Sanctuary Gardener’s Favorites: Nightshades

SG Favs - Nightshades

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!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 11/1/14

I had a banner week harvesting in the garden! Most of the past week was in the 80s, and my plants were displaying their best fruit just in time for the county fair. Unfortunately, the cold is coming a couple weeks earlier than normal, so this may be my last big harvest week of the year (at least, until the fall crops mature). I harvested 4 tomatoes, a handful of greens, over 3.5 pounds of snap beans (my last of the year), almost 3 pounds of eggplant, almost 6 pounds of winter squash, and over 12 pounds of peppers! Garden bounty photos!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 10/4/14

The weather is cooler, the rain has fallen, and my plants are starting to rebound. I’m still not harvesting what I normally would be this time of year, but I’m grateful I’m getting a second chance with my peppers and eggplant. My raspberries are still producing, too. Soon, I’ll be harvesting string beans again, as well as lima beans and more butter peas. And maybe a tomato or two on the couple of tomato plants I have left. (And that’s not counting the harvest I’ll be getting from the fall crops I just planted.) So, all in all, I didn’t have too bad of a week as harvests are concerned. This past week, I harvested a half-pound eggplant, a half pound of Dixie speckled butter peas (my first harvest of those), 3/4 pound of raspberries, and over 2 pounds of peppers. This past week’s garden bounty!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 9/13/14

As I mentioned in yesterday’s update, things are slow in the garden. I believe my plants are spending most of their energy trying to survive, which is fine by me! The only crops that are giving me good harvests are the lemon drop peppers and the raspberries. This past week, I harvested a half-pound eggplant, 1 pound of peppers, and 1.5 pounds of raspberries. Not many pictures to look at, but with cooler weather around the corner, more is coming! This past week’s Garden Bounty!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 8/30/14

It was another incredibly hot week here…with no end in sight. As of this weekend, it’s also been three weeks since my garden has seen rain. Needless to say, my poor plants are struggling to survive. Even with my watering, it’s been tough on them. However, my sweet babies have continued to give me something in a way of harvest – even if the fruit is small. This past week, I’ve harvested 1.75 pounds of raspberries, almost a half pound of small melons, almost 1.5 pounds of squash, 2 pounds of pumpkin, a little over half a pound of tomatoes, 3.5 pounds of eggplant, and 2.75 pounds of peppers (mostly chiles). My garden is like the Little Engine that Could! Garden Bounty photos!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 8/16/14

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!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 8/2/14

We had a brutal few days in the garden this past week! One day, the heat index reached 110; one weather report claimed it was as high as 120 in some areas around here. All I know is that it was bloody hot, and I stayed inside as much as possible! Because of the heat and my birthday celebration break, I didn’t harvest as much as I normally do. However, I did harvest 19 more ears of Glass Gem corn, a half pound of eggplant, over 7 pounds of squash, almost 7 pounds of peppers, and 3 pounds of tomatoes. (Lots of green tomatoes are on the vine though, creating round 2.) Photos of this week’s garden bounty!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 7/26/14

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!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 7/20/14

Last week was a slower week for harvesting – at least compared to the past few weeks. I lost close to a dozen cucumbers to pickle worms (so no cucumbers this week), and several tomatoes to stink bugs or from splitting on the vine. However, I still pulled in quite a bit. I harvested about 1 pound of butternut squash, a half pound melon (rich sweetness), almost 6 pounds of eggplant, over 5.5 pounds of peppers (mostly hot ones), and a little over 4 pounds of tomatoes (they’re growing a new batch that are just turning red). Garden Bounty photos!

Garden Bounty ~ Week Ending 7/13/14

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!