The August Garden
Well, here we are in August, and here is my raised garden as seen from the back. Not quite as much of a jungle as last year, which is both good and bad. The tomatoes are smaller both in plant and fruit and the squashes too. But, things are easier to pick because they are not so jammed together. Small consolation though for less bounty. My cucumbers, seen in the front of the picture are barely doing anything. I think they don't get enough light with only the afternoon sun. I thought I had a pretty nifty way to squeeze more tomatoes and also cucumbers in to a small space. Oh well, back to the drawing board with that one.
The yellow crookneck squash on the far right is doing a bit better, but not as well as I'd hoped. I thought it would get nice and big since I was giving it so much room (not my normal instinct in the garden), but so far it's kinda puny compared to the first year I grew it. That sucker was huge! Leaves the size of elephant's ears I tell you and not the garden variety - the mammalian. You just never know what your garden will do from one year to the next. I guess that's part of the fun, but also part of the frustration.
I'm certainly grateful for all that we have eaten and picked from the garden, but I can't help being disappointed as well, because I put so much into certain parts of it - namely the tomatoes - and they are just seeming kinda lazy this year. I have 26 plants - yup two six - and so far barely any actual fruits of my labor. Plus now it's August, and August in MN is when you truly can see just how much yield you're gonna get. You can see the end even though the tomato cannot. Consequently, it's also a good time to prune those new suckers and tiny buds that will never make it to tomatohood. I'm not sure if it truly helps with the remaining fruit, but it makes sense it would.
Here's the messy side jungle, and more tomatoes. The plants here are the healthiest, but some are not producing very much anyway. I have one plant over here with only ONE tomato on it. Yeah, I'm kinda pissed at that one. I think it's the Bulls Heart, and I was really looking forward to that one. I guess I'll really have to savor it.
This year, I'm realizing how much I still have to learn about gardening, but especially growing tomatoes. For instance, I don't know why mine always get yellowish leaves, or why sometimes they curl. I've read the curling is caused by aphids - but I don't really see the evidence for it. Some plants have brown spots on the leaf edges, and others the blossoms are turning yellow on the stem and eventually shriveling and falling off. I think I need a good tomato book. Any recommendations?
Well, that's enough complaining for today! Any one else got garden frustrations they'd like to vent? Blast away!
First Tomatoes 2008
A Black Prince, a coupla Sungold Cherries and a supposed Isis Candy Cherry. I say supposed, because it is kinda too big and the wrong shape and color. Perhaps a mystery seed got in the pack?
My tomatoes are kinda disappointing so far this year. They are late and they are not plentiful. Hopefully, the late summer and fall will cooperate and be warmer than usual so I can get a decent harvest! I just gotta get them in the ground earlier next year! Mark my words, I'm gonna plant them even if it is cold and rainy.
How are your 'maters doing? Any new ones you'd recommend?
Beans! Beans! Beans!
It seems about this time every summer I realize, holy crap! I haven't been blogging! And then I quickly write a post such as this. Well, I apologize once again dear readers - if there are any of you left. I promise to try and keep up, but as you other MN gardeners know, it is just coming in to major harvest time and well, it can be kinda busy. Actually though, all summer is busy so, I dunno. Is there really any down time in gardening? What is your busiest time in the garden?
Mine's gotta be spring, but then again all my berries went nuts this year and I spent a good 2 hours or so every day after work just picking them late spring/early summer when I had other junk to get done with planting and weeding etc. Oh well, always behind. Now the beans are kickin' it as the title of this post suggests. I really planted a lot this year and also at least 4 varieties, including a climbing green bean this year which I have never done before. So far it is not as prolific as the bush ones, so we'll see if I plant them again next year. They do save space though and that is one thing at a premium for sure in my garden.
Tomorrow I hope to pick my first ripe tomato - a bit later than most everyone else, but I got mine in late too. Perhaps I'll even post about it tomorrow!
In the mean time, anyone got any great green bean recipes they like?