August 16, 2013 - The Mid-August Garden

It's hot but overcast today, making it actually tolerable to get out and get some gardening done.

 The corn stalks have been dug out, and I have begun laying out the beds for the 2014 garden.  The new beds will actually be longer than they are now, once the sweet peppers are harvested.  I'm making the beds 3 feet wide, rather than 4, as I'm finding 4' is just too far for this old lady to reach the centers for harvesting.  They will eventually be either 7 or 8 feet long, depending on how close I want to get them to the fences.  I do want to keep a good sized path next to the neighbor's fence, so I can hopefully keep the weeds at bay.  As I form the beds, I'm layering semi-decomposed chopped leaves with composted cow manure.  I plan on solarizing the dark colored bed in the foreground, and planting my carrots there next year.  Maybe I can avoid the nematode infection that way.

My fall cucumbers are actually growing in a future path in the east garden.  

 Some of the sweet peppers are over 4 feet high now.  Most are still around 3'.

 Carrots, the fall lettuce bed, and fall corn.

 The corn is growing well, so hopefully I can get a fall crop from it. 

 Inside the kennel garden, the Fortex pole beans form solid walls on two sides.  In the center are cabbages, beets, spinach and carrots.  Spinach germination was poor, so I'll try reseeding it this week.  The fall pole beans, on the left, have already begun to bear.  I had a first picking from them today.  The older pole beans, on the right, are just now bearing a good sized crop, with many more blossoms, so I should be harvesting a lot of my favorite Fortex beans this year.  Cabbages are doing extremely well under the netting.  This bed might be used exclusively for my 2014 cabbage plants.

 The jungle behind the kennel garden has the parsnips, which are getting too tall and flopping over into the pathway, and more sweet peppers that are nearly 5' high.

 Today I trimmed back the cosmos.  They were falling over and smothering the marigolds.  It left an empty space between the flowers, so I moved in three pots of hot peppers to fill the space.  Maybe the poor marigolds can breath now!

 Three cantaloupe, nearly ready to harvest.  Three others have already been picked, two of them already eaten.  By me.

 Many of my leeks are going to seed.  The bees love them, so I think I'll just let them go and reseed themselves in this same spot next year.

 I suppose there are tomatoes in there somewhere, but the plants are so full and heavy there is no way to see them.  I basically have to stand on my head and look up underneath the branches, trying to spot a bit of red.  I hate to start whacking them back, but I don't know how else I would be able to see the fruits as they get ripe.  Next year they will be planted where I can harvest from two sides.   I'm enjoying the single row of bush beans in the foreground.  It's so much easier to pick than a multiple row wide bed.

 The flower area is looking rather ragged.  I'd like to cut back the coneflowers, but the bees are still enjoying them so they stay for now.  I have Red Sails lettuce going to seed, but I'm going to leave it and see if it will volunteer next spring.

The sugar snap peas, in the little fall garden behind the shed, are beginning to grab onto the fencing.  Carrots, in the foreground, look much better than they do in the photo, and the tiny onions are growing well, even if they aren't visible here.

 I'm still getting enough strawberries to keep us in shortcakes and smoothies.

 But the strawberry bed really needs to be thinned out.  It's supposed to cool down into the 80s next week, so maybe I can get some of the plants moved to another garden bed.

I pulled out all but one small cucumber plant.  As you can see, they were completely covered with powdery mildew.  One plant still had some green leaves and a big yellow blossom, so it got to stay.  For now.

 I cut back a bunch of butternut vines again today, once more clearing my path through the garden.

On the other side of the fence, you can see the many butternuts growing up the chain link.  

The broccoli is going crazy with side shoots.  I cut just over a pound of them this afternoon.

 I also picked over two pounds of Fortex pole beans.

Bush beans have slowed (thankfully) but summer squash is catching a second wind.  This is the last of the cucumbers, until the fall planting fruits.  I dug a few leeks, as so many are going to seed.  It started raining a bit before I finished picking tomatoes, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow.

16 comments:

  1. You are an inspiration to me! So much produce from a relatively small space. Looks great!

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  2. Looking good. Unbelievable how many squashes you're getting! Oh, those Fortex beans!! So glad I listened to you. The BEST beans in the world! THE BEST!

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    1. I think you, Ribbit and I need to start a Fortex bean fan club, LOL!

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  3. Impressive!

    I cringe every time I go to the Farmer's Market and BUY green beans. I can't believe I couldn't get any germination this year. I tried THREE sowings--and with different seed. Hubby suspects a mole/gopher is eating them. I don't know. Hope next year is better.

    I did end up with lots of broccoli. It's my first year of getting lots of side shoots. Funny how a garden does so good on one thing, and lousy on another.
    Anywho--your place is so productive and pretty..... a real farm in the city!

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    1. Sue, I was afraid I wasn't going to get the pole beans. The first planting was eaten to the ground by insects (I think earwigs), the second try was nearly as badly chewed, but finally survived. It was very slow to flower and produce. The next (later) planting....wowzer! It really took off! I wasn't expecting to get beans from it until at least mid-September, and here it is producing already! Oh, and Mr. Granny ate his broccoli last night. I put cheese on it for him :-)

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  4. Those butternuts look wonderful. I keep hoping for a bumper crop, but they are setting very slowly. And the Early Butternuts haven't even started to set fruit yet. They should be starting at the same time as they were planted later than the Waltham.

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    1. I've only picked that one so far. It was really good, but it would have been better with a couple more weeks in the garden or at least a week or two of curing. Do you know my last year's butternuts lasted until this year's were ready? I couldn't believe it! They got a bit spongy around the seed cavities, but the necks were still firm and sweet. The last 2012 butternut was consumed in August of 2013!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, 4theluvof! I do enjoy my garden :-)

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  6. You are the butternut queen! I might get nine this year, nowhere near as large as yours. I love seeing the pictures of your garden, they really are inspiring.

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    1. Nutmeg, one year I was lettuce queen, another year I was onion queen. I have no idea why I can't be queen of them all at the same time, but it never happens, LOL!

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  7. Wow all you veggies look amazing. I am so jealous of all your growing space. You said that your spinach seeds did not germinate, do you often have trouble getting spinach to germinate? I am having trouble in my garden and was wondering if there is a trick to it?

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    1. Bacon, our weather is still really hot, in the high 90s. I think the days after I planted the spinach seeds it was over 100. Germination isn't great at those temperatures, as spinach likes cool weather. I'll just keep reseeding until something grows! I've never had 100% germination with spinach, even with optimum temperatures.

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  8. Wow, those butternuts look like a string of lanterns. Everything is so healthy and happy. My butternuts are still tiny although the vine has at last started to go crazy.

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    1. They do look like lanterns, don't they? I never thought of that. I accidentally broke one of them off yesterday, and it weighed just over 5 pounds.

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