Welcome to the third installment in my Sanctuary Gardener’s Favorites series ~ my favorite cucurbits. If you missed my favorite nightshades and legumes, see the links at the end of this post. Cucurbits!
It was a slow week in the garden this past week. I didn’t get to do as much as needed to be done. I did get to weed, feed, and mineralize my established plants. The plan was to then spend Sunday prepping the fallow beds for the (belated due to the heat) fall planting, but it rained overnight and drizzled off and on during the day. So, that didn’t get done. (Guess what I’ll be doing after work this week?) After the rain and a few degrees cooler weather (upper 80s rather than mid 90s), my garden is starting to respond. My pepper plants are hanging on – the chilis barely – and I’ve even got some new signs of life in the garden. This week’s garden photos!
After weeks without rain, we finally got a bit of it. My garden was so thirsty! However, the heat and humidity are still oppressive. My harvests are still small in quantity and in size, but I call my plants the “little engine that could” garden because they’re trying hard to continually give me something to harvest. This past week, I harvested a little over 3.5 pounds of eggplant, 3 pounds of watermelon, 1.2 pounds of raspberries, and a little over 1.5 pounds of peppers. This past week’s garden bounty!
It’s blazing hot in the garden…still! My plants are spending most of their energy struggling to survive the heat. However, they’re still giving me something – especially the watermelons. This past week, I harvested 17 pounds of melons, 3 pounds of peppers, 1.4 pounds of tomatoes, 1.4 pounds of eggplant, a little over a pound of winter squash, a pound of lima beans, and my first handful of raspberries! Not bad for such a scorching week. Garden bounty photos!
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!
If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with knowing when a watermelon is ripe. This is my third year growing watermelon, and I’ve just now figured it out. The old-timer’s method of tapping on the rind, listening for the “hollow sound,” just didn’t work for me. It’s too subjective. I thought I was a hopeless case on this until I saw a video from Colorado State by an extension employee who said she couldn’t get it right either, then proceeded to show a more objective way to know when a watermelon is ripe. Bingo! I’ve finally got it right. When is a watermelon ripe?
Even though it’s been extremely hot and humid for weeks, my garden is still producing enough for enjoying right away with a little extra for preserving. (I know I’ll have harvests out my ears once it cools down a little!) This week, I harvested 14 cucumbers, 1 (almost 6 lb) white watermelon, 1 (half-pound) butternut squash, a half pound of snap beans (last harvest until I replant), almost a pound of lima beans (shelled), 3.4 pounds of eggplant, 6.6 pounds of peppers, and 19.5 pounds of tomatoes! Garden Bounty in pictures!
It was a great week of harvests last week. I picked my first lima beans, Amish paste tomato, honeydew melon, and white watermelon – along with everything else. All total, I harvested 1 (2 pound) honeydew melon, 1 (9 pound) white watermelon, 13 cucumbers, 1/2 pound of snap beans (they’re just about done), 1.5 pounds of lima beans (shelled), 3 pounds of eggplant, 1.5 pounds of peppers, and 11 pounds of tomatoes! I think it’s time to put up some tomatoes. Garden bounty pictures!
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!
I’m happy to say that all my plants survived the rain last week. The hydrangeas actually loved it. (See picture above.) I cleaned up all the dead branches that fell in the yard and saved them for kindling in the fire pit. Quite a few of my pepper plants had to be staked. I trimmed my paste tomatoes, though I need to prune them some more. I also had to tie most of my tomatoes again because they’ve grown so much. This will be the last time though because they are now taller than the stakes – and me! I have some new fruit growing and fruit progressing towards harvest. See my garden!