Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Firmly Into Fall

      Today is October 1st, so even the summer like month of September is behind us.  But the weather recently has been quite nice, in the 70's and 80's usually. The tomatoes are unfortunately winding down, though the cherry tomatoes still give a rewarding pick upon entering the garden.

      Most of these came up as volunteers and are probably Sweet 100's.  Next year I think I will plant the Sweet 100's, Sungold, Chocolate Cherry and maybe a couple of other cherry tomatoes along this trellis.  It is certainly welcoming to pick and pop a couple of little beauties as you enter the garden.  I was given some yellow pear cherry tomato plants this spring.  The tomatoes had little flavor, so will not be a repeat next year.

      The pole beans are still producing a delicious crop for dinners.  There are only two plants, one is the pole Rattlesnake bean and the other is a pole Blue Lake.  The Rattlesnake has been producing for weeks, and the Blue Lake are just starting to come in.  I will try to expand the number of plants next year, as it is a whole lot easier to spot and pick standing up rather than "standing on your head" to bend over to pick bush beans.  I know one thing I want for dinner tonight.

      The squash trellis has certainly been fun this year.  On the left on the white bucket is a swan gourd, an ornamental that is not edible.  A very edible Buttercup squash is on the ground to the right, and to the far right on a bucket is the delicious Marina Di Chioggia.  The swan gourd is still producing good leaves and is even setting new gourds.  Not that the new ones have a chance at ripening before frost.

      If the swan gourds are allowed to hang free from the trellis, their weight will insure that the neck is straight.  In order to a get a bent neck, you have to support the bottom of the gourd to make sure that the neck will bend as the squash grows longer.  Here I have put the gourd in a hanging basket.  I am afraid that the plastic will break at some point and then snap the neck, or that the supports will leave a mark on the gourd. So I have started to rip old bed sheets into sections to make supportive slings.

      I would suggest that the sling business is a two person job, as it is very difficult to balance the heavy gourd on your shoulder while you are trying to clumsily tie the sheet in a knot while stringing it over a support.  I intend to cut the gourds from the vine the day before first expected frost.  Probably within two to three weeks from now.

      The flowers in the garden are still doing well, and we are still visited by butterflies, hummingbirds and lots of different bees.

Autumn Joy Sedum and Cosmos
American Beauty Bush
Volunteer Salvia
Volunteer Mexican Butterfly Weed

      Well we really can't leave before we look at the rest of the veggies.  This is the start of the cold frame for winter use.  The screens keep out the birds and squirrels from digging and uprooting the small starts.  When we get to colder weather, glass will replace the screen.

      This is a shot of the sweet potato cuttings that I started in a topped off compost pile.  The vines are gorgeous, yet I have not found any potatoes when I have sunk my hand into the pile.  Bummer.  The red flowers are salvia that have grown from the compost pile.

Cubanelle peppers

Hopefully late broccoli crop
Unusually late and healthy zucchini plant
What a Bonus!!

      So that's what is happening out back on the first of October.  Quite a lot actually.

1 comment:

  1. Your garden is just full of treasures - even this late in the season. My tomatoes were finished a couple of weeks ago and I was ready for them to be done as I was a bit overwhelmed at the time, trying to preserve them all. But here we are, only two weeks later, and I already miss them. Lucky you to still have so much bounty in your garden!