Friday, August 31, 2012

Late Summer Garden

Late summer garden photo

With my planting window for the fall garden rapidly closing and the summer harvest starting to taper off, I thought I'd do a status update for the community garden. 

Squash vine borer hole at the base of my mystery squash
The summer squashes are still producing, despite evidence of both borers and squash bugs in the garden.  They seem to prefer attacking my mystery squash, which seems to be able to take the abuse.  It is also still producing, though I've cut it back a lot in the hopes of squeezing another watermelon out of the season.  The watermelon vines got a little overrun by mystery squash and basil, so they are limping along.  The basil has outperformed my wildest expectations; there is still some left in the garden after two large harvests!

My peppers are still doing well, but are under attack by some sort of stink/soldier beetle.  I've really never had problems with pests on my peppers before, but I suppose there's a first time for everything - especially bugs.

I've got five rounds of carrots in the garden right now.  Some that I planted in the spring, some from my June planting, and three rounds that I planted for the fall. The spring ones can be picked whenever I like, and the June carrots are filling out.  I planted an entire bed for the fall garden, hoping to grow some to leave in the ground for winter like last year.  It's been challenging keeping them watered, even with the weather's cooperation.

The cucumbers are just about finished, but I've been putting off pulling them out because I don't have anything else to plant in their bed and I'd rather not leave the soil bare.  The onion bed is mostly bare, and the soil there is as hard as a rock, even with all the rain we've been having.  The eggplants are just limping along as well, still under attach by the flea beetles.  It looks like I'll get at least two more rosa biancas, though.

Broccoli plant - see the half-eaten leaves?
I transplanted several broccoli back in July, and they have been under pretty serious attack by cabbage moths.  Four or five have survived, but comparing their size and vigor to the ones we had in the spring, I think any heads they produce will be disappointing.  I've transplanted a bunch more and covered them, so we'll see.  According to the almighty HG16 it is too late to plant broccoli, but I think I'd rather plant them and have them not produce anything until spring than leave the soil bare.

Tall tomato plants
I've pulled out four of the tomato plants, hoping the others would have a better chance at ripening their remaining fruit.  We've reached the part of the season when I pick a large bowl of tomatoes every time we go to the garden, and they sit on our table waiting to be turned into sauce.  There was something very odd about the way the tomatoes grew this year - when I look at them from the main path, both beds are shortest on the left, then get progressively taller and bushier as I look to the right.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe the left gets marginally more light?  Less wind?

A wide row of beans
The green beans R and I planted in July are putting out their first beans!  Yay!  I do like planting these later much better than watching them rust and struggle through the heat and dryness and not produce anything.  It's also nice to have something just coming into crop at this time of year.

The snap peas are up - the first generation are about three inches tall, while the second are about 1 inch.  I've transplanted a whole lot of lettuces into the former potato bed, some simpson and some valerie, and one little romaine has reached survivable size, with more little ones to go in the bed this week.

I'm glad the fall planting is almost finished.  It feels like the fall weather is coming early this year, and I'm anxious to start cleaning and packing things away.  I've also decided to convert more grass to garden at the house, so it will be nice to have some more time to work on that.  (Funny how I'm even looking forward to picking less!)  But more on that project another time.


  1. I'm a bit jealous, particularly about your basil. I was just thinking that I wish I could make pesto, but you need a source of cheap, plentiful basil for that. My basil plant is near death, which makes me sad. But then again, I can replant in a month or two, and the basil will do much better in the cool months of November-May.

  2. Love looking and wish I could taste-especially tomatoes and basil