Tuesday, August 23, 2022

August 2022 garden update

 Hello, friends.  Welcome to the 2nd of the year, maybe final, but most likely penultimate, garden update!  Let's get right to it, shall we?

The green beans keep coming.  We've eaten them fresh several times, and I blanched and froze four family sized portions, and they just keep coming, despite being completely eaten up by Japanese beetles.  The plants look so straggly, and I'm kinda done with green beans, so I'm tempted to tear them out, but that feels like throwing away perfectly good food, which doesn't feel good.  So I'm going to leave them for now.

I have one softball sized watermelon, and the plant seems to have stopped setting flowers, so it's looking like this is our one hope for watermelon this year.

One of my cabbages is actually forming a head, which is exciting.

The zucchini flower issue* is continuing.  All but one of the zucchinis we've harvested this year have been the result of hand pollination.  Here is an open male flower, along with an almost ready zucchini in the background.

I'm so happy the marigolds from last year self-seeded.  It's a bright spot of color in an otherwise not very lush looking garden.

I've harvested about 3.5 pounds of tomatoes, and there are plenty more on the plants.  As you can see, blight has set in, so it's a race to see if the blight, or I, get the tomatoes first.  Something has happened with the tomatoes that I don't remember happening in past years--a lot of the new bloom clusters have died--they look like they've been burned.  It's kind of an ok thing, since the plant doesn't really have time, at this point, to grow a whole tomato from a bloom, but it's weird.  It's happening with the cherry tomatoes, too.

The jalapenos are going strong, with multiple peppers on each of our four plants.  I'm not sure how to tell if they're ripe, so my plan is to wait until I have enough tomatoes for a batch of salsa (about 6 pounds), and then pick as many jalapenos as I need for a batch of salsa (about a pound), picking the biggest ones first.  I may can some jalapeno jelly if there are enough leftover jalapenos.

I harvested a red pepper maybe a week ago, and there are bell peppers of various sizes on each of the four plants.  This is the largest, at about 4 inches long.

This volunteer sunflower is my favorite thing in the garden (at least until that watermelon ripens...if it ripens).  It's way taller than me--maybe 10 feet?--with multiple buds.

I planted three supposedly cold hardy to -40°F lavender plants near the chicken coop.  I'm doing all the research to give these plants the best chance of surviving the winter, because I really enjoy having them there.  Two of them are blooming, and it's so lovely to look at, and smell, them.

The only other plants that survived by the chicken coop were two zinnias from saved seed.  I'm trying to decide if I want to plant daffodils and/or black eyed Susans (perennials) here or if I want to just plant zinnias or other flowers each year.

I've harvested probably 2 dozen small onions whose leaves were dead or damaged to the point that it was obvious they wouldn't be getting any bigger.  I still have about 8 onions in the ground, and I'm looking forward to seeing how big they get.  The ones in the containers did way better than the ones planted in the garden beds.

I planted some radishes at the beginning of the month.  According to the seed package, they should be ready in about a week, but it's not looking good.

And that's it.  I'll probably post a season wrap-up, but I might not, so maybe prepare yourselves emotionally for this to be the last update for this year.

What's happening in your garden?

* We've had lots of male and female zucchini flowers, but hardly ever at the same time, which makes fertilization difficult.

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