Potatoes and winter squash! We dug the potatoes this weekend and are quite happy with the amount we got this year. They’re currently curing in the basement. We also cut several butternut squash that were ready. These are “Metro” variety from Johnny’s and they’re supposed to be smaller sized; the catalog description says between 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 pounds each. Ours are much smaller. The largest is a bit over 1-1/4 pounds and the smaller ones aren’t even half a pound each. Oh well, we’re happy to have gotten winter squash this year since it’s an unreliable crop for us. We’re expecting quite a few more other types of winter squash as they are currently maturing on the vine. In past years, we’ve had problems with winter squash partially growing and then shriveling a bit before detaching from the vine. This year, that happened with just one squash.
We canned 15 pints of haricot verts (French green beans) this week! The plants are now nearing the end of their lives but there are still a few beans sizing up. We also canned another 5 pints of tomato sauce.
The first round of cucumbers are still producing but have slowed down considerably. The leaves of the plants have started to show the various diseases cucumbers eventually get so she cut off many leaves this week to hopefully slow the spread of disease.
Fall “crops” including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kales, and mustard were started in the basement on the 14th and most are up and growing at this point. These seedlings get planted out near the end of August.
All but two of the summer squash plants have been removed at this point. Squash vine borers did them in. The two remaining plants are patty pan squashes that also have SVBs but have established root points at many places along their stems so parts of the plants are still doing OK and female flowers have formed. Since we don’t need the space yet, we decided to let them be to see if the squash actually mature.
The tomato plants are doing really well this year because we haven’t gotten much rainfall (tomatoes don’t like to get their leaves wet)and also because we switched over to growing primarily hybrids that have some disease resistance. We had a few Amish Paste seeds left (an heirloom variety) so we’re growing 3 or 4 Amish Paste plants and it’s telling how much better the hybrids are doing. Not only are the hybrids significantly more productive but the AP plants are the ones that have the inevitable disease problems first. The AP plants aren’t looking so great anymore while the various hybrids are all looking good. Particularly when it comes to tomatoes, we’re going to stick with hybrids in the future!