We are having a great year for squash and pumpkins! Our best year ever! Not sure why, but I wonder if the very wet spring and then the mild summer just gave them a chance to really grown well. I love the pumpkin in the above picture! It’s growing into the fence! It’s kind of funny how it’s nestled in between the fence and the post. Weird if you ask me!
We have at least a dozen nice looking pumpkins out there. I wish I had planted more! Next year I will. For sure!
I picked all the butternut squash that were ready to go and there were quite a few of them! I gave the really odd or small ones to the pigs and boy, were they pleased. I ended up with a dozen for us and friends. It’s going to be interesting, because I will admit, we are not big squash eaters… I really planted them for the livestock! I wanted something that grew nicely, big and would store well. Squash and pumpkins sure fit the bill.
I have been super pleased with my tomato harvest as well, and it’s odd because I really did not baby them or tie them up and all this year. Just let them do their own thing. We have had lots of super yummy grape and cherry tomatoes as well as Amish paste and nice big Brandywines, Mortgage Lifters and a Purple Cherokee, which did not do as well as the others, but I’ve gotten a few nice ones and the flavor is delicious!
I think that a home grown tomato is just a beauty to behold! So good. I would like to grow the Amish paste again next year, they did very well. I will probably work on building some better cages for them. I have seen a great design that uses cattle panels for support. In a sort of circle cage with a post to support it all. I think that would be wonderful.
I was very surprised to find a single little watermelon in among the squash. Just one. I planted a variety called Minnesota Midget, which was supposed to mature quickly and in colder climates. But the butternut just went nuts and I really didn’t think any of the melons would make it. This one was hiding in the grass! I was so happy.
Unfortunately, it was not really that good. It was okay. I think I need to do some more research on growing conditions and watermelon. I have never had good luck. I must be doing something wrong. I remember melons and cantaloupes being so flavorful and just sweet but now, they all seem really bland and just kind of mealy. Very disappointing. If I can’t figure out what works for us, I will probably just stop growing them. They take up a lot of space and so often, there is little to no return. I’d rather just plant something that flourishes and buy a few melons from the farmer’s market.
Over all, this has been perhaps my best year here in our homestead garden. But it’s not nearly at the potential it can be. I think my best year at the mobile home has been far better than my best year here and I have about ten times the space! I guess, maybe with the smaller plot, perhaps I was more diligent and careful about care and the types of veggies that I grew. This space is still wild in many aspects and a challenge. The flood this spring really did me in! I lost all my strawberries, many cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants as well as beans and peas! Very disappointing. I know now, that anything in the west of my garden has got to be in raised beds, nearly a foot over the ground level. I plan on building some new beds in the low areas this fall.
My grapes did well, so did the raspberries and the blueberries. I didn’t see any fruit this year, but I didn’t expect to. I hope that they winter over nicely and in the spring just burst forward and do a great established plant grow! That will be so good! I hope to buy a couple apple and peach trees in the next couple weeks and plant them. They just came back on sale now, for fall planting.
Now that the weather is a little more agreeable for me, to work outside, I plan on spending the next couple months really working on my garden. Instead of waiting until spring, I want to try and get a jump on some infrastructure work now. I want to work on laying down a lot of cardboard and straw to kill off the grass in the areas that I really don’t want grass! And I hope to build a few raised beds and maybe even getting some spend hay and bedding in there before winter. I also want to plant a nice group of garlic, see how that overwinters.
I have so many plans! It’s hard, sometimes, to just realize that it’s all a work in progress. If everything was all done and tidy, it would be a little boring. Now I just plot and plan and try and work on as much as I can. It keeps me off the streets! It’s a good thing.Pin It