Friday, August 25, 2017

Bummer Summer

It's been a bum summer for the garden anyway.  Long, very cold spring/early summer followed immediately with hot, hot weather and then another cold spell again.  The poor plants and seeds didn't know what was going on.  (Neither did the gardener.)

This morning we woke to find an overnight temp of 42 degrees.  Ugh.  If that isn't a signal that the end is near for the garden, I don't know what is.

Between the weather, the flea beetles and larvae from fruit flies, it's not been an easy gardening year.

Basically, the root crops seem to have done well.  Haven't dug potatoes nor pulled carrots yet and won't do so for a while.  The mangels and turnips I grew as experimental supplemental food for the poultry this winter are huge.  I've still not harvested and processed beets for us, but they look big and healthy waiting patiently in the ground for me to get to them.  Root crops almost always do well in our climate so no surprise there.

The sweet peppers for stuffed green peppers are late but doing okay in their cold frames.  I checked my records yesterday and at this time last year, I had the freezer chock full of stuffed green pepper meals.  This year I've harvested only three matured peppers.

None of my flowers bloomed as well as usual, and my Sweet Peas were a complete dud.

The cabbage moths got into the broccoli so the worm-free harvest of heads was minimal.  Happy to say though, we have more cauliflower in the freezer for winter consumption than ever before.

The flea beetles have hit the cabbages hard.  Both the red and green varieties are just now starting to form heads.  They are late, late, late.

Tomatoes . . . ha!  Some cherry tomatoes are finally starting to make their way toward red ripeness.  Although they may decide to turn back to green after experiencing our morning temperature.

I picked and processed the last of the yellow and green beans day before yesterday.  Good ol' beans.  We'll have plenty (and then some) for the year.

Although our pumpkin vines are long and lush, the green, green fruits haven't yet reached full size.  Don't know how they'll have enough warm weather now to mature this year.

Blueberries are still coming on strong.  We just spent $90 to purchase a large, good quality netting that will cover all three rows of the bushes next year.  That will save so much time and hassle covering the three rows separately as we've been doing this year.

I think I've given an update on most everything else in the garden previously so that's all for the record for now.

This not being a stellar gardening year is not sending me into a tailspin though.  I'm ready for a change of season and a change of my daily routine.  What's on my fire (besides good, dry firewood -- haha!) for this winter?  Quilting, reading and plenty of sleep!

25 comments:

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Ugh. Its been one of "those" summers to be sure. I think the only thing prolific this year was the raspberries and tomatoes. My pumpkins at last count were 11, and a fair size so we will see what the next couple of months bring for them. The rest of the gardens were so-so. We were cold for a couple of days this week but are heading back up to 30 celcius. Really?!!? Ok. Sigh.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

It feels like late September here, especially at night. Beans and cucumbers have really been my only successes this year. We have more cucumbers than we can eat (not making any pickles or anything) but I would be so happy if I had ripe tomatoes. -Jenn

Michelle said...

These kinds of variations are exactly why I try to preserve as much as possible of whatever DOES do well. Not a good apple year? Then put up all the prunes in various ways. Not a good carrot year? We'll eat green beans three times as often.

Athanasia said...

We had a frost watch per last night's news, though this would be really really rare. None occurred but it is still only up to 66F and it's early afternoon. The quality of the sunlight is different already and we have trees with leaves changing color. As far as production, it seems delayed to me but my oldest girl is in charge of all the planning, planting, harvesting. That's her job, her occupation. Her degree was in soil and land management and she manages a free range organic chicken/egg farm. On the side she takes care of our combined family farm.

Is a mangel a rutabaga? Otherwise, I don't know what you are talking about:) We grow rutabaga because they keep so well in the root cellar.

Dawn McHugh said...

It looks like we are getting a late summer so far it has been wet, the poly tunnel is really the only place that is doing well.

gld said...

We have all had those kind of years in the garden. Often mine have been caused by the gardener-in-residence (me).

Enjoy winter to the fullest.

Sue said...

Sounds like a really challenging year for you. Glad the root crops are not disappointing. Just got done digging mine, and yep--a terrific year for them over here.

We had an "official" low of 36, but I had a slight frost where I live (in a valley).
I was prepared for it, so everything but the sweet potatoes survived....but wow, it has been one SHORT summer.
(and you know me---YAY!!!!!!) I have a reading list a mile long already compiled for the winter. There's new recipes to try, a new sheet of music to bungle through, and I'm splurging on some new watercolors. So, bring on Fall, darn it!
I'm ready, and it sounds like you are as well. Stay warm, sweet , and Happy Fall, dear lady.
(ooooo, a novel. You didn't miss these, did ya!)

Kristina said...

Our weather is strange here too. I have zero broccoli and cauliflower in my freezer at this time. A huge amount of beets though, ha ha! Beans are dying off, but I have to start prepping my garlic bed again soon.

Goatldi said...

I can truly relate to your tale of woe. With our winter of 2017 lasting into the second week of June and then two very unusual hot spells on the NW area all the way up to Washington at crucial times we got nada. I believe I have whined, er, mentioned that before. So now just when we should be looking at fall coming on what do we see? high 90's to low 100. Our nights are cooling off nicely in the low 60's. Although I would trade for some low 50's or less anytime. I am a winter girl and it should be coming on not playing hard to get!

Susan said...

I agree with every sentence. I was just looking with a mix of contempt and misery at my garden this morning. What a bust. The only surprise were my eggplants. Feh.

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) We are having the same weather, 42 overnight, I covered what's left of the tomato and cuke plants. We also are getting a few little cherry tomatoes, the pumpkins are green and yesterday I "closed up" most of the containers that didn't produce or simply died from the cold. And just like you, the root veggies are doing well here. I'm waiting on the carrots and beets but I think I'll be harvesting the taters this week, all the leaves have died so that's my sign! I hope we have a better growing season next summer, though until I have a greenhouse, I won't be focusing on "summer" harvest veggies too much!

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - Yep, there's been nothing more about this summer other than its whackiness! Ups and downs of temps all season. We got zilch raspberries and tomatoes. (Well, a couple cherry tomatoes so far.) You have more pumpkins than I do. I really don't have room for a decent sized patch. Hope to remedy that next season. Maybe.

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Yeah, I had plenty of beans and cukes, too. 'Course, my cukes are in a cold frame, otherwise I'd have none. Ripe tomatoes? Ah, every gardener's dream!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Good rule to live by. Our family is going to be eating green beans three times as often this year, too! :o]

Mama Pea said...

Athanasia - Lucky you to have a daughter with a degree in soil and land management! Handy gal to have around, no doubt.

Our county is very large and one area to the north of us has already had frost. Luckily, we've only had a low of 42 so far. Fingers crossed.

A mangel is much like a rutabaga or turnip but is grown for animal consumption only. Cows and goats do well with them in their diets and supposedly they were fed to poultry during World War II when other feeds were in short supply.

Mama Pea said...

Dawn McHugh - Admittedly, I have poly tunnel envy. We were discussing again today how much we'd really like to have part of our field garden covered with such. Maybe in a year or two. When other things closer to the top of the list are crossed off!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - With a green thumb as you have, I can't imagine you having many failures in the garden!

I'm thinking and planning for this winter more and more each day. The leaves on our trees are starting to turn in earnest and it's definitely got the feeling of fall in the air.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I miss hearing from you in any form whatsoever!! I keep telling anyone willing to listen that this winter I'm going to quilt, read . . . and sleep!! Bring it on!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I know! I always forget that I've got to plant garlic in the fall. I've had to order some because my crop this year isn't abundant enough to plant some and leave enough to get us through the coming year. But I bit the bullet and ordered A LOT so maybe this will be the last year I'll have to buy new stock.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - I've been surprised all season long how much our weather patterns have been the same. How can that be?? We're not getting as high as you during the day (only into the 80s) but we, too, are cooling off at night. Both hubby and I love winter . . . which is a good thing since we live up close to the Canadian border!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - So how the heck did you get ripe eggplants?! Mine that I started indoors way back when and then transplanted as sturdy plants are just now (just now, I say!) budding out. Do ya think I'll get one crummy eggplant off any of my four plants? Now way, Jose. :o(

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Don't give up on your "summer" veggies, m'dear. For all we can know, next summer could be hot, hot, hot for both of us producing warm weather crops galore. That's one thing with gardening . . . you just never know!

Rain said...

I guess you're right! I do have the seeds so why not take a chance, it's just so disappointing! But last summer was super hot so we might be in for a good one! :)

Athanasia said...

I will mention these to her. She does have goats. Course, she might already know about them as I don't really follow all the details of the chicken farm, other than we get great eggs and really good compost.

koi seo said...

(ooooo, a novel. You didn't miss these, did ya!)


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