The skies are clear and blue today unlike yesterday when the winds howled and the rain poured thanks to Hurricane Irene. My community garden plot made it through with only a little damage.
The corn stalks knocked over...
And the sunflowers, too...
We propped them back up and they looked as good as new.
The onions were ready to be pulled...
We picked corn for dinner.
We have a lot of peppers, some turning red. The peppers are the big success of the season.
And Thomas Jefferson's Asparagus beans. These are unlike green beans in that they grow off the very end of a long stem, two at a time. These are dense and tough so I'm curious how they are going to cook up. We picked those that were good sized.
Sadly, the cucumbers are not producing at all. We have many watermelon, most quite small but looks like a few might make it to a decent size.
At a meetup group several months ago, someone gave my son a piece of this plant. Over the summer the leaves off the main part have grown from the sides of the original piece. We aren't sure what this is or how to care for it. It looks related to a Christmas Cactus to me, but the leaves are much larger. Does it grow upright or eventually hang down like a Christmas Cactus? If you know about this mystery plant, we'd very much appreciate any info in the comments!
Rachael Ray talks with Warrie Price of the Battery Park urban garden in New York City where kids grow veggies on an urban farm. Love the affordable raised row method used here which doesn't require wood frames. A beautiful urban garden!
My acorn squash and pumpkins were ready for harvesting. The vines were dead as is usual in late September here, so it seems early . I chatted with Dad, he said his garden seems to be several weeks ahead this year too and has the same problem. Also, we've both noticed less yield in general. He says his summer squash and zucchini are tough.
I pulled the vines and covered the area with mulch.
The peppers are doing great.
Have lots of green tomatoes but none ripe yet.
The plants I thought were eggplant turned out to be huge sunflower plants. I didn't plant them. I've noticed this variety growing in another garden so they must have seeded in. A nice surprise.
Asparagus Beans are blossoming but no beans yet.
Onions are getting larger.
Melons are growing. Just need for them to ripen.
Cucumber plants looking sickly. Blossoms but no cukes.
Corn is almost ready to harvest.
I saw a lot of pests- mostly different kinds of beetles. We did see a huge green caterpillar covered in wasp larva.
After one of the wettest summers in the Pacific NW we finally have had a few weeks of warm weather. Here you can see that the Rainbow Chard continues to do well and the leaves are getting quite large now. I love Chard because as soon as you harvest a few leaves, more grow back and Chard grows here spring through early winter.
I have been harvesting tons of the Yellow Wax Beans. They grew and started producing beans very quickly even though they are only a foot tall. I would definitely grow more of these next year.
Pictured is one of the many squash plants that have started to product. I like the Lemon Squash we are growing because the plants don't get that big, but produce a great deal. I also found the squash easy to cut and the peel very soft.
There is a lot of talk in the garden about winter gardening. I was told that we can grow a great deal here in the Pacific NW just by using a row cover. The best time to sow seeds for winter gardening is now. I have read that the trick is not having too much top growth by the time the cold weather starts in most plants. Not sure if I want to take a break or continue to garden all year round.
The Catalpa Tree is producing the long seed pods for which is it known. They look like long beans. Right now they are green, but will turn black and fall off in a month or so.
Some interesting facts about Catalpa Trees:
It is a member of the trumpet vine family
Northern Catalpa Trees have larger leaves then Southern Catalpa Trees and are a slightly different species
The name comes from the Native American word Catawba of the Catawba Tribe of South Carolina
It is also knowns as the Cigar Tree or Indian Bean Tree
Native American peoples used the leaves and bark as a poultice
The Catalpa Sphinx Moth caterpillar eats only the leaves of this tree. It can defoliate the tree, but usually does no permanent harm. Fishermen use the caterpillars as fish bait so often plant these trees as a good source of bait.
The largest Catalpa Tree is in Lansing, Michigan
They were once planted near railroad tracks to be a source of wood for railroad ties and eventually naturalized around the country.
It is usually pronounced Catalpa in the North, Catawba in the South.
I want to show you what I discovered in my garden today. Little tiny eggplants. I was so happy to see these forming, but then, I took a closer look to find every baby eggplant had a hole bored into it. Take a look:
It looks like a bullet hole in each baby eggplant. I asked my resident master gardener, he said he thought some kind of borer and will try to find out more from the extension service. Do you have any ideas?
Below is my patch of Strawberry Spinach. So far no berries like yours.
I bought another bale of Salt Marsh Hay today to put more mulch on the garden at home.
So that's the update from my garden. How are things going at yours?
Today, I harvested some of the tiny top onions growing on the stems of my Egyptian Walking Onions. As the stems grew top heavy they bend and lower the little onions to the ground. The stems then begin to dry up as you can see in the photo below. Once dry, they eventually break and the little onions are free to propagate where they have landed.
Having plenty of these plants, I decided to harvest the little onions.
I cut the stems and brought the bunch inside. Then I trimmed off the stems so I just have bunches of tiny onions left.
I'll let these dry and store them in a jar. My kitchen has the fresh scent of onions today- a bit like chives but stronger. These are strong enough to make my eyes water as I was cutting the onions off the stem. Once the clusters have dried, the onions can easily be broken apart into individual bulbs.
These can also be planted at this point or later, after drying. The first year they will get green stems but probably no top onions. The second season the top onions will grow. These are perennials, so once established, you will have a forever supply of Egyptian Walking Onions.