I’m still shouting hooray that it’s finally summer, and around here, summer means gardening. I’m excited get the garden whipped into shape, and I’m planning to do some gardening later today. You can check the previous garden updates if you missed seeing what vegetables and herbs I’m growing this year. Even though I haven’t been giving it too much attention the last few weeks, most of my garden is coming along. Here are a few things I noticed in the garden yesterday, as I enjoyed my first official day of summer vacation. (Links to commercial sites are only to illustrate that type of plant and not an advertisement or endorsement for the site.)

My sage plant is completely covered with flowers. I know I need to trim it, but I’ve been enjoying them so much I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut the flowers off quite yet.

All but a couple of my tomato plants have flowers on them. This is one of my Celebrity tomato plants, one of my favorite tomato varieties for slicing tomatoes.

One of my favorite types of squash is this interesting 8-Ball Zucchini. You can see two little round baby zucchinis already growing here, and there’s one that’s slightly bigger on the other plant. I love this type of squash for making round medallions of Grilled Zucchini. (You can also use slices from a regular zucchini plant for grilling if you don’t have these round ones.)

Not everything is happy in the garden. Every year I seem to have some cucumber plants that don’t seem to make it, so yesterday I went to the garden center for some “insurance” cucumbers which I planted near this sickly one. Anyone know why cucumbers are so fragile?

Of course, once I was at the garden center, I noticed some other “had-to-have” veggies that I hadn’t planted yet. I got some Patty-Pan Squash, which is a squash variety I love to add to “Creamed” Zucchini. I also got an eggplant which I forgot to take a picture of.

It’s time to cut back the parsley, which comes up very early here, and goes to seed more quickly than any of my other herbs. Once I cut off these long, thick branches, the parsley will continue to produce more yummy parsley. I’ll need to trim it several times with the hot summers we have in Utah. At the end of the summer, I’ll let some of these seeds mature so the parsley will come up again next year.

I tried spraying soapy water on the basil, and I’m happy to see that the new growth doesn’t seem to be getting eaten, so it must be some type of insect that’s been eating it. They don’t eat the spicier Thai basil at all. I’m realizing that my basil-getting-eaten problem only started last year when I first planted the milder lettuce-leaf basil, and that for more than ten years I planted basil in the same spot with no pest problems at all. If I continue to have problems with the lettuce-leaf basil getting eaten, I might stick to other varieties in the future.

Last, but not least, these little plants are new basil coming up, with just a hint of the lettuce-leaf basil in the edge of the photo to show you how small these guys are. Basil is quite easy to grow from seeds, but I usually splurge on a few plants to get the basil season started. Then I plant my seeds between the larger plants and watch excitedly for the little seedlings to appear.

You can check the ongoing progress of my garden by clicking on the label 2007 Garden Updates at the end of each garden update.

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