Mid-August Update - Hilltop Beds
Last Thursday, it rained...a lot. How much is a lot? This much:
|My new rain gauge (courtesy of Bonnie Plants)|
was included in my OTHER goodie bag from the Fling
The hilltop garden is still a whopping mess, weed wise, as things have been on hold up there in favour of dealing with the weeding and mulching in veg area #1 as well as the front of the house.
The paths may be weedy, but I’ve more or less kept on top of the weeds in the beds themselves. That's one of the reasons I love raised beds...weeding is more of a pleasure than chore.
The asparagus is still growing well – each new stalk is just that little bit thicker & taller than the prior ones. I’m so excited about how well it seems to be doing. Even though there is not much difference in the bed overall from month to month, I want to chronicle what small changes there are.
The chamomile is flowering like crazy & I've even had to put up some rebar & twine to hold it back as it was shading a couple of the asparagus plants.
The Yukon Gold potatoes have almost completely died back as have the Linzer potatoes, so those will be dug up soon.
Note the strawless corner where we dug up
the big potato from last week's Harvest Monday
When it comes to the eggplants, there’s good news and bad news.
Looking fairly good from this vantage point
|Ping Tung Eggplant|
|Slim Jim Eggplant|
|Leaf curl/wilt possibly indicative of Verticillium wilt|
The peppers (which you can see right beside the eggplants in the first eggplant photo) do not seem to be affected at this point. I have read that peppers may take longer to be affected and, if this disease arrived on the eggplant seeds, then it would also make sense that the eggplants would be affected before the peppers.
Anyhow, on to the peppers, which are in two beds. Both beds are split in half, lengthwise; half the bed contains peppers or peppers & eggplant and the other half contains beans. Each length of bed holds two rows of peppers. I have 10 varieties of peppers this year - only a few more than the two I grew last year ;)
|Hungarian Hot Wax|
|Stocky Red Roaster|
|Corne de Chevre|
|Pole Bean/Pepper Bed|
The back row of peppers (on the left of the bed) is covered with bean foliage
|Bush Bean & Pepper/Eggplant Bed|
Everyone in this bed is getting lots of sun
|Deformed pods on Gold Marie|
My favourite dried bean – Cherokee Trail of Tears – is doing well:
|Cherokee Trail of Tears|
Normally, I would simply save some seed each year, but in both years that I grew this variety, I planted it beside the Golden of Bacau & it ended up with bacterial brown spot on it as well. Since I had such great results with those original seeds (and we all know how the same variety can sometimes yield very differently depending on the source), I wanted to make sure to save seed only from the original purchase.
This year, I'm also growing two more dried beans, Walcherse White & Vermont Cranberry, which are the bush bean varieties in the pepper/eggplant bed:
Looks much bigger in the photo than it actually is
The butternut squash is finally vining well & I've been winding the vines along the edges of the bed in my corn protection efforts:
And eye spy a few baby butternuts - how exciting!
There haven’t been a whole lot of male flowers blooming, so I've been going out there with a paintbrush each day. So far, I have two squash that have set & one that hasn't, but I see at least 2 more that are on the verge of flowering.
Not much action going on here
After a few weeks of feeding them with concentrated fish emulsion, I pretty much gave up as I wasn't seeing much of a difference. But see that larger squash plant (2nd one from the bottom)? It's a Sweet Mama squash and I recently found this on it:
|Sweet Mama had a baby|
Till next time...
Looking really good up there Margaret. Wish you'd send some of that rain my way. I would say it is time to clip your potato foliage down to the ground and stop watering. I did this last weekend, and expect to dig up the potatoes around the end of the month. Worked out well last year anyway.ReplyDelete
I did stop watering a couple of weeks ago, but mother nature didn't get the message ;) Like you, I do want to leave them in the ground for a couple of weeks so that they store better, but I'm getting worried that all this rain will rot them. I'm thinking that if we get another big storm, I'll dig them all up...just in case.Delete
I guess the forecasters are the same every where. We always seem to get rain after I've watered too but when we are so dry at least my watering helps the soil absorb the rain we get and not just run off. Your peppers look fabulous! I've never tried straw bales before but am very tempted. Maybe next year...ReplyDelete
I'm not having the best of luck with the bales, but I didn't exactly follow the proper "conditioning" method (or any method, for that matter) in the spring, so I'm going to reserve my final judgment for next year when I do it properly. Maybe you'll join me in this straw bale (re)experiment ;)Delete
Sorry to hear about the wilt on your eggplantReplyDelete
And your asparagus looks so healthy. I really want to try growing that next year.
And I'm about ready to dig my Yukons as well. Here's hoping we both have great crops on those. I have noticed that some years----meh, the harvest is poor. But it's like Christmas--we won't know until we dig em up!
Have a good week, Margaret
The asparagus has been so interesting, especially as there is surprisingly little information out there about growing it from seed. Many of the things I did were "best guess", which is also why I wanted to document it - it will either be a great way of showing what to do or what NOT to do!Delete
Ohhhh, I am so looking forward to diggin' up those taters - I don't know what it is but I always feel like I should speak about them with a southern accent. And have a wonderful week too, Sue....I'm sending tomato ripening thoughts your way ;)
I wish we would get 3" of rain. We really need it. We are just too dry. And yes I did warn you. lol That chamomile will be all over next year. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. I'm glad your squash is setting. Mine is too. I always worry that it will be too late. I'm worried this year too with one of the varieties. I haven't seen any female blossoms yet on it.ReplyDelete
So long as the chamomile is easy to pull up where I don't want it, I'll be ok with that....I think ;)Delete
I'm quite surprised at how quickly the squash size up once they are pollinated. Those babies are one of the first things I check in the morning and their rapid growth never fails to amaze me. I remember you commenting on how late your squash set last year and you still brought in a bumper crop, so I'm hopeful that this will happen this time round too, although no female blossoms in mid-August is a bit worrying. Hopefully that particular variety will surprise you.
Oh no, I hope it isn't Verticillium in your eggplant. If you think it truly is, when you remove the plants don't put them in the compost. Pull the roots out of the soil and toss them in the garbage along with the rest of the plants. The Actinovate has really slowed the wilt in my plants and there's even new flowers, so if you can find some it really might be worth trying it. I also gave my plants a boost inoculation of beneficial mycorrhizae and bacteria on the theory that the good microbes will compete with the bad ones.ReplyDelete
I think you are officially a pepper junkie now, welcome to the club! Your peppers are looking great.
Thanks Michelle - all it took was growing those Hungarian Wax peppers last year and I was hooked!Delete
I will definitely not be composting the eggplants - that's a great point about digging out the roots. I'm generally not too concerned about pulling them all up when I get rid of a plant, but I'll have to be extra diligent with these guys. I haven't been able to find Actinovate here, but there is one supplier in Washington state that may ship to Canada - I'll have to give them a call to see how much shipping is as the only other source I found was on Amazon, but they were charging a whopping $100 for a 2 oz bag...yikes.
That is a lot of rain, We grow our aubergines/egg plants and peppers in the greenhouse and your peppers are still further on than ours.ReplyDelete
We have had an unusual stretch of hot weather this year (and I know you guys have been cooler than usual), so that likely accounts for things. Normally we do get hot, but only for about a month - this year, the heat has extended from June into August - we are still getting humidex readings in the 30's(C) for several days at a time and that's very unusual for mid-August.Delete
You win some, you lose some, every year, that's why it's good to grow different varieties of the same thing. If one doesn't work out as you'd hoped, the other just might. I've grown butternut squash for the first time this year but I haven't checked if there's any fruit developing, I need to look when I'm next at the allotment.ReplyDelete
That's what I enjoy about vegetable gardening as well - most veg are a one year (or less) commitment and if you don't like them or they don't do well, there is another variety or technique to try the following year. I hope you see some babies in your squash patch - finding them and watching them grow is quite thrilling!Delete
Looks really great, especially those peppers. You'll have a great harvest soon. Too bad about straw bale, but even one squash is better than none for winter.ReplyDelete
Very true Jenny. I'll be trying the bales again next year though - there is such a great opportunity to grow space hogs like pumpkins, etc., out of the proper veg garden & onto unused grassy areas that I don't want to give up on them quite yet.Delete
Nice rain gauge: It looks so familiar. ;-) You have quite the harvest going there! It looks like it's a great growing season in your area. Here, too. Yay!ReplyDelete
Hee hee...it has come in handy. What's funny is that a rain gauge was on my shopping list for about a month before the Fling (after I planted my new trees) but I just never got around to getting one. And I'm glad to hear that your potager is having a great season too!Delete
Those pepper plants are looking good, with lots of peppers! And I'm with Michelle, you seem to have caught the pepper bug. I had to laugh when I read your last line - one is indeed better than none! And I'm out checking for female blooms on my winter squash almost every day. I do the happy dance when I see one too!ReplyDelete
The peppers are definitely coming along & I'm starting to see a bit more red, which is so exciting. Now I just have to go back in my notes and figure out what to do with each of the varieties!Delete
When it comes to squash, I'm grateful for any that I get, that's for sure! There's something special about finding female squash blossoms, especially on the winter squash - and here I thought it was just me and my squash deprived garden ;)
Your garden looks lovely! That is a lot of rain!!! So sorry about your eggplant. I still don't have any eggplant fruit on my plants, but I'm having a particularly crummy year for gardening.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jennifer! This is my first time growing eggplant so I really had no idea what to expect, especially in terms of timing. What I didn't expect was getting some sort of disease...just have to roll with the punches, I guess. I hope your plants start to fruit up for you soon!Delete