Sunday, August 16, 2020

Garden's Tired, But Still Producing

 My garden has passed the neat and tidy, attractive stage, but still has a lot to offer.

 

There are some lush, healthy-looking ferns appearing in the asparagus bed.  Our harvest this year for our winter's supply was exactly the same as last year, but I do think we ate more fresh this year.

 

The shell peas have long been done, and I should have had these spent vines pulled by now.  I got a start on them the other day, but didn't finish.  Our supply of peas put by is double what it was last year when I planted the peas in "new" ground that had been worked up for only two years.  Goes to show that a soil full of adequate nutrients produces a better crop.  (Ha, who'd a'thunk it?)

 

After our strawberry harvest was over this year, I was a bad gardener and neglected the whole area which became full, full, full of weeds.  It took me a while, but I finally finished the removal of weeds yesterday.  Now to keep it that way until the frost hits and I cover the whole bed with heavy mulch for the winter.

 

My patch of jack-o'-lantern pumpkins is producing BIG pumpkins.  If Mother Nature will cooperate and let them mature enough to turn a nice orange color, all will be well.

 

The little pie pumpkins are even more prolific than the big ones.  If they get time to mature, I'll have all I want for pumpkin puree plus decorations in my fall window boxes.

 

This is a peek at a couple of the tomatoes on the full-sized tomato plants (that I said I would never bother planting again until I had a greenhouse).  Two plants were given to me that I stuck in a spare corner and they've produced good-sized looking tomatoes.  Like the pumpkins, if we get the proper weather, they may even ripen on the vine!  And wouldn't that be something?

 

I've never had Swiss chard grow so big and vibrant.  This is one patch of it and there is another bunch of the "Bright Lights" variety that is even bigger.  I have so much Swiss chard this year I can't use it all.  (I think I planted too much.)  If I can squeeze in the time, I'll dehydrate some of it to mix in with the poultry's feed during the cold winter months.

 

Our tasty Red Kuri squash (so yummy!) has produced prolifically.  Granted, those yellow orbs still have to turn a deep, dark orange color before they'll be good to eat, but I have hopes.  I put two plants in a raised bed (as experimentation) and this patch in an area that I was afraid might not get enough sun to grow squash.  (Also an experiment.)  So far, the shady patch has out-produced the ones planted in the raised bed in full sunlight.  Go figure.

The garden is showing more and more bare, empty spots as the days and weeks go by, but that gives me a sense of keeping on top of things, too, as I clean up the areas and ready them for winter.  Do you remove the old debris from the garden at the end of the season or wait until the following spring?

 

 

18 comments:

Susie said...

Your garden still looks very nice to me. You keep it cleaned out. :) Blessings, xoxo, Susie

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

You definitely planted more peas than I did to get enough to freeze. I am comforted to know that you are still waiting for your tomatoes to turn red. I have lots of lovely green tomatoes, so I'm eager for them to ripen. I usually pull out most of my garden in the fall, but I'm also bad at letting the weeds take over at that time because I'm busy working again. I have jack o'lantern pumpkins too. Only three big ones but they are starting to turn orange! -Jenn

Rosalea said...

My gardens are in the 'winding down' stage as well. Lots of pumpkins and butternut squash turning colour. Beans are done and cleared out, garlic and onions are curing. I clear out my beds at the end of the season, covering them with chopped fall leaves and a layer of manure. Turn it all over in the spring and its good to go. Your chard is amazing, and those lovely, blemish free green tomatoes! Surely there is enough warm weather left to ripen them and the pumpkins?

Michelle said...

Maybe I've gotten a handful more tomatoes than you, but I have NO visible Red Kuri squash on my nice-looking plants! And it's not for lack of heat. Remember when our plants looked about the same? This is why I say I shouldn't devote any space to winter squash....

Mama Pea said...

Thank you, Susie! You're very nice to say so. :o)

Jenn - Yep, when school starts for you, I know it's hard to find the time to do all you'd like in the garden. Somehow, I think for all of us, staying on top of the weeds and keeping the garden looking good doesn't seem quite as important in the fall as it does in the spring anyway!

Rosalea - I harvested and hung our garlic this past Saturday but haven't done the onions yet. Papa Pea spreads compost and other good stuff on each part of the garden as soon as I have it cleared and, like you, it's ready to be turned over in the spring. We don't get a killing frost until way into October (most years!), BUT our warm weather needed for ripening tomatoes and pumpkins and squash is quickly drawing to a close. And that's what frequently keeps those kinds of veggies from maturing. :o(

SmartAlex said...

Nice Pumpkins! We always clean up in fall and I like to go out and rake the soil whenever we get a thaw to keep the weeds down. A little dirt therapy in February goes a long way! And I think it helps keep the bad bugs down because they don't have anywhere to over-winter

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - What the . . . ? That is a real mystery as to why your Red Kuri plants aren't forming fruit! They're out in the open (wind and all) so it shouldn't be a pollination problem. Darn. I think you may just have a winter squash curse! :o(

SmartAlex - Why, thank you, ma'am! ;o) Very, very good point about cleaning the garden in the fall so all those bad bugs don't turn the old dead stalks, weeds, etc. into condos! Plus, since we fertilize in the fall to let it settle down and in over winter and early spring, it makes it a necessity for us.

Susan said...

Well, you've heard my garden woes, so I won't repeat them. I will just enjoy your garden - vicariously - and dream of February, when I will, once again, be full of hope and great expectations for my 2021 garden. I never learn. (Thank goodness)

Carolyn said...

Paul & I just cleaned up the mess from the mostly-unsuccessful Summer Garden in preparation for the Fall Garden. Hopefully SOMETHING will mature before being destroyed by birds/squirrels/squash bugs/rabbits.

We don't clean up the garden until the following spring. Some may call it lazy, but I figure I'm giving the soil some extra nutrients while the weeds / leftovers become compost. Right? Right.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Your garden looks great! We're suffering with triple-digit heat right now ugh. We always clean all of our debris out usually in about October depending on the weather late in the month. With our chickens since that's their run they get to dig up everything else and eat all the little tidbits. We usually also clean out the cold frame but this year I've got cabbages planted what you're doing well, so I'm going to leave them and see how long they last outside depending on the weather. I wish I had a root cellar! Just not enough room however

Goatldi said...

Well I was going to ask your opinion on a variety of slicer size tomatoes but I guess I will pass on that one, lol. But look at all the tomatoes just waiting to hit the cast iron pan dipped and breaded to create a yummy serving of "fried green tomatoes".

I will ask where you get your seeds for the Red Kuri Squash?

And will add I believe from my experience this year raised bed gardens (remember mine are a good foot and one half at top soil level ) don't offer the plants the same environment as they would get in a ground level or a smaller in depth raised bed. I know in my case I didn't really have any of my soil to add to the organic soil products I had to purchase especially for raised bed gardens. And I even added a generous amount of worms to the soil prior to planting. I think this was why my plants did weird things I never recall seeing in our gardens from the past.

It will be interesting to see what happens next year when I am planting in a more traditional method.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Isn't it amazing that no matter how many garden disappointments we experience, we're always ready to try again next season? Hope springs eternal? (I'll leave out the more negative sayings that could be inserted here. You're welcome.)

Carolyn - Heck, in your climate you hardly have any time to clean your garden and have it bare! (Yes, I am jealous, why do you ask?) Your "season" is just about year 'round!

Nancy - I'm perspiring just thinking about your temperatures! Ugh. Never enough time or freezer space or pantry space or root cellar for storage. But blessed by our harvests!

Goatldi - My Red Kuri seeds came from Johnny's Selected Seeds this year but I've seen them in different seed catalogs, too. The nice thing is that if I get some fully matured squash this year, I can save more seeds than I'll need and will send some to you if you wish, too. Yes, the soil you plant in has soooo much to do with the growth and yield of your crops. Yours will get better every year, you know that. I know you'll say I'm crazy, but I've never met a fried green tomato I liked!

www.self-sufficientsam.blogspot.com said...

You have such a wonderful garden and homestead. I container planted and between the deer and other critters it has not done to well but I have gotten some beans and tomatoes but I eat them right away so there probably won't be enough to can or freeze. We'll see. We do have a long season.
I think that is so awesome that you have so much you can and put away for the winter.

Mama Pea said...

Sam - If you've raised enough to feed yourself with good, fresh, nutritious garden goodies you're doing just fine. My tomatoes may not even turn red, but yours should keep producing for months! Raising as much of our own food as we can is important to us and although it takes a lot of planning and physical work, we think it's worth it. Keeps the muscles loose and limber, too! ;o)

Goatldi said...

It's a deal! You send me seeds and all your green tomatoes and I will send you something from my new batch of goat milk soap. Sound fair?

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - I will certainly send you seeds from my Red Kuri squash if I get good mature squash before Jack Frost arrives and ruins those plans. I have a sneaky feeling that if I sent you all the green tomatoes I end up with, I'd have to hire a UPS truck to carry them all! (Maybe a slight exaggeration, but I have absolutely no luck at all getting standard sized tomatoes -- not cherry tomatoes -- to ripen.) The green ones I bring in, wrap and try to get to turn red in the house taste nothing like a real tomato should. (Don't you feel sorry for me??)

farm buddy said...

You need a greenhouse!! I built a greenhouse all by myself about a dozen years ago, and I get the most fantastic huge heirloom tomatoes every year, and that includes the slow maturing ones like Brandywine and ones like it. My greenhouse is 16 foot long and 8 feet wide (I modeled it after my hay wagon!). I just framed the walls up with 2x4s and added simple rafters. I made a door on the west eight-foot side and a window on the east. I covered it with greenhouse plastic that I got from Farmtek, and they helped me figure out how much I needed. The plastic was only supposed to last about five years, and it is still in great shape. I built this by myself in one day, and I am not the world's best carpenter. I used rough-cut lumber, and the whole thing cost about $150.00. I usually grow about eight tomato plants, two peppers, and four cucumbers, and I have plenty to give my friends and neighbors. I live in Upstate New York, and we do get very cold temperatures. With this greenhouse, I have plenty of tomatoes from the beginning of August through the middle of October. I NEVER bother with cherry tomatoes....only huge beefsteaks!!!

Mama Pea said...

farm buddy - Ya know, we've talked about some sort of a greenhouse to grow tomatoes in for YEARS (it's ridiculous we haven't done so by now) and your comment has now spurred my husband into moving this project to the top of our list. (Along with the other 23 projects holding that position.) Truthfully though, what is more important than being able to grow produce that is a vital part of our diet? My one big concern which has probably held us back from the construction of said greenhouse is the fact that we get terrific winds on and off all during our short growing season and I don't know how we could anchor/protect such a structure from being blown apart shortly after construction. Just anchoring it to the ground would be a challenge. Oh well, husband assures me we could figure out a way of doing it so thanks again for relating your experience. Onward toward tomato production!!