Last July, I posted about my sad first watermelon that got attacked by birds. Today, it was harvested from the patch and actually looks/tastes like a watermelon! Thank you to Backyard Garden Life for getting me to check on it – if it wasn’t for her, my watermelon would’ve split in two by the time I found it again. Strangely, it didn’t exhibit any of the normal “I’m ripe” signs like yellowing on the bottom or drying/browning of the vine near the fruit. I even tried tapping it to see if it sounded ripe, but I’m hopeless at hearing the difference. Given the initial timing of the other watermelon on the vine, I should have the rest of them harvested over the next week or so.
In addition to the watermelon, I picked two baskets full of german thyme, lemon thyme and basil. The last batch of basil was dried, so this time I tried freezing it for future soups. To do so, I washed and blanched the basil for a few minutes, then put them in a cool water bowl. This is supposed to reduce the browning that occurs once it’s frozen. It reminded me a little of cooking spinach as the large basketful of basil shrunk into a small pile after it was blanched. I then chopped it a little so it would fit into the ice cube tray and put a small dollop of olive oil. A few hours in the freezer and it was hard enough to remove and store in a plastic freezer bag. I probably should’ve started doing this sooner in the season as I had so much basil a few months ago. As for the thyme, I spent an hour or so picking off the leaves and letting them dry…
It has been really warm all weekend so I’ve been limiting my garden time but I was able to transition out a few more tomato and basil plants and transplanted some of my radish and rapini seedlings to bigger containers. My beans are doing really well too.
Earlier today, we stopped by a new nursery in Rosemead which had a lot of trees and exotic plants. I was eyeing some of the trees but I had already gotten a Manila Mango tree last weekend so my tree quota has already been met for the month. We did pick up some cauliflower and kale seedlings to get a head start on the winter garden as my broccoli and kale seedlings got eaten a few weeks ago by bugs. I’m growing another batch but I’m hoping these will have a better chance of survival since they are larger. I also got another lemongrass for the front desert herb garden (it has survived not getting watered for a week in 90 degree heat) and a plant called molokhia, which is a popular vegetable in Egypt. I’m not sure how well it’ll do here but we’ll see.
My Australian Finger Lime (Bruce) is doing really well and has flowered for the second time since we got him. I think he liked being up-potted to a larger container.
Lilo, our lime tree, has its first fruit! It is a ninja fruit, as I didn’t even see it flower.
I also transplanted some lettuce and pak choy seedlings that graduated from the seed table but am a little worried that the heat may get them. We’ve also been getting a lot of grey/black caterpillars that are eating random veggies like my onion and pea seedlings. Caterpillars usually like the radishes, kales and other leafy greens so I was confused when I saw my onions and peas attacked. I may need to invest in some more row cover material soon as they’ve been good at keeping the caterpillars off of my leafy greens.
Tomorrow is bonus garden day!