September 14, 2010: Granny's Little Helper

Granddaughter Alicyn came for a visit today. We were quite busy in the garden, as I wanted to take advantage of free child labor. Almost-two-year-olds are very good at carrying the harvest bucket through the garden, you know. She toted the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, but balked at over sized peppers and squash.

Let's go to the garden!

Those are some big peppers!

One pepper fills the bowl, and weighs a whopping 13 ounces.

A good day's picking. Two zucchinis are not shown, as I jumped at the chance to give them away before I took the picture. Three more butternut squash gives me a total of 13 so far, and there are several more in the garden that are nearly ripe. The largest one of this bunch weighed just under 4-1/2 pounds. We've eaten two butternuts so far, and given two away. Mr. Granny does love the butternut squash, as long as I don't put it in pie!

The weather is lovely this week, with temperatures in the high seventies and low eighties. Yesterday I gave the garden shed a good cleaning. Pots and buckets were neatly stacked, plastic fencing was rolled up and stored for the winter, and I used the leaf blower to clean out dirt and cobwebs.

I pulled out the last of the bush beans today. I got another good harvest from them, and they were blossoming again, but we'll be leaving for Arizona before they have a chance to mature another crop. I'll most certainly be planting this variety again next year, and I'll plant it earlier. I've never grown a bush bean that was this prolific, and just didn't know when to quit setting new crops.

I only got a handful of pole beans. The Fortex vines are loaded with large pods that I'm going to dry for next year's seeds, so I'm only picking a few of the smaller, younger beans from them now.


  1. how gorgeous your little helper is.

    im following your blog avidly each day.

    im located in Sydney Australia

    so.. from gardening point of view right now im on March 15 post so i can be in tune with what i should be doing

    got my big parcel of heirloom tomato seeds today!


  2. Wow Granny, those peppers are giants! LOL. What's your secret? What a cute little garden helper!

  3. I can't believe you're off to AZ already. Wow. how the year goes by.

    THe girl is such a doll!

  4. Love the helper in the garden. And I don't blame her for balking over the size of the peppers. Those things are huge.

  5. Adorable granddaughter, super harvest. What did you feed those peppers!?

  6. Alicyn's a cutie pie :)

    I gotta know how you get such large peppers, etc. Is it the climate you're in (I'm trying to garden in TX) or do you have an awesome manure source? Is it your choice of seed?

    My peppers were a quarter of that size :(

  7. Don't you dare load that little girl down with squash LOL! Save that one for Kevin, right? Those peppers are gorgeous! I pulled mine as I was getting tired of waiting for them to color up. So when is the move to AZ this year?

  8. Look at the size of that thing, Gran! My peppers were so small this year. Do you fertilize them in any special way? I've heard that you should fertilize peppers much like you do a tomato plant but in smaller quantities. In any case, I need to come up with something different next year.

  9. Your little granddaughter is so cute! Love the AC/DC shirt too! HA!

  10. SydneyGardener, welcome! If you are just beginning your gardening season, I recommend you read my 2009 blog entries beginning with March. There was a lot less complaining, and the garden was much more productive than this year!

    Erin, October 16th is our liftoff date.

    Apple Pie Gal, she's a rocker chick in training ;-)

    To all, you've given me a blog subject, albeit a short one. Granny's Peppers.

  11. Ah, chuckling over the pie comment. Can't help myself. That is one adorable source of child labor!! ;)

  12. Annie,
    Yes have read 2009 blog avidly. You have one of the most amazing things happening in your garden.. cant say this year was bad at all but yes, 2009 was a stunner!

    Its funny how being at opposite ends of the planet the excitement of seed planting is happening now when you are ready to have your winter rest.

    I get my seeds from Diggers Seeds.. they have a great catalogue though not sure how it compares to your country.

    I have tried Ebay too with smaller suppliers but i will now watch seed numbers. Getting just 15 radish seeds in a packet just doesnt seem enough.

    Im so nervous about planting tomatoes this year as my plants succumbed to wilt last year. Im trying the bottomless bucket style you do.. and also some SW ones just for fun..

    Strangely have this huge cherry tomato accidental that started at the beginning of winter! and is now fruiting.. not bad for September.. (equivalent of your March)

  13. SydneyGardener, good luck with your tomato growing this year. Most of my bottomless bucket tomatoes grew great, but two of them succumbed to wilt. I don't know what caused it, when I pulled them from the buckets the roots looked fine, and had grown well down into the soil below. How lucky for you to have such an early tomato!

  14. Ive seen so many people on the web proud of there self watering bucket system. Im not sure if to get into this much at all as i found so many places for bottomless buckets and seems to me a better way. What i dont get is that they say you need air flow in a bottomless bucket yet how do roots get air in the ground.. I think i didnt do too well at science in my earlier years.

    Any tips for self watering systems. Have three all with their holes drilled thanks to hubby.

  15. SydneyGardener, the only thing I can think of is the leaves need air flow, not the roots. If the plants are too crowded, it's likely they'll become diseased.

    I don't use SWCs. The one time I tried, all of the plants in them died. When I pulled them from the containers, they were completely root bound. That's when I turned them all into bottomless buckets!

  16. Thanks for your advice and comments

    Must admit SWC's does look so unnatural yet some people on YouTube swear by them so its very confusing.

    Ill try both ways and report back!

    Would hate to have no tomatoes at all this coming year other than my accidentals.