Summer is Here

To me, Summer has officially started when I harvest my first ripe tomato from the garden. Tah-Dah! I present to you Galina. This was my first ripe tomato last year as well. Galina is sweet with a bite of acid at the end. It is a cherry type tomato that varies from bright yellow to orange in color.  The seed packet said it is an indeterminate plant but for me, this plant grows more like a bush than a vine.  I harvested this beauty yesterday so the official date of Summer at Benjamin Hill Farms is June 5th.


I’ve had a bad time with Blossom End Rot (BER). I believe this is due to the many rainy days we experienced a few weeks ago. Apparently, too much water will keep the roots from taking calcium, which then causes BER. I have pulled many tomatoes afflicted by BER and I am happy to report that the new tomatoes forming are ok.


My novelty tomato; Tiny Tim, reached maturity at 8 inches tall. It has been setting fruit like crazy. I count 11 cherry tomatoes on the plant.

Tiny Tim doing its share


My Silvery Fir Tree tomato plant is producing lots of tomatoes. I pulled a few that were affected by BER and still have lots and lots left on the plant. How I wish this was an Indeterminate plant. I do love the flat nature of the fruit!

Silvery Fir Tree tomato


A couple of weeks ago, a strong gale blew through my garden and flattened the blackberry canes. It broke them actually. I left them where they fell because they were still somewhat attached. The fruit continues to form on them and to ripen.



Incredibly, there are three pepper plants surviving on the Upsy Turvy pepper planter. The planter itself seems to be doing poorly in the sun but three plants in it survived and are developing.

Not quite a success but not a complete failure

Overall, things are ok in the garden. My tomato plants don’t look perfect. There is evidence of water-stress, blossom-end rot and caterpillar damage but then I did not expect them to look perfect. I don’t spray anything on them so they fend for themselves. I am betting that if I feed them and water them, they will be strong and do fine.

My onions did not grow. They were salad onions so I did not expect bulbs but I expected them to grow bigger than they did. I pulled them and ate them this morning for breakfast.

My garlic is not growing either. It got to a point and stopped. It’s not doing anything actually. Just sitting there.

My Peas are done. I will pull them this evening when the temperatures drop a little. I already have a few tomato plants where the peas grew.

I wanted to pull my cabbage and my broccoli plants out but I decided to let them sit a while longer. I went out last evening and found no cabbage loopers on the cabbage. Where did they go? I checked the broccoli and saw none there either. Did it get too hot for them?

The cucumber plants are growing well. The lemon cucumbers have blooms now. I can’t wait to taste these round cucumbers.

My Minnesota Midget canteloupes are growing and some are begginning to hold on to the fence. I planted them on a big tub this year. I hope they fruit.


I found fruit flies around the peaches today. Sigh! I hope there are enough peaches on the tree that I get to eat some this year. I don’t want to spray the trees so I don’t know what to do. All the peaches I bagged fell. Incidentally, fruit trees drop fruit to self-thin. It’s called June Drop. Mine started dropping fruit in May so I hope it is still the same thing.

Over and Out.


6 Responses to “Summer is Here”

  1. Gardener on Sherlock Street Says:

    Wow a tomato. I know you started yours indoors early. I just spotted my first tomato forming this morning. I don’t know if it works for sure yet, but I put our egg shells in the soil around my tomato plants. Supposedly, it increases the calcium available for the plants.
    The persistent blackberries are great. I hope you get a big crop.

    • yaquigrande Says:

      I blend banana peals with egg shells and water to make a banana peal smoothie for the tomatoes. I pour the smoothie on the soil and work it in with a stick. I think that too much water keeps the plant from taking in the Calcium regardless of how Calcium the plant has access to. Now that the rain has regulated, I can control the process better.
      As for the early tomatoes, this is the last year I try for them. Next year all my tomatoes will be Winter sown which will put my tomato day sometime in the middle of July.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Never mind of those little failures, your riped tomato and carrot is a blessing! Happy gardening. Btw, you pepper planter looks cute.

  3. Melanie Says:

    Wow!! I can’t believe that you picked a ripe tomato already!! We have picked beets and have been eating lots of swiss chard. Oh, and the baby has eaten the strawberries as fast as she can find them 🙂 The kids at day camp made topsy turvy tomato buckets yesterday–I’m anxious to see how they work!!

  4. Urbanksfarmer Says:

    Hi Yaquigrande,
    I haven’t seen any BER on my tomatoes but my garlic did the same as yours, i.e. grew strong for a month or two and then just stopped. I planted it in March. I haven’t tried to dig one up but will probably do so soon. I planted a lot of garlic in miscellaneous spots and I plan to just leave it and see what it does next year.

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