Vegetable Garden, August 2014, No. 1

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The garden continued to produce through August.  The peas and green beans finished up and the newly planted green beans have not really gotten with the program. We canned and froze lots of both peas and green beans and pickled green beans.  Tomatoes are really going and with this heat will be done soon.  With help from our friends from San Jose we have canned the living daylights out of them. I now have 21 quarts of sauce and 12 pints of whole tomatoes.  I plan to can another dozen pints of whole tomatoes and freeze enough tomatoes to make chili sauce with my own hot peppers once they get ready.  The zucchini are nearly done, but I noticed that one of the local U-pick farms had young zucchini plants growing and looking good.  Next year, I will try a staged planting of zucchini in an effort to extend the harvest season.  This is more of a “learning how” effort vs. a “need more zucchini” thing.  We have a tough time eating what we grow now and are well done with zucchini by now, but still it would be cool to have young producing zucchini plants in the garden now.

San  Marzano     San  Marzano   San  Marzano          

The melons produced very well and we have enjoyed the fruit.  The corn is a bust.  They did not produce any viable ears.  I am certain that soil conditions are the main issue.

The dry beans and watermelons are getting ready to harvest.

Aleppo peppers for seed and powder!

Aleppo peppers for seed and powder!

The big news is the peppers.  After not looking great for most of the season, they have sorted themselves out and are now looking good, growing, and producing. Not all of the plants recovered, but most are doing well.  It looks like we will have enough to pickle some and freeze some.  The Aleppo, Espelette, and Hinklehatz peppers are producing well enough that I should be able to get some mild pepper powder.  And the big news for me, the Bhut Jolokia, Habanero, and best of all Trinidad Scorpion all have fruit and are growing well. This means a fresh supply of extremely hot chili sauce and pepper powder!  I really wondered if we were just too far north to grow these hotter varieties.

August14   August8   August11

 

Fall and winter vegetables:

The onions, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce I started in late July are all doing well. I up potted about 150 plants which is about half of what I started.  The double digging is not going well.  I would like to say hot weather, visitors, canning activities, and other priorities were the main issue, but the truth is the ground is just too hard!  Of course this means it needs to be done even more, but still it is very hard.  My current excuse is that I should wait for the early fall rains to soften the soil a bit.

 

Plan September

  • Harvest tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, melons, and eggplant.
  • Up pot/plant winter vegetables
  • Double dig at least one of next year’s tomato rows maybe if I have the stamina to do it.

 

Notes:

  • Plant beans zucchini, lettuce, and spinach in at least two maybe three waves.
  • Plant more pole beans as they are easier to harvest than bush beans.
  • Plant more of the bigger variety eggplants.
  • Plant the bigger paste tomatoes. The small varieties have no advantage over the bigger ones.
  • Double dig beds that are not planted with winter vegetables during the dryer spills in the winter.
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