Mary's Veggie Garden

October 28, 2013

10/28/2013 Half a Ton and Still Harvesting

Filed under: Peppers,Squash,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 1:37 pm
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With the forecast predicting overnight temperatures at or near freezing every night last week, I harvested the remaining summer crops: 10 pounds of peppers and the last winter squashes. My remaining tomatoes, all in my home garden, are protected by too many trees so I left green tomatoes on the plants and crossed my fingers. 10/29 frost hit the community gardens, killing the few remaining tomatoes and peppers. At home my neighbor’s lawn has twice showed frost, but my tomato plants are still alive. it is probably their last day: tonight’s forecast is for 27.

Peppers & tomatoes ripening inside.

Peppers & tomatoes ripening inside.

I chopped & froze loads of green peppers. Any peppers showing a bit of red went into the colander to continue ripening. It is necessary to keep an eye on the ripening peppers – they seem to go from firm to soft overnight.

The last and second largest Tetsukabuto squash at 5.25 pounds.

The last and second largest Tetsukabuto squash at 5.25 pounds.

This Tetsukabuto growing on the garden gate was an autumn surprise. It set in late September and it was the only one of the late squashes to get big.

I finally tallied up the winter squashes and added them to the total.

Squash tally - still done the old fashioned way, with paper & pencil

Squash tally – still done the old-fashioned way, with paper & pencil

The squashes are in the basement where they will be happy all winter or until chosen for dinner.

Butternuts and Tetsukabuto squashes stored in the basement

Butternuts and Tetsukabuto squashes stored in the basement

My current garden total is 1021 pounds. To me the most amazing part is that about 3/4 of that total was grown at the community gardens and transported home in my bicycle packs. Only the watermelons, weighing about 15 pounds each, traveled home in the car.

What’s left? Soon I’ll start harvesting carrots for winter storage, and celeriac, both in my community garden plot. At home there are leeks and parsnips. Plus those green tomatoes which should be harvested right now.

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October 21, 2013

Harvest Monday Oct. 21,2013

Filed under: Beans,Peppers,Tomatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 10:33 am
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It’s a while since I’ve mentioned the garden’s steady performers so this Harvest Monday I am featuring the ‘daily’ harvest. Daily is in quotes because the summer crops have slowed down so I’m no longer harvesting both gardens every day.

Tomatoes!

Yes, tomatoes are a big deal. This is the first time since 2008 I’ve had tomatoes in October.

Oct 15 tomato harvest

Oct 15 tomato harvest

The varieties are: Sungold – the orange cherries on the left, Jasper – the tiny cherries in the middle, Mountain Magic, the mid-sized tomatoes, and Defiant – the 3 largest.  Jasper, Mountain Magic, and Defiant are all resistant to late blight. My gardens didn’t get late blight this year but it was reported in my county and throughout the Hudson Valley late in the summer.

The fruit quality is  good (not excellent) because the plants are loosing leaves to Septoria leaf spot. If you look closely at the fruit there are also the small black spots of incipient tomato Anthracnose. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) When tomatoes are on the plant the anthracnose is mostly controlled, but it progresses quickly indoors. However in this cool weather the tomatoes are ripening very slowly on the plant and one variety is not ripening at all.

The reasons I didn’t have October tomatoes for 4 years:

  • 2009 – Late Blight wiped out the tomatoes & potatoes at the end of july
  • 2010 – Back to back hurricanes/tropical storms in late August gave us 2 weeks of rain and rampant early blight & septoria.
  • 2011 – Septoria again
  • 2012 – late blight hit again in August
  • 2013 – my plants at the community garden have been removed – Septoria kill them, but at home I managed to control the Septoria until late August so the plants still have green leaves.

Beans

The pole beans are still producing but the plants are looking ragged. I’m thankful they’ve slowed down as there are plenty in the freezer.

Highlander peppers Rattlesnake and Northeaster beans.

Highlander peppers
 Northeaster  and Rattlesnake beans.

Peppers

Surprisingly, the peppers are turning red in the garden. I’m picking them partially red and they ripen quickly to full red in a colander on the counter.

More Stuff

Everything you’ve seen so far was from my garden at home. Wednesday I visited my community garden plot to stock up.

Stuff

Michili Green Rocket Cabbage, Cascadia snap peas, Yaya carrots, Red Ace beets, a few broccoli shoots, a couple of snow peas, and a Watermelon radish

The pair of half-pound carrots are from my 5/20 sowing and the rest from a 6/25 sowing. The beets are almost the last of a 4/15 sowing, and still tender and sweet. The pumpkins were a gift from a neighbor who was removing his garden fence – he is done for the year.OctVF.DSC02619

Saturday another trip to the community garden netted more carrots (the previous harvest was served as carrot sticks on the snack table at a quilt club meeting), the last two, late forming, butternut squashes, Vanguard bell peppers, Naples Italian peppers and a few more snap peas.  Unfortunately my fall planting of peas is rapidly dying from diseases never seen in the spring. Every time I harvest I remove a few more plants.

Not photographed: Cimmaron, my first head of fall romaine lettuce, eaten in salads with red pepper strips and snap peas.

The long rang forecast is for overnight temperatures near or at freezing most nights this week. So its time to harvest the remaining squashes, peppers and tomatoes. I started the work yesterday with 4.5 pounds of peppers – every full-sized pepper in my home garden.

Watermelon Radish

Watermelon Radish – hidden beauty

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