The season is coming to an end as are the harvests. In a way, I'm relieved - it's been the kind of year that's best when seen through the rear view mirror.
Late summer/early fall harvests are always the most varied - let's start with the fruit.
The Haralson apple tree gave us a decent quantity of apples for a 3 year old tree. I checked the tree every couple of days and only picked those that slipped off the tree with little resistance, in order to ensure perfect ripeness:
We harvested a couple more figs:
Moving on to the veg, the peppers are done for the season and all the plants were pulled a couple of weeks ago. I did still manage to harvest enough to pack a few bags in the freezer, so that's a plus.
One of the final pepper harvests
Clockwise from the left:
Summer Dance, Garden Sweet, Green Finger
(plus a Tromboncino squash on the far right)
In a previous post, I spoke about some volunteer potatoes growing in last years potato bed (which was supposed to be this years squash bed until the rabbits ate the squash plants). I left the volunteer potato plants to grow but then I found potato beetles on some of the leaves - a first in the garden. I picked off the beetles and, even though my head said to pull the plants my heart didn't have the...well, heart. So I left them. Luckily, after that 1st round of beetles, I didn't find any more. The potato plants did their thing and - surprise, surprise - I had a pretty incredible harvest with over 19 lbs (almost 9 kilos) of volunteer potatoes gathered over the last couple of months.
A box of volunteer potatoes
Another rabbit casualty were the beans - several varieties suffered early on in the season as the bunnies chewed their stems down to stubs. One of these was the new-to-me variety Queen Anne which is a type of black-eyed pea. I thought the plants were goners but they came back, albeit weakly, and gave me a small yield of beans:
|Queen Anne Beans|
The Tromboncino squash, not surprisingly, knocked my socks off once again:
The Arcadia broccoli was another winner:
The winter squash was a big disaster - only 5 squash harvested in total. They were all tiny and, to add insult to injury, three of them were damaged, either by sow bugs or slugs - the jury is out on which one was the culprit.
Note the damage on both squash
(left has damage on the front; right has damage beside the stem)
I harvested all the leeks, or what was left of them, and they just barely verge on ok. Something got to the leeks in one of the beds which pretty much devastated that harvest and the small section of leeks in a 2nd bed had quite a bit of leek moth* damage.
Leeks - trimmed down to whatever was salvageable
From left to right: Mokum, Yaya, Bolero, Cosmic Purple
The rocks were made into "labels" for shrubs & perennials that went into the side border 😁
The remaining eggplants were harvested in mid-September:
|Eggplant varieties this year: Ping Tung, Thai Green, Farmers Long & White Princess|
October 10th harvest
Our nights are now rather chilly - still not below freezing but getting close - so I'm picking the tomatoes as soon as they start to change colour and leaving them to ripen indoors. One bed was more or less done so I decided to clear it out but there are still two left. I won't be clearing those until the daytime temperatures are consistently 10C (50F) or lower. From the looks of the long range forecast, that will probably be in another week or so.
Speaking of the weather, for the past few weeks, the weather has been AMAZING and I've been catching up like crazy in the garden. Our average first frost date is October 3rd so we are almost 3 weeks past due. We did have one "barely-there" light frost a few weeks ago but since it didn't do any damage other than singeing the edges of some of the bean plants, I'm not counting that 😀.
To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.
*I originally thought that the alliums were being attacked by onion maggots but have subsequently realized that, in fact, I was dealing with leek moths so have adjusted this post accordingly.