Fellow Tennessee blogger and good friend Tina over at In The Garden had the good idea of showing our produce a few days after bloom day. I can see that in the winter months this might be a small showing, but even now things are really coming to an end in the food growing department. We had a so so year, the drought playing a big part in that. Some things were tried for the first time, including the golden raspberries shown above. They have put on new growth and even more berries with the cooler temps and a little more rain. These are so sweet, I eat them right in the garden.
We planted six everblooming strawberry plants in late winter this year. The berries were luscious and none made it into the house but were popped into the mouth while still warm from the sun. Oooh, baby, there is nothing better and if juice drips down your chin, you get bonus points. These plants have become many with their runners so we are expecting huge numbers next year. Other family members might even get some.
Another success was the four jalapeno plants. We have always planted this type of pepper for we love spicy food. No matter the lack of rain or poor soil they might have been stuck in the early days of veggie gardening here, the crop has always been bumper. They start bearing early and will continue into November when the peppers will turn red.
First time growing for us were the cucumbers, planted as seeds into the ground the two plants have given us many fine meals and many jars of pickles. Towards the end of the season we have noticed these little mounds of excavated cucumber flesh resting on the spiky skin. This is a worm that tunnels through the fruits and I am sick of dealing with them. The cukes can be soaked in salt water and the worms will come crawling out, but really, yuck! Time to compost these plants.
The yellow patio tomatoes, this one is Golden Gem, outproduce all other types of tomatoes by leaps and bounds. My theory about this is that the species tomato is a small yellow one and is just a more vigorous plant than the reds, large or small. Normally we grow the yellow pears, but tried this one this year and noticed that there was not the cracking and splitting that the others were prone to. A big improvement.
We tried several heirloom tomatoes including Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Black Krim. The last one gave us the best and most fruit. We also grew Park’s Improved Whopper and that one is still bearing. The tomatoes are not as large, but they are numerous, and very long fruiting, still giving us nice looking produce.
There are always tomato plants that come up in odd places in the garden.They are usually small ones but this plant appeared next to the new rose on the arbor, Madame Alfred Carriere. Maybe it was in the pot that was shipped from the Antique Rose Emporium, but the tomatoes are nice sized and tasty. This group is on a branch down by the ground and hidden from the pesky birds that like to poke holes in my nice food crop. HA to you birds!
Radish seeds have been planted for the fall crops. In just a couple of days we have germination. Also planted on that day were carrots, beets, arugula and some saved seeds harvested from our terrific crop of sugar snap peas. The peas are up as well.
The big finale is the carrot harvest. We had made a two foot high planter box and filled it with chopped leaves, bagged compost and soil conditioner and our favorite additive, Black Kow. Our regular soil is clay with assorted stones. Even our best soil is not good for carrot production. While the carrots look good, the taste was disappointing. Maybe we left them in the ground too long, I was waiting for them to poke their necks out to let us know when to pull them. We won’t be growing those again.
Another crop that looks to be bumper this year is shown above. While they could be eaten by humans, none are ever available to us. This photo was taken with the zoom for these fruits are very high above the ground. Last year’s drought caused the production of these walnuts to be numerous. The squirrels will have to go into overtime to get them all buried and then forgotten. Massive digging will be done in the garden by the squirrel workers trying to locate their prizes. Arghhh!