Summer Begins Here: A Preview of Good Things to Come

While we all may have mixed feelings about the heat of a Georgia summer, most of us are pretty sure we enjoy the fruits and vegetables of that hot time.  After all, it takes heat to produce a tomato with real tomato flavor. And those shipped from warmer places . . . well, they are shipped; what more can I say?

I, for one, don’t buy or eat “fresh” tomatoes in the cooler months.  Why bother?  We have plenty in the freezer in the form of roasted tomatoes or roasted tomato sauce with which to cook during the winter.  So I just eat fresh real tomatoes every day during the summer.  There is hardly a meal in our house during the summer that does not have a plate of sliced tomatoes as part of it. 

In the summer we not only have delicious tomatoes, we have juicy cool cucumbers and other heat loving stalwarts like eggplants, peppers, squash and okra.  (And admittedly mourn the loss of many of our leafy greens and delightful lettuces; but you can’t have everything all the time.  That reality really hits home when you are eating out of the garden full time.)

So it is now May and on Elm Street we have hoop houses full of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant, which we began planting at the beginning of April.  That way, they have an early start with the warmth afforded by the hoop house covering.  And in the open beds, you will find earlier plantings of potatoes, leeks, garlic and onions.  Summer squash and more tomatoes were just placed outside too. There are varieties in our garden of many of these summer standards that we think are among the best in their category.   I’m practically drooling just writing about it.  Especially about the tomatoes. 

Suzy

Here are some views of the beginnings of the summer delights to come.  

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes are a big favorite.  They are incredibly delicious with a dense juicy interior.  The outside is a purple red with green shoulders.  This old heirloom variety is a large beefsteak style tomato.  

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes are a big favorite.  They are incredibly delicious with a dense juicy interior.  The outside is a purple red with green shoulders.  This old heirloom variety is a large beefsteak style tomato.  

We have plenty of SunGold Tomatoes planted too.  They are one of the sweetest, tastiest of the cherry tomato type.

We have plenty of SunGold Tomatoes planted too.  They are one of the sweetest, tastiest of the cherry tomato type.

We grew these wonderful small eggplant, Fairy Tale, last year.  These petite eggplant will be joined this year by more conventional eggplant as well as a white type and the long slimmer Japanese variety.

We grew these wonderful small eggplant, Fairy Tale, last year.  These petite eggplant will be joined this year by more conventional eggplant as well as a white type and the long slimmer Japanese variety.

It is important to keep potatoes heavily mulched.  Here's a row that shows how we pile the mulch on.  We have a variety of potatoes in the ground this year, including Adirondack Red, Island Sunshine and All Blue.

It is important to keep potatoes heavily mulched.  Here's a row that shows how we pile the mulch on.  We have a variety of potatoes in the ground this year, including Adirondack Red, Island Sunshine and All Blue.

Oops!  We may not have to plant any more sunflowers this year.  The birds seem to have already done it for us.  If only they had been more orderly in their planting.

Oops!  We may not have to plant any more sunflowers this year.  The birds seem to have already done it for us.  If only they had been more orderly in their planting.

Our yellow granex onions are coming along nicely.  Here are some of the first planted and, therefore, largest ones.  

Our yellow granex onions are coming along nicely.  Here are some of the first planted and, therefore, largest ones.  

15 Elm Street, Sparta, GA