Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the Garden

There is a big turn over going on in the garden right now. Summer harvests are coming out and fall/winter seeds are going in. I'm still harvesting cucumber, zucchini, beans, kale, peppers and cabbage. The tomatoes are very sad this year. They are small and weak-looking with few few fruit on each plant. I've been giving them this fertilizer in the hopes that they would perk up but no luck. I guess we won't be making much salsa and tomato sauce this year.
I'm also disappointed with the cucumber harvest this year. So far I've only had enough for one jar of pickles. I'm hoping by the weekend I will have enough to make a small batch of cucumber relish. My cabbage on the other hand has done well for the amount of space I gave it. We've had several coleslaw dishes and I have one batch on sauerkraut on the go and I'll start another on the weekend.
Another disappointment is that the rats have found that my garden is a excellent food source. They have demolished my brussels sprouts, there isn't a single leaf left, they ate every ear of corn and the have started eating my beans. I've been trying to be very on top of picking the beans so we can save as many as possible. I think a cat may be in our future.
On the bright side, it is a stellar year for pears. In a couple of weeks we will be swimming in them. I'm collecting jars already for all the chutney and pear sauce I will be making. We are also having great luck with our wild blackberries that line the property. I think the bees were a big help with those this year. I've already picked over 4lbs of blackberries, made a batch of jam and frozen a couple containers and it isn't even September yet.
Fall planting is well underway. This is my first attempt at a full fall/winter garden. I've already planted cabbage, carrots, spinach, lettuce, parsnip, peas, turnip, radishes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, scallions and pak choi. I still have to plant (another round of ) brussels sprouts, garlic, arugula, mustard greens and water cress. I planted my kale in the spring and I'm hoping to over-winter it like I did last year. Things seem to be doing well. I've lost one cauliflower plant to the slugs and the carrots are not what I had hoped and the rats have pretty much ruined my peas but all-in-all things are pretty lovely in my garden.
Are you planting for the fall? What is your favorite fall harvest?

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