There’s been a real shortage of sunshine the last two weeks and the yields from the garden have taken a hit. The past week has been a little better than the week before, when there was only an occasional break in the cloud cover, but the garden still hasn’t rebounded. The last plot of bush beans should be producing beans right now but they just stopped developing.
Worst hit by the change in weather were the tomatoes. I watered the garden the last 90 degree day about two weeks ago, then it abruptly turned cold and cloudy. The tomatoes stopped growing, but did not stop taking up water, and I lost five nice Brandywines that literally split to the core. (At least they didn’t explode). I’ve just started teaching a lab and recitation at the university in Indy and was trying to get up to speed with the course material and wasn’t paying attention to the garden. Yes I should have picked them and brought them inside right away but hindsight is always 20/20.
At least the peppers are still looking good and some more sunny days should provide a batch of red hot cherry peppers and sweet peppers for salsa. I’ll have to use canned tomatoes though. Cubanelle peppers develop a sweeter more intense flavor in the fall that makes them almost like candy. There must be some enterprising cook somewhere who has made a pie out of very sweet peppers such as these.
The last batch of Provider beans were mostly ruined by something that ate pits in the beans in different places. At first I thought it was Mexican bean beetles until I found this small caterpillar inside one of the pits on a Roma bean. They don't do much damage until the beans are nearly finished bearing. They could be a bigger problem on pole beans that bear all season. Bt should be an effective control for these. There are also some bacterial (halo blight) and fungal diseases (bean anthracnose) that also leave pits on the bean pod. Guess everything likes beans.
It was about fifty degrees Friday morning and it seemed like time to start splitting wood for winter. There’s probably about four ricks of wood there after the logs are split. The big oak logs were split with a wedge and sledgehammer into quarters then split into smaller pieces with a maul. It wasn’t long before I was out of breath and a T-shirt was sufficient insulation on a cool windy morning. That is hard work. Three days later and my stomach is still sore.
The structure in the back is an A-frame mobile chicken coop which I built this spring but never used. I plan to write about it in an upcoming post.
Tally for the week: Okra 1 oz; Tomato 1 lb 13 oz; Snap beans 6 oz; Eggplant 4 oz;Hot pepper 2 oz; Sweet pepper 4 oz. Totals for year: 174 lb