i plant several hundred lima beans each year so i usually get some return for the efforts. this year i've planted at least four different varieties of lima beans and three of them are new types to me so we'll see how they grow. most of what i grow are the Fordhook Lima beans which are a bush type so i don't have to worry about having enough space on a fence for them to grow and they always have enough beans on them early enough so they finish at least one or two rounds of flowering and picking. even if they don't finish the second round of seeds to where they are dry they are still great as shelly beans.
in the past few years i've tried Red Lima beans and while they grow well and finish early enough to give an edible crop the pods are subject to getting some fungus because the pods crack open as the seeds dry so they are not quite what i would like. then last year i tried Flossie Powell which is another pole lima bean but it finished too late for it to be a good bean for us to grow. a friend of mine gave me a few other pole beans to try here and they should finish early enough since he grows his beans further north than i do. they are called Hopi and Sieva. they're growing and looking ok so far. and then i have one other pole lima bean to grow for another friend but that one just has the generic name Brown Lima bean. i think those are also growing ok.
tomato worm season is slightly preceeded by Japanese Beetle season here. my morning routine is to scout the garden beans for the latter and the tomatoes for the former.
so far three worms, of which the last two were smaller as they'd not gotten as far as the first one i found in another patch. it is rare to have one and not more in a patch, but some years it has been indeed that ways and also some seasons with none at all. other seasons it has been more challenging but we still get them found and picked off one-by-one and dropped in the container of slightly soapy water.
the JBs i also drop in the slightly soapy water, but they take so long to drown that i'd taken to squishing them with a rock and just dropping them to become bird food or ant food or whatever. except that was taking too much time. so this morning i returned to the slightly soapy water method because then i didn't have to squish them - intending to come back later to squish them, but i didn't as i had to mow and then do other things. this is pretty much the crazy time of the year where so much is going on that i can never be too worried of not keeping busy or engaged. in terms of numbers i've picked a few hundred JBs already, but if i keep on top of it every day they don't do a tremendous amount of damage. some gardens/bean plants are barely touched and other plants are like magnets so i just have to keep at it consistently. that helps the most. if i skip a day then they'll get larger groups and do more damage to one plant in an area.
beans are doing well, i have fresh beans coming on to be picked and checked and climbers needing some herding towards their intended climbing surfaces. bean wrangling? sure. JBs seem to know which beans are most edible.
the deer and groundhogs also do too. this north garden without a fence is still getting some action here or there from the deer, but i've not noticed a lot of groundhog action. they save that for the fenced garden further back (which is a good reason to have a garden closer to the house where you can see it and keep a more constant eye on things, but also the proximity does discourage some predation by the critters). of course, good fence would be so much nicer. some year...
well, yes, disease pressure is poking up as usual in the tomatoes so the race is on between the blights and getting a crop in. normally we come out ok and i don't treat for the blights as i consider them endemic and pointless to attempt to fight. we always get enough, or at least close enough. this year with having new varieties in play i'm not sure how this will work out. i do know that last year it didn't go as well with a different knew variety but we did indeed still get a harvest and enough of one for me to consider it successful...
Last Edit: Jul 25, 2020 0:26:58 GMT -5 by flowerbug
things always get hectic around here this time of the season. tomatoes have been coming in and we've been busy getting them put up. shortage of canning jars/lids so we may be done sooner rather than later as we are down to the last three cases of jars, we have a few large gallon jars we can use in a pinch, but not sure they will seal. we'll find out. if anything i may have to use pint jars, which is a waste of lids, but i guess better than nothing.
the melon plants decided to put up over 30 melons on six plants and more coming - i've tried a few to see what stage of ripeness to pick them at. the second one was formed between two large rocks so it was very amusing to look around and see that (when i was scouting the bean patch). very fragrant and delicious melon. Petit Gris de Rennes...
busy also picking and shelling what dry beans are ready, weeding, etc.
The tomatos are arrived at maturity all at same time . This year, i try to grow the melon delices de la table www.kcb-samen.ch/product.php?products_id=910304&language=en Its the melon the most vigorous of the garden and he is beautiful. Petit gris de Renne has a good taste. When i wait too long time, the melons developped a taste of ether. Thr last year with the last melon charentais we are put a jam of melon, it was very delicious. The melon requi a dry period before the end of the matutity foe have more of sugar. My moschatas and tetsukabuto are a good developpement a few fruits ready. Second fruit on my plant of violino rugosa www.kcb-samen.ch/product.php?products_id=123150&language=en But my maxima not given fruits this year, the alone maxima wich he has given fruit is in greenhouse, i think that i have take of seeds not adapted at my climate.
good news two times, we had a decent amount of rain last night and this morning and i was able to find some canning jars. may also be able to get some lids this Friday if another source turns out to be accurate.
the heat is still on for a few more days and then moderates again. we hope this is the last of the heat waves. we have a lot to do outside and the sooner we can get to it the better.
a normal day here is picking beans, weeding and other puttering around in the gardens during the morning until it gets too hot and then inside to get tomatoes put up.
with a lot of melon i may try to put up some melon jams (with some curry and crushed red pepper flakes as variations) to see how they go.
the tomato harvest and putting them up is pretty much done. thank goodness! it was getting pretty tedious towards the end and we were having a hard time finding jars or lids for canning, but managed to buy some right when we needed them. as far as productivity the tomato plants did about what we'd consider normal (25 - 35 lbs per plant, but my estimate this year is that they came in towards the higher end of that range). we're now restocked for a year or two.
squash are mostly done, we still need to get them picked and cured.
melons have been great, pretty much done now except for the last few.
been busy with tomatoes and then the beans and dry beans. and we managed to finish up the garden pathways/pallet removal and cleanup project. see the bottom of www.anthive.com/project/tasks/ for pictures. looks so much nicer out there now and it wasn't nearly as much work to finish as it was to get to that point. total cost for materials was $0 as we had everything on site which i was able to move or reuse.
this means i have time this fall to get some gardens cleaned up a bit more and recover one overgrown area to put it back into production for next season (instead of having to mow it i would much rather weed). will be nice as the animals have not done much damage to my other unfenced garden this season so the new fencing is helping to reduce animal predation. it's not a complete enclosure fence but it cuts down on traffic.
all-in-all things are going well here. we had a pretty rough start to the summer so it is nice to have it calming down and getting back to more routine.
Last Edit: Sept 16, 2020 6:12:30 GMT -5 by flowerbug
Post by flowerbug on Sept 20, 2020 11:28:17 GMT -5
frosted Friday evening, so much of the bush beans, tomatoes, melons, etc are finished for sure now. some lima beans and the pole beans look to be ok. picked a bunch of shelly beans to cook up yesterday. looked like no severe damage to the lima beans so i'll leave the rest alone for now. weather for this coming week is warming again and no overnight chances of frost any longer. no rain in the forecast for the next week.
i did pick a few last melons, not the greatest flavor in them but they are edible.
was pretty cold again last night, but not quite frosty. hopefully any bean plants that want to try to get some seeds on them will be able to finish this next warm snap.
Nice harvest! Unfortunately my maxima would all orange this year and not two-color. My blue of hungary is a fail: i have one fruit very very small. If i found the time, i would posted photos of my garden.
Post by flowerbug on Sept 25, 2020 14:22:48 GMT -5
thanks! those were only a few selections from about 30 total squash, 4 total hubbards, the rest a mix of the kabochas and buttercup, and the cross breeds which were likely from some other pumpkin of some kind. we never planted any of the orange squashes at all to begin with, they just showed up one year when we replanted the seeds from what we grew the years before. Mom said she liked them better so we've kept trying to plant them to keep them going.
the buttercup squash we planted barely reached 10-15cm.
i didn't take any pictures of the plain green squash because i've already got pictures of them someplace on the website already.
Last Edit: Sept 25, 2020 14:24:45 GMT -5 by flowerbug
For me the orange color is the most dominant. After an autofecondation, of a hybridation between a green squash and an orange sauash i got an orange squash even after autofecondation of the orange squash. I have a best sucess with the moschatas!
we've picked the north garden almost bare, just a few plants left to finish in there. the deer have been wandering through and eating all the strawberry plants and trying the comfrey. no fence around that garden so i never expect anything but it has been productive this season with the dry beans and some fresh beans picked from there too - mostly Purple Dove and some others mixed in there too, it's the other beans that need to finish up now.
working on getting the gardens put up for winter and mixing some layers of soil, burying stuff to keep the worms happy, etc.