Time for my end of summer update! I am ready for fall and have been thinking back on yet another growing season - successes and failures.
Durin g July and August, we enjoyed many harvests from our garden and spent the rest of the time inside and out of the heat. The girls are growing up fast and keeping us super busy! They are both getting into helping mommy in the garden and we have discoverd that the little one LOVES getting dirty! Her favorite place this summer has been smack in the middle of the tomato bed, picking them right off the plant and smooshing them all over her face!
We planted 9 varieties of tomatoes, 10 basil plants and 4 eggplants.
Here is a nice shot of some of the results:
It was great fun to try so many different varietes! Our favorites were the heirloom tomatoes, of course; and the japanese eggplants. We have had so much, that we have also been doing some different methods of preservation for use through the winter. I have dehydrated tomatoes, eggplants and figs. I am excited to use the dehydrated eggplants to make pasta sauces and babagunish (sp?) I also pureed tomatoes in the blender and put them in ice cube trays to freeze for making sauces later. I also did a pesto with 5 varieties of basil that I froze in ice cube trays too - now all of our ice tastes like basil!- HAH!
Funny thing about the veggies; I always plant more than I should of every seed and it is just survival of the fittest. Well, this year, I put in a few different kinds of bean seeds and then forgot which kinds i put in - until a few months later, noticed that what had won out was the "yard bean":
So bizarre! and actually not that tastey...but fun and the kids thought they made great necklaces!
Next year, I will give more thought to the beans...we did miss having them this year.
SO..here is the list:
Heirloom tomatoes, will plant more varieties next year, perhaps will order some plants online for even more variety.
Cherry tomoates, love them...will only plant one plant next year....we had way more than we knew what do do with.
Artichokes, they germinated successfully and I am looking forward to them producing in seasons to come.
Asparagus, continues to do very well and next year, we should be able to harvest continually throughout the season.
Sunflowers, the "king kong" did great and next year, I may devote 1 entire bed to just sunflowers...I would like some for cutting.
Nastursums, did great. I just love them and they are so pretty!
Green Eggplant, it did well, but is quite prickly and tough...not all that tasty.
Beans, need to give them more thought...missed having big harvests of them this year.
m>Onions: they did good, but wish I had done a bigger variety and that I had done more...I want to have some to save.
Wished I had planted:
Cucumbers: hubby hates them, but they are so easy and I love em'
Carrots: the kids would have had fun with them,and they are super easy too!
Squash: I always have trouble with them, but I am always trying some weird variety, so next year I will plant to standby summer squash and hope for the best. These will be great to pre-cook and freeze too!
For the Fall Garden:
Poppies: I put out some in the spring, but still dont have any signs...will try again (i don't know why I can't seem to get these going to save my live-they are suuposed to be easy!)
Cabbage: I have never tried growing this, but I think it will be fun.
Garlic - have always wanted to try this
The rest of the garden has been just truckin along. It is nice that we are somewhat out of major project mode (other than the deck) and the garden is down to just routine work. I am enjoying watching the beds in the back fill in. I noticed today that the purple beautyberry that was just a few inches tall when I planted it - is now doing its thing:
I am really liking the textures that are happening in this bed. Here is a nice shot with the deck in the background:
Close up of solidago and miscanthus:
An d...bumble bee having some fun on the autumn joy sedum:
We really had a bad time of spider mites early this spring. They really set up camp in a big oak in the back yard and they migrated their way over quite a few of my plants. The fruit tress suffered a great deal and I am not sure that they will bounce back - but hey, if they don't then I have a chance to buy more plants! A failure in the garden always presents another opportunity, doesn't it???
I finally killed all the grass around the veggie beds and fruit trees and have been slowly spreading wood chips there. I want to make that area more path-like and tuck plants in nooks and crannies.
I also plan to put in some encore azaleas in the front porch bed this fall. I would like another shot of color in there and some evergreen interests when the autumn ferns aren't looking their best during the winter.
All in all, we have had a great growing season and I am ready for fall and all the cool temps to come!