Friday, September 9, 2016

Late summer

I haven't posted in a few weeks and the growing season is coming to an end.   August was not a very good month for production, but September looks better.  About a month ago the tomato plants were removed after succumbing to blight.  Since then the cucumber vines, three Calypso and one Diva, have also been taken out after dying from what looks like bacterial wilt.  The last time the cucumbers got wilt, about 5 years ago, the squash followed, which worried me greatly, as this is a banner year for the squash.   So far it looks like they have not been affected, and at this point many of the squash have already matured.

The pole beans mostly stopped producing in August but have now picked up again, just not like they were.  The zucchini that replaced the first plant which got the borer took it's sweet time getting established.  It's finally sized up and has given me one large squash, with more on the way.

The four okra plants in the same bed are nearly finished, the leaves nearly gone, but they keep producing a few okra.  These hybrid okra start producing early and continuously all summer - I've picked nearly 10 pounds so far.  In another spot there is a Silver Queen okra, an heirloom.  It is just now starting to produce heavily.  I think this must be a 'deep south' okra that requires a long growing season.  In this area it is hit and miss depending on the summer.  Next year I am going to plant at least two of this type of okra.  I've found a way to freeze okra, by slicing, breading in corn meal and dry blanching in the oven and a late season okra that produces heavily would be perfect for freezing.

The tomatoes may be finished but their cousins the peppers have done well.  I picked hot peppers for salsa a few weeks ago, but had to buy the tomatoes.

Also Carmen and Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers, which were grilled and put into the salsa.

The Mama Mia Giallo peppers are nearly ready to pick.  I plan to grill and freeze them for later use.

There's a whole new batch of Jalapenos and Serranos that are ready, but don't know if I'm ready to can more salsa.  It's a lot of work.

Much of the garden is being 'put away' for the winter.  I don't do fall plantings as the tree line to the south of the garden has already begun casting long shadows on the vegetable plot.  By the end of the month many of the beds will get only a few hours of sun a day.  These two beds have been planted with cover crops.  The bed in front was seeded with buckwheat and field peas two weeks ago, and the bed in back was seeded with buckwheat in late July.

The tender greens will be cut regularly and fed to the new litter of bunnies.  The field peas had to make it through several days of unseasonally hot weather but they look good and will add nitrogen to the soil.  Since the rabbits like the young buckwheat I tasted it.  Not bad really, mild but not much flavor.

The back bed will be the greenhouse bed for the winter.  I will plant spinach, mache and bunching onions in that bed and put the plastic greenhouse over it for the winter.  I'm not sure when you plant bunching onions to overwinter,  probably soon.   The squash curing on the screen are Golden Nugget, from one plant.  I don't know if all of them are fully ripe but the plant was done.

This trellis is thick with butternuts and Teksukabotu, and there are many more on top of the soil. 

The large bed will be very productive this year.  It's already given me about 40 pounds of potatoes and 15 pounds of beans.  I expect 60 to 80 pounds of squash and some yield of sweet potatoes, unless the voles get them all.  The Silver Queen okra plant and the Teksukabotu squash seem to be having a contest for tallest plant. 


Eight Gate Farm NH said...

Despite your troubles, I would say things look really good. Your peppers are all so red and ripe. Funny that you sampled the buckwheat--I know the seeds are good, but the greens? Maybe survival food I guess.

Margaret said...

Wow - that is an incredible number of Gold Nugget squash from a single plant! I've not done well with that variety, in terms of productivity - my grand total has never exceeded in one squash from one plant. Pretty dismal! I like the idea of using a trellis for the butternuts - something I should consider for next year.

Mark Willis said...

Nice chillis and peppers! You should try making some harissa. I have problems with lack of sunlight in my garden too, but most things seem to do reasonably well despite this.

gardenvariety-hoosier said...

Mark - Harissa sounds delicious and I have nearly all the ingredients on hand. Thanks for the suggestion.

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