Harvesting the garden…

This year’s garden is starting to wind down. Our growing season is not typically very long. I’m hoping we’ll hold off on getting a frost for another month, but a lot of plants are done producing anyway. I pulled out our yellow squash, and picked most of the tomatoes. There are a few straggler tomatoes left on the vines. My son harvested about 8 ears of corn from his 10 or so plants.  We still have a few things waiting to be picked, like beets, kale, chard, eggplants, and zucchini. Take a peek at our recent harvest:

tomatos
I grew five varieties of tomatoes this year: Early Girl, Druzba, a Blue type, Cherry (very tiny) and some Romas. We got a good crop of them this year.
canned-tomatoes
My first attempt at canning tomatoes! I think it went alright. The half pint jars were a little small, I have realized. I will do pint jars for the next batch I can.
green-tomatoes
My canning book talks about picking tomatoes green and letting them ripen on the counter, maybe so they all ripen at the same time? We picked most of what was left. I keep worrying about frost anyway, so this way I don’t have to rush out and cover anything.
yellow-squash
One of the last yellow squash we picked. We got a whole lot of these. I had three plants, which was too many for us this year. We froze a lot of this.
backyard-sunflower
One of my sunflowers from our back yard. This was several days ago, when it was still standing tall, before we got days and days of rain…
weepy-sunflower
Here it is today… looking very sad.
watermelon
The watermelon has not grown a whole lot. I think it’s supposed to have stripes as well. It’s still hanging in there. I will let it sit as long as possible and see if we get an edible melon.
tiny-pumpkins
Our tiny pumpkins. The plants are done for this year. I really like these, and will grown them again next year, along with a little bit bigger variety.
tiny-eggplant
A tiny eggplant. These plants grew wonderfully, but didn’t flower until late August. Now they have tiny fruits on them. They are not ripe yet. Hopefully they will get bigger and ripen before we get a freeze.
kale
Our Kale, still going strong. I’m going to attempt to leave these, and see if they will come back in spring. I have heard that Kale (and Chard!) will grow as perennials. We will see if they come back in spring. I have been cutting, using/freezing, and then waiting for more to grow, like cut-and-come-again style. We have a lot of kale frozen for winter.
garden-9-28
Here’s my garden today. It’s still very green but there is not much in terms of vegetables left.

A peek in the garden – Early September

We’ve been having some hot days lately, and last night we had a crazy thunderstorm.  This morning my yard is very wet – I had plans for some yardwork jobs, but it’s just too wet.  My garden is still going strong.  I’ve been getting some nice corn cobs, despite the early visit from some raccoons.

The garden, early September.
The garden, early September.

I had a few tomatoes fall off the vines while I was picking suckers, and my son also decided to pick a few that were starting to ripen.  I didn’t realize I grew an orange tomato, but I did grow a couple new varieties so I guess this one was orange.

We have these tomatoes in the window to ripen.
We have these tomatoes in the window to ripen.

I’m growing indeterminate varieties – I had been cutting off suckers and new flowers, but I got impatient.  We don’t have the longest growing season, and I don’t want a repeat of last year – because of frost warnings we had to pull all the tomatoes in so they could ripen inside (none started to ripen on the vine last year).  Luckily we’ve had a lot more heat this year.  I went at my tomato plants last week and cut off the tops of the plants, extra leaves that were shading the fruit, and any extra branches that didn’t have fruit on them. That has seemed to help speed things along.

My tomatoes waiting to ripen.
My tomatoes waiting to ripen. This is after I went to town trimming them.
Here is one that my son didn't pick!
Here is one that my son didn’t pick! This one looks like it will be red (the picture makes it look orange).

I also have a bunch of tomatillos – they are still small, but they are getting there. Last year I grew some but I added them really late, and they didn’t start forming fruit till mid September. These ones have been growing for about a month now.

Tomatillos.  I have lots of hummingbirds that like these flowers as well, so they are helping to pollinate them.
Tomatillos. I have lots of hummingbirds that like these flowers as well, so they are helping to pollinate them.

I am attempting artichokes this year – I read that they can be grown as an annual.  I haven’t seen any sign of any fruit, and really didn’t know what to expect. This morning I found this:

A tiny artichoke!
A tiny artichoke!

I looked on another plant and have at least one other one forming as well.  Very exciting, even if they are very tiny.

Another tiny artichoke.
Another tiny artichoke.

I’m growing Evening Primrose this year, I didn’t realize they’d take so long to bloom.  They started this week:

My evening Primrose.
My evening Primrose.

Here are some marigolds that I planted, they are doing extremely well, but they are really easy to grow:

Marigolds.
Marigolds.

My sunflowers are going strong. The bees and hummingbirds are enjoying them now.  They should start going to seed soon, and then we’ll have the chickadees and other birds, and chipmunks and squirrels, eating them.

My sunflowers - some are about 8-9 feet tall now.
My sunflowers – some are about 8-9 feet tall now.