Thursday, September 23, 2010

First frost, but still harvesting!

It officially frosted here for the first time last night.  There was a very thin sheet of ice on the windshield this morning, and the temp read 33.8 when I woke up.  Realizing that I still had green beans to pick, I made my way out to the garden as soon as the sun warmed things up a bit, expecting the worst.  I was delighted to find most of the green beans still in pristine condition!  I pulled each plant, one by one, and picked all the beans off, setting the bare plant to the side.  I plan on letting the plants wither a bit, then I will chop them up and till them back into the soil to provide some added nourishment to next years squash plants.  I picked about 3 quarts of green beans in all!  And as an added bonus, I got about 30 small tomatoes that were still thriving as well (green, of course).

I still have 2 large cabbages to pick, a few brussels sprouts, and lots of kale and turnip greens.  They all do fine with a little frost, so I will hold off a bit longer for them.

So, how do I feel about the success of this years garden?  Over all, things went very well!  I will grow more green beans next year for sure, and lots of summer squash, although the squash will NOT be under plastic.  It just got too humid, especially with all the rain we had, and the mold ruined what could have been a bumper crop.  Tomatoes and cucumbers will be back in the greenhouse next year, where they belong.  I will grow fewer cabbages, lots more broccoli and turnips, and plenty of spinach and kale.  I will NOT be growing brussels sprouts next year, or eggplant.  I think I will try artichokes as my experimental crop, and potatoes are on the list as well.

Are you still harvesting from your garden?  What has been your biggest success/failure this year?


  1. Your bean crop is very impressive! Especially given the not so nice weather. Have you had good luck with spinach? I've given up on growing it because it bolts so quickly. If yours doesn't, what variety re you growing?

    As for us, our Lacinato/Tuscan kale was particularly wonderful this year, also the Romanesco broccoli/cauliflower. The perennial arugula continues to impress - first up and keeps going for a couple months. Imperial Star artichokes started in March grown as annual weren't as good this year as in other years because of the cold weather, although I'm in Anchorage and suspect they'll do better for you in Big Lake. Peas were amazing this year once they finally took off. Loved the red romaine lettuce and Lau's pointed leaf lettuce (especially the Lau's). Our zucchini was awful, blossom end rot that we just couldn't kick - very frustrating, don't think we got one worth eating. Everything else was pretty much normal.

  2. I've found the secret to spinach here is to start it early... 1st of May is a good rule of thumb. It will bolt in July, but you can re-plant the 1st of August or so.

    The blossom end rot was rampant in my squash this year as well, but I found that scallop-type squash and eight ball squash were much more resistant than the typical zucchini.

  3. Jamie.. TUMS, I am telling you. And hopefully less rain next year.

    I got corn.. my big accomplishment. My not so happy... the potatoes got blight. :(

  4. So I was talking to a guy this weekend who had gorgeous zucchini all summer, no blossom endrot. He said the key is IRT mulch. He said, in his experience, you can't grow zucchini in Southcentral without getting blossom endrot unless you use IRT mulch. And thinking back, the year's we've used it are the year's we've had the best zucchini success. I just never made the connection because, well, no reason. Not thinking, I guess.


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