasturtiums that are beneficial. Our tomato plants have grown taller and they are providing shade to the lettuce seedlings. We are expecting to harvest lot of tomatoes in the coming months.
Finally, our last bed has an assortment of plants growing sunchokes, kale, black beauty eggplant, taro plants, watermelon, longevity spinach and ivy gourds growing on a trellis towards the back of the bed. We also have a lone Romanesco plant that had a lot of insect damage.
We have the Malabar spinach growing on an EZ Trellis which works well for containers, Black beauty eggplant which is growing quite well, Amethyst eggplants which has produced abundantly this month, pole beans that has started climbing the ladder trellis that we have added towards the back, herb barrel which has Thai basil, some cilantro inter planted with marigold flower plants, Soy Beans (Edamame) with some healthy looking pods, peppers (Bell Pepper, Anaheim chili pepper and bird’s eye chili Pepper), baby bubba okra, pumpkin, Hyacinth beans on an EZ trellis, cantaloupe or musk melon, mint plant, Millionaire eggplant, Nombo giant okra and we have left some okra pods to save seeds, and sweet corn which have some corn cobs ready to harvest.
We harvested some corn cobs, amethyst eggplants that start off with a deep purple hue and then become a lighter purple, Millionaire Japanese eggplant which was tender and absolutely delicious, black beauty eggplants, harvested some grapes (lollipop variety), pineapple ground cherries, ivy gourds which are harvested when they are green and tender, lettuce for salad, longevity spinach leaves, Nombo giant okras, Bell peppers, candy cane peppers, bird’s eye chili pepper, Giant Marconi peppers, jalapenos, strawberries, grape tomatoes, salsa tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes which produced abundantly this month.
Things to do
Pest Control – It’s important to control the insects and pests that commonly attack your plants and our weapon of choice is the organic neem oil extract that you can purchase at any garden store. We added 3-4 tablespoon to a gallon of water and sprayed all our plants on which we noticed insect infestation especially our corn silks.
Prune Tomato plants – Hornworms devastate tomato plants so keep an eye on these pests feasting on your tomatoes in the garden. Remove these hornworms from your plants as soon as you see them. Also regularly pruning the dead branches, removing suckers and diseased leaves will contain the tomato plants and reduce infestation.
Arched Trellis over our raised beds – For building this arched trellis you will need four 42’’x 84” steel wire remesh sheets, six 5 foot tall fence posts for securing your remesh sheet, 8inch wire cable ties (100 pack), and some spray paint if you want to paint your trellis. You can find all these at your local Home Depot store. For assembly we secured a wire remesh sheet horizontally on the raised bed and secured it in in place using 3 fence posts and wire ties. Repeat this process for the adjoining raised bed. Now you can use these as independent trellises but what we did was build an arch in the space between the raised beds. To build the arch we used two wire remesh sheets, slightly applied pressure on the ends to create an arch shape and securely fastened the ends of these wire remesh sheets to the wire remesh sheet that are affixed in the raised beds. At this point you can decide and adjust the height of the trellis arch. The trellis that we built looked sturdy enough to hold the weight of almost any vining vegetable like gourds, cucumbers, beans, melons etc.
Recipe using Ivy Gourd and Peanuts.
For this recipe you will need 2 cups of chopped ivy gourds sliced spherically, ¼ cup of roasted peanuts that crushed coarsely, 1 green chili chopped, 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic, ½ tsp turmeric powder, mustard seeds, chopped cilantro leaves for garnish, and salt per taste.
Heat some oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and after they sputter add garlic, green chili and sauté until the raw smell of the garlic goes away. Now add the sliced ivy gourds, season with salt, turmeric and mix well. Now, close the lid of the pan and let it cook for 8-10 minutes occasionally stirring in between. Once the ivy gourds are cooked to your liking, add the crushed peanuts and garnish with cilantro leaves. You can optionally squeeze half a lime for added flavor. Serve with steamed rice or tortillas and it tastes delicious.
Watch the California garden in the month of July – Full July 2020 Garden Tour with Harvests, Gardening Tips, Things to Do & Recipes