Thursday, August 10, 2017

Status report - August

It's getting late into summer, and I'm seeing the usual assortment of things doing well and other things in decline.   I think this is the time when a lot of people, seeing a vegetable garden that looks more ragged than green, throw up their hands and walk away, maybe collecting the remaining tomatoes.  However with some maintenance the garden can continue producing for several months.  Today I walked around the beds and snapped some photos to show what's going on.

The strawberry pallet planter.  For a while the deer were sneaking in from a side where they never had ventured in the past, walking between the deck and the pond to get to the strawberries.  Thank goodness that has stopped and the plants are looking better, although not robust.  Now I have to think about how to protect them over the winter.

The second zucchini plant.  The squash bugs have found it and today I removed spent foliage that was thick with the nasty little critters.  I'm not a huge fan of summer squash, but I like to have some.  The first plant produced a few squash and died.  I planted this one on June 17 and it has given me one squash so far.   Next year I will definitely plant a heirloom squash like Cocozelle.

The Victoria rhubarb, planted this spring.  It got huge, 4 foot across, but after the hailstorm it was never the same, and the leaves are dying soon after they are set.  I'm hoping it shrugs this off.

Parsnip seems to be doing well.  This is either Javelin or Lancer, can't remember.

After the last of the sweet corn was picked, I cut it off at the base to clear the way for the winter squash.  I've had a lot of problems with winter squash this year and it's off to a late start, but finally it seems to be growing and setting squash.  It takes about 2 months for a squash to mature after it is set, so there should be time to make some squash.  It looks like they have shaken off the bacterial wilt.  It's great to walk by the squash in the morning and hear the sound of bumblebees.

Raspberries.  We'll what can I say.  They contracted fungal diseases last year so I cut them down to the ground last autumn.  The Autumn Bliss on the right appears to be recovering but the Caroline plants are not doing so well.  There will be a few berries to snack on while I'm out in the garden, but no desserts.

Pole beans.  They were hit hard by Japanese beetles this year, especially at the top of the trellis.  The worst of the onslaught appears to be over.  The Musica beans on the right appear to be recovering better than the Fortex.   I'm hoping to be 'back in beans' again very soon.

The pickling cucumbers look to be finished, but the lone slicing cucumber I planted late is still trying, bless its little cucumber heart.  Burpee's Burpless, I believe.  It has set one cuke which looks a little misshapen and a bit under the weather.  On end of the bed are 2 rows of bush beans that have just come up.

Finally, the tomatoes and peppers.  This morning I removed about a wheelbarrow load of foliage from the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini.  Mostly from the tomatoes, just to remove spent foliage and suckers and allow more air to circulate.  I can't tell that I've done anything - it's still a jungle in there. It's getting so thick on the pepper side of the bed that I have to crawl on my hands and knees to find peppers.  I really shouldn't complain.


Jane Strong said...

I like this report because you tell us that all is not perfect! It is much more like my own attempts at vegetable gardening. Like today, I picked the first cucumber from the latest planting and much to my sorrow it was bitter.

Margaret said...

That's very true - there is still a lot of life in the vegetable garden at this stage, but many people look at those dying leaves and simply give up, which is too bad. Your tomatoes look great! All our rain means that mine have been hit with blight, one bed in particular is doing pretty badly. It's wet again today but I'll be doing a lot of trimming over the next couple of days in the hopes that I can at least slow the disease down a bit. I have a feeling we will be a short tomato season this year.

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