Autumn in the garden

The rains have come to Oregon and our summer garden is winding down. Saturday was the last dry day, so it was time for us to harvest produce, remove dead plants, and roll up the drip hoses.

All my squash vines had bad cases of powdery mildew and were dying. My Jack Be Little pumpkin plant produced the most squash of any. It was a very bad garden year for squash. The next most productive variety was Carnival with four whole squash!

I seemed to have averaged one pumpkin or winter squash per vine with a couple of plants producing two. Pathetic! I’m not sure whether this was caused by the late planting, the very cool summer, or lack of pollination. It could very well be all three.

I have one very late green pumpkin that isn’t going to ripen in time. I left it out in the garden hoping for more sun. Most likely the frost or rain will kill it and then I will just feed it to the chickens.

I pulled out my Tiger Eye bean plants and shelled them. The beans did an excellent job drying on the plants. Someday we will grow enough dry beans to actually eat some.

Lee dug our two rows of potatoes. We planted them in late June (along with most everything else in our garden) and weren’t sure if we would even get a harvest.

We ended up with 108 lbs of potatoes from our 60 linear feet of row. That’s on par with past yields, and not too bad considering we planted third-generation potatoes really late in the season.

The popcorn is going to be a bust I think. I checked several ears of corn Saturday, but none of them were ready. We’ve had torrents of rain since then. I am expecting the corn to rot, as I don’t think there is much sun in the forecast for October. With the potatoes beds nicely tilled, I am going to plant garlic in them as soon as it stops raining. On a bad note, as we were digging potatoes we think we found a few symphylans. I am going to do the water soil test to make sure. If we do have them, rototilling and crop rotation seem to be your options for dealing with this pest.

My one cayenne pepper plant has turned red with peppers. I haven’t actually picked them yet as I’m not sure what to do with them. Does anyone else out there plant things without knowing what to do with them?

My Brussel sprouts are still growing. I tend to refer to them as “green balls” as I seem to forget their name 99% of the time. I actually had my first taste of Brussel sprouts this year, which was why I decided to plant some. It’s never too late to try a new veggie.

Our favorite cherry tomatoes, Sun Gold, are still chugging along. I actually have a lot of tomatoes that need to be picked, but I’ve been burnt out on canning for the last few days. As a final preserving project for the year, I’m going to can up some batches of stew tomatoes.

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13 Responses to Autumn in the garden

  1. ..we need to winterify our garden too..I am really impressed with the amount of potatoes you got from the small space.

    We too grow things we don’t know what to do with..swiss chard 2 years ago and egglant this year..good thing about our place is with all the rain half of it never grows so we never have to worry about not using it! perfect..or not

    • lee says:

      I was kind of depressed with our potato yield, but when I searched online I found that yield is normally between 0.6 and 2.0 lbs per linear foot. That means our harvest was pretty good, although probably still quite low compared to a really rich established garden.

      We’ve had the same experience with both eggplants and swiss chard, and we couldn’t even blame it on the rain!

  2. Snowbrush says:

    Great photos. I would simply cut the cayennes up, sprinkle them on food, and eat them raw, but you could also put them in soups.

    • lee says:

      I had suggested that she dehydrate them and use them as a spice in cooking. I hadn’t thought to use them fresh. I wonder what they taste like.

  3. Snowbrush says:

    P.S. Another really great idea for what you can do with cayennes is to give them to friends who enjoy them.

  4. Ann says:

    You’ve been busy! And no, you’re not the only one who plants stuff and then has no clue what to do with it. I call those “experiments” LOL. Your taters look awesome, by the way. I’ve dried the chilis in a dehydrator; they crush easily in a coffee grinder afterwards. Or you can use them fresh in stir-frys, but a little bit goes a loooong way. Your brussels sprouts – ideally they need frost before harvesting. Lots of people don’t know that, but it removes the bitterness. It’s Canadian thanksgiving this weekend – brussels sprouts are normally on the menu – I have a recipe for braised sprouts with bacon and pecans and maple syrup that will convert anyone.

    I’m all canned out too. I wanted to do more, but it’s the same thing every year. You gotta choose your battles.

    • lee says:

      “Experiments” are a good name for them! This year we tried Brussels sprouts, broom corn, and hot peppers. All of them have turned out pretty good.

      I’ve also read that Brussels sprouts do better with a frost. The plants still look good, so we’re letting them sit. This year we tried a Brussels sprouts recipe with pine nuts and prosciutto which was delicious, but I’d love to try your bacon and pecan recipe. It also sounds good. (And more reasonably priced on the ingredients front.)

  5. Must be something in the water. Here, clear across the country, I also did very well with hot peppers and not very well with squash. (I cut the peppers fine and freeze them in small quantities, so I can just add them to anything that needs heat.)

    I’m very impressed with 108 lbs. of potatoes. Even if you think it’s just OK as a yield, you gotta love 108 pounds of *anything*!

    • lee says:

      I’d blame the weather, but we had a pretty mild summer and based on the news the East coast summer has been just the opposite. We’ll try freezing some of those peppers. That’s a good idea. There are still a bunch of jalape├▒os in our fridge and out in the garden too.

      We really are pretty happy with the potato yield. Last year we thought yield was down because of not using certified seed potatoes, but the seeds for this crop were just the leftovers that were growing out of the potato buckets in June. The real problem for us is using that many potatoes. We hope to do a better job this year.

  6. Benita says:

    You don’t get to eat any of your beans? Not even one small pot with cornbread? That’s really heart-breaking. But it looks like you did great with the spuds. I envy you anything you get out of the garden. I had planned on planting something, but before I knew it, it was September. Man! Where did this year go?

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