Harvest Monday - August 22, 2016
The big news lately is that our drought seems to have finally ended. We have had quite a bit of rain over the past week - so much so that I’ve actually turned off all of the drip timers for now. The grass and ornamental beds (and weeds, unfortunately) are loving it.
This past week, the harvest story begins with the corn:
These were the only cobs left after a few rainfalls. Prior to the rain, there were easily 10 or so cobs on the plants. I’m actually thinking that my pepper spray worked at keeping the mystery muncher away from the corn. However, once the rains washed it away, the cobs quickly disappeared.
And this is the truly sad part of the story. I didn't do my homework on when to harvest the corn. I should have harvested the corn before the rains. Because it was ready. But I didn’t realize it was ready. Until it was too late.
The cobs that I did end up harvesting looked pretty good – although they were quite small once the husks were peeled back:
|Small, but they filled out not too badly|
And now for the tomatoes:
|In this basket: Brandywine, Taxi, Sungold, Costoluto Genovese|
and the mystery cherry tomato
|From top left: Taxi, Super Sweet 100, Sungold, Sugar Snaps|
|From top left: A single Mountain Magic, Sungold, Juliet,|
Taxi, Cherokee Purple, Bloody Butcher
|Top row: Mystery cherry, Speckled Roman, Juliet|
Middle Row: Cherokee Purple, Costoluto Genovese, Brandywine
Bottom Row: Opalka, Amos Coli, Orange Blossom, Sungold
|From the top left: Juliet, Sungold, Mountain Magic, Taxi, Bloody Butcher|
|Don't think I've ever seen a growth quite like this before|
The peppers are also doing really well, with a lot more colour showing up in the harvest basket:
|From the top: Pepperoncino, Melrose, Odessa, Jimmy Nardello,|
Stocky Red Roaster, Jalapeno & Corne de Chevre in the middle
One of the Stocky Red Roaster plants had leaned over into the Melrose plant so I ended up picking a couple of green ones by mistake. We don't mind green peppers around here, so we will still make good use of them.
A Tromboncino squash joins a basket of peppers:
|Tromboncino together with a pepper medley|
|From left to right - Tromboncino, Garden Sweet, Lemon,|
Summer Dance, Suyo Long
|Ping Tung, Long Green and Chelsea Prize cucumber|
|Mini Napa - trimmed|
A couple of Romanescos and a scallop squash were harvested:
|Still having issues with pollination on the Romanesco's obviously....|
The Cherokee Trail of Tears, however, I have grown before, so I’ve harvested a bunch of mature pods and am letting them dry out on newspaper. These don't get included into the tally until they are dried and shelled.
In the past I've waited until the pods are almost completely purple before harvesting which has worked out well, but I'm wondering if they need to be completely purple, or if I can start to harvest them when they are fully formed and just starting to turn purple. So this year, I've decided to do a bit of a test and am harvesting some of the pods at the earlier stage and keeping them separate from the others.
|Cherokee Trail of Tears|
And lastly, I also harvested a few of the larger Ailsa Craig onions as their tops had flopped & we were expecting rain:
Also harvested this week but not photographed were a nice bunch of Romano beans.
My harvest totals this week were:
Romano Beans – 562 grams (1.24 lbs)
Chinese Cabbage (trimmed) – 892 grams (1.97 lbs)
Cucumbers – 1,674 grams (3.69 lbs)
Eggplant – 374 grams (0.82 lbs)
Snap Peas – 172 grams (0.38 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 1,258 grams (2.77 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 810 grams (1.79 lbs)
Summer Squash – 3,959 grams (8.73 lbs)
Tomatoes – 33,050 grams (72.86 lbs) – a record week!
Total for Week – 42,751 grams (94.25 lbs)
Total to Date – 122 kg (268.95 lbs)
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'll end this post with a photo that inspires me to let more volunteer dill grow throughout my garden:
Great harvests, Margaret. 33 kilos of tomatoes will keep you busy. Too bad something is getting your corn. For me, corn is too much of a hassle to grow considering I can go up the road to a farm stand and pick out perfect ears for 50 cents an ear.ReplyDelete
Thanks David - We have corn stands around us but I'm still up for the challenge of growing my own...but if this keeps up, who knows how long that will last.Delete
Wow, what an impressive tomato harvest! The peppers are no slouch either. I'm sorry you had as much trouble as I did with Dorinny. Do you think you'll grow it again?ReplyDelete
I do think I'll grow it one more time, Will. It's sort of reminding me of my squash in that there always seemed to be "one more thing" I can try.Delete
Wow, boxes of tomatoes! I'm still weeks way from that stage of the tomato harvests. I would be crying over that corn, there's nothing more frustrating than garden raiders. Those Swallowtail caterpillars are another thing though, I love to watch them munch through the flower heads of my fennel plants!ReplyDelete
Oh, you know about garden thieves all too well, don't you Michelle! I'm LOVING the caterpillars - each day I go out there to see how they are doing. They were munching on a solitary plant that came up in an empty pot of soil so I moved the pot right next to a huge dill plant that came up in one of the tomato beds so that they would have more to munch on.Delete
A great harvest, especially those tomatoes. A shame about your corn but it will be all the tastier for the wait when you harvest next year's crop.ReplyDelete
So true, Jo - it's always the scarce & difficult to come by harvests that seem to be the most appreciated.Delete
Wow on those tomatoes! You sure have some lovely ones there. I got 23 lbs today and that is going to keep me busy. I can't imagine 72 lbs of them. When I grew corn I ALWAYS had a hard time telling when it was ready. I had to pull back the husks and look at the kernels to know for sure. And bugs always got mine. Now I do like David, and go get it from a nearby farm. I've got pepper envy too, still waiting on many of mine to ripen. It's great looking at yours though!ReplyDelete
I've dealt with about 1/2 of the harvest so far and today I'm tackling the other half...and then I'm sure I'll be out there picking again, so the boxes won't be empty for long :)Delete
I grew corn only one time before - in that tiny first garden of mine over 20 years ago, and from what I recall, earwigs were a big problem. What's funny is that's about all I recall about growing.
Your tomato pictures look like they came from a seed catalog! So many varieties, and a huge harvest for one week. Those Taxis are such an intense yellow color. I love the caterpillars. I have a couple large dill plants but no caterpillars so far.ReplyDelete
Thanks k! The Taxi tomatoes are truly a favourite - not only are they so pretty, but they actually have a fresh, tangy flavour which is rather unusual (I find) for yellow tomatoes, which tend to be a bit bland.Delete
Keep an eye on that dill - the caterpillars were a bit of a surprise discovery when I was picking a bit of dill for a dip and they appeared seemingly overnight.
Oh good, I'm so glad you've had some beneficial rain! Your comparisons of various cultivars is always so interesting. I was thinking the same thing about dill for next year. But then I started worrying about accidentally stepping on a caterpillar or picking a tiny one with a cut flower. I'll have to think about ways to make the planting in a good place. ;-)ReplyDelete
The rain has been refreshing, Beth, to say the least, and it looks as if our heat is down to normal levels - finally!Delete
Oh yes, the volunteer dill - I was pulling it out of the pathways and "bad" spots like crazy in the spring, but I let it grow wherever it would be ok to flourish - it's worked out well so far.
Such a bounty Margaret. You have worked hard to bring this to fruition. Congratulations on the record tomato harvest.ReplyDelete
Thanks Susan! I've been wanting to leave a comment on your posts for a few weeks now, but I no longer see a comment field on them. I recently upgraded to Windows 10 and have had other quirky things happening since the change, so I wasn't sure if this was a change in your format or something on my end.Delete
Margaret- what an AMAZING harvest week you have had. I am imagining you and your kitchen buried with 732 lbs of tomatoes right now :) Sorry to read about the corn. The few times I have tried to grow it the raccoons always got it before I did. Like yourself I found pepper to be a good repellant, but only as long as it didn't rain. The good news is, any failures or disappointments in the garden just lead to a good excuse to look through next year's seed catalogs ans try something new.ReplyDelete
Thanks Lexa! Well, that's awesome to hear that someone else has had success with the pepper spray - I wasn't really sure if it was the pepper spray or something else that allowed the cobs to stay on the stalks for as long as they did. So I guess the trick is to be vigilant about re-spraying after a rainfall...easier said than done, I think!Delete
And that is SO true about failures and variety disappointments - a "reason" to purchase more seeds is always a good thing in my books :)
Hi Margaret--so sorry about your corn.ReplyDelete
The tomatoes--oh, the tomatoes!! Lucky lucky you! My brandywines continue to stay that maddening green! I'm tempted to attack them with a heat lamp--haha! Hopefully soon, though.
And yes--September is the tomato (big slicers) season at my place....that usual 4-5 days right before the first frost. I really need to rethink where I live, I think! Ha!
Well, great and beautiful harvests, dear lady. Enjoy the bounty.
Thanks Sue! I think this may be the earliest I've ever had brandywines ripen before...will have to check my notes on that ;) Fingers crossed that they start to ripen up for you very soon. They are forecasting a warm fall this year for us and you are not too far, so perhaps this will extend out your way? Not that these forecasts are that reliable, but I figure it's at least one little shred of hope for a few more ripe Brandywines on your plate :)Delete
What a disappointment about the sweetcorn, but those tomatoes most more than make up for it!ReplyDelete
That is so often the case, isn't it Sue? When one crop suffers, usually there is another that flourishes.Delete
Beautiful tomatoes! Our "volunteer dill" equivalent this year was nasturtiums, which got destroyed by black bugs..ReplyDelete
Thanks A.J.! Oh, that's too bad about the nasturtiums - I grew some, deliberately, but they didn't do very well in the less then moist confines of a planter I placed near the herb bed. So not a good nasturtium year for me this year either.Delete
Look at all those tomatoes! I bet you had mountains on your counter and in your fridge. It can be nice and overwhelming when they come on like that, I usually take a week off from work and can up a storm.ReplyDelete
That's terrible about your corn thief, would a short electric fence help?
Ha, ha...you know you have a lot of tomatoes when you have to take time off work to deal with them!! And you are right - it is both great and a bit overwhelming. Love the bounty, but it also feels good when the counters are once again cleared of produce :) As that seems to be the only crop to suffer from the thief, an electric fence would likely be too costly. But I am toying with the idea of a chicken wire enclosure.Delete
I too have given up growing corn and just get from the farmers market. How do farmers keep the critters away, I wonder?ReplyDelete
What did you do with all those tomatoes and future harvest? Must spend hours dealing with them.
I wonder that too - I don't see any electric fences around the corn fields in our area, so why don't the raccoons and other critters go for the all-you-can-eat-buffet? As for the tomatoes - I'm just writing up a post about that, but in brief I can tomato puree/salsa & freeze chopped tomatoes, roasted tomato sauce, oven-dried cherry tomatoes and even whole tomatoes when I'm really short on time.Delete
Hi! Lovely and large harvest!! I did not know there was a correct time to harvest corn. NancyReplyDelete
Thanks Nancy! Yes, I definitely left the corn too late - it wasn't as sweet as it should have been, but at least it was "ok" and not inedible...what a waste if that had been the case!Delete
I've never had any luck with corn, so I'm glad that an experienced gardener likewise has struggled with it. Those tomatoes are amazing!ReplyDelete
Thanks Jennifer - it does seem that corn is one of those crops that many don't bother growing because of all the issues. I'm not ready to give up quite yet, though :)Delete
Glad your drought it ending. It's so disheartening to watch our gardens dry up and then those water bills are enormous! Well here in Tennessee they are! gailReplyDelete
Oh, all the rain is a very welcome relief. We are on well water, so our main expense is hydro running the well pump. As you say not cheap, but the drip irrigation has helped cut down on the cost...a lot!Delete