Monday, September 7, 2009

No Fall Changes Yet

The summer of weirdness continues. I'm sorry I've been slacking on the blog. We got busy with school starting and oddly, there was not that much to report. Typically by this time of year I've started to see some decline in the plants by now. Not this year, things are looking as green and lush as they did a month ago. The tomatoes are even still throwing more blooms which his weird. I'm starting to get a little antsy for some change here. While I love all the produce, I really need to start prepping some of the beds soon. Once the manure pile at the stables freeze, I can't do anything and we can go from balmy to badness overnight here.

I've been reading it has not been a good year for tomatoes all over forum land. I'm a bit bewildered why I am having such a different year. I had all the same ridiculous rain, cool temps and cloudy skies as other areas are reporting, yet I seem to have dodged not only the majority of the diseases that people have seen but also the low productivity.

This is one day's tomato harvest. I've been averaging 20-25 of these a day plus about a pint of cherries. I have tomatoes coming out of my ears and they are healthy. August has been fairly dry so the flavor of these guys is really becoming something special. I'm still eating a cereal size bowl of salsa every couple of days too. I'm not tired of them yet!

The one item in the garden that is starting to wane is the cukes. Here is today's harvest but lemon cuke as well as the other novelty cukes is fading fast. I'll be growing lemon again. It was a really productive plant and once you rub off the scratchys you can eat it skin and all. Very tasty and pretty in a salad.

The pears are starting to ripen now. Mine are never great beauties because I don't spray. It's often an adventure trying to get a few in the house too. The black wasps really like these things and once a couple are on the ground, good luck getting any for yourself. These five cost me one sting in the neck. : (

This is the best year I have ever had for peppers. Not only did mine finally get some size to them but the chocolates are starting to ripen up nicely. Belgium red has been a bit more productive than chocolate but so far not red beauties from any of those plants. I think the key to my success with these this year has been two-fold. Much richer, better quality soil and staking. While we didn't get the massive wind storms this summer that we usually do, I lost nothing to breakage, which makes a difference.
This weekend in the garden, I finally got around to planting some stuff for fall. The broccoli, cabbage and lettuce are in. I'm tossing around the idea with experimenting with the bin containers to put in even more but first I need stuff to die! LOL
I hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous weather. I'm off for a walk to the arboreteum.


Mary Delle said...

Great seeing your veggies.

Daphne said...

That tomato photo is wonderful. I love all the different kinds.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog. I'm also from the Chicago burbs. I find it interesting that this has been a good year for peppers for you. It has been terrible for me with the bell peppers. They keep getting brown spots on the bottom. Do you know what could be wrong with them?

garden girl said...

Hi Stacy, what a lovely blog you have! Life's been hectic and crazy this summer and I haven't visited Blotanical much the past several months. One of the nicest things about the Blotanical awards has been making time to check out some of the nominated blogs I wasn't previously aware of. Congratulations on your nomination! I'm happy to find another Chicago-area garden blog, especially such an interesting one written by a fellow organic gardener.

Congratulations on your awesome harvest! After a slow start with tomatoes, in spite of the problems tomato growers have had this season, I've had a similar experience with my healthy, bountiful tomato harvest, and also have had a record crop of peppers and cukes. We are indeed fortunate to have dodged late blight and the other tomato issues this year.

Stacy said...

Hi Mr. McGregor's Daughter. I sounds like blossom end rot. Lots of things can cause it. Lack of calcium, cool temps, over fertilization etc. You can still eat the peppers, just chop off the icky part.

Garden Girl, thank you. Had you not told me I would have had no idea, lol. September has been crazy season around here and the blog has suffered. Hopefully things have quieted down enough that I'll be able to get on here more regularly again. I'm glad to hear you also had a great year. It's weird, with the temps and rain, it shouldn't have happened. We might actually be doing this thing right! ; )


Sylvana said...

I have a pear called Luscious, and they are! I have never had any spotting on them, but I've only had the tree about five years. What causes it and what should I look out for?