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!
Just when it couldn't have been more surreal...
5 hours ago