A question I posed in an earlier entry, back around the summer solstice is when is the turning point to winter? When does a garden stop building up the promise of harvest and turn into a slow decline? The recent setback with the corn (“setback” is a euphemism for decimation) has left me wondering if we might be close. Then this past weekend I enlisted the help of my grand nieces April and Ashley in stripping the last of the early green bean crop I had put in, and so there are bare spots in the garden and no succession planting planned.
But it is hard to think of this as a garden in decline when every day brings, fresh sweet tomatoes. Moreover, the squash vine borers have not yet hit the zucchini.
Perhaps it is safe to say that a garden which causes you to actively manage the harvest is not yet a garden in decline.
The blister beetles are still nibbling away at the lower leaves of my tomato plants. I have discovered a total of 5 tomato hornworms much later in their growth than I would like. And the squash bugs are all over one of the zucchini plants.
We dug some potatoes this weekend. The girls had fun doing it. I must say they were not as large as I expected Yellow Finns to be at this stage of the game. They may not be “Fair Worthy” this year. The Cranberry Beans and the Rattlesnake Pole Beans are prolific. I must start watching their leaves and be sensitive to the possibility of an early harvest should the leaves start to wilt. I pretty much lost the whole crop last year, but of course, I was away at the time. The tomatoes are coming in like champs. I still have blossom end rot on some varieties, but I am not wanting for fresh tomatoes. After a big start, the eggplants have turned rather shy. I suspect they want some nutrients. But it would be nice to have zucchini, tomatoes AND eggplant all at the same time for ratatouille