…But where are the tomatoes?!

This year my first garden ever gave a decent yield, of certain veggies!

The butternut squash are coming in and should be ready to pick soon.

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I had to do a little research to know when they are ready to pick. The squash should be about 8-12 inches long. The size of the squash can depend on the richness of the soil. When the stem to the fruit turns brown and looks like it is drying up, that means the plant said “OK, YOU’VE BEEN CUT OFF!” And stops sending nutrients to the fruit. You can also press your nail into the skin of the fruit, which should be pale orange. If the skin resists puncture, snip the stem. The squash can be stored for up to 3 months in a cool dark place!           DSCN8251

Here is some fat n’  juicy basil! We love making caprese salad with this fresh herb.

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Here we have some of my pepper harvest. The peppers and squash seemed to do the best this year. These were called “multicolored sweet bell pepper” by the person who harvested the seeds from her garden. I was a bit confused because they look rather homogeneous in color! I need to get down to the bottom of this! Is there anyone who may be able to help with this conundrum? I’ve been searching the web, but to no avail.

The TOMATOES, are also still green.    DSCN8249    Over half of them got the “blight” and died.  What is this blight thing? From my research, it is a fungal disease that is more prevalent in wet weather. This makes sense because the beds that I had in front of the house ALL got the blight, where the beds in back are still fine. The beds in the front get more shade and rain that pours off the house. The beds in the back get full sun all the time, and have better drainage. I really don’t want to spray the daylights out of my plants… I think that next year I will avoid blight by planting only in the back beds, crop rotation, and being informed about weather patterns. I haven’t had to water the garden for a month because we’ve had so much rain! Another precaution would be to find blight resistant varieties. Here’s a list I grabbed off of “growveg.com” that may be worth looking into!

         Blight-Resistant Tomato Varieties for 2014

  • Defiant – Determinate (bush) plants produce round, medium size red fruits, rated at 70 days to maturity.
  • Iron Lady – Determinate (bush) plants produce round, medium size red fruits, rated at 75 days to maturity.
  • Jasper – Tall indeterminate (cordon) plants bear trusses of red cherry tomatoes starting 60 days after planting. An All America Selections winner and RHS Award of Merit.
  • Lemon Drop – Indeterminate (cordon) plants bear hundreds of small yellow-green tomatoes in 80 to 90 days. Open-pollinated heirloom variety, a sport of ‘Snow White’ cherry.
  • Matt’s Wild Cherry – Sprawling indeterminate (cordon) plants bear scads of tiny red cherry tomatoes starting 55 to 60 days after planting. Open-pollinated heirloom from Mexico.
  • Mountain Magic – Vigorous indeterminate (cordon) large red cherry tomatoes, rated at 75 days to maturity.
  • Mountain Merit – Determinate plants produce large red round fruits about 75 days after planting. An All-America Selection winner.
  • Mr. Stripey – Indeterminate (cordon) plants produce medium size round fruits marbled with red and yellow in about 80 days. Open pollinated heirloom.
  • Plum Regal – Determinate plants produce red plum tomatoes weighing 3 to 4 ounces each, rated at 80 days to maturity.

And why are they still green?

Well, I think there are several reasons. 1st, I planted late. 2nd, it has been cooler than years past. And 3rd, I do not have any tunnel system to compensate for cool mountain weather. What are these high tunnels and low tunnels? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words. Making-Mini-Greenhouses

“Supported by wire hoops or arches made from wire fencing and then covered with row cover and/or plastic when it’s cold to create mini-greenhouses. During winter, they provide protection from wind, hail, and most critters while speeding soil warm-up for summer crops.”

This looks very easy to make. Stay tuned for next year!

In the meantime… I’m preparing the back beds, with… carpet?

DSCN8286 Yeah! We got the idea from a landscaper friend. I am smothering the tall grass and weeds with old carpet from the farm house. The weeds and grass will be deprived of light and water and die off naturally. WHAT A CRUEL WORLD!! But it will save ME labor in the long run! Should I let the carpet rot as well? Or might the carpet have weird chemicals in it? I am a bit concerned. Any suggestions?

Well that’s all from the garden!

 

 

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