August rolled around and we are finally having some hot weather. It's been in the mid to upper 80s for a few weeks with no end in sight. OK, we're having some 70s for a couple of days, but then it returns to hot, hot, hot. The nights are a bit cool, though. I think that actually helps tomatoes to ripen. It's been upper 50s at night.
Squash: my cavilli, zucchini, and summer squash have been going bananas (really I think that term should be going zucchini) for at least a month now. I can't keep up! We have been eating vegan zucchini brownies (incredibly good), spiralized zucchini noodles, and zucchini in just about anything I can think of: salsa, soup, lasagna, pizza, etc.
The winter squashes are fairing well. I have four baseball spaghetti squash, several sugar pumpkins, lots of jack o'lanterns, and ONE large pumpkin trying to grow (they keep rotting off at the size of a peach).
Basil, Tomatoes, and Peppers: the basil is finally taking off. It simply wasn't growing. The tomatoes are loaded with green fruits, but so far only five or six have ripened. To compare, last year, I was picking them in early July. The peppers are finally setting en masse. For the longest time, there was just one. I should mention that there are volunteer tomatoes all over my garden, and they are doing nearly as well as the ones I started in the greenhouse.
|Finally! A tomato is ripening.|
Next year, I will start them on heat pad in the sunroom. I will try my mom's bucket method with a light. I will NOT put any tomatoes in the hanging baskets of the tomato cloche. One last note in this category: I have an eggplant! But the slugs have eaten two huge holes in it. I am hoping two more develop from blossoms, and that the first one will be the sacrifice eggplant. Sigh.
|My first eggplant ever has become a slug delicacy.|
|The tomatoes in pots have great flavor but the plants don't get very big nor do the fruits.|
Onions: they are doing poorly. My friend and I shared starts, and I gave her red onion starts that I grew from seed. Hers are baseball size. Mine are, at best, golf balls.
Beans: these are doing well. Yeah! John and I became vegans in May, so I wanted to grow as many shelling beans as I could. I have them all over the yard and garden. They are profuse.
|The beans happily climb the old wooden ladder I used for support. You would never guess there was a ladder inside all that greenery!|
Potatoes: doing fine.
Figs: not as good as last year's 132. but so far I have 74. I am hoping to get to 100. All but three of those came from the main tree, but the new Olympia fig gave me a few. They weren't very good (dry and no flavor).
|The smaller ones higher on the branch will not likely reach maturity before the weather turns.|
Cucumbers: doing OK. Could be better. I may have to consider a fourth bed for them out front (see below).
|The cucumbers are mostly easy to spot growing up the trellis, and it gives the cabbage a shady spot.|
Changes for next year: this fall, I will need to move everything out of the greenhouse and put in a black-stained concrete floor. I will also need to build at least three 4 x 10 beds in the front yard so that I can move tomatoes, onions, peppers, and basil to a sunnier location. The saddest thing to report is that my garden is no longer getting full sun from 10:00 to 4:00. It's more like 12:00 to 3:00 at best. The trees in our yard have just gotten that much taller. Cutting the beautiful trees is NOT an option. That means I will have to take apart my tomato cloche and move it to the front. Good thing I built it with screws. On that note, the tomato bed will have to be 5 by 10 to accommodate the cloche.
As for the flower pots, I will buy some plants for the pots on the deck. If I get some six-packs from Home Depot, I should be able to keep the cost down. I will also be putting baby diapers in my coconut lined baskets. They just didn't hold water. I am going to collect the seeds from the yellow nasturtium (below) for baskets again next year. I like its compact, curly growth.
|The water just runs right out of these baskets, and some of the plants on the edges died. Better luck next year with the addition of diapers.|
Next up will be my dehydrator in action!