Tag Archives: delicata squash

They really exist!

Thanks to one of our natural pest controllers, who decided to quit being so shy, we had beautiful bounty, even if the tomatoes are still slow, and the summer squash are slowing down!

An elusive friend mantis making a brief appearance

September bounty:

  • Basil: 6.5
  • Bush beans: 2.75
  • Cucumbers: 6
  • Grapes: 2
  • Charantai melons: 16
  • Margarita melons: 8.75
  • Delicata squash: 8.5
  • Spaghetti squash: 6.5
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 2.25
  • Summer squash: 26.75
  • Tomatoes: 41.25

Month’s total: 125 pounds (rounded)
Season total: 400 pounds

Spaghetti squash near harvest

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The Good, the Green, and the In Between

Now that fall officially has arrived we have seen some summer-like weather returning briefly.  No complaints!  Summer was just shortening up a bit too early in mid-September, so it seemed. But, nothing can be consistent; sprinkles invaded today, as I write.  Much of the house yard looks more relaxed for the moisture we’ve had; the cherry profusion zinnias are looking boldly pink again.  The sages ‘Pineapple’ and ‘Black & Blue’ are moving into full bloom, much to the delight of the hummingbirds.

 

Transitions- Sept 22 Equinox

 

Some actual ripe tomatoes have made their appearance, finally, having been discovered hiding under lush vegetation (now further cut back).  Fourteen pounds of ripe tomatoes, and 20 pounds of thinned back greenies and blushers in the last week is a definite improvement!

 

Beginning the tomato bounty-finally!

 

 

Classic fall! Ripening tomatoes and mildewy squash leaves

 

A nice picking of 5 large clusters of ‘Lakemont’ green seedless grapes from my second-year-ling has been a delightful surprise, and very tasty.  A good cultivar given the shiftier weather and less warmth needed to raise sugar content.  Looking forward to more next year!

 

A small but beautiful harvest of Lakemont seedless grapes off my first-year plant

 

Our ‘friend Bambi’ just returned a little over a week ago, though now I think he’s deterred.  Came with the change to cooler weather.  A few nibbles on the bush beans was the only damage in the CG (thank you!), sparing the lettuce seedlings in the next row.  After browsing all the leaves off my youngest columnar apple seedling, and half of the apricot, he continued more voracious sampling on a neighbor’s young apples, pears, and cherries.  Some netting and tree-bark rub downs with Irish Spring soap seems to be doing a good repelling job.

 

The ripening corner

 

Transitions

Labor Day already?!  Wait a minute, we’ve only picked 3 red tomatoes (this last week)!  I check last year’s entry, and like I thought, I was drying them, there were so many.  C’est la vie.  Three weeks of a cycle in which each week contains 2 days of above-average temps, followed by 15-degree drops to below-average and drizzle, plus mid-40’s at night, just doesn’t cut it for ripening tomatoes.  Still, the plants look great.

Mildew on the squash; always a good seasonal transition symptom.  The acorn, spaghetti, and delicata squash are doing very well.  The zucchini, yellow, and patty pan summer squash are also yielding well, but not overabundant, since they prefer more consistent heat.  The charentais melon has proven very prolific, and we await ripening fruit, now that their skins are roughening.  The margarita melon is not as prolific, but the plant has a few healthy specimens ripening.  Cucumbers are finally cranking out.

Little charentais melons roughening up their skins

More breathing room for squash & tomatoes

A magnificent corn harvest again this year (see tally below); the stalks were pulled to get more light into the tomatoes and squash, and to make easier picking.

Ears of corn sized for big people & little people!

Chard and kale plants are marvelously large,  just starting to get bitter.  Seeds for a fall crop went in last week, as well as a mix of lettuces and salad greens.

Attempts at growing potatoes in the breathable grow-bags proved more productive than last year, but still not what I’d hoped.  The plants looked good, and putting more fertilizer in initially helped, but I’m suspecting there’s an issue with not enough moisture during hot weather, even though they were watered daily much of the summer.  I’m of the mind to only plant Cherry Red and All-Blue varieties next year, since they’re not typically available anywhere else.  The Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, and Banana Fingerlings are usually available for less money than I put into growing them.  At least they’re proving to be deletable morsels, and it’ll be easy to make some potato salad without having to chop much.  Now, if I was to make raclette or fondue, these are the perfect size!

(left) Yukon Gold & All Blue potatoes; (right) Cherry Red & Banana Fingerling

We could not have planned it any better for plant arranging, as the dying nasturtiums in the front/lower tier were replaced by squash vines migrating down around the them and the lavender.

Thanks be to all gardeners, pollinators, and devas, visible and invisible, for a bountiful harvest!

August bounty:

  • Basil: 5.25
  • Bush beans: 18.5
  • Corn: 46.5 (40 ears)
  • Cucumbers: 9.5
  • Kale: 3
  • Lettuce blends: 4.25
  • Parsley: 0.75
  • Scallions: 4
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 4.25
  • Summer squash: 57
  • Tomatoes: 1.5
  • Blueberries  4
  • Potatoes: 14

Month’s total: 174.5 pounds!

A sea of melon leaves! Where's Juniper?

A lush “green tomato year” in the making

Awoke to some drizzle, and had a an opportunity to reset the energy button to a slower pace; to actually sit in the garden (as the skies cleared), rather than tend to it.  Listening to the breeze, the little birds, the newly-hatched grasshopper, the bees.  Watching the cabbage white loopers darting around, and the juba skippers snapping and courting in their little aerial spirals.  Smelling the lavender, sages, bee balm, corn, nasturtiums, squash; summer in general.  Feeling like a sleeping cat.

I noticed a feeling of early fall precisely on Aug. 1.  The days started feeling noticeably shorter at the same time; there is a tinge of color on sporadic trees.  All this seems a couple of weeks earlier than “normal”.  We’re most definitely on the downside of summer, with very few tomatoes set.  I’ve never had this many tomato plants grow over 5-feet tall before setting fruit!  But, we’re not alone in this predicament.  Our day and night temps are so variable, slow to warm and very quick to cool in late afternoon.  More heat needed!

Fortunately, the squash have kicked in, though more sporadic than last year, especially for their mammoth sizes.  The spaghetti squash is out of hand, while little acorn and delicata fruit are just getting started.  The cucumbers are developing nicely, as are the margarita and charantai melons.  Corn ears are nicely elongated, waiting to fill out the kernels.

Tasseling corn

'Early prolific

Lavender and nasturtiums cushion a spaghetti squah

It was time for the lettuce to be harvested completely, or be overrun by squash and melons, besides being a little bit bitter.  Kale and chard are still vigorous, and the bush beans are still producing well.  Harvested over 5 pounds this last week on the oldest row.  Basil has been sheared back for a second round of bushy growth.  Lots of pesto being made!

July bounty:

  • Beet tops and roots: 11.75 pounds
  • Basil: 6.25
  • Kale: 3.5
  • Lettuce blends: 16.5
  • Scallions: 0.75
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 4.75
  • Sugar Snap peas: 0.25
  • Summer squash: 8.75

Month’s total: 53 pounds

Thank you all participants and garden devas!

Lushness galore! August 8

Basil, Beets, Bees, and Beans: Repeat 4 times

Not really a tongue twister in that order…;-)

The CG is LUSH.  Our present heat wave is what we need to get the tomatoes to set! They and some of the squash have become vegetative monsters with our lovely warm days, but cool nights.

Actually, the bees have been busy in the squash, and there are some ‘Yellow Prolific’ and zucchinis near ready to pick.  The gargantuan spaghetti squash plant has set small fruits along its rambling vines, which are now trying to overrun the bush ‘Delicata’ squash and ‘Margarita’ melon.  I may be doing some severe pruning soon!

A big change 2 weeks after the last photo! Where's Aspen?

Tomatoes look to be trying to grow as tall as the corn!

Beets were all gathered and shared amongst ourselves this week, as the tops were looking tired and ready to flower.  Amazingly, we’re still able to pick lettuce from the mesclun mix, though the bitterness factor is creeping in more.

Beets galore!

And, such a basil harvest from simple thinning and pruning.  4 pounds!  So tasty when sauteed with diced garlic, dried tomatoes and salt, in olive oil, tossed with pasta.  Directly seeded in the soil in late May, this is a much earlier harvest this year, compared to last, which was transplanted from seedlings.

Beautiful fragrant basil....

Purple bush beans are just reaching maturity, and last, but not least, the corn is tasseling!

Shy of knee-high on the 4th of July

The corn, that is!  But our subsequent heat spike two days later put the corn into high gear and it’s beyond knee high now.  Not to left behind are the squash, melons, and tomatoes; the cucumbers are a bit slower.  Basil seedlings have been thinned once, having grown 3 inches in two weeks, and are nearly ready for another thinning.

With the peas pulled out, the oldest row of bush beans has put on height and flowers, though the mesclun mix is not so pleased with little shade.  Most other lettuce is now removed, having taken on tree forms.  The beets and Swiss chard seem to be the most bothered by heat, showing parched outer leaves at times.  They will appreciate a drop to more normal temperatures with cooler, cloudier mornings, as will the stepping stone Scotch moss.  A little less watering to do, thank you!

June bounty:

  • Beet greens: 2.5 pounds
  • Beets: 1.75
  • Kale: 4.25
  • Lettuce blends: 20
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 4
  • Sugar Snap peas: 0.50

Month’s Total: 35 pounds of wonderful greens

Shy of knee-high corn on 4th of July

After a week of HOT temps, think things have grown a bit?!

Happy 1st birthday CG!

Why is it that the best weather of a 3-day weekend arrives after 4:30 pm on the final day?  Nevertheless it was an excellent weekend to move ahead with garden tasks, dodging drizzles and rain.  Although we don’t have the exceptionally fine weather that blessed our initial project one year ago, we celebrated by seeding the first phase of summer veggies.  As various CG members filtered into town from their various journeys, different tasks were done, depending on who showed up and when.

With the air and soil temperatures being nearly equal at 70°F we seeded various squash, melon, and cucumber cultivars, corn, and basil.  (Check out our 2010 planting list here.) One minute it was threatening rain, the next a few light rays of sun peaking through the clouds to make one want to don shorts; but wait 5 minutes, and the sun is gone.  Do I need another shirt again? Yes.  Wait, now I’m too warm.  It came down to rolling up the jeans and a t-shirt.

Taking a stroll through the house yard to check on tomato seedlings keeping warm in their little greenhouse, my mouth dropped as I spied a group of deer pellets on some grass.  Never in my residency here has one come this far into the yard!  We decided to grab netting and place it over the cool weather crops immediately.  He hadn’t managed to sample anything yet.  (I think it’s the same young male who visited solo last year.)  While tying out cloth strips soaked in Irish Spring soap solution on various young fruit trees and roses, I did notice some rose tips “nipped in the bud”.

Here is an update to the final harvest tally of our 2009 plantings, contributed to by our overwintering kale and leeks, which were removed in May for more garden prep:

  • Kale: 10 (pounds)
  • Leeks: 3.25

Bringing our 2009 grand total to……592 pounds!

As we celebrate our first birthday we have a new 2010 tally, from harvesting the thinnings of early spring plantings during April and May:

  • Beet greens: 1.5 pounds
  • Kale: 2.5
  • Lettuce blends: 7.5
  • Spinach: 2

Total: 12.75 pounds            Off to a great start!