Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of Summer Chores

I don't know if this is late Summer or early Fall. Technically it's still Summer.  It feels more like Fall today after a front with its storm clouds moved through last night.  This morning I walked around the yard looking for downed limbs and seeing what needs cleaning up.  A few plants needed re-staking but mostly things were in good shape.  It seemed like a good time to do some housecleaning.

The cucumbers have been overtaken by disease.  It was time for them to go.  I cut the vines and pulled them out, then removed the trellis, which is a 4' x 8' concrete remesh, and pulled out the metal fence posts.  The tomatoes are nearly finished and those supports are next to go.

It was past time to pick the winter squash.  These are Teksukabotu and Metro Butternut, from two plants of each variety.  These squash set in June and have had plenty of time to mature (most winter squash take about 45 to 60 days to ripen fully).   Each plant produced 3 squash, but the Teksukabotu's are quite a bit larger than the Butternuts.  I'll let them cure in the sun for a week or two then weigh them. 

The Teksukabotu are a cross between C. maxima (kabocha) and C. moschata (butternut) and are resistant to the borer.  They are also incredibly vigourous.  Some of the vines are over 30 feet long.  I tried to capture it with this picture showing the bed on the left and the vines trailing down the hill.

A little closer and you can see the vines surrounding the okra plants and approaching the raspberry bed.  There are several more squash that set in late August/early September that I'm hoping will ripen before the first frost.  There's one in the foreground in this picture.  I went throught the vines with pruning shears and removed any new fruit that set recently.  I also removed spent foliage and cut off the growing tips of the vines.  Enough!

The squash has had powdery mildew since midsummer.  I spray with Neem about once a week.  It suppresses the mildew quite well I've found.   Neem won't completely remove the mildew but it will keep it manageable.

Another late season project that needs to be done is building a trellis system for the raspberries.  They have really taken off now and the Autumn Bliss is providing snacks nearly every day.  The vines have multiplied and the stakes are just not up to the task.  Even the Carolines are needing some support.

And here's my late season Zucchini, planted in July.  It was nice to get a break from the summer squash after I pulled up the first plant, but a few more are certainly welcome at this point.

Any day now this cauliflower is going to be ready to pick.  It's been growing here all summer.


Daphne Gould said...

Sometimes I really wish I had space like that for my squash plants. I force them into a tiny spot. They produce, but they would do better if let to roam more.

Mark Willis said...

My little garden could never accommodate huge squash vines like those of yours. I have twice tried "Butterbush2, which is supposedly very compact and can be grown in a pot, but neither time has it done anything at all. The plants never grew beyond 12" tall and produced no fruit. I hope nothing attacks that fine cauliflower right at the last minute!

Susie said...

Those squash vines are incredible! I have a lot of space so OK to let them roam, but I have never seen anything like this. I am also building a trellis for raspberries this fall - I'm using wooden fence posts and old barn boards for something a bit rustic looking.

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