Mary's Veggie Garden

September 25, 2017

9/25/2017 Harvest Monday

Filed under: Cucumbers,Squash,Sweet Potatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 4:34 pm
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The anomalous weather continues in N.Y. In August we enjoyed late September conditions. Now that it is late September we are getting August heat with highs up near 90°F. The peppers and tomatoes are loving the heat and ripening quickly. Last evening I turned 6 pounds of Garden Treasure tomatoes into pizza sauce for the freezer. We eat fresh peppers with every meal and I have a gallon bag of chopped red and yellow peppers in the freezer.

Peppers: Escamillo, yellow and Carmen, red. Escamillo peppers are slightly bigger than Carmen. Both are excellent for fresh eating but I like the flavor of Carmen a bit better. That said, I just ate an entire Escamillo as a snack.

Summer Dance has provided a steady supply of cucumbers since mid-August. Most fruits are much straighter than this pair.

This Striata d’Italia zucchini plant is incredible. I am certain it has squash borers plus powdery mildew covers the leaves but it keeps on pumping out fruit. Only 1.5″ of rain has fallen this month and I rarely water so this plant must be living on dew.

Striata d’Italia Zucchini – the bottom is almost rotted through but there is a squash (actually several) at the top.

A closeup of the top of the Striata d’Italia zucchini reveals five fruit and the potential for several more.

I harvested the first winter squash this week. This is Fairy from Territorial Seed. It is a C. moschata so it resists borers plus it resists powdery mildew so the vines are very vigorous. The vines are at least 20′ long and have escaped the garden on three sides.

C. moschata Fairy winter squash. The catalog says they should weigh 2.5 pounds. This groups averages 5.3 pounds each.

I’ve not yet tasted a Fairy squash. I’ll roast one after the heat wave breaks – maybe this weekend.

I continue to dig sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes: Heartogold left, White Queen right. White Queen yielded about 3/4 pound/plant, not particularly good. It’s been a cool summer – not the best temperature for sweet potatoes.

This is my second year growing Heartogold & White Queen. I tried several new varieties last year and Heartogold yielded the least so I was not planning to grow it this year. I must have mixed a Heartogold root in with the White Queen roots and accidentally started slips. I think Heartogold needs a longer, hotter season than Poughkeepsie ever gets.

Dahlia Little Bees Wings – small but perfect.

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July 27, 2014

How Vegetable Plants Climb

Filed under: Beans,Gardening,Peas,Squash,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:18 am
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Many vegetable plants are eager climbers. Gardeners can take advantage of this tendency by providing the appropriate support. Plants on a trellis enjoy better air circulation, reducing disease problems. Their fruits are easier to reach for harvesting and much cleaner. There is also less insect damage, particularly from slugs.

Let’s look at a few climbers.

Pea tendrils searching for an anchor.

Pea tendrils searching for an anchor.

Peas have compound leaves with slender, forking tendrils at their tips. The tendrils eagerly wrap around anything with about the same circumference as a pea vine: string, wire, brush, and adjacent pea plants.

Well anchored pea tendrils support a big plant.

Well anchored pea tendrils support a big plant.

Young pea tendrils make a tender addition to a spring salad. Once anchored the tendrils turn tough and wiry, well able to support the growing plant.

Pole beans do not have tendrils: they climb using twining stems. After the stem encounters support, it grows quickly, often traveling 5′ up a pole in a week. Pole bean stems are coarse and rough so they cling easily to rough surfaces such as bark but the flexible stems will also wrap around string and netting. The vines are big and heavy so use a tall, sturdy trellis.

Pole beans climb with their flexible branch tips.

Pole beans climb with their flexible branch tips.

This picture shows three young pole bean plants. Two have touched the pole and are spiraling upwards. The third plant is still searching for support – you can see the growing tip silhouetted against the black hose. Sometimes I help my pole beans by laying the stem against the pole.

Squash tendrils emerge from the stems opposite leaves. The spirals of a squash tendril form a hemihelix – they spiral in one direction, then change direction to spiral in the reverse direction. My squashes have climbed tomato cages, deer netting and wire fences.

Squash climbing a tomato cage.

Squash climbing a tomato cage.

Hanging squash fruit under 5 pounds do not require support. The stem of a hanging squash responds to the stress by growing stronger and more fibrous – which means you will need loppers to harvest. Bigger hanging squashes and pumpkins benefit by some support – perhaps a bucket or barrel turned upside down and placed underneath.

For more information please see my blog:

A Pole Bean Teepee

Supporting a Hanging Squash

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