TOOC

Totally Out Of Control, as in the way my gardens look right now. I have been majorly slacking on weeding due to being away, taking care of Coraline, and the heat/humidity we’ve had recently.

horribly overgrown garden - needs mega weeding

Holy overgrown, Batman! I need to make some serious time for weeding before I can’t get in there anymore. Upside: it’s really green!

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end of summer

The end of summer is coming soon – much sooner than I realized! How is it already the middle of September? Time is moving way too quickly lately. The end of summer means it’s just past the time when I usually slack about weeding in the veg beds, and now it’s the time when I’ve had a chance to feel guilty and have done a little weeding but not nearly all that needs doing. Hence this contrast – the parts I caught up on:

tomatoes

tomatoes

where corn and potatoes were

aaaand the section that still needs help:

the weedy section of the main veg bed

crazy Dr. Seuss cabbage

These cabbages tried valiantly to escape the weeds that were surrounding them, and ended up very spindly and weird. I’ll get to the rest of the weeding, really. The propensity for weeds to grow in this main veg bed is causing me to consider building raised beds next year.

The sunflowers have gotten huge and tall again this year:

sunflowers

As you can see, some of them are so big they can’t hold their heads up anymore. The stakes I have aren’t tall enough to help that big guy. I love these red sunflowers! They do fade, becoming increasingly yellow the longer they’re around, but to begin with they’re stunning.

sunflowers

Finally, check out the slime trail on this slug!

slug with slime trail

Ewww! Karl took this photo and was generous enough to let the slug be after photographing it. I would have gotten rid of it! Hopefully it became a meal for one of the many toads that live in our back yard and gardens.

More photos on Flickr.

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jive potatoes!

I spent almost all day today out in the back garden, which I’ve been neglecting while focusing on the front and driveway-side perennial gardens. The fence-side bed where I have corn and potatoes growing (also marigolds) was really looking weed-infested and the potato plants were all faded and ready to be pulled out. You can see in this photo from last week that it was pretty overgrown:

fence-side bed

And now, after today’s hard work, ta-da!

fence-side veg bed

As I pulled out the wilted potato plants, I gathered a few potatoes, leaving some (those buried deeper) in the ground for later harvest. From what I’ve read/heard, you can leave potatoes in the ground for quite awhile and they’ll be the same when you pull them out later. I also harvested a few ears of the Tom Thumb Popcorn I planted, which is tiny and adorable (and needs to dry for a month or so before it’ll be ready for popping, according to what I’ve read). The potatoes are theoretically Desiree and Red Gold, though I think that some of the taters I grew last year might have spawned some, too.

potatoes and tom thumb popcorn

What a haul! Karl got inspired and created a mega delicious dinner from some of these potatoes. Back in my undergrad days, my pal Moses used to make a dish called Jive Potatoes and we made a variation on that dish tonight. First, I sliced the potatoes pretty thin (you could also chop them into chunks, but thinner slices cook faster) and then Karl tossed them with olive oil, oregano, minced garlic (not fresh, alas, as my garlic isn’t ready yet), and some general Italian seasoning.

mixing

mixing face!

ready for the grill

After it was all mixed, Karl fashioned a pouch from aluminum foil (we didn’t have any of those ready-made pouches around the house) and put that on the grill. After awhile (20 minutes? I forgot to keep track), Karl determined that they were ready and pulled the pouch off the grill.

after being grilled

after being grilled

plating

delicious jive potatoes

SO delicious! I dipped mine in ranch and Karl seasoned his with pepper (he likes things VERY peppery, to the point where it makes me sneezy). I highly recommend this dish, which was made all the more enjoyable by having grown the potatoes myself.

The mint that has taken over a small patch by the AC unit is in full bloom, and I seem to have two different varieties, one with slightly purplish blossoms:

mint

and a taller variety with white blossoms that the bees really seem to be enamored with:

mint

bee on mint

I haven’t made mojitos yet this summer but I definitely have more than enough mint. Anyone have a good mojito recipe?

More photos at Flickr.

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