August 13, 2023 at 11:01 am #40091
I looked up last year's records, I canned the first tomatoes this year almost two weeks earlier than last year. We've had a lot of rain and several cool spells, so the tomatoes are coming in fast and furious. But we had 0.9 inches of rain overnight and I'm not sure I can get in to pick right now without sinking in the mud.
Highs today and tomorrow in the 70's and lows in the mid 50's.
And to make things even stranger, next weekend Accuweather is forecasting 4 days of 100+ highs. Hope that gets revised downward!August 31, 2023 at 2:33 pm #40222
Our Big Boy tomatoes finally started ripening. We are agreed that of the varieties we planted, these are the best--nicely sweet and excellent in sandwiches.September 1, 2023 at 7:50 am #40227
I used to grow Big Boys, and really liked them, but since I no longer plant 24-36 tomato plants, I stopped growing any beefsteaks and grow only Celebrity and Amish/Roma. We are finally harvesting some tomatoes! The Amish are huge, perfectly formed, and getting very red. The Celebrities are all cracked and splitting before they are ripe. Folks in my gardening groups are picking their tomatoes at first blush and letting them ripen inside. This is not my idea of a home-grown tomato, BUT this morning I picked a basket of large, perfectly formed, not-quite-red Celebrities.
In my 38 years of gardening here, this one has been absolutely awful. Too much rain and hardly any sun, interspersed with a few days of 90+ temperatures. Some seeds didn't germinate; some grew, all green, no fruit; some produced fruit, small, never ripened; most didn't produce anything until last week. I can't wait for next June and a fresh start.September 22, 2023 at 12:51 pm #40435
I realize zucchini season has ended, but I wanted to share this comic from The New 60 that I receive in a weekly email. I can't send the specific comic (or perhaps cannot figure out how to do so), but if you go to the site and go to the September 13 strips, there is a great take on using all that zucchini:October 15, 2023 at 3:24 pm #40681
Mike, I'm hankering for stuffed spaghetti squash since reading your post last week. When I return from NY next week, I'll pull all my edibles, and put the garden to bed. It's been a good year, for the last month of summer, for peppers. I harvested about 3 dozen, about half green and half red, all New Ace. Tomatoes were a bust; we did not always have a ripe tomato for BLTs etc when I wanted them, and I processed only about 6-9 quarts of sauce for the winter, plus a few jars of salsa and pizza sauce. Chippy ate all but a few cherry tomatoes. No yellow summer squash, not one. Plenty of zucchini. Six nice cauliflowers, plenty of broccoli early on, only 3 cabbage out of 6 plants. Quite a few winter squash, especially spaghetti, plus buttercup, butternut, delicata. Currently, I have plenty of herbs and greens still growing on the deck. And my last planting of green and yellow beans is producing nicely, although slowly due to day temps in the upper 50s and night temp in the upper 30s. Our average frost day is the 15th, today! I do have a planter of young lettuces growing in my sunroom, so I'll need to set up the grow lights, tranplant some herbs and start others, and figure out what else I want to try for this winter. I'm looking forward to starting over again next June.October 15, 2023 at 8:04 pm #40686
We might get a frost tonight or tomorrow, so I picked a big bowl of tomatoes today, though I didn't pick everything, so if we don't get that frost I might get another picking in a week or two. I also picked the last of the full-sized spaghetti squashes. There are a couple of littler ones that may never get ripe enough to pick. But I got 4 of them that were in the 35-45 ounce range, and that's not a bad return on a $2 packet of seeds.
But I'm already thinking ahead to next year's garden plans. I probably won't grow the Porter tomatoes, and I might cut back a bit on the Fourth of July, putting in more Italian Heirlooms and Amish Paste. If I can get a better source for First Lady tomatoes, I'll put some of them in, but only 1 of 4 plants produced much fruit this year, and what I thought was a 5th one turned out to be an Italian Heirloom, either I made a (fortuitous) mistake with the seeds or with labeling.
I'll probably do spaghetti squash again, not sure I'll do melons or broccoli. I'm thinking I might order some leek plants from Johnny's and put in a couple rows of them.
The Urban Soil Improvement project will send out a different common plant for everyone to grow in 2024, this year it was zucchini. I actually liked those zucchini, so I might do them again if I can find seeds (the variety is dunja). One plant is probably enough for us, though.October 20, 2023 at 3:17 pm #40758
I froze about 6 pounds of tomatoes from the garden, some cored and peeled for things like soup, some just blanched for things like stock.
I will probably get a few tomatoes every day or two but I think the bulk of the picking is done, and the two week forecast says we'll dip below freezing next weekend.October 22, 2023 at 5:42 pm #40779
I helped my husband cover part of the garden, as it may get a little too cold tonight. We also picked the green tomatoes. We are hoping to protect the pepper plant.October 22, 2023 at 6:27 pm #40780
With a forecasted low of 24 for next Sunday and a high of 38, covering plants sounds futile here.October 24, 2023 at 11:02 am #40793
Now the forecasted low for Sunday night is 19. Brrrrrr! Might get a frost as early as Saturday morning, too.
And the forecasted high for Halloween is 39, gonna be a cold night for the trick-or-treaters.October 24, 2023 at 9:32 pm #40800
Our temperature high today was 80 degrees.October 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm #40822
Only got down to about 37 last night, but didn't get much above 45, the next 3 nights the predicted lows are 28, 28 and 19, so I picked what I wanted out of the garden. (I stopped picking green tomatoes a few years ago, they never taste that good and I can get decent tomatoes at the store most of the time.)October 27, 2023 at 6:22 pm #40824
We've not had a frost yet, so we're still picking green beans and lettuces and raspberries. However, it looks like that will end after Tuesday night's low. The garden is cleaned up, just waiting now for the leaves and grass from the last mow of the season to spread over it. All the pots on the deck are inside, and the planters cleaned up except for one of lettuces and one of beans. I will trim the pots of herbs and then transplant or root some of them, although I will plant seeds of some. I am really looking forward to next summer's garden!October 28, 2023 at 9:49 pm #40836
The tomato plants were looking somewhat limp this morning, but if anything survived last night, when it hit about 32, tonight should finish them off, as the expected low is now down to 26, and 20 tomorrow night. Brrrrr!October 30, 2023 at 6:13 pm #40858
Our temperatures will go below freezing tonight, so that is the end of the outside garden. My husband has planted some lettuce and kale and is using the grow lights. We will see how that goes.
For next year, I have already put in a request for us to plant fairy tale pumpkin. We can probably run the vine along the side of the house.
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