Sunday, September 22, 2013

Garden Update- Sept 21. End of summer garden

i thought i did a garden update last week, but when i went back into the blog there isn't one. So these photos are from the last 3 weeks.  This is all end of summer garden. My fall garden has been planted and is doing well, and a lot of the late summer plants are done now.

The peppers are finally starting to ripen and change color. i planted green, yellow and red bell peppers.  i've been harvesting them daily and freezing as much as i can. Freezing peppers is easy, just wash slice or dice and stick them in a freezer bag. No need for blanching.
Cucumbers are almost done, although i'm still finding. The cooler temps have caused the last of the cucumbers to be small and a bit misshapen.  i picked the last of the eggplant and the last of the Crystal apple cucumbers.

 i'm still getting a few of the  purple pole beans, and i just started to get green beans.   i also have a third planting of the yellow wax and purple beans that are just starting to produce. Depending on when our frost hits, i should be able to pick quite a few more beans. i've been able to freeze tons of beans this summer, so we should be enjoying beans all winter long. :)

i also planted a bunch of different melons this year. The loved the rain of the early summer and grew really well, but the wet humid conditions were perfect for disease and they ended up with Downy mildew. Most of the melons died back before i could harvest them, but we did get some of the Rich Sweetness. They are little mini melons with vibrant color. They taste similar to cantaloupe.

i did not get very many tomatoes this year due to the late blight. Somehow i still had a couple plants survive long enough to produce tomatoes.  i was able to get a few from the Cherokee purple, Yellow Brandywine and Mr. Stripy. i even gathered enough to freeze a few quarts.  

This is my sad attempt at my annual tomato rainbow. :) Every year i plant a large variety of heirloom tomatoes i love the unusual and different shapes and colors.  For the last couple of years i have arranged my tomato harvest by color so that it makes a rainbow. It always makes such a striking picture. We harvested very few tomatoes this year, but some how i still managed enough variety for a little tomato rainbow. :)

i spent all summer wondering why my lemon cucumbers never turned yellow. i planted a variety of cucumbers this year, but didn't remember where i planted what.  i thought all my cucumbers were your typical long green cucumbers except the lemon cucs which are small, round and  yellow.  So when these cucumbers started to come in i automatically assumed they were the lemon cucs. i found it odd that they stayed pale green/white and never turned yellow.   It wasn't until i was going through my seed packs that i decided to look up the Crystal Apple cucumbers.  These were gifted to me, but the package they came in was a generic cucumber pack. So the cucumber on the picture was a typical long green cucumber, with a sticker label specifying the variety.  After looking them up  was surprised to see that they are small, round white cucumbers!   What i thought were lemon cucumbers all summer, were actually Crystal Apple.  i did eventually end up with a few lemon cucumbers planted in a different location and they were indeed in yellow. :)  

i have a couple tomato plants that are still hanging on. This one shows no sign of blight, despite growing right smack in the middle of a patch that all had to be pulled. i am waiting patiently for the tomatoes to ripen, although i think i may have to pull them all green if there is any possible threat of frost. i wish i knew the variety, as it seems to be somewhat resistant to late blight.

We're now nearing the end of September, i've been harvesting an occasional tomato, peppers, okra, eggplant, cucumbers, beans, carrots, swiss chard, kale, onions, garlic, zucchini, pattypans, butternut squash and lettuce.  We are starting to get a few red raspberries again, and i am hoping to get a few apples from the wild apple trees down the road.

My fall garden is already coming up and doing well. i'm going to work on constructing a small hoop house this afternoon and plant lettuce and spinach under it. There is nothing i love more than picking fresh greens when there is a blanket of snow on the ground.

i'm behind on blog posts again, but have a few started on things like collecting seeds and planting a fall gardens. For those of you that still read along, thank you.


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