THE END OF THE SUMMER GARDEN … OR IS IT?

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 27-07-2013

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As we approach the end of July,  I anticipate the end of the results of our Spring work.  There is ample evidence of the end of our Summer garden.  Most of the plantings are well into maturity and are dropping over from their weight.  Most have stopped their abundant production of vegetables and are starting to turn their older leaves yellow.  The weeds are finally starting to compete with the tomatoes as the heat has driven the gardeners into the shade.  Normally we start planning our fall and winter garden about this time, but there is still a lot of time for the heat loving crops and we need to make room for them among those that are finishing.

MID SUMMER TOMATOES

MID SUMMER TOMATOES

 

NEW BLACKBERRY CANES

NEW BLACKBERRY CANES

 

We have large tomato plants (very large) that have stopped setting fruit.  I  understand this happens when the heat causes the pollen to get sticky and therefore it will not pollinate the tomato bloom.  I have been told that if I trim the tops out of the plants and let them sprout new leaders that they will start blooming again just about the time the fall temperatures cool allowing the pollen to be viable again.  This I will try this year as I should have larger plants than if I wait and plant new tomato plants in the early Fall.  We are still harvesting some tomatoes (especially the Roma type as well as some of the seed tomatoes we use to graft our heirloom tomatoes to as root stock).

Our blackberry harvest is almost finished (10 berries a day just to remind us how good they were).  The plants have however grown huge, thick canes from which they will bear their 2014 crop.  I can’t wait.  We got about 8 gallons of fruit this year (that’s a lot of cobbler) and expect more next year.  I am thinking about removing the Muscadines (a green or red southern grape) that grows great vines but few grapes along two trellises and replace them with another high bearing blackberry variety.  I will keep the
Scuppernongs (a golden southern grape) that we have growing on our garden arbors.  The new blackberry takes about three years to come into full (massive) production and cost about $30/plant so I will start small. 
Our late Summer garden will contain Okra (Clemson Spineless).  Few people really like Okra because it is not very appetizing as a boiled vegetable but raw from the garden or grilled or fried, it is great.  A pickled Okra is something that does not stay in a jar long at my house.  Our new seedlings are about 3 inches tall and will soon be 3 feet and going.  I planted regular sweet potatoes earlier this Summer and they are doing well – they love the heat.  But I found a white variety and have grown slips which I have just planted.  I hope they are as good as the red varieties.  Peppers seem to do well the hotter it gets as long as they have water once a week.  Our plants look good and if last year is an indication, we will have them through the Winter till we pull them to make room for the Spring planting.

 

WHITE SWEET POTATO SLIPS

SEED TOMATOES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEEGAN (MY GRANDSON) WATERING THE OKRA

 

Remember the figs?

Well they are coming in faster than we can pick them.  We get one to two gallons a day off one big tree.  Fresh figs are great as is the preserves that we make but we need another use.  I googled looking for fig recipes and found several.  All seemed to have similar ingredients which I would have never associated with figs – ham/bacon and cheeses.  I will be checking these out broiled, grilled, raw… every way till I find something I like.  We have picked several figs from the young trees that will make the fig hedge in a couple years so we have to find a more diverse use for the fruit.

RIPENING FIGS ON THE TREE

 

TODAY'S HARVEST - ONE GALLON FROM ONE SIDE OF THE FIG TREE

 

SCUPPERNONG GRAPES STARTING TO SWELL

 

Our garden is always full of blooming flowers.  We have a variety of my hybridized daylilies which we harvest as a vegetable.  All parts are edible and delicious.  But other flowers bloom also.  This year we have a large area of the garden that has been naturalized by Brown-eyed Susans.  I did not cut the area as I wanted to have the profusion of blooms.  That we have as fully a 2o x  100 foot area is covered.  I like this flower because it last for 6 weeks or more and obviously grows and returns each year with very little assistance from me.  Mowing will keep it contained so it will not be a problem as the royal blue perennial morning glory is becoming.  I will elaborate on this in a later blog.

 

GREEN, RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS JUST KEEP ON COMING

 

BROWN-EYED SUSANS

 

DAYLILY HYBRID GOLDEN RUFFLES

 

BLUE PERENNIAL MORNING GLORY

 

Thanks for passing the blog address to your friends.  We continue to grow.

GORDON

 


Comments (2)

I enjoyed seeing your garden. I live in New Orleans, where our season is even more extreme: we get tomatoes in May and early june and then try to keep the plants alive until they bear again in Sept./Oct. Then the lettuce, greens, beets, and herbs begin again. My favorite time is the winter garden–romaine, butter lettuce, red tip lettuce, arugula, swiss chard, beets and on and on. I love the process, but summer gardens here are just too hard… So I travel !

GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU CINDY. SOUNDS LIKE YOU DO THE SAME THINGS WE DO HERE BUT WE USUALLY SLOW DOWN QUIET A BIT IN THE LATE SUMMER BUT OUR WEATHER LETS US GET AN EARLY START IN THE SPRING SO WE ACTUALLY HAVE A LONGER SUMMER GARDEN THAN MOST. I AGREE, THE FALL AND WINTER GARDEN IS THE BEST. 3 YEARS WITHOUT A FREEZE (KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK). LET US HEAR ABOUT YOUR GARDEN AS THE YEAR GOES BY. WE LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT GARDEN EXPERIENCE,ESPECIALLY THE GOOD HINTS AND SUCCESS STORIES.

I DIDN’T MENTION THE HONEY PRODUCTION THIS SUMMER. IT WAS FANTASTIC WITH MY FIRST 32 PERFECT ROSS ROUNDS. I WILL BRAG ABOUT THEM IN MY NEXT BLOG. TILL THEN, TAKE CARE.

GORDON

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