The garden harvests have slowed down greatly in the last few weeks and it's just about time to put the summer garden to bed. My thoughts are on winter gardening and planning for the spring garden - which I'll share my ideas in an upcoming post.
Here are some highlights of the summer and fall garden.....
The cuke crop was the best I've ever grown! Not sure why, but I mulched the seedlings with grass clippings right from the get-go and I watered them faithfully, never letting them wilt. Mexican Bean Beetles did move in, but not until the very end.
|Samson, one of my garden helpers.|
The garlic crop was a disappointment. Not because of anything I did, but partly because of my 'garden helpers'. The cats layed on the nice comfy bed of straw that covered the garlic, matting down the greens. That and the fact that I had it in my head that I was to harvest them the second week of July even though all the crops were early this year, ignoring the sparse yellowing stalks. I have a feeling that there are a bunch of cloves still in the ground out there and I just couldn't find them because the bulbs broke apart.
I love gooseberries! I remember being a little girl and sitting under my grandmothers gooseberry bush (it was huge!) and eating the berries. We picked enough gooseberries to can up 6 pints of jam. Gooseberries are little labor intensive due to the fact that you have to cut off the green stem and the bloom end of EVERY gooseberry. Totally worth it though.
Radishes were great early on in the season, but latter plantings in the hot summer did not do as well. Luckily my farmer does a great job and kept us eating radishes all summer and even now.
Heritage Raspberries were gifted to me two years ago. A small crop from both early summer and fall were delicious and worth waiting for. I'm hoping that next year they'll do better.
Green Beans were prolific. I grown Contenders and Slenderettes. Contenders are an early, meaty bean. Slenderettes are tender and great raw or cooked. There were so many beans even though the Mexican Bean Beetles were on the plants from day one with a vengeance. I strongly dislike those beetles and spent quite a bit of time this summer with yellow stained fingers due to bug squishing. It's a hobby. Everybody needs one :)
Green beans were pressure canned, pickled and eaten straight from the garden. Plus, plenty of bean seeds were saved for the future. There is enough canned that I'm thinking of not planting them in 2013 and instead planting an heirloom shell bean.
This pink heirloom tomato is the first tomato that has 'made it', soooo good. Good enough for seed saving with a promise to plant again. Not one tomato made it into a jar. All were eaten straight from the garden. There's still more ripening on the vines that have just begun to show late blight.
Many more goodies came out the garden and some continue to come on. All in all, it has been a very good year.
Enjoy the day-