Friday, September 01, 2006

Garden update

Now that September has arrived, the garden has passed its peak, but we still have a few good weeks ahead of us. The raspberries continue to produce, though the berries are not as big as they were about 2 weeks ago, when they were almost the size of my thumb. Last year, we continued getting berries right until Halloween, because of a rainy summer followed by a hot, sunny fall. This time, the weather has been reversed, and we got the best fruit at the beginning of the season.

We've got far too much kale and swiss chard (I don't think I'll bother growing them next year), and the hot peppers are producing away, while the sweet peppers are giving us a moderate yield - only a few per plant, but they're very nice all the same.

The best thing so far has been the potatoes. Last week, just for an experiment, I looked over the Chaleur potatoes, where the foliage was starting to yellow, and just hunted around to see if I could find a potato near the surface. Lo and behold, I just had to bury my fingers in the dirt, and pulled up several HUGE white potatoes! This is obviously an early variety, and I hope we don't have to dig them all up right away - I think they'll continue alright in the soil for awhile longer, until the frost comes. The purple potatoes (Russian Blue, I think they're called) are much smaller - still mostly baby potatoes. They're harder to grow, and I don't think they get that big on average anyway, but we'll give them as much time as possible. Maybe it's not quite worth all the space they take, but Dean likes these oddball varieties.

The carrots I planted between the rows aren't doing that well - not enough sun. And it's too bad, because they're those really beautiful purple carrots. The little patch away from the potatoes I used to plant a new "multicoloured" type of carrot, and they've gotten quite big. So far we've got pale peach, yellow and white carrots - there's supposed to be a pink type in there also, but I haven't found it yet. We'll have to dig those up soon; potatoes can stay in the ground until frost, but carrots just get woody and end up cracking if they're not pulled in time. These are stuck in the ground really hard - we'll have to use a trowel to dig them up - perhaps because the soil has a big of a clay consistency and seems to have packed down rather hard.

The only real failure this year was the zucchini, which is odd, because they're usually the easiest thing in the world to grow. But I believe mine got a squash beetle early on, and I could never get rid of it, and it ended up withering the plants. Maybe we'll do better next year, and I'll move them back over to the Old Garden, where the soil is a bit better and they might have an easier time of it.

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