Thursday, August 30, 2012

Garden - End Of August, 2012

Despite the heat (way into the 80s) and humidity (way into ugly), I spent a bit of time in the garden today doing a little harvesting (tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi) but mostly clean up.

I ripped up spent bean plants, sweet peas and some other flowers that had given their all. Did a little weeding but we haven't had much rain in the last week or so which seems to be keeping even the weeds from growing well. (Sorry, Erin.)

In no particular order, here are some pictures I took to show how things are doing at the end of the last month of summer.

I've got a nice crop of beets coming along. Forono cylindrical beets are the only kind I plant anymore. They stay nice and smooth and are perfect for slicing for pickled beets . . . or anything else.

My fall broccoli isn't as sturdy or robust looking (shape up, you wimpy little guys!) as I had hoped it would be by this time. I planted it by seed in the garden on July 29th, a month ago already.

I think the morning glories may be at the peak of their glory right now . . . so lovely.

What the heck is with the lettuce this year? Can't even count the number of times I've replanted it. This is my bed of fall lettuce and I've replanted it once. The germination on all the different varieties has been just plain poopy.

On the other hand, the cherry tomatoes . . . wow! I've never had cherry tomatoes get this big. And they are, finally, ripening like crazy.

Our experimental corn (multi-colored and supposedly good to eat fresh like regular sweet corn) has two or three ears developing on each stalk, but the ears still look skinny and not very filled-out as of yet.

Here's a bed of fall Swiss chard closest in the picture, then kohlrabi in the middle with spinach at the far end. My spinach early this summer bolted when it was about 4" high so I'm hoping we get our fill for fresh eating from this planting.

I have got some BIG pumpkins growing into what should be nice jack o' lanterns. I've never been successful at getting pumpkins of this size before.

And look at this one! Almost all orange already.

Here we have the skyscrapers of the homestead. And, lo and behold, way up there I do believe there are finally (FINALLY!) some blossom heads forming.

How tall are these giants? Well, Papa Pea is 6'3" and it looks like the sunflowers have about four feet more height above his head. We're gonna need the chainsaw to take these stalks down.

All in all, the garden is in as good shape as it's ever been at this time of year. Which I guess is saying something considering the wonky start we had, the plethora of insects present, the intense heat and bad germination of seeds. Our strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all had a shorter than usual season and gave us a less than bumper crop of fruit. But good rains came for us at just the right time and I don't think I hand watered nearly as much as most years. I know many of you have been dealing with really bad conditions so I feel very fortunate and appreciate that my garden has done as well as it has this year. Remember, NEXT YEAR we're all going to have fantastic gardens!

32 comments:

Carolyn Renee said...

Crazy big "cherry" tomatoes and would you look at those sunflower monsters!! And yes, NEXT year will be better. Right? Right?! Please tell me it will :)

Trailshome said...

Your garden looks wonderful! And do you promise on that fantastic garden prediction for next year? It's sure been a bizarro year for gardening, but we in Indiana ended up having a good gardening year, and I'm still planting some fall crops and keeping my fingers crossed. All gardeners are optimists at heart, ya know?

Tombstone Livestock said...

Garden looks good, sunflowers fantastic. I buy canned baby corn to add to stir fry or salads, when I grew corn 2 years ago I picked the small ears, unfortunately they never made it to the house, I ate them raw. I always thought the canned baby corn was a special varitey, but my skinny little new ears substitured just fine.

Sparkless said...

Pickled beets, now that's a way I could eat beets! I don't like beets but have been trying to find a way to eat the things cause I know they are good for you.
I guess it's a year of extremes from extra large pumpkins and cherry tomatoes to poor lettuce and broccoli.
I think the plants are totally confused by the weather.

DFW said...

Agree w/Sparkless. I don't like beets but want to like them because of the nutrition factor. Same w/Kale. But alas, I don't like either.

Kelly said...

WOW!!! Your garden looks great! I am super jealous of your pumpkins!

Sue said...

Yes indeed---NEXT YEAR.
I'm glad I didn't do any gardening this year besides for our food. I would have gone crazy trying to water all the pots/tubs/barrels. But we're home for good after this fall and NEXT YEAR--I am gonna garden like there's no tomorrow.
Your pumpkins look fantastic. I planted the seeds, but those never came up or they died from no watering in June--I'll never know. I suppose on our way home in October I shall have to swing by and STEAL YOURS.
Nah.
We're wimps.
But I'd like to!
And Don only steals Glads.Peach ones.
:)

tami said...

I think your garden looks pretty amazing, MP. I hear ya on the germination this year too. I keep replanting and I'm not getting much outta the lettuce and carrots either. (Time to toss em and buy new I guess...)

judy said...

wow and wow on those cherry tomatoes!

The Weekend Homesteader said...

I have to agree, the humidity is way into ugly! I went outside after work last night to do some work in the garden and proceeded to go right back inside. The mosquitos swarmed me as soon as I stepped out, and the humidity coated me with a nice sheen of yuck! I've been cleaning up in my garden as well. Your garden is still looking lovely and productive. I love the morning glories too.

Stephanie said...

Looks great!

Mama Pea said...

CR - YOU really have had a tough gardening year, my friend. Really hoping things turn around in a big way for you next year!

Mama Pea said...

Trailshome - It seems gardening was difficult in so many parts of the country this year. I just hope first time gardeners will hang in there and try again next year. It's got to be better then!

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - We thank you for being a guinea pig for the rest of us and figuring out you can eat (with no disasterous results!) teeny-tiny, little immature corn ears! My daughter is a big fan of those miniature ears of corn, too.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I LOVE pickled beets! And we both like them cooked with salt, pepper and butter. Mmmmm! Grated raw in a salad is good, too. I guess we just like beets!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - I'm with you on the kale. If it's small it's okay, but tastes very bitter and strong to me if it gets beyond that stage.

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - I really can't believe I actually grew ones that big!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Okay, we have it on record here, Folks. Not only do they steal glads, but also pumpkins. Come October, chain your jack o' lanterns down!

Mama Pea said...

Tami - The thing is lots of people had trouble on germination with brand new seeds! The whole thing seems pretty fishy to me . . .

Mama Pea said...

judy - The best thing about them is that they've developed a nice flavor, too!

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - We've been really, really lucky in that even with all our heat and humidity the mosquitoes haven't been bad! (What's going on here?)
Hubby and I sat out on the deck round about 10 last night watching the full moon and kept wondering why we weren't getting bit up.

I've planted these purple morning glories for several years now and am thinking of branching out by adding another color (or two) next year.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Thanks!

Susan said...

From your lips to God's ear, Mama Pea. It would be refreshing to get a 'normal' gardening year once in a while. I should do a before and after of my pumpkins/squash, but it would make me cry.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

It does seem the things that did well this year for you got HUGE.

Lisa said...

Those are CHERRY tomatoes?!!! I'm with Jane, your stuff grew in huge this year! And isn't that what keeps us gardening.... thoughts of 'next year'?! Thanks for sharing with us Mama Pea.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I think when we share our oopsies along with our successes it helps us all feel better about not being PERFECT! (How the heck could we ever have perfect gardens with this wonky, crazy weather we've had?? Plus, I do think we're in a "weather phase" that is going to remain unsettled for at least a few years. How's that for a downer?

Mama Pea said...

Jane - So organic fertilizer does work? (I always mean to put an extra scoop of composted manure in my pumpkin and squash hills but forget until it's too late.)

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Remember: In gardening, there are no failures, only experiments. (Boy, did we all experiment a lot this year!)

Karen L. said...

Oh no!!!! It's the dreaded "pickled beets"!!!! ICK! Sorry, just don't like them. Actually they are one of about 3 or 4 things I just cannot eat. However, I would be more than willing to help you eat any of the greens and those tomatoes for sure. Wouldn't say no to a pumpkin or two either. Sadly, you are too far away. (PS: I like that Papa Pea agreed with the seasonal quilt TV covers. I knew I liked him! When the snows come this winter perhaps you can work on them.)

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - It kinda amazes me to learn how many people don't like beets! We never had cooked beets when I was growing up, but we did have pickled beets (store bought kind) and I certainly got hooked on those. Now I freeze sliced beets for heating and eating with salt, pepper and butter (mmmm!), can pickled beets and store some "fresh" to roast with onions, potatoes, carrots and garlic. One of my favorite winter time vegetable dishes!

You know if you were closer, I would gladly share my greens, tomatoes and pumpkins. Beets, too. (Hee-hee.)

Erin said...

Everything looks fantastic! So glad you are getting to enjoy those big cherry tomatoes! Too bad the lettuce isn't cooperating, I have planted my fall lettuce twice now, it germinates and then either drowns or the seedlings keel over from the still too hot summer :( Oh, well... there's always next year.

satyam Kaushik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.