Wednesday, August 29, 2012

76 Lbs. What a Shame

Painted lady on butterfly bush
Today my vegetable tally is at a whopping 77 lbs.  Not too bad considering that my two large beds are full of tomato plants that have given me a whole 12 tomatoes, and about 2 dozen cherry tomatoes.  Last year my 4 pumpkins alone weighed in at 75 lbs. 

The majority of the weight for August has been cucumbers, most of which came off the Marketmore 97s.  The Lemon cukes are just starting to roll in now, two harvested and several still growing.  I have one small green pumpkin on my shed this year, I can only hope it will ripen before the vine starts dying off.  It doesn't look like it will weigh in at more than about 10 lbs. though.
Pumpkin on shed today.

It has been a very sad year for my garden.  Apparently I'm not the only one either.  My neighbor Julie told me her tomatoes started coming in about 3 weeks later than normal, and her pumpkins are also still green and small.  In a normal year her pumpkin vines sprawl across most of her back yard and she harvests enough for cooking and carving for the whole family. 
Pumpkin vines on shed.

My garden is producing, all of the plants are in good health, but there is such a short window of growing season here that a week or two of cool weather throughout the season can be enough to completely destroy any chance of main season tomato production.

Chocolate Cherry tomatoes.
So far the tomatoes that have ripened have all been the extra early varieties.  Oregon Spring and Beaverlodge Plum and a few varieties of cherries.  I thought that my double planting rotation could be a factor in their lateness, and I'm sure it is somewhat, but it is most definitely not the primary problem.  The volunteer Chocolate Cherries have been in the ground since the first planting went in, and while they have outproduced the other cherry varieties that were planted later, they haven't outproduced them by much.  Like the other plants they are weighed down with green fruit that simply won't ripen.

Indigo Rose tomato
I considered covering them with plastic to extend the growing season.  The late season plants haven't even gotten fruits yet though, and nighttime temps are getting down into the low 50s already.  I just don't know if the plastic will make any difference.  It doesn't look like we'll be having an Indian summer this year, we may not even have much of an autumn. 

Winter is coming.

All in all this year's garden has been a major disappointment.  While the rest of the country has been hit by a heat wave, our tiny corner of the world has been much cooler than normal.  I did have a few standouts in the garden this year though despite the weird weather and will have a post soon to acknowledge those plants that really outdid expectations.

For now, I should probably get back to my housework and prepping for the new school year to begin.

1 comment:

  1. We've not had luck ripening tomatoes here either. Though we had a HOT July, August has been cool, which tomatoes definately do not like.
    Next year will be better.....It just has to be!