What Did You Do In The Garden?

digitS'

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Semi-last run to the big veggie garden. There were 4 heads of cabbage, a handful of green beans, some pea tendrils ...

As the plants collapse (probably from brutal 50+ mph winds Tuesday) my plant tags are showing up in the tomato sprawl. There were more Big Beef tomatoes blushing and available for picking than at anytime previous. I'd recently decided that very similar Goliath had the best run in 2020 (finding its tag earlier). Goliath is supposed to be about 5 days earlier than 73 day Big Beef. To show what a strangely late tomato season it was, here come the Big Beef, mid-October! Lucky a more usual frost date didn't take that 73 day variety out.

I have been a little frustrated with chard. It's been recently that I discovered Taglio da Verda and learned that it's gooood, and without the heavy stem that I don't like on other chards.

Baker Creek's seed in 2019 had a terrible germination rate. So, I bought a packet of Perpetual Spinach Chard for 2020. Maybe it's the location but the plants are tiny. I've only grown this once before and it was attacked by leaf miners in about the worse outbreak of those pests. They are one of the reasons that I seldom grow spinach but they messed up my plants, way-back-when. It was probably the time I learned just to remove those leaves and step on them. Now, I have had another year with little chard from the kitchen. I haven't looked at it lately but it's surprising how little the Perpetual Spinach has grown.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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It looks like the hard freeze is coming either Thursday or Friday, so it was finally time to harvest everything still growing, and start putting the gardens to bed. Most of what remained was peppers which had been covered in last week's frosts.

View attachment 37238
Taltos. A very productive sweet bell, but late. I stripped the leaves for this photo. In its defense, it was growing in partial shade, 24" North of a row of pole limas. The extra 10 days beyond our normal freeze was helpful, and allowed me to replace my 2013 seed.

View attachment 37239
Bea. This is a highly productive, low heat pepper. It actually has a short DTM & should have had many ripe; but like many other vegetables this year, was severely stunted by weeds until mid-Summer. The plants are pretty sturdy, they just tipped a little under load. I use the ripe peppers for a low heat paprika, but since there are so many immature this year, I'll try pickling them instead. This is one of 6 plants.
Bottom photo looks like the banana peppers I grew this year. TONS of fruit!
 

Zeedman

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@Zeedman, i have had some of the red chard survive our winters here. if you left it you might get some new leaves here or there and it may regrow in the spring. :)
Because I want to get my own seed, I've tried over-wintering chard. Twice, once with mulch, once without. Both times all plants died & rotted. I do occasionally have a seed from the previous year "volunteer".
 

Zeedman

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Today I realized that in the rush to harvest all of the peppers, the last dry soybean was forgotten... so I drove to the rural garden to harvest it. While there, I checked the Tromboncino (which amazingly was still alive) and found 4 small squash. After returning home, I checked the Tromboncino there - and found 4 more, including one 12" that we had somehow missed. Those will be part of tomorrow's dinner.

The last tromboncino was picked after dark, by flashlight - and I surprised a 12-point buck that was under the apple tree. I always knew they were around (there were often deer rubs in the trees) but this is the first time in 20+ years that I've been able to see one in the yard.

The tree guy came today to check out the job. He asked if he could wait until the ground freezes, due to his heavy truck driving over the lawn (and part of one garden). No problem, as long as it is gone before Spring. But he won't do the stumps, referring me to someone who can do that this month. And while the tree guy was there, he took a look at my tree line - and told me that the Emerald Ash Borer was already in my trees. :(

I knew it was inevitable since trees were dying a couple miles away, but hoped they wouldn't arrive for another year or two. My tree line is actually a mini forest 20-40 feet wide, that runs the length of my back lot line, and continues through the adjoining lots on both sides. There are about 100 trees on my lot, over half of which are white ash. That tree line was part of what sold me on the house; it completely blocked the view of the neighbors on the other side. All of the beautiful American elms died within a few years after we moved in (from Dutch Elm Disease) and soon the ash will be gone too. So much for my private Narnia. :hit

After several years of consideration, I finally broke down and purchased a Cyclone Rake. The plan is to gather enough leaves from my neighbors to enrich the rural plot. Unfortunately, it seems I have a non-standard mower, and the tow hitch they sent doesn't fit my mower. After 2 hours of trying to reach behind the back plate, and blindly attach a washer & lock nut with virtually no clearance, I gave up. A call to them verified that while they do have other hitch bars, none of them would be a better fit. Fortunately there is a good auto shop a few blocks down the street, who has done all of my repairs for years... and he has agreed to weld the hitch to the frame.

I've been dehydrating some of the ripe sweet peppers; dehydration really increases their sweetness. DW is cutting up all of the chard as I type this, after which I will be blanching & freezing it tonight.
 

flowerbug

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The tree guy came today to check out the job. He asked if he could wait until the ground freezes, due to his heavy truck driving over the lawn (and part of one garden). No problem, as long as it is gone before Spring. But he won't do the stumps, referring me to someone who can do that this month. And while the tree guy was there, he took a look at my tree line - and told me that the Emerald Ash Borer was already in my trees. :(

I knew it was inevitable since trees were dying a couple miles away, but hoped they wouldn't arrive for another year or two. My tree line is actually a mini forest 20-40 feet wide, that runs the length of my back lot line, and continues through the adjoining lots on both sides. There are about 100 trees on my lot, over half of which are white ash. That tree line was part of what sold me on the house; it completely blocked the view of the neighbors on the other side. All of the beautiful American elms died within a few years after we moved in (from Dutch Elm Disease) and soon the ash will be gone too. So much for my private Narnia. :hit
...
sorry about the trees, they are old friends. we've already had those in the north hedge die off and they have been standing there as woodpecker fodder until they fall over.

the deer are starting to run here with more people out for the early hunting season. had one running down the road early this evening as Mom saw it running by. once they take down the corn fields around us i expect more explorers in the yard. there's not much left to eat now, but they'll scope things out and nibble on whatever and even things they don't much like to make sure they don't like them, etc.

the clematis will be toast, well ok, herb sprinklings for their toast...

got the north garden scraped and did some weeding around part of the edge, transplanted some chunks of creeping thyme to get it going further along another edge. will have to get the bean plants buried that i have stacked in that garden but i wanted to get the ground scraped first if there are frosts coming it's a good way to get those weeds killed off after they're scraped and laying on the ground. burying can happen sometime the next few days or weeks. i think i have time...
 

Zeedman

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DW & I planted our garlic in the rural garden today; I just posted more detail on the "Garlic" thread, so won't repeat it here.

Still quite a lot of processing to do. DW shelled the last dry soybean, PI 603698 E (from the USDA). For those who have never shelled dry soybeans, the pods can be very hard - and this one was especially so. DW is a real trooper, she shelled them all bare-handed... which just goes to show how much she has come to embrace my bean obsession. :hugs

I peeled & cut another of the mature Tromboncino today, and cleaned & sorted the seeds. This was one of the slimmer squashes, and I was surprised to find that the seeds were smaller as well. Although I'd like to finish dehydrating all of the Tromboncino now, I'll let the rest cure a little longer... hopefully the seeds will fatten up a little more.
 

flowerbug

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Still quite a lot of processing to do. DW shelled the last dry soybean, PI 603698 E (from the USDA). For those who have never shelled dry soybeans, the pods can be very hard - and this one was especially so. DW is a real trooper, she shelled them all bare-handed... which just goes to show how much she has come to embrace my bean obsession. :hugs
...
i have been doing all the bean picking and shelling here barehand. every once in a while with the pods being sometimes slimy from mold i have to take a break and wash my hands and that gives me a reason to get up and move around a bit.

the limas are worse in that they have those sharp points that can stick you good if you're not too careful.

the most annoying thing about the soybeans that is tough on me is the dust/hairs from the pods.

DW just knows how good to eat they all are and gets to appreciate their beauty as they come out of their shells, each pod can be a new adventure. :) Christmas gifts opened much earlier. :) etc.
 

digitS'

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Dug the parsnips and carrots. Quite a contrast, although neither had such a wonderful year.

This was a new location for them. The carrots were terribly forked. The soil in that bed isn't all that rocky. In fact, they did much, much better in the rocks, last year.

The parsnips were large and tiny. I think the small ones are a result of crowding. Not only should they have been thinned but DW was remiss in planting some kale along the outside of the bed ... which meant that those big plants were looming above and just inches from, the outside parsnip row.

Along with some beets and celery roots, they went into a "clamp" in the middle of the backyard garden. That means that I have to shovel snow for a path to that pit and plan on it being empty of veggies by mid-March when the hoop house goes over that ground.

Are pits that do not hold potatoes still known as "clamps?" I kinda like the idea of clamping down on my veggies and especially, not having the mice find them. So far, when I have consolidated the veggies in a tight little pit, the mice have never moved in on them. I think that it has helped that I wait until just before the overnight temperatures drop into the teens. That's what is predicted. The mice hole-up and don't go adventuring until the last of the veggies make it out of the pit and into the kitchen.

Steve
 

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