Winter is almost upon us, and our gardening has substantially slowed down (or completely stopped). However, it’s that time of year when the new seed catalogs will be arriving and we’ll be planning our spring garden. Many of you have asked me about what I like to plant year after year, or what grows well in my hardiness zone (8b). So, I thought this was a perfect time for a four-part series on my favorites for the garden. Nightshades!
Normally, I end my harvest week on Saturday, but this week I’ve added the extra day to fit in all of the final harvest of my summer crops. And it was a doozy! This past week, I harvested 2 pounds of beans, 1.5 pounds of tomatoes, a quarter pound of eggplant, 4 pounds of watermelon (yes, you read that correctly), almost 3 pounds of pumpkin, and a whopping 15 pounds of peppers! That’s almost 26 pounds of produce in one week. Holy cow, am I going to be busy in the kitchen this week! Garden bounty photos!
The weather this week has been beautiful! Temperatures in the upper 70s/low 80s during the day and in the upper 50s/low 60s at night. After two weeks of dry weather, we got an inch of much-needed rain. Next rain storm? Not for at least 10 more days. Great weather for harvesting, not so good for new seedlings. At least I can water my little babies, which I do daily; and they’re growing quite well. This week’s garden photos!
I love how my garden grows and fruits in cycles. One week, I may have an abundance of tomatoes, while the next week it’s peppers. Some weeks I lose some fruit to insects or heat-related damage, while other weeks I reap the full available harvest. No matter what, there’s always something to eat – and put up – from my garden. This past week, I harvested 55 ears of Glass Gem corn, over a pound of eggplant, 12.5 pounds of melon, almost 6 pounds of snap beans, 1.3 pounds of chili peppers, and 8.7 pounds of tomatoes. Not only tasty to eat, but pretty to look at! Photos of this past week’s harvests!
Despite the continuing intense heat, I’m still harvesting quite a bit. Compared to last year, my pepper harvests are not as big; but I know I’ll be swimming in peppers soon enough (when the heat subsides). This week, I harvested 13 cucumbers, 1 (almost 11 pound) watermelon, 8 pounds of melons (honeydew, cantaloupe, tigger, and rich sweetness), almost 1 pound of lima beans (shelled), 7 pounds of eggplant, almost 2.5 pounds of carrots, a little over 2.5 pounds of peppers, and 9.5 pounds of tomatoes. Garden Bounty photos!
I have to admit, this has been a crazy gardening year. What I thought would do well, hasn’t; and what I thought wouldn’t make it, has. We’ve had so much rain this year, an actual spring that lasted well through May, then immediate scorching heat and humidity with three weeks of 90 degree plus temperatures without a break. I’m not sure my garden knows what to do! And sometimes, neither do I. But, all gardeners and farmers know, you can’t do much about the weather. However, I keep plugging away, nurturing the few spring crops still growing and planting the new fall crops. Come take a look!
Even though we’ve been inundated with rain the past couple of weeks, I’m harvesting oodles of tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and raspberries. I had so many peppers of different kinds and colors, I made a pepper centerpiece out of them for the picture above. See this week’s bounty!
It’s been a wonderful week here at my Sanctuary Garden. The weather hasn’t been too hot – in the upper 70s to lower 80s most of the week. The sky has threatened rain several times, but never kept its forecasted promise. So, I’ve had to break out the hose and water. At least the clouds have kept it cooler. The garden is filling in and looking lush! Things are growing, fruit is popping, and flowers are blossoming (like my hydrangeas pictured above). Come take a look!