Mid-Harvest Garden Update

There’s the main gate into the fence version 1.0 of the garden. Uh, about that…

… we’ve had small (ie they haven’t eaten everything) but persistent problems with a deer getting into the garden this season. I thought we had found its means of entry, and maybe we did, but it’s back. Mr. Ferdzy has decided to put a walkway around the garden – which should solve the problem of encroachment of weeds along the ends and sides next to the lawn – and put up two rows of chicken wire fencing, – which will, we hope, keep the deer out. We’ll see. If not I don’t know what we’ll do.

Meanwhile, inside the fence, the potatoes are presumably potato-ing, the onions are fattening up, the carrots and rutabaga are looking good, the beans are at the tops of the trellises and producing steadily, and the garlic is dying down and will be harvested this week.

All the cucurbits have struggled this year. The earliest forming watermelons – of which there aren’t actually that many – look like they will stay quite small due to excess heat and lack of moisture at a key point in their development. Most of the cucurbits continue to pump out massive quantities of male flowers, but really very little in the way of fruit. The one exception seems to be the cucumbers, which are going to leave us in a pickle.

Last year’s cool, wet weather meant we got hardly any blackberries. This year looks like a bumper crop, although I don’t think they’ll start ripening for another week yet. No idea what we are going to do with all of them. We still have a bunch in the freezer from 2018.

These are Brussels sprouts. They don’t look anywhere near ready to start forming sprouts, but at least they are growing and the deer have stopped eating them, which is some kind of progress.

Cabbages on the other hand look very patchy. Between drought, and heat, and bugs, and deer, and I don’t know what all exactly, we have had a hard time getting them going. They now seem to be be big and tough enough not to interest the deer, but the survivors are all over the place in terms of size. Still, by the time winter rolls around I’m expecting there to be an adequate number of them that are useable.

Leeks are in the next bed, along with celeriac and shallots. All of them are struggling a bit, but hanging in there. The leeks in particular look like our selecting for large individuals is already paying off, after only 2 years of selecting.

The bean alleys seem to be a bit too narrow for the deer to go down so they mostly have not been eaten even though the beans, along with the lettuce, have been a prime target for being munched.

Here’s the plant that probably excites me the most in the garden at the moment. It’s growing in the Octarora Cornfield bean section, and it appears to be a cross with Blue Lake. The beans are almost dead ringers for Blue Lake, the plant has really pretty pink flowers, and it is producing scads of beans. Scads and scads and scads. We are leaving most of them to go to seed, but we did eat one and it was lovely. That’s not one of the flowers, by the way – this plant has brighter pink ones. If the offspring of this plant manage to keep up the good work, this will be an excellent variety. Of course we won’t know that for at least another year, or two. Good thing there’s things to watch for at every part of the garden season, or I’d die of pure impatience.

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