Harvest Monday - September 11, 2017
This has been an exceptionally busy summer. I've been away 3 times since the end of June which definitely hasn't helped when it comes to making progress on my garden "to-do" list.
The one thing that I haven't been doing a lot of is harvesting. More accurately, I have been harvesting but not as much as I usually do at this time. This is partly because I simply haven't been here to harvest but there has also been less to harvest due to all of the pest pressure this year - there were a lot of casualties early on. Some I replaced, such as the lettuce, but others (winter squash, peppers) I did not.
So on to the harvests and first up, we have the tomatoes. These started as a trickle but then sped up throughout August.
I tried a few new varieties this year, but only one stood out - Mennonite Orange:
|Mennonite Orange - This one weighed in at 536 grams (1.18 lbs)|
This has not been a good year, on the whole, for the tomatoes - our wet weather meant that blight reared its ugly head early on, starting with the yellow salad tomato Taxi. When it hit, it hit hard - my one plant was toast within 3 weeks of contracting the disease and it quickly started to spread throughout the bed. Speckled Roman, which was right beside Taxi, was infected next (unsurprisingly) but it also seemed to have another disease as the spots on the fruits do not resemble blight:
This does not look like blight...perhaps bacterial spot?
The garlic was harvested on August 2nd while the onions were harvested in two stages, the last harvest being in late August, once we returned from our trip. All are now drying on a rack in the garage:
|I normally hang garlic to dry but as I grew fewer onions this year,|
I had room on the rack for them
|Most of the onions were mediumish in size.|
The large yellow ones are Ailsa Craigs which are typically huge;
those in the photo are in the small-medium range for that variety.
The cucumbers finally came in and we are really enjoying them:
|Summer Dance (2 on left) and Garden Sweet (3 on right)|
|Bolero and Cosmic Purple carrots with Garden Sweet cucumbers|
The few pepper plants that didn't become rabbit food finally started to produce, although none of them fully recovered:
Clockwise from the top: Ostra Cyklon, Anaheim,
Pepperoncino, Feher Ozon and Lu Mei
Clockwise from the top:
Jimmy Nardello, Odessa Market (not fully ripe), Shishito and Arcadia broccoli
And I've been harvesting lots of mature beans that are now drying indoors:
|Cherokee Trail of Tears|
The above bowl of French Prune plums is actually the largest quantity of that variety that we've harvested to date; they must take longer to bear than the others.
We have been harvesting greens, such as kale and collards, although not as regularly as I would have liked, and we finally have a good crop of lettuce. Now that the bed is covered with netting, the rabbits aren't getting to it anymore:
When it comes to peppers, they seem to favour certain varieties such as Odessa Market and Feher Ozon, attacking many of them while they are still immature.
|Odessa Market - A sluggy favourite|
Still left to pick in the garden are potatoes (I've harvested a few but the main batch is still in the ground), peppers, kale, collards, lettuce, carrots, dried beans, broccoli, eggplant (a bunny favourite, apparently), cucumbers, tromboncino squash, tomatoes and lots of herbs. There are also a couple of very small winter squash - cucumber beetles and rabbits made sure the winter squash harvest was meagre this year.
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 know how you feel. The other day I was ranting over the latest rodent damage and wishing that I hated gardening - why can't I just buy my veggies like a normal person! Think of the time I would save, I could spend it doing something else, but what... Damn. Vegetable gardening is not for wimps. I can't even imagine being a farmer where your livelihood depends on what you harvest. Lucky you to have to take the winter off!ReplyDelete
The harvests that you've brought in look wonderful. It's nice that you've found a new tomato to add to your lineup. I tried 5 new varieties this year and maybe one will be back for a second try.
Ha! Normal people? Us? Never! When the going gets tough, we get tougher...or more hardware cloth and netting :)Delete
There are so many different varieties out there to try, I'm totally ok when only 1 or 2 of the new ones is worth growing again. When there are too many good ones, it's always a struggle to figure out which ones get the chop.
Wow, that orange tomato is huge! It's always good to try new things, I found that I didn't bother a second time with many of them but there was the odd gem amongst them. I've definitely found that having a little pond has cut down on the number of slugs in the garden. Encouraging frogs certainly has its plus points, and my pond's only small.ReplyDelete
Trying new varieties is half the fun but you can't grow everything. It's much easier to get rid of a variety when it doesn't suit your tastes.Delete
A pond is on my wish list! I recall that yours is small and much more accessible than the typical ones. I have to keep that in mind, perhaps for next year if I'm lucky.
So nice to hear from you again Margaret; you were missed. Such great variety in the harvest! The box of tomatoes is outstanding, and the onions/garlic look like they're churning out of a factory!ReplyDelete
Oh, thanks Will :) I'm pretty happy with the alliums this year, even though I do see onion maggot damage on some from when the netting blew off (argh!). I'm looking forward to comparing the numbers with last years once they are cured.Delete
Slugs are our greatest problem. There are ways of protecting against most of the other pests we get but nothing seems to stop slugs. I'm not surprised that the plants that carry large tomatoes only grow a few fruits.ReplyDelete
Slugs are a problem every year but some years are definitely worse than others. We've had a pretty rainy summer so I shouldn't be surprised their numbers are up.Delete
That is a giant orange tomato! And I think 5 or 6 fruits like that from one plant would not be a bad yield in our climate either. I'm always happy to get any big slicers that I can. Slugs are usually a problem here too, and they can climb high up on many of our plants, like tomatoes. Of course the low growing stuff is a prime target, as are greens. One good thing about gardening is, there's always another year. My gardening has seen an ebb and flow over the years, due to whatever else was going on in my life.ReplyDelete
I was really surprised by the fact that slugs climb up that high - there was indeed damage on tomatoes that were half way up the vines.Delete
I am SO looking forward to next year - a clean slate and hopefully less frustration!
I am sorry your harvest was not what you would have liked. I was a failure in my little courtyard garden also. Kind of discouraging but I will probably try again next year! Gardeners don't give up easily! NancyReplyDelete
I do recall you harvesting quite a few goodies so I would say you had a partial success...looking at the bright side (even though that's sometimes difficult). Next year will be much better...for both of us!Delete
That Mennonite Orange - are you sure it isn't really a cantaloupe?ReplyDelete
Hmmm...let me double check ;)Delete
Great produce and variety!ReplyDelete
What is your secret for successful carrot seed germination in July? I do reasonably ok with spring planting, but it's been an abysmal failure in summer and fall. Also, what netting do you use on your beds? I'm looking for a solution to deter cabbage moths in the summer months since floating row covers like Reemay tend to keep the beds too warm. Thanks!
When it comes to carrot germination in the warmer months, I think the biggest challenge is keeping the beds moist. I use Agribon (Reemay) to help me with that in both spring and summer sowings: After sowing the seeds, I lay down a double layer of Agribon directly on top of the soil and place rebar around the perimeter to keep it in place (rocks or pieces of wood will do as well). I then give the bed a good watering, right on top of the Agribon, and continue to spray it daily. The good thing about using the Agribon is that it not only helps maintain moisture but it also keeps the seeds from washing away or otherwise being disturbed when you water.Delete
After a few days, I'll start to check for germination by lifting up a corner of the cloth. The waiting game is much shorter for summer vs spring sown carrots - I think that this year they only took about 1 week.
As soon as I see any sign of life, I remove the cloth altogether and continue spraying the bed daily (I also have drip irrigation which is turned on by that point - the spraying is more to ensure that the surface of the soil, where the seeds are, stays moist). Once most of the seeds germinate, I let the drip irrigation keep the bed watered & that's about it.
As for netting, I use a stretchy insect netting that I purchase at William Dam Seeds: http://www.damseeds.ca/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=3066. I've also heard of people using tulle for netting - the kind used for bridal veils, as it's relatively inexpensive in the US. Around here, however, it ends up costing essentially the same as the insect netting, so I just purchase the latter, which I prefer.
Thanks so much for the detailed information for successful carrot germination! I will give it a try next year. I have used tulle but found that they only last one season, so was looking for something UV resistant that would last longer. I see that William Dam doesn't ship to the US but I should be able to locate another source. Thanks again!Delete
You and your harvest are amazing. This is an evergreen comment from me to you, I know.ReplyDelete
Oh, you are too much ;)Delete
Margaret that is too bad about the casualties....if it isn't critters, it's disease or weather. Weather was a problem here as it was a cold spring and then cool summer....now fall is hot so my tomatoes are producing thankfully as they were started late. You have quite a large garden with all the garlic and onions....so much growing and producing there....hoping you get time now to enjoy the harvest!ReplyDelete
The weather the past couple of years has been all over the place, hasn't it? I wasn't going to sow a round of dried beans after I pulled my peas this summer, but decided to take a chance since it worked last year as we had a very warm fall. From the looks of it, we may luck out again as temps are supposed to remain warm and even hot over the next week or so which will hopefully mean a nice jump in growth.Delete
So wonderful that your tomatoes are coming in - fingers crossed that the nice weather lasts and you can continue to enjoy them for a few more weeks :)