Gardening is winding down. This is both a sad and happy time for me. I will miss the sensation of digging my toes into freshly-tilled soil.
But I also love harvesting my produce . . . especially my tomatoes. I’ve often wondered why picking my tomatoes is so much fun – in fact, I even like the smell of tomato plants. Weird, huh? It is probably so satisfying since tomatoes are one of the hardest crops to grow up here in the Northwest. So to actually get red tomatoes before September is a great accomplishment indeed!
This year has been so incredibly dry that not even my weeds wish to grow much anymore. We have had to water lots, but even then the soil dries out so quickly that my garden truly didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. The cabbages are all shriveled up and might give us a small amount for fresh eating.
This will be the last month we post garden pictures since we will begin pulling plants out soon.
I still have a few green beans coming off this week and need to dig the potatoes. Corn is all done for the year, carrots need to be harvested, zucchini are giving just a few, onions are waiting to be pulled, tomatoes are in the thick of it, and we are getting just a few cucumbers yet.
I honestly can’t wait until my garden here at the house is all done, because I have big plans to put a trailer load of manure on it. We had done this at the other garden we use down the road at Charles Schrock’s house. That garden held its water much better this year and produced even more weeds than my garden here. I am thinking it is because we had put a couple loads of manure on it in years past, plus planted a cover crop a couple years ago and then tilled it in.
So my goal for September is to build up the soil in my garden and also to mulch my berry and tea patch! It should give the two little guys and I something to do while the rest of the kids head back to school.
The tomatoes got their “August hair trim” the other week! A lady here told me that to get your tomatoes to ripen up quicker, you need to chop the tops of the plants off about mid to late August. I call it their “hair cut”.
I simply go out with my pruners and cut off extra green foliage. This helps the plant to put more energy and food into the tomatoes and not the leaves, plus it opens up the plant so the sunshine can hit the green tomatoes. Of course, I have no scientific report to back this up . . . but it has worked well for me!
So far, we have picked tomatoes for salsa and marinara sauce. Plus, some days I will ride down to the neighbors to pass out my bright red tomatoes!
Want to know what is just as enjoyable as growing your own garden?
Having a surplus to pass out to those who need it . . . and who truly appreciate it.
This flowerbed was a little experiment for me this year.
Last year I tilled it up from simply grass and weeds, planted flowers, and put mulch around the flowers. It didn’t grow well at all.
This year, I re-tilled it, planted flowers, and put mulch down again. Again the flowers were looking awful by July, when they should have been filled out well. So about early July, I scraped the mulch off to see what would happen.
Behold, my beautiful flowers came back and just keep getting fuller!!
They didn’t like the mulch. It was an all-purpose mulch, but I’m finding through the years, that my flowers don’t like mulch put down around them. So while mulch chips might help with weeds, it also takes something out of my flowers. Next year, we will skip the mulch entirely and pull more weeds.
But at least we will have gorgeous, full flowerbeds.
Our plums are getting ripe quickly. In fact, everything seems to be about 3 weeks early this year! So within the next month, we should be picking plums, pears and apples.
Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our God, shall bless us.