Garden Updates

Some veggies just really strut their color and I would have to say peppers are that veggie in our garden. Peppers have flourished this hot summer which was very conducive to their growth – the rain not so much in late August and September.20180916_171823.jpg

Another veggie that loved the heat was the Asian eggplant ( Orient Express),  and they didn’t aggravate my psoriatic arthritis either. Another nightshade vegetable that I can eat- a wonderful bonus! Sauteed with peppers and onions, they were delicious.  They taste less bitter than the traditional globe eggplant, although all of them are sweet when grilled.  I’ve had problems in the past germinating the globe eggplant but not with this type of Asian eggplant.

The first batch of cucumbers had a good harvest, then were felled by the cucumber beetle or  bacterial wilt. They were on their own since I couldn’t even operate a sprayer in June. ( I broke my shoulder on May 26th, but back to normal). A succession planting in early August and generous Neem oil solution applications several times on the second crop of cucumbers and zucchini paid off with the cucumbers producing quickly. Started cukes in the greenhouse and they took off as soon as they were placed into the soil. I already have harvested three!

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White Katahdin and Red Maria potatoes

Since the potato vines were fading away it was time to check for potatoes and I finally did yesterday. We’ve had so much rain the past ten days and more than usual all summer long. They were neglected from the start and I planted less in smaller bags. Types grown this year were Katahdin and Red Maria. The sweet potatoes harvest was quite dismal, although we certainly had the heat this year which they prefer. They were planted late in mid June, because the potato slips didn’t arrive until June 11th. Another factor could have been an unusually high amount of rain.

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Red Wing Onions

Before more rains descended upon us, I was lucky to have harvested the onions  in early August. On the other hand leeks have done well under the shade cloth in a raised bed. Fortunately the raised bed drained well because the allium family doesn’t care for their roots being constantly wet.

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Acadia Broccoli Shoots

Broccoli did well until the recent heavy rains when the harlequin bugs saw their chance and devoured it all!😢 A few days ago I removed and bagged the remaining stalks since it’s important to clear away all debris.

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Baby Harlequin bugs hatching from their black and white eggs on the left with adult insect on the right

Once harlequin bugs invade, a gardener needs to be vigilant removing them or their eggs. Kaolin clay spray can be used on brussel sprouts or cabbage, but it’s too difficult  to remove from broccoli and dark leafy greens such as kale.

On sunny days shade cloth once again helped our carrots which are harvested from spring until early winter in the garden – all types.

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Greens in their bigger pots ready for fall and winter

Kale and Swiss chard greens grew exponentially all year with all the rain, and shade cloth shielded them from the hot summer sun. New sprouts  were started in the greenhouse the beginning of August.  In fact I had to repot the seedlings for the second time last week.

 

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Estiva Tomatoes in greenhouse

When growing tomatoes in greenhouse I completely forgot about lack of calcium so  many initially developed blossom end rot, Geronimo was more affected than Estiva.

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Jasper cherry tomatoes, Acadia Broccoli shoots, Orient Express eggplant with Better Boy and Box Car Willie tomatoes

In the Hilltop Garden Jasper cherry tomatoes were the winner in sweetest taste which my 93 year old neighbor preferred. And she is not shy about which tomatoes she does like. Two types I didn’t grow this year – the Seeds from Italy tomato  the big Red Pear and Opalka from Seedsavers.  Although I did grow in Hilltop garden Box Car Willie and Better Boy, my husband commented,  ” A good overall tomato on Box Car Willie,” but when pressed he also preferred the big Red Pear and Opalka. So I may overhaul my tomato plants next year for these two favorite persons. My complaint about the heirlooms of Opalka and big Red Pear was Opalka is so disease prone and the big Red Pear not much better.

Overall the garden survived even with less attention at times from me but yields on most veggies were good. The over abundant rain resulted in an astounding amount of weeds, but I was able to stay ahead of them most of the time. Still more to come but the season is winding down and next month it will be time to plant garlic for next spring. Until next time.

 

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