Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 9/8/15

Good morning, everyone. I thought I’d give you a brief update on my garden this morning. You all know how my garden has been struggling this summer. To be honest, I had just about written it all off. However, I actually got out in the garden for a couple hours on Labor Day. The weather is still summer like and humid, but the intense heat has broken – at least, for now. So, I ventured out. My oh my, what a mess! But despite the weeds and overgrowth, I found a few surprises that were quite encouraging.

IN THE GARDEN:

I spent a couple hours actually weeding. I pulled some very big weeds from about three beds. I didn’t do a complete weeding of those beds, but I did get a good bit pulled up. (I actually filled an entire lawn and leaf bag!) While pulling those weeds, I discovered that I actually have a cucumber vine that has come back to life! I found I have a couple of melon vines that are also still viable. This weekend coming up, I need to do a full weeding and a trimming of those vines. I might get a few melons – and maybe a couple cucumbers – out of them before first frost in a couple months. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

I also discovered a very large squash growing underneath a couple of watermelon vines. Another week or so, and I’ll be able to harvest this one.

Black Futsu squash ripening

Black Futsu squash ripening

My pumpkins are doing fairly well, too. So are my peppers (especially the chilis) and about half my lima beans and butter peas. The tomatoes, eggplant, and okra are toast, though. Time for fall cleanup and pruning to see if I can get a few more harvests before frost. I’ll take whatever I can get because I haven’t had much this year. (Believe it or not, I haven’t canned one batch of anything this year!)

HARVEST BOUNTY:

After not harvesting anything in about three weeks, I actually brought in a pretty good haul yesterday of peppers, squash, and pumpkins. Quite a few peppers were overripe and I had to throw them away, but not as many as I thought. The squash and pumpkins were perfect. All total, I harvested over 4 pounds of peppers, a squash that was almost 4 pounds, and almost 12 pounds of pumpkins (my first pumpkin harvest).

In the pictures, the produce is identified from the top, clockwise.

I need to make some pies real soon! Look at these beauties! The squash is deeply ribbed and bumpy while the pumpkins are less ribbed and smooth.

Black Futsu squash & Seminole pumpkins

Black Futsu squash & Seminole pumpkins

Lots of chili peppers! I left the Black Hungarian and Filius Blue peppers on the vine so long, they turned red! (The Filius Blue peppers are actually MILDER when red and fully ripe. Cool, huh?)

Chili peppers: Cayenne,

Chili peppers: Cayenne, Pepperoncini, Jalapenos, Black Hungarian, Hot Cherry. Center: Filius Blue

I FINALLY got a decent day’s harvest of my favorite chilis, Lemon Drop peppers. And look at all these red serrano peppers.

Lemon Drop Peppers & Serrano peppers

Lemon Drop Peppers & Serrano peppers

Of all the peppers, I lost the most fish peppers. They have a very small window of ripeness for picking before they get overripe and need to be tossed. And I actually got a few sweet peppers, too. I’ve hardly had any this year.

Emerald Giant green bell peppers, Fish peppers, Mini Yellow Stuffing peppers, Mini Red Bell peppers

Emerald Giant green bell peppers, Fish peppers, Mini Yellow Stuffing peppers, Mini Red Bell peppers

IN THE KITCHEN:

As soon as I cleaned my harvest last night, I prepped the cayenne peppers, lemon drop peppers, and serranos for the dehydrator. I filled four of the five trays.

Lemon Drop peppers (and a few Serranos) in the dehydrator

Lemon Drop peppers (and a few Serranos) in the dehydrator

I then added some of the fish peppers to my supper of beans and rice. So yummy.

Tonight, I’ll be using some more of my harvest for supper. I’ll be making tacos, using some of the fish peppers for seasoning. I’ll also be making fried jalapenos and key lime gaucamole (there was a sale on avocados this week). Check my Facebook page later for photos!

How is your garden doing? Have you planted your fall crops yet? Are you still harvesting summer produce? Please share below.

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2 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 9/8/15

  1. Hello!
    After almost 3 weeks of traveling and guests, my garden was a sorry mess. I spent 3 long mornings on it over the weekend and am thrilled with the results. Not only is everything weeded and trimmed, but the beans I planted several weeks ago are beginning to bear. My eggplant, peppers, yellow squash are also doing well. After applying manure and compost to the empty beds, I planted lettuce, collard and kale transplants and seeded carrots, turnips, chard and pak choi. The turnips are already starting to germinate! Everything looks fresh. It really helped pulling out the tomatoes and zucchini which looked so sad.
    Keep weeding. Clean beds will lift your spirits!

    • Thanks, Peggy. That’s the plan for this upcoming weekend. At least, to get started on it.

      I’m going to miss having a fall garden. (I’m salivating over yours already!) But, I need to get my soil healthy first. It will make for a healthier harvest next year. (This year was pretty sad.)

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