Friday, September 17, 2010

Garden Update - Mid September

Roma Tomatoes and my sole eggplant


Super holding the eggplant (I swear he has other clothes. It is just a big coincidence that he is wearing the same shirt in all recent pictures. Really.)

Well, I had big plans to plant a fall garden. It didn't happen, and I think it is a little late now. Which is mostly fine, except that I spent about 5 hours over at the garden weeding to get it ready for fall planting. Oh well, it was good exercise, I guess.

The first few weeks of August, it was just too hot and dry to plant. (After the wettest June in YEARS, it has been mostly rain-free since then.) Then I was either out of money, out of time, or out of town until this weekend.

The eggplant, I planted three eggplant plants forever ago, like the end of May. One of them just sat there, and didn't look dead or anything, but never really grew any bigger. I eventually pulled it. Then there was one that grew a little, but never had any flowers on it. It is still in the garden, but I'll probably pull it next time I am out there. The last one grew pretty well, but I didn't see flowers until probably August. I had given up on all of them by that time, but I hadn't pulled any of the plants yet, so when I saw flowers, I decided to let it go. We haven't eaten the eggplant yet, so I'll have to let you know if it was worth it.

Tomatoes have been pretty steady since the end of July. I've been picking them and then running them through the food saucer and then putting the pulp in the freezer. Some day in October, I'll defrost the pulp and boil it down and can them. My sister and I did it that way last year, and it worked out well, so I think I'll do it that way again. I'm not sure how many more tomatoes I'll get. Maybe another couple bagfulls. I won't have as much as last year because it got so cool so fast, but I'm not splitting the harvest with my sister either (since she went and moved away on me!) so I'll probably end up with about the same amount of tomato sauce anyway.

My garden plot (and about 10 other peoples' plots) are in an area behind our church. A bunch of years ago, somebody also planted some apple trees out there. They aren't maintained at all, as far as I can tell, so they aren't sprayed or pruned or anything, and they are there for anybody who would like some. So I took the preschool kids out to the garden the other day, and we picked some apples. I'll boil them and run them through the saucer and make some applesauce with most of them, although I plan on drying some apple slices too and probably making some Apple Dumplings. These apple dumplings are probably the best thing that I've ever had. SERIOUSLY YUMMY!

In a couple of weeks, I'll probably go over to the garden plot and pull plants and throw some straw down. I am going to create at least two raised beds in the back yard for spring planting, and trying to figure out a place to put some raspberries, and a dwarf apple tree and a dwarf pear tree (these will also be planted in the spring, but I want to get the areas selected and prepped.) The raised beds will be mostly for salad stuff (spinach, carrots, radishes, etc.) so that I can just step out the back door and get my salad everyday. During the summer, I'll have some other crops in there, but then when it gets cool, I'll plant salad stuff again.

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