Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Garden is Winding Down

Decreased sunlight and cool night temperatures are taking their toll on the garden's summer crops. The squash bed is limping to the finish line with only a few zucchini plants struggling to still produce.

It was mostly powdery mildew that took the squash bed down. Then the deer came through and ate the foliage exposing the Delicata and Spaghetti Squash scattered around the bed. Most of the Delicata are ready to harvest. I hope the Spaghetti Squash ripens before the vines die completely. I have had my fill of cucumbers and zucchini this year, but the yellow crookneck squash only produced a couple fruit. I will look into another variety next year.

Squash Bed

The tomatoes have been generous over the past few weeks. I have a lot of whole tomatoes in the freezer and my countertops are heaping with ripening fruit. In the garden, the determinant tomatoes are barely hanging on. Early blight has ravaged the foliage as it does each year. I have harvested a lot of tomatoes from these Roma and Rio Grande plants. I am hoping the remaining ones ripen before the disease affects the fruit or the plants die completely.

Roma and Rio Grande Tomato Plants

The indeterminate tomatoes are less affected by early blight, but the disease is rising upwards through the vines. Here too, I am waiting for a lot of tomatoes to ripen. Juliet produced a ton of lovely small Roma shaped tomatoes that are both eaten fresh and frozen for later use. The vines are still filled with more.

Juliet Tomatoes

The San Marzano plants didn't do as well as previous years. The vines are shorter and there is less yield this year. I am happy I gave Amish Paste another try this year in the garden, the trellis is overflowing with various sizes and shapes of these tomatoes.

Amish Paste

Still growing strong are the pole beans that have just begun producing over the past few weeks. Each day I pick a basket full of beans from the Kentucky Wonder and the Trionfo Violetto pole beans. Deer ate the Kentucky Wonder vines earlier in the season, but the tops of the plants are still producing. I need a step stool to reach them. What we haven't eaten or given away has been pressure canned. I have preserved two cases of pint jars so far.

Deer Eaten Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans

The Anaheim pepper plants are filled with fruit. Some have just begun to ripen to red.

Anaheim Peppers

Most of the other pepper plants struggled this year and have only managed to produce a few peppers per plant. I don't expect these to ripen before we run out of growing season so will probably be harvested green.

We have had some cold nights over the last week. Some areas to the north had several frost warnings. I am hoping frost stays away a little longer.


  1. My tomatoes all look like your determinants. They are ravaged with early blight. Wish my peppers looked like yours, but they are blighted too. Good luck with the frost, hope it's a late one for you!

    1. It won't be long until my indeterminate tomatoes are also ravaged by early blight. Luckily, my peppers are not affected by early blight, but they did suffer stress early in the season stunting their growth and reducing yield. I am happy they produced at all.