Saturday, August 18, 2012

Late Summer, and no gardening for a month

My Cascade Ruby-Gold corn is 8 feet tall, and full of ears. It was thigh high by the fourth of July, and has had a wonderful year. I think the rye, clover, vetch and fava incorporated in spring really paid off, as did the compost and all-purpose organic fertilizer. And I've stayed on top of both weeding and watering. There is some other corn in the neighborhood, probably sweet corn, so we will see if that effects my ears. The blue morning glories have started opening, but only a week ago. Note to self: no need to wait as long to plant them next year. They are twining happily up the corn but not overwhelming it. I had to liberate one bound-up small ear a few weeks ago, but that's it.

The Sweet Meat 'Oregon Homestead' winter squash at my vegetable garden in Seattle has four large fruits on three vines. The larger two are larger than a basketball, and must be 12-15 lbs. already. The other two are catching up. On the other hand, the same squash at my dad's house has not even really started fruiting. Maybe it will? I planted them 2-3 weeks later, direct sown vs. transplanted, and the bed is a bit shady. I put some compost and chicken poo-straw on top of the soil around the plants a month ago or so.

The two rows of Gaucho beans at my dad's house have beans on them, but they seem awefully short. The beans are yellow. I thinned one of them to four inches apart in the rows, and left the other at 2", the rate of planting. I think they had a 100% germination rate. Very satisfying.

Tomatoes at the veg garden are far too squished together. Shading each other out. Ripening very slow. They are at less the 24" on center, and that's the minimum suggested. They are hardly pruned. Eliot Coleman recommends tomatoes 30" apart in the rows, in rows 60" apart. That's a lot of space. Of course, he undersows them thickly with green manure. The tomatoes in the high tunnel at the farm, which have been aggressively pruned, trained up tethers tied to the ceiling, and spaced at about what Eliot recommends, are absolutely LADEN with fruit. Not ripening much quicker, but dripping with big, fat tomatoes dripping in heavy clusters.

Blue Lake pole beans are bearing heavily in the veg garden, all the peas have been pulled. The fall brassicas are coming along after having spent too long in their pots. The basil has been harvestable for 3-4 weeks, and I harvested enough for a pint of pesto 2 days ago. We have left for the wedding. I am in Milwaukee, not to see my gardens again for two weeks, and then not for another three weeks. I spent the morning harvesting buckthorn saplings for the poles for our chuppah, finishing Nathaniel's carved spoon (wedding present from two year's ago), reading Eliot Coleman's 'The New Organic Grower' and planning a CSA, making black beans and putting them on nachos, working on vows, and talking with my father-in-law to be. Goodbye gardens! I will miss you.

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