so what's up in edible gardening lands?
things are showing a case of the normal late
season yellows. the cosmos are fading, the
beans are starting to leave leaves on the ground.
the tomatoes are mostly stem and fruit gradually
as it does the ever-bearing strawberries are
on their third or fourth crop and without a
deep freeze they'll keep on trying. last fall
there were a few nice berries that needed only
a few more days to go before they'd finish.
this season we hope for those few extra days,
but the plants are flowering now, so they don't
seem to care. after all they still have
plenty of sunshine to keep on chugging. my
normal mid-summer strawberry patch routine is
to take peas, beans, soybeans and scatter them
throughout the patch and then put down an inch
or so of whatever mulch i can find. this year
it was shredded wood. then water well to
encourage the sprouts to have at it. it is a
very stark transistion as the patch looks really
wiped out by mid-summer with the leaves getting
spotted and dried out with the heat. a few weeks
later, everything is renewed and looking nice
and green and the beans are starting to give a
i'll continue to increase the percentage of
ever-bearing strawberry plants in all of my patches
because it is very nice to have berries all season
and not just in june.
the other two strawberry patches have different
requirements so they have not been renovated this
season. besides i don't have any more mulch to
use up so what organic material gets used has to
be grown in place. or in the case of the far back
patch (#3) i am digging trenches for dumping the
canning trimmings so that will help that rock hard
soil out. i'm hoping tomorrow i can get outside
to start planting cover crops in a few areas including
this 3rd strawberry patch. that soil can use a lot
of help back there...
all told, a good season for strawberries. even
the back patch near the large drainage ditch produced
well even when being raided almost continually from
critters. i consider it a very happy arrangement as
then that soil is covered by something productive
(it used to be left bare) and doesn't get covered
too badly by weeds. it has some, but the oregano,
strawberries and hollyhocks are all quite capable
of holding their own most of the time.
the garlic harvest was also quite nice this year.
i've peeled about 40 heads worth for making salsa
and all of it was good quality and fairly large
cloves even on the smaller and medium sized heads.
to encourage me to finish getting all the vagrant
garlics harvested next summer i'll plant less in
the easier places, but i am going to plant an area
specifically for green garlic harvesting in the
winter/spring because i enjoyed that so much and it
is much easier to grow than any of the green onions
i've tried to sprout. i certainly have enough starts
(e-mail if you want some -- it's hard necked garlic).
for green garlic if you want a nice long blanched
stalk plant it a few inches deeper than you would
tomatoes, we'll be picking again tomorrow as we
finished processing the second picking a few days
ago. not sure how many we'll do, but i suspect a
few dozen more quarts are still out there.
bell peppers also were mostly picked a few days
ago and turned into stuffed green peppers (and already
either eaten or sent off to other families to eat up).
we had three full buckets of red, yellow and green
peppers. though i must admit that we didn't let the
yellow peppers get all that yellow. one we did set
aside to fully turn yellow was eaten in a taste test
and i agree with my earlier assessment that the flavor
isn't worth the bother. red or green are much better.
the beets we haven't even started processing yet.
plenty out there to pick when we do get to it.
cabbages, harvested the other day and taken to
the place where they'll be turned into saurkraut.
Thursday will be when that happens. Ma is going to
go help. i'm staying home as this crud is still
holding on a bit yet.
green, wax and other fresh beans. all did well
this year. many pickings worth. what is left now
will be for seed source for next year.
edamame soybeans, just filling in pods, look
like they are doing ok.
peas, some places are on the third crop. mostly
as a cover or fill in plant because i have so many
extra seeds. most will not have enough time to do
much for another crop, but the plants and flowers
are nice to see instead of bare dirt. the chipmunks
have been raiding the peas so heavily this year that
my second crop is probably mostly buried in their
hidey-holes. already we have sprouts coming up
places i know i didn't plant them... i don't mind.
dry beans, some varieties i gave a second season
to see if they'd do ok, found out that it's not worth
the space for those varieties in this soil, so i will
cut back on next year's plantings for those and put
in the others that are doing well. the pole beans
from the south that i trialed this season are going
gonzo with a very heavy crop. it will be a joy to
pick those (standing up mostly :) ). already i've
eaten plenty as fresh beans too. well worth the
squash, i need to get out and pick the fruits from
the vines that have died back. for plants put in an
area that we hadn't used before (in fact we covered
it with three or four layers of carpeting and then
cut holes for the squash plant seeds). the squash
plants went all over the place. most of what they
are growing in is layers of old wood covered with
layers of dirt. it was to be the mushroom farm, but
we only had a few mushrooms and Ma hated the weeds
growing there so i chopped it back and then we
smothered it. eventually, i will curse every strand
of those carpetings, but until then...
in not really planning to grow squash we still will
have quite a harvest from all the vagrant seeds that
came up in various gardens. in the case of the beet
garden i had so many squash seedlings pushing up that
it uprooted a fair proportion of the beet plants.
and i'd decided that i needed to change the worm farm
treatment of squash and melon remains to avoid that
complication in the future. so the remains are now
quarantined to one bucket and i can use that in places
where i won't mind the volunteer squish plants.
the biggest challenge this season was the onions.
the quality of the sets wasn't very nice (most were
too big). i have a lot of onion seeds for playing
with now. :) many flowered. most didn't do much
at all. too much C in the soil is a large factor
for some of the gardens. too much cloudy and rainy
weather in June.
rhubarb i didn't harvest at all this year other
than a few stalks as i was walking by.
pretty much everything other than the cabbages,
onions and tomatoes were trouble free. the tomatoes
i mostly ignored as picking off diseased leaves
didn't make any notable difference over the longer
term and likely cut back on production shorter
term. we'll try something different next year for
the tomatoes. we may not need that many plants
overall, i'd say it was a good season and is
shaping up nicely. the benefit of having a mostly
covered and maint-free garden is that i could
ignore it for most of two weeks and not have too
many disasters waiting for me when i get back
out there. the biggest will be getting the
large drainage trench redone as it collapsed
somewhat from the heavy rains we had. c'est