Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegetable Garden Update September 08

September is a time for transition in the vegetable garden. I would say aside from April and May, September and October are the most important months for the vegetable garden and gardener. This month finds many crops ripening or growing past their prime, plus new crops need to go in. Planning is very important prior to planting so think ahead to not only this fall planting, but your spring planting as well. A little trick I do is to place my vegetable markers in beds the vegetable will be planted in next year. It will always be a different bed. This way I don't have to try to remember where I planted those tomatoes last year so as to plant them in another spot this year. Also, I can plan for when the garlic is harvested in May what I will plant to replace it in the summer garden.

As you are pulling spent plants and crops, if you do not intend to plant new crops it is vitally important to clean the bed out, add an inch or two of compost and I like to cover my beds with weed free straw. Some folks plant a cover crop of rye; but I never have so I can't vouch for its effectiveness. I may try it this yea
r in a bed or two though. Once your beds are cleaned and/or planted, you can sit pretty until late February or early March.

Tina's Vegetable Garden Update:

The zucchini is finished and has been pulled. I bet I harvested at least 25 zucchini from the three plants I planted. Squash vine borers eventually did them in even though I did apply Sevin. I can say though that they lasted the longest ever this season.

Tomatoes are still going strong!

Peppers just as strong.

Eggplant are still coming in. I have really enjoyed the eggplant and I believe I will plant a plant again next summer.

I have one lone cucumber vine. Fortunately it is still producing heartily.

The beans are still going strong.

Zinnias have taken over the southern end of the vegetable garden.

The banana trees are taller than 15 feet and very happy and healthy.

The basil is going strong.

Garlic I did not harvest in the early summer is resprouting, as are the onions I planted in the spring.
The gourds are still going strong. Many folks think that just because the vine looks all ratty and the plant looks dead that the vine is over and done with. Not true. The gourd leaves that are oldest do wear out by this time each season, however, there is tons of new growth still coming in. The vines have enough energy making green stuff to keep going until the first hard freeze. Even light frosts don't always harm the plant. I leave my gourds in place until this freeze comes. I believe it helps the rind to thicken up. No scientific evidence of this fact, but it is just my hunch.

I have not watered this vegetable garden since early July. I believe it is because it is in part shade and planted so heavily that the soil is shaded, thus reducing water loss. I can also say that the brick pathways have been a success. I had to rework this entire garden last fall, actually moving it over about 6 feet. I redesigned the beds and added the free bricks in. This year the garden has been fairly weed free, easy to traverse, and very productive. And I think it looks nice too.

Skeeter's Vegetable Garden Update:

My little Georgia veggie garden continues to produce some yummy treats. Here you see one of several little harvest we had since our last update on August 15.

Roma tomato continue to thrive in our garden so they will be sure to find a spot in the garden next year. Hot peppers continue to grow and produce. Next year we will only plant ONE hot pepper plant because we had way more then we needed plus I had burns on my fingers and face more then once due to the little firecrackers! I will NOT mess with them next year but to keep the Saint happy, he and he alone will have one plant for his homemade salsa.

We harvest two more Egg plants with our latest gathering of goodies. Here you see the last of the funny shaped cucumbers as the vine has now dried up.

I am showing you this picture as a reminder. When picking squash, take a knife or some sort of cutting device as snapping it off the vine with your hands is not so smart. Argggg...

Look at how different all three of these squash look. They came off the same plant! Why does the one have little bumps?

The squash plant grew like a vine and was over 6 feet tall. Here you see the Saint holding it up to show you how tall it has grown. It continues to have blooms. I have never seen a squash plant trail such as this one. Is this normal?

The Bell Pepper plant that we replaced is now producing a really big pepper. We should be picking this one soon. The Purple Peppers have tiny baby's on them but we're not expecting them to mature but you never know!

We have about 5 gourds of decent size. I had hoped for many to make birdhouses for next spring. I am not sure these will be large enough. The one to the left may be large enough for a chickadee or wren to call home.

Surely this one will be large enough to be crafted into a birdhouse. See how large it is by comparing it to the pine cone below it. I will be looking for a posting from you Tina on how to get these gourds from this state to a birdhouse....

The zucchini plants continue to bloom but not one zuck matured. Taking the blooms off the ends for bloom rot, as suggested by someone, did not work. The baby zucks continue to turn yellow and dry up.

As you can see this VEGETABLE GARDEN UPDATE SEPTEMBER 08 has been another productive harvest. Now things are dwindling down a bit, In the Garden...

Stay tuned for Veggie garden update Oct. 20, 2008...

To see more veggies this date and this week go visit:

Cosmo at Cosmos Garden. See some great figs and herbs!

Frances at Faire Garden. See LOTS of fruits, veggies, and nuts!

Les at Tidewater Gardener. See some hardy oranges!

DP at Square Foot Gardening-Nashville. See a cat and some tomatoes!

Dan at Urban Veggie Garden Blog-See some new seedlings, huge brussels sprouts and tons of cucumbers!

Cindy at Walk Down the Garden Path has some beets and carrots, asparagus, huge eggplant and a lovely little lemon tree in her Pennsylvania garden!


  1. Hi, Tina and Skeeter-- I know you didn't ask for links back, but my feed still isn't working right, so I just wanted to let you know that I've posted my paltry offering. Your veggies are GORGEOUS. Cosmo.

  2. Hello Tina and Skeeter, Fantastic gardens and so productive! Tina, I love your idea of using plant markers to note where you will plant next year! The gourds are way cool!


  3. Tina, I had planned to participate today, but all my photos are on my computer which is in the shop right now, and it's impossible to take new pictures. If and when I get my computer back, I'll do a posting.
    Your vegetables, though, look so healthy and delicious! I'm going to have to take notes on all that you do in the garden to keep the weeds at bay:)
    Skeeter, I hope you'll show us a finished birdhouse from your gourds!

  4. Hi Tina & Skeeter. Tina your veggie garden has been quite productive this year. I will use your tip about the plant marker, great idea for making sure the crops get rotated. Skeeter your gourds look fantastic & I can't wait to see the wonderful birdhouses you make from them.

  5. I can't get to do an update today unfortunately but I'll try to this week. We'll be headed to the in-laws, maybe I'll harvest more rock. You gardens are both doing pretty good for fall! We're still getting tomatoes and a few cantaloupes but I can see that the end is near! Darn squash vine borers!

  6. Everything looks great! Esp the tomatoes, can't beat fresh fruits and veggies. year.

  7. Gorgeous veggies girls!

    Once tomatoes are done here, the garden is finished. They're done, and it's finished. Fall clean-up is imminent.

  8. Everything looks great. The weather here in Maine has cooled of but I am still getting more than I can use of beans, cukes and zuchinni. Tons of tomatoes and carrots still left but I will use most of them as I freeze them. I have 3 watermelon left and I must pick them soon as they are ready. I have a few pumkins but not ready yet but 1 of them is HUGE. Can't wait for that to be ready!!

  9. Great ideas for garden planning, Tina! As I'm a beginner, I'm going to follow your garden schedule.

    Beautiful vegetables, Tina and Skeeter.

  10. Cosmo, Heading over to your place right away! And I am sure whatever you have is wunderbar!

    Gail, I like my little tip for picking the beds this year. I always forget by next year. Must be a senior moment:)

    Rose, I hope you get your computer fixed soon! That can be a pain, I know. Do post a veggie update when you can as we'd love to see them. I will post on the gourd process. It is a long process and fun. I am so happy both Skeeter and I got some! It will be neat seeing what we come up with and anyone else who grows gourds. I think Frances does. Anyone else grow gourds?

    PG, Did you go back to PG from Racquel? Which do you prefer? The plant marker works well, especially with a small garden like I have. Skeeters is maybe about the same size or larger. Birdhouses will be fun, we'll post.

    Dave, Have fun harvesting rocks today. Do post some veggies when you can. Glad you are still getting veggies. Those vine borers are awful!

    Dawn, I am going to hold you to it next year-so tell Jack of All trades. Do you all have a tiller? I will email you reference one we recently had given to us.

    TC, When I lived in Maine it was the same way for me. Tomatoes gone, veggie garden done until April. Garlic is pretty easy for a winter crop though, once the tomatoes come out just plop it in and harvest next spring.

    Mom, Send me some pictures and I will get a post in a few weeks. Lola also sent me some pictures so I can combine them both. Next week is filled up with Blogiversary stuff. Can you believe it has been one year? I am debating on whether or not I will do a contest for something next week. What do you all think?

  11. Skeeter, Yes, I think squash plants can either vine or bush. Also, it may be that your 'bumpy' squash is more mature? I am not sure as I rarely grow summer squash, and actually no winter squash either. Next year I am going to rectify this though. Hope you are having fun!

  12. Hi Tina and Skeeter, you guys still have producing plants, good for you. The only thing still really going strong is the peppers. I pull things out that bother me, like the wormy cukes but the little tomatoes are falling rotten off the vine, I just don't feel like picking them! They are still making flowers though, troopers! That last gourd surely can be a birdhouse, Skeeter and the one on the left above too. I have tons of gourds left over from ONE year that we grew them in Texas. I keep them inside in large baskets. Once they are cut for birdhouses and hung outside they begin to break down for me. Those little wrens will nest in anything. My fall seeds are germinating, the sugar snap peas are over two inches tall! Next month I will try and do it on the right day. LOL

  13. Tina, Skeeter, Fantastic yields for this time of yr. They all look scrumptious. I have no pollinators here so nothing did any good except the banana pepper. Now I have a persimmon crop--the big ones that you can eat like an apple. Young'un doesn't eat them & I can only eat so many. So freeze some, eat some & give some away.Trying to add more flowering plants to try to draw pollinators to my garden.
    Am anxious to see bird houses made from gourds.

  14. Wow! YOur gardening is impressive. YOu almost want to make me try vegtable gardening again. Vickie

  15. Hi Frances, I surely remember your HUGE gourds. Oh what I wouldn't give to grow some that large. Can you tell me the variety. I am going to try next year for sure. They were great! I think I may be a bit late on the sugar snap peas. Need to get to work in that veggie garden but with no rain it is no fun!

    Hi Lola, Banana peppers are always good. I love them in my garden. More flowers are nice. Especially the maintenance free ones for sure. The birdhouses will be a fun winter project. Usually the gourds don't dry until December, then comes the design part. I'll post on it for sure. I haven't yet decided a theme. Not sure what Skeeter will do.

  16. Hi Vickie! How are you down there in Florida? My sister lives in the same town as you and also has red hair. Wonder if you two know one another. She works for edible creations and is quite talented in arranging fruits. You really must try veggie gardening. I know you can grow them all year long-bananas too which would be yummy!

  17. Your garden is amazing and making me hungry! Thanks for stopping by earlier. Happy Pink Saturday from me and my furry staff!

  18. Hi Susan! Love your 'staff'. They look quite contented sleeping on the job. Thanks for visiting our veggie gardens today.

  19. Hi Tina, Thanks for the link. Your tomatoes are looking so good. Our tomatoes are still producing well, so I am really excited. You are so lucky with your zucchini this year. I wish I had done so well. The eggplant looks so good. Our eggplant has also had an awakening, so I'm really excited. I love the banana tree, awesome!!Any bananas to harvest?

    Hi Skeeter- what an impressive harvest! Your Roma tomatoes look amazing. Our plant has unfortunately died and been pulled. The squash looks so good! The bell peppers and eggplant look awesome. I am finally have a rebirth of both veggies as well!

  20. Hi ladies, what lovely eggplants you both have. My eggplant did nothing this year, I don't think they like my climate.

    Tina, your banana's look great, have they ever produced banana's. I know some of the hardier banana's don't have very tasty fruit but it would still be exciting to have some home grown.

    Skeeter, that is one long squash vine. I was really looking forward to zucchini this year and ended up with a pumpkin. I think your zucchini problem is because of poor pollination. You should try hand pollinating and you should have good success. I don't think zucchini's get blossom end rot, they will shrivel up if they are not pollinated though. The bee problem is really evident this year.

  21. Hi DP and Dan, You all commented about the same time and pretty much on the same subjects so I will respond to you both together, okay? All veggies are good and thanks! No bananas from my little hardy banana tree. It did bloom but needs another bloom for pollination and even so, I don't think the season is long enough. I could not eat these type anyhow so it is ok.

    Dan, I think your season will not be long or hot enough for eggplant. It needs TONS of heat. I added your veggie post Dan.

    DP, Next year will be better for the zucchini. Try planting a companion like marigolds or garlic with it to deter the borers as I think that both helped mine last so long.

  22. Hi Tina and Skeeter ~ Your crops look so bountiful! I can't wait to hear about your gourds. I have my crop of them from last year still in the garage. I would like to hear someone else's process.
    Also, Tina I didn't know that about marigolds detering the borers for zucchini. I will have to try that next year.
    I finally got my post up...just under the wire (or pumpkin vine, as the case may be).

  23. Tina, I meant to ask you what is the vine growing on your arbor? It sure is lovely.

  24. Ah Lola, that is the famous Sweet Autumn Clematis. It has passed by for now but I have a post prepared showing it. It is titled "Icy Arch" so you can imagine. Thanks for noticing and asking. This is a big vine so the big arbor. It would grow for you easy and quickly take over your arbor.

  25. Tina,
    Sounds at tho I need to get rid of those roses that I can't get on ladder any more to tie the canes up {plus they eat you up} & put this Clematis in it's place. I tell you that rose looks like it could be invasive in my books. Every where it touches the ground it roots. I don't think 7 sisters do that. I spent half a day just trying to get the thing out of my asparagus bed where it had dropped down & rooted. Did find a sweet potato in the process. Tee Hee. I had taken a couple old sweet potato & covered them up. There could be more just so many tiny roots that you can't dig. Too many big oak trees in neighbors yard.

  26. Lola, What kind of rose are you growing on the trellis? I remember you told me at one point but can't remember the name. It is one your purchased? Not mulitflora? Some roses are just strong growers. The Sweet Autumn clematis is gorgeous BUT it does self seed and it does grow vigorously. It can be cut back to the ground each spring; which will control it a bit, but still is strong. Just want you to be aware before you get rid of one monster for another. I think it would be evergreen for you. It is semi-evergreen here and lovely all year. Anyhow, good luck.

  27. Tina,
    This rose was a pass along from a friend. She said she didn't know the name but it was an old rose & she had gotten it from her fathers place. I saw her plant & it was all over the place, just a jumble on a fence. She had rooted some of it. Mine has not bloomed, except a couple little clumps {for a better word}. These clumps have maybe 7/9 buds, very small, light pink. I really don't care much for roses in the garden. They always eat me up. Do like the ones that brother sent, which are doing fine.

  28. Well if you don't really like it (and I am with you as I don't like thorns either), then by all means try the Sweet Autumn. A favorite passalong for many since it does self seed. Never heard anyone say it was a real pain. Though as nicely as mine bloomed it might be a pain next year. We'll see. Good luck!

  29. Thanks Tina, will consider it very seriously.