September Garden Tour

Time for a garden tour.  I will try to give my readers a look at what’s happening in our year round garden at least once a month.  September 1st is about half way through the really overwhelming time in our garden.  Right now we are being flooded with fresh produce, a lot more that we can eat, so it means we are trying to preserve what we can for winter eating.  The big producers right now are the summer squash, Strawberries and tomatoes. 

We planted a few extra Zucchini and yellow crook neck squash plants this year thinking we could feed the excess to the chickens.  The Zucchini hasn’t done really well because it got such a slow start in our wet spring and it turns out that chickens really don’t like crook neck squash all that well.  So we are a little buried right now.  We already have all of both that we need for the winter put way in the freezer so we might need to resort to leaving bags of squash in unlocked cars and on door steps in the neighborhood.

 

The tomatoes have really started coming on strong this week.  We have already picked 9 lbs this week and we will have about twice that much to pick over the weekend.  It looks like we will be canning tomatoes over the Labor Day weekend!!  The netting you see in this picture is to protect the tomatoes from birds, not the wild kind but our freeloading chickens who seem to treat our garden as their personal salad bar.

 

We picked our first ears of sweet corn this week with quite a bit more to come.  We only have two small patches of corn for fresh eating.  Corn takes up so much space that we really only plant enough for 5 or 6 meals worth. 

 

We did try an experiment this year with corn.  We planted several hills of corn in a long flower bed we have.  It was planted a little later than our other corn but seems to be coming along well.  The corn being planted closely in hills allows the plants to still be pollinated, each plant seems to be growing at least 1 ear so it  may not be a huge success but we will get a few extras meals out of it.

 

Our peppers are doing okay this year.  The wet spring really seemed to set them back and they never recovered, but we will get enough off our spindly plants to put some away for winter cooking.

This years potato crop is coming along well.  You can see that the vines are really starting to die back.  This is a sure sign they are ready to eat.  We are still eating the last of our spring potatoes right now so we will probably leave the fall crop in the ground for an other month till it cools off and we have a cool place to store them in the garage.

 

We have a few pumpkins coming along well.  They should still size up and ripen assuming the frost stays away for another month or so.

 

This is our one and only cabbage for the year.  Last year we were giving it way we had so much.   This years wet spring really brought out the slugs and snails.  The bed our cabbage and broccoli were planted in this year was attacked by our slimy friends and they caused a lot of damage before we got them under control. 

 

We also planted a little patch of popcorn.  This is our first attempt with popcorn, it is tucked away in a corner far from the sweet corn to prevent cross pollination.  We have quite a few ears on the plants so we will see how they do. 

 

Fruit is the only thing we are really lacking here at Stoney acres.  Of course the strawberries are doing well.  We also noticed the first ripe raspberries today.  The coming weeks will bring a lot of them to eat and freeze. 

Our melon patch was also slowed down by the wet cold spring, but they are finally sizing up.  The first sugar baby watermelon will be picked in a day or two.  And there are several cantaloupes that will be ready before the frost.  I will have to do a separate post some time about the benefits of home grown melons.  The taste is so much better than at the grocery store that you may never buy there again.

 

The winter garden is also coming along well but I will save those pictures for another post.  Of coarse produce is not the only thing we grow around here, it’s prime time for sun flowers.  If you look close in one of the flowers you’ll see a bee that must have had too much pollen and decide to make the sunflower it’s final resting place.

3 Comments

  1. Allen Rogers September 10, 2011 9:12 am Reply

    I am delighted to have discovered your website. I am volunteering at a community garden in Columbus Ohio. We are service organization rather than a group of indepemdemt gardemers. We have a general manager and board of directors that oversee the operation. Our goal is to grow as many winter veggies as we can. We have over 4 acres to work with which is way more land than our small workforce can handle. I’m looking to find waya ro recruit more volunteers. Your info on growing potatoes and strawberries promise to be very helpful. We didn’t plant any strawberries this year, but we can hopefully plant some next year. We have only one rather small hoop house. We are going to do as many low tunnels and cold frames as we can manage. I would very much appreciate any tips you have on building them. You have inspired me to seriously think about doing a blog for our website. don’t have current content at present. It hasn’t been a priority. I would like to see about doing a link with your site when we get it together. I have been involved with 4 seasons for only a few weeks. There are a wonderful group of people and are very open to my input. I have recently borrowed 3 Coleman books from a library. I haven’t read “Organic Gardening” yet. I love to collaborate with people who are passionate about what they do. Thank you for all the useful info. I am looking forward to your next installment. Sincerely yours, Allen

    http://fourseasonscityfarm.org

    • Rick September 10, 2011 11:15 am Reply

      Allen,
      Thank you for your great comment. I will be sure to add a post on hoop house and cold frame design. I used the cold frame plans from Four Season Harvest, with a few minor tweeks and it worked out great. 4 acres, wow!! That’s a huge project. Hoop houses will be your lowest cost although I have found better success with 4×8 cold frames. If you have the resources you could look into a high hoop house. I have seen several gardeners that use them and they are really successful, but of course the cost is a lot higher. Stay tuned I will have several posts on my experience with winter gardening over the next week or so. Be sure to tell all your friends about my blog!!
      Rick

  2. Veggie PAK September 22, 2011 5:40 am Reply

    Nice tour! Your squash looks very healthy. By this time of year, mine is usually covered with powdery mildew. I’ve had corn for a few years, but this year was the last time. The investment in garden area is too great for such a low return for us. Your raspberries look good. I have Heritage Red Raspberries that are doing very well this year, at least in my opinion. The melons look good. We don’t have enough room for growing them or pumpkins. I wish we did. Keep up the good work.

    http://www.backyardorganicvegetables.blogspot.com/

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