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Winnetka Purple Artichoke is ready to check for seeds.

Wordless Wednesday: The Waning Garden

August is a time of abandonment. We want to leave town, and our garden can look less than stellar as punishing heat dries up the soil. At least that’s the case here in Los Angeles. Late planting (in late June/early July) brings some life to the garden as hot weather crops take off. The harvest is bountiful, and it is a time to watch nature’s circle of life round the corner.

A bounty of tomatoes including Michael Pollen (green pear), Roman Candle (yellow roma), Sunrise Bumble Bee (striped cherry), and Green Cherokee (green beefsteak).
Parts of the garden are waning. Winnetka Purple Artichoke is ready to check for seeds. We use a dinner fork to dig them out.
Armenian cucumbers reach to top of their trellis finally (after replanting twice). Success!
Tess’s Landrace tomato – a gift from a woman named Tess at the Heirloom Expo. Tiny currant tomatoes are delicious and prolific. First to produce, even though the plant looks sad all the time.
Rugoso di Cosenza melons grow well in coastal climates. They have never failed us.
More waning. Beefy Resilient Grex Dry Bean is drying to storage. It ain’t pretty but that’s how you get dry beans. Let them dry on the plant, then collect regularly.
A second round of corn sprouts between flowering pumpkin plants. Planted in early June to get us through the long summer.
Watermelons (Moon & Stars) interplanted with summer buckwheat. We’ll cut down the buckwheat now that the watermelons are sprawling.
Our one sunflower is about to open. We planted 6 PACKETS of sunflower seeds and got one. We’re not bitter.
Flowers indicate that it’s time to harvest sweet potatoes.
Goji berries begin to flower. They can be grown in containers with room to spread. It’s either a Sweet Lifeberry or Big Lifeberry from Proven Winners.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Julie Schustack

    Thanks Christy!!

  2. Julie Schustack

    Hi Christy!
    I’m located in LA and this summer I grew some Rugoso di Costenza Melons after reading one of your blogs last summer. I “accidentally” harvested my melon yesterday moving things around in the garden and it fell. The color is very yellow with very subtle green undertones. I am wondering how you know when its ripe. Does it smell fragrant? Also, can it continue to ripen on the counter if I picked too early? Thanks for your help! It’s such a drag growing melons for so long and then you lose it. Hopefully this one is ok!

    1. Christy

      Julie, That’s such a drag. The exterior color sounds like it is close to being ripe, if not ready. For most melons, they will get softer after they are picked, but they don’t get sweeter. You can leave it on the counter for a few days if you think it is too firm, but the flavor probably won’t change much. My experience with Rugoso di Cosenza is that they don’t emit much of a fragrance, as muskmelons do. I’m sorry this happened, but hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor anyway.

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