October 3, 2016

Sometimes all you get from teh garden is

Sometimes all you get from the garden is “a little bit”. Today’s little bit includes green tomatoes to fry, a single eggplant,a few peppers and a couple okra. Certainly enough for dinner.

Here it is the 12th of the month and I’m just getting around to writing the September garden wrap up. As the fall garden is fading, dying down and just plain ole gone it is difficult to maintain the same level of excitement  and enthusiasm for photographing it as I did in the spring and summer. I am tired. That’s a hard thing to say – I am tired of the garden. But it is true. Nonetheless the fall plants and seeds are going in. True they are much later than last year and some may not even come to fruition due to this late date. But it has been and continues to be too warm for so many things. The long term weather forecast for right here looks to be warmer than usual.

I have planted beets twice and they have failed because it became too warm. I will try one more time. Lost a long row of choy to dry heat and grasshoppers. Those too will be replanted. The lettuce is struggling and making a show of it mostly because they are in the shade of the okra which is still producing. Then there are the carrots with a poor showing – will plant more, the radish – pulled one big handful the other day(!), the green onions, some leeks which I hope will overwinter and the brassicas which are not even in the ground.

Most people around here will already be eating broccoli but not us. It has been so warm in fact that I planted an eight foot row of Contender green beans just as an experiment. There is a black plastic back wall on the north side to catch every drop of sun and heat in the hopes of getting some very late beans! It might work, they are about seven inches tall. If all of this sounds confusing it is.

And if you remember I promised that if the eggplant does something I will let you know. Well, it is doing something! It’s covered with big beautiful leaves, is free of flea beetles, covered with flowers and we are harvesting lovely Ping Tung eggplants every couple days with many more to come. The keyword for gardening in 2016 has been learn – and learn I have. Eggplant will likely not even go in the ground next year until July or later so it can catch the fall weather for bigger production and less bugs.

About those aphids. Ugh. There has been a continous supply of aphids since last fall, all through the winter and summer. In spite of cold, dry, heat, insecticidal soap and near daily dousing with water spray they seem to be here to stay. I’m not willing to do anything much more drastic to rid the garden of them.

Genovese basil

Genovese basil – it has become woody and is ready for the compost pile.

Pablano peppers

Pablano peppers – hoping this beautiful weather holds as these plants are covered with too many little peppers to count. Gonna make some happy Spanish rice soon.

peppers

Jalapeno peppers getting a bit sunburned. This is the two year old plant. I will bring it in for a second winter and see if a third crop will come of it.

Marconi

Marconi – the plants are still yellow! I have no idea. The harvest is sparse but delicious. Next year I will go about pepper planting in a whole different way. You wait and see.

Jimmy Nardelos

Jimmy Nardelos – better than the Marconi but stunted from the too early planting as we have discussed before. Plenty to eat though.

squash

I cannot seem to find the time, energy or care to hand pollinate this zucchini plant. There don’t seem to be any polinators around with the cooler weather and we are missing out on great squash.

Leeks grown from seed looking good

Leeks grown from seed looking good – ummm, a couple of those are grass blades in disguise. More leeks on the way soon as a new batch of seedlings are about six inches high!

tomato

A single broken branch from a Black Krim earlier this summer and a great plant now producing tomatoes! It worked! This plant has little sign of blight, few aphids, hornworms in check and is covered in small to large tomatoes. At the very least there will be green tomatoes to fry.

lemon grass

Lemongrass ready to harvest and dry.

Okra

I have left nine okra on the stems to get as big as possible and dry to make some table decorations. The earlier ones I did turned out fine. They will be ready to cut soon. They are around 7 – 8 inched long. Still getting several nice ones every day or so to eat. Remember I cut every other plant out of the garden because they were too close. Well they have all this new growth at the bottom and are making okra there! Who knew.

baby plants

This picture was taken on September 15. They are now nearly ready to go in the ground and much larger. Running about a month behind last year – the weather was just too hot to do anything else.

snow peas

Snow peas looking good. The English peas on the other hand are struggling on the east side of the garden. We will be downing a few more trees on that side of the yard to get some more sunshine.

Radish; pulled the first mess of French breakfast today. They will get grated along with cabbage, carrot and zucchini for a veggie wrap. A little cream cheese and some hot pepper jam. Yum! P.S. – we had the veggy wraps with homemade catsup and that was way good!

Onions; are coming up from seed and from some old sets found stuffed away in a brown bag.

Lettuce; has been slow to come on but four varieties are up and growing now the weather is cooler.

The garlic and some shallots were planted a few days ago.

Beets; second planting is sparse and the grasshoppers are STIll at it. Time for the weed block I guess and another planting.

Pak choy, grasshoppers here too

We have broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts ready to plant. If I can get the summer stuff to give it up.

Green beans; I nursed that last row along until every last bean was grown and picked. All done. Except for the NEW row put in about ten days ago. They have a black plastic backwall to hold the heat of the day. If it is going to get very cold at night I will pull some cover over them. Lets cross our fingers and see if this works. Photos of this later.

Still to plant, parsnips, carrots, the brassicas and more radish, onion, choy and beets.

-S

Drying okra for decorations

Drying okra for decorations

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