July 2014 Garden

Worst garden EVER. With the exception of the winter cherry tomatoes, which were fabulous, the spring planting of tomatoes was a total failure. The plants grew but quickly became diseased and dropped most of their blossoms. Only a few tomatoes were produced and I had to rip out the plants. 

The hot weather cooked a lot of my Bell peppers right on the plants. The eggplants produced but the crop was small and some of them were bitter. The cucumbers were good but eventually succumbed to the hot weather and disease. The beans fizzled.

The only thing that was a success was the winter squash. I just capitulated and let it take over the garden since everything else was such a disappointment.

Nope, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a disappointing garden. I usually have beautiful produce. Guess I’ll have to get to the bottom of what went wrong by next spring—soil deficiency, climate change, who knows?

On the bright side, I don’t seem to be able to kill the squash. It just doesn’t want to stop even though I’ve been hacking back the vines. I guess we’ll be trying out a lot of squash recipes this fall. These shown below are Lakotas and Buttercups. The buttercups are quite prolific. The honey bees have been very cooperative this year. (You need the bees to take the pollen from the male blossoms and distribute it to the female blossoms in order for the vines to fruit. If your squash are shriveling and falling off the vine, chances are they didn’t get pollinated.) Once your squash is ready to harvest, cut from the vine leaving at least 2 inches of stem and then let them sit outside in the heat to cure. (I wouldn’t put them in direct sunlight.) After about 2 weeks the stems should be hard and dry and you can store the squash in a cool spot in your house for 2 to 3 months.

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email:  ll.katmarian@gmail.com   © Linda Katmarian 2011-2015