Happy July 4th! It’s a glorious day here in Indiana! Hard to limit to six for this Saturday, because the daylilies are opening everywhere, the potager’s plants are becoming loaded with produce, and everywhere I look there is color and busy bees. But, here’s what made the cut. 1) This morning’s star has to be this sunflower “Starburst” which will replace our normal fireworks for this holiday. Intentionally, more branching sunflowers were planted this year, and I think it will become the norm. We are having very hot weather, so the peppers are changing overnight. Here’s a new one for me:
2) “Corbaci” is one of the longest peppers available, with a fruity flavor and no heat, good pickled, fresh, or fried. It is said to be super productive, and I’d guess they are going to be, because this baby plant already has 3 peppers approaching 10″ long with lots more setting on. I sure hope we like them! They can be eaten now, so I’ll harvest the largest one for tonight’s special dinner, or at any stage as they turn to red.
3) I reported in June’s monthly review that there were egg-sized melons. Well, three days later the plants have clusters of baseball-sized melons! I counted 12 on the south plant, 10 on the north plant, and 8 walnut-sized melons on the center plant. I think I’ve already learned something…caging the Minnesota Midget melon plants works great, but they need to be spaced out a bit. Although, maybe in the end this will be a good thing because the center plant’s melons will be later, and I doubt even we melon-lovers can eat the 22 that will be ready at about the same time on the other two plants!
4) I grew these luscious “Cantaloupe” type melons last year and they were delicious, but I learned they were rampant, so only two plants are growing this year, both on a sturdy metal trellis. I’m training the main vines up the trellis and letting them climb to the top, but the “side shoots” are getting clipped off once they reach the edge of the beds. No covering up the paths and roaming into neighboring beds this year!
5) The first cipollini will be harvested this evening to grill along with rare T-bone steaks! I don’t normally eat much red meat, and certainly not a big T-bone, but it’s our anniversary and I let D pick the main dish. We love grilled cipollini, but they’ve never grown this large before! Most of them are 4″ in diameter. Usually they are about 2″, which is the size I prefer, especially for marinating and canning. They are so sweet, and will carmelize on the grill, making a tasty side dish, along with a mushroom salad using garlic chives. For dessert, D is making is famous cherries jubilee (the first thing he ever cooked for me decades ago!)
6) After dinner, I think we’ll stroll out to the potager with a glass of bubbly and sit on the bench my father made for me nearly 30 years ago. The sweet peas are blooming, and the fragrance will be lovely. And just maybe we can view some “local” fireworks set off by the neighbors in the night sky.
That’s my Six for this Saturday. If you’d like to see other gardeners’ selections, visit The Propagator, who hosts this meme. I hope your July 4th is filled with laughter, amazing sights, good food, and blessings.