I must say this year's garden, with the exception of the carrot fail, has so far been the best ever. As far as pounds harvested, it's way ahead of 2009, 2010 and 2011. In fact, I've already harvested about half of 2011's entire year's total. Potatoes and onions have been the big producers, and beans are on their way to being more abundant than any previous year. Last year was an off year for zucchini and summer squash. This year I'm begging family and neighbors to take the extras off my hands. The winter squash looks like it might produce enough to feed an army. The butternuts have taken over about a third of the garden, the vines are growing through the fence and threatening to take over the lawn, and they are absolutely loaded with squash. Cantaloupe vines run rampant, although the only melon I've seen so far is on a rather sickly looking plant in a pot. I thought the peppers were slow, but looking at pictures from previous years, they are right about where they should be. Now that the bush beans have been removed from both sides of the pepper row, they have more room to grow.
All of the sweet onions have been pulled from the east garden, and as the potatoes are dug, I've been prepping all available areas for planting the fall garden. I've never planted a fall garden before, as we've always left for our AZ home by mid-October. Now that we've sold that property, and will be staying right here for the winter, I'm ready to give it a try. I won't attempt to over winter anything other than spinach, and maybe a few carrots, but I do hope to have an abundant fall harvest. So far I've planted lettuce, carrots, cabbages and bush beans. Beets were planted a few weeks ago, and are well on their way to producing what looks to be a lovely crop. Another bed of carrots will be sown today.
I'll apologize in advance for having so many pictures in this post, but I find the information valuable for my future gardens. I'm constantly referring back to previous years to see what worked, what didn't and how I might improve the gardening experience.
Cantaloupe vines growing up the garden ladder.
Cantaloupe vines overtaking the garden path.
My small planting of storage onions. I grew these from seed, and didn't think they were even going to survive. They were planted way too close together to size up decently. One of several late plantings of carrots in front of the onions.
Two more plantings of carrots on the other side of the onions. Germination was pretty good in this bed, but I don't yet know if this area is infested with the nematodes that ruined my earlier carrot crop.
A hill of Honey Bear acorn squash.
Conjoined Honey Bear twins!
The bush beans have been pulled from each side of the sweet pepper row, giving them the room they need to grow and produce. There are quite a few peppers on the plants, and many blossoms.
Two nice sized Waltham Butternut squash, hanging over the side of their container.
The beet bed is covered with tulle to protect the leaves from miners. So far, so good!
Are my Brussels sprouting? They're not half as big as Sue's (pout, pout).
The Honey Select corn stands tall.
It won't be long now!
Silver Queen went down in the wind again.
I set it straight and hog tied it to the fence post.
The sweet potatoes are beginning to vine.
The morning glories are....well, glorious!
North garden tomatoes are almost to the roof of the shed. Two of the four are beginning to produce ripe tomatoes, Marglobe Supreme and Isis Candy. So far, the Marglobe is mealy and bland, but the Isis Candy are sweet and juicy. The volunteer Cherokee Purple tomato, in the tepee structure in the foreground, has blossomed and still has time to set and ripen fruits.
The hollyhocks and Shasta daisies have passed their prime and need to be cut back. It's not a job I look forward to, especially since they are crawling with earwigs. Fortex pole beans, on the back fence, are in full production. In fact, I have three pounds of them in the refrigerator, waiting to be blanched and frozen. I was going to do that last night, but I was just too tired to fool with them.
I had to bring in some concrete blocks to set the garden sprinkler on, as it was being eaten alive by butternut squash plants. I think one more block will be needed real soon. I got the old raspberry canes pruned out this week, but now I have to go in and do some selective pruning of the new canes. I'll remove all but about 20-24 of the sturdiest.
The east garden is "under construction" for fall. Carrots, bush beans and cabbages have been planted, peas and more carrots will be next, as the remaining potatoes are removed from their beds.
One lone pot of Spacemaster slicing cucumbers, but a productive plant that provides Mr. Granny with all the cucumbers he can eat.
The monster Waltham Butternut squash plants are busting through the fencing and headed toward the lawn.
Can you just imagine how many squash are under those vines where I can't see them?
Then there's the summer squash. I can barely get out the back door of the garden shed, where the zucchini (left) and yellow crookneck (right) have taken over.
The two plants occupy (crowd) a 10' x 12' area behind the shed.
This leaf, on the crookneck, is 20" long.
The zucchini have been just lovely, and I've only missed one that grew too large. It was grated and frozen for future loaves of zucchini bread. The crooknecks are harder to find, and three big ones have gone into the compost.
I'll end this post here, and we'll visit "Tomato Alley" another time.
PS: This is my second post of the day. Be sure to get thyself to the first one and wish me a "Happy Blogiversary"!! Come on, you know you want to.... ;-)