Late Summer Garden Update
Some of the local blogs I read have already declared it “Fall” here in New Hampshire. Me, I say no way, it’s still officially August and come September we will have some of the nicest Summer Days of the year. I hate to admit a few of the leaves have started to change and the mornings are cool and the grass each morning is soaked with dew…
The warm weather crops like the cucumbers and summer squash have all come down with a white powder coating and are only putting out the occasional cucumber or squash for us. Some of the leaves have started to die back and turn yellow and brown. I think their time has come for me to send them to the chickens and make room for a late fall crop of carrots and beets.
That bare spot is where I already pulled a hill of cucumbers and put in spinach that isn’t up yet.
I made a note in my garden note book for next year around the second week of July to plant cucumber seeds in the very same hill as the ones planted earlier in the year. I think they should start fine in and around the vines already growing. I’m pretty sure that when it comes time to pull the old vines out they will disturb the roots of the new, so I plan on simply cutting the vines and leaving the roots for later. If I had planted more earlier this year they would be just starting to produce now and the cucumber season would last another month. Lesson learned for next year.
This is not to say that we haven’t had plenty of cucumbers because we sure have. I have been picking a few every day and sharing them with anyone who wants some. I put up several jars of pickles and sent a pile of them over the last weekend to the bake sale.
Daisy’s Jack-B-Little pumpkins we put in the ground late have a few small pumpkins and this one that will be ready to pick very soon. She is very excited about it and checks on it every day.
The volunteer pumpkin vine in the poop pile has a single pumpkin about the size of a soccer ball. I haven’t climbed all the way to the back yet to investigate. Think I will leave it to be a surprise when the leaves die back. I really don’t like to walk around in tall tangled grass growing around it, gives me the creeps since I was bitten by a snake in the garden a few years ago. No worries, snakes around here are pretty small and harmless garden snakes but snakes non the less. Snakes are okay with me as long as I don’t see them…
We will leave her sunflowers until later when the seeds have finished developing. She is hoping to feed them to the wild birds and her chickens over the winter. I;m not sure feeding the wild birds a good idea since we still have a black bear or a family of them around. Last winter they never did hibernate and pulled down the feeders every couple of days.
I’m not so sure about the potatoes I put in this spring. I look around at my neighbor’s and they are twice as tall as mine and I never did see mine flower…I had Son #1 pull up a couple of the ones that completely died back and found a few small potatoes. The largest was about the size of a small grapefruit and the worms had chewed it pretty bad. We did have a nice meal with the smaller golf ball sized ones.
Daisy brought me in a few ripe tomatoes and peppers this morning but most of them are still green. This is expected since I planted our tiny tomato seedlings a few weeks behind everyone else and peppers didn’t do well this year at all. It seems peppers did lousy in all the gardens around this year.
It’s a good thing peppers will be on sale very soon and I can take advantage of that and freeze some then.
I’m off to the local feed store today to pick up some more seeds to fill in the fall garden. I’m on the look out for some cold hardy lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, cabbage and broccoli. I’m also on the look out for some row covers but they seem hard to find local, not sure why?
Late last week I made some corn relish and froze the rest from a bushel I bought from the farm stand. We have already eaten 2 jars of it, very tasty! I think I will use this same recipe for some carrot relish in a few weeks when I pull the spring planted carrots up and put in the fall. I’ll post the recipe and of course the jar labels because it is just to good not to share. I also think this would be nice with some grated zucchini for a relish. In case you didn’t know it we like pickles and relish around here. A jar or two always makes it’s way to the dinner table for a side dish to any meal. I also love to share and hand out the jars when ever I can.
Lastly I wanted to share the view from just outside the kitchen door this morning in the small raised bed across the front of the house. I put this bed here last summer as a spur of the moment project and have really been enjoying it. It works well for these quick growing crops. So far I have grown many sets of radish, lettuce and spinach.
There is the ever present bush of cat nip and some thyme that will be moved this fall (I think) and 3 rather scrawny Brandywine tomato plants. I plopped these sick little seedling there earlier in the year because I couldn’t bring myself to toss them out. Each has a tomato or two on them and Daisy enjoys checking them out on her way to doing what ever is on her mind at the moment. She will take the time and give them a drink of water and check them out for “buggies”. This small bed since it is up against the foundation of the house gets HOT and dries out very quickly. I’m not sure how tasty these radish will be in such heat, I know they like cool and this spot bakes all day long. The calendula has loved it there.