Monday, August 27, 2012

Letter from Dianne 8/27/12

Refrigerator dills.  Garlic & jalapenos made these really flavorful.

Hi Suzanne,

Before I get into planting a fall garden, I will recap the summer crops…failures and successes. We were kept in tomatoes all summer, and I didn't have to buy a tomato from late May until now. The Early Girl was the most prolific followed by Black Cherry and Health Kick (plum). The World's Largest Tomato did well, but in my garden it did not live up to its name. Celebrity and Beefsteak did so-so. I have pruned dead vegetation from the tomatoes and they are all putting out a flush of new growth and lots of blossoms. I believe I will have a second crop before frost.

New flush of growth & blossoms on tomatoes
One big failure is the pole beans. Lots of foliage and blossoms, but the blossoms just fell off and we had only two meals of pole beans. After talking to an old timey gardener, I found out that they should have been planted in early April (the Good Friday planting), and actually this year could have been planted even earlier. Mine did not get in until the first week in May, and then it got hot fast. Pole beans don't like hot weather. So I will know better next year.

I will keep planting squash in the future, even though I know they will succumb to the vine borer. I got plenty of cucumbers before the bacterial wilt took over. The eggplant, okra and peppers are still doing well. I cut back the chard but it is not putting out new leaves, so it will be pulled.

I have a few open spaces now to start planting the fall garden. Some things I am considering are carrots, beets, parsnips, mustard greens, lettuce, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cilantro; kohlrabi seeds have been ordered. I definitely need more room!! I will be trying a fall crop of snow peas, a new variety, Schweizer Riesen (Swiss Giant). I will report back on just how many of these items I am actually able to squeeze into my little space.

Okra & tomatoes standing tall

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