Here we are in week 11 of the garden tours, and I am officially calling the pumpkins done for the year. I have been looking at my very sorry pie pumpkin plant for about a week and a half, and seeing all the powdery mildew made me realize that it was in a losing battle. Fortunately, the pumpkins themselves seem to be ripe enough to pick. So I am going to pick them and then figure out how I am supposed to cure them out of the direct sunlight. We shall see how it goes!
In fact, I think that I am going to start pulling a lot of the plants now. The cucumbers are still producing a little, but for the most part haven’t been doing that great. I am assuming that is because of the squash bugs. I am also going to pull the green beans, as they are just about finished producing for me as well.
The tomatoes still have a ways to go, and I am holding onto hope that there will be no mishaps with the tomatoes at any point between now and when they are nice and red and ready to pick.
Last week I did find the unmistakable droppings of a tomato hornworm on my cherry tomato plant, but for the life of me I could not find the actual tomato hornworm. I’m not sure if you have seen these suckers before, but they are disgusting, and big, and very good at hiding. Often when I have found them in the past, I have been looking and looking, getting closer and closer to the plant, to finally see it right in front of my nose. Not a pleasant experience. However, this time, I think that a bird quite possibly got the sucker, because I haven’t seen any actual damage to my tomato plants. Of course, now that I just wrote that, I fully expect to see some sort of damage when I go out this morning to do my little walk around.
The zucchini plant is still producing. I am shocked. Every day I seem to pick a few more, and I am ecstatic about it. It makes a delicious meal for me, just sauté up with some onion and pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes – delicious!
I have to hand it to Lisa, when she suggested planting radishes around the base of the squash plants, I wasn’t sure how it would work, but I was ready to try anything at this point. It worked really well! I don’t have the advantage of being able to use row covers with much success because my garden is so small, meaning that when the pests overwinter (as squash bugs do), I don’t have much chance of missing them when I replant and use a row cover, they just come up from the ground. I’m not entirely sure how it will go next year. Probably the fact that I took last year off from planting squash helped as well, but I am going to use the same radish trick next year and cross my fingers it will work again!
I also pulled several of the heads of cabbage that were not heading well. I’m not sure the ones that I left in the garden bed are going to get big enough for us to actually pick and eat, but I am leaving them a bit longer to see if there is any change.
I’m pretty sure my kale is going to continue growing until the winter. What a powerhouse of a plant for me. I don’t really want to pull it at all, since I have had such good luck with it re-seeding itself the past couple of years. I think that I am going to try and pick some to put in the freezer. I thought that I would have to blanch it before I put it in the freezer, but based on a recent e-course I took (Harvest) I realized I did not need to blanch it first – that makes it a whole heck of a lot easier if all I need to do is chop and put it in the freezer!
Overall, things are still growing well. The garden clean-up is starting a little earlier than I expected. It has been a very hot and dry summer, not the norm for my little garden, but I am still extremely pleased with how well everything has done. Now I need to start thinking about what I want to make with my first pie pumpkin!
Are you ready for fall and pumpkin flavored everything? What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?