Friday, August 7, 2009
I didn't think it was possible, but ALL my zucchini plants died more-or-less childless. It wasn't from squash borer either, which is what usually causes early demise in any of mine. I really haven't a clue what killed them, although I'm guessing the excessively wet and cooler summer weather has been a large factor.
Actually one plant managed to give me about 6-7 zukes that were edible; two of the other three plants blossomed, set a fruit or two, then aborted and gave up the ghost, and one did nada from the get-go. Sigh. Not much zucchini bread to look forward to this winter unless my neighbors give me zucchini...
My first planting of tomatoes are battling blight, and everyday it's a new standoff. If it ever dries enough to be effective, I'm going to give them a boost of Epsom Salts in water as a foliar spray.The second planting of tomatoes 40 feet away now has plants blossoming and I think I'll douse their foliage too. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and it can't hurt!
So far I have harvested a few Yukon Gold potatoes (about 25 pounds) and the remainder are ready to be dug, cured, and stored in the root cellar. The fingerling potatoes I started in The Great Potato Experiment have finally decided to grow, and last evening I even saw a couple of blossoms!
The Cattle Panel Arched Hoop I put in this year is now covered with pole beans and Japanese beetles (see photo above). I built it on what was part of the lawn and I guess I didn't get in enough amendments to raise the Brix, because high Brix plants don't get pest infestations. I hope I will get a few beans anyway, and next year will be another opportunity to do better!
On the outside left of the cattle panel I planted a few winter squash, which are now starting to trail. The tags have disappeared, but they are either butternut, or Futsu Black. The early spring-planted Brussels sprouts are finally making fruit and the Swiss chard continues to do well.
The root cellar is full of recently harvested onions and 2 kinds of shallots. The red onions aren't faring well so I think I'll make Pickled Red Onions. They are really yummy... I'll post the recipe and photos in another post when I make them.
Lastly, although not from my garden, I have half a bushel of Loring peaches ripening in the root cellar. I found them at an orchard on my way home from Charlottesville yesterday and one taste convinced me! The Brix measured almost 14ºBx, far better than any in the stores although really good Brix gardeners report Brix as high as 20º in peaches. I haven't decided what to do with them; certainly some will be for fresh eating! The rest may be divided into dehydrated, peach leather, and jam.