End of Summer Harvests

It’s hard to believe summer is almost gone. The last two months were very dry here, so I was pleasantly surprised to return from our vacation yesterday to witness a nice soaking rain. All told we got a little over 1.5 inches of rain in the last 7 days. I could almost hear everything outdoors going ‘ahhhhh’.

The garden seemed to do well in our absence, thanks to mulching and a thorough soaking with soaker hoses before we left.  The fall gardens are always tricky around here, trying to get cool loving plants established while it is still hot and (usually) dry. Ours seems to be coming along nicely. We have Lacinato and Portuguese kale big enough to eat already. They will be tastier though when the weather cools a bit.

Lacinato kale (click on any image to enlarge)

The broccoli plants are doing great too. The birds and rabbits managed to get a few plants, but enough escaped to give us a potentially good harvest. You may notice I am hesitant to claim any victory until the plants are a bit further along!

broccoli plant

Since we were gone for more than a week, I knew the okra plants would have some giant pods. And they did! The oversized ones wound up on the compost pile, but there were still enough small, tender ones for eating.

oversized okra is too tough to eat

The yardlong beans held up better. I got a nice haul of them today, almost a pound. I am thinking a stir fry is in order.

handful of yardlong beans

We have plenty of eggplant and peppers to go in a stir fry too.

sweet peppers and eggplants

Most of our ornamental plants have survived the hot and dry summer. This Red October hosta has pretty purple blooms, even though the leaves are a bit dried around the edges.

Hosta 'Red October'

Most of the hostas have been eaten by deer though, and look like the one in the photo below.

this hosta was deer candy

The sedums are putting on a good show just in time for autumn. Bees and butterflies love the blossoms. So far the deer have left them alone, at least this year. They are an easy plant to grow, and to propagate by division and cuttings. We have quite a few planted.

sedums are blooming

And last but not least we are waiting for the luffas to be ready to harvest. The biggest ones are almost as big around as a baseball bat! It’s been awhile since I’ve grown them, but I do remember they take a long time to dry out. It will probably be winter before they can be used for soap and craft projects.

big luffa gourd

That’s a quick look at our late summer gardens. If I can get my vacation photos sorted out I will do some posts later on about our trip. It may take me a while because I have almost 900 digital photos to wade through! While it was nice to get away, it’s also always great to be back home.


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9 Responses to End of Summer Harvests

  1. Jody says:

    Wow! That’s a huge gourd. We have broccoli plants that we’re hoping will produce too, but ours are still much smaller than yours, and I really need to get them into the ground. Thankfully the cool weather has arrived here. We’re just praying it doesn’t freeze early. I don’t know how you’re still getting peppers and eggplants. Our peppers stopped producing weeks ago. We didn’t get much anyway. The broccoli will replace them this week.

    • Dave says:

      Actually, our sweet peppers are just now giving us ripe peppers. We should have another month of growing before frosts and really cold weather. As for the broccoli and kale, I waited too late last year so this time I decided to get them out a bit earlier!

  2. MMMMM … that Kale is my candy! I wish I would have planned for more, more, more kale. Next spring and fall it’s kale, kale, kale. I have some but I need to savor it – I’ve used all my seed or I would plant some right now! And those beans look very delicious. I want to experiment with more bean varieties. What a great harvest! What kind of crafts do you have planned for those luffas? They are very cool!

    • Dave says:

      I know we are going to try to use some of the luffas in soap, but beyond that I don’t know. My wife is the Queen of Crafts, so she will likely lead the way!

  3. Robin says:

    Your fall garden looks great! I still need to plant my cold frames for the winter.

    I hope that you and Lynda had a nice vacation! Now, get through those photos and post some….nosey blooggers want to see!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Robin. I’ve been so busy processing the summer veggies that I’ve had a hard time keeping up with fall and winter crops. The greenhouse needs planting, and so do some of the the cold frames. It’s always something! 😉

  4. kitsapFG says:

    The kale looks well grown already and should be a great late season/winter supplier of greens. That gourd is amazing too. Never grown them but do enjoy the scrubbers made from them!

  5. The deer have been up their old tricks here too, although this time only a Rudbeckia was systematically gnawed down. Glad you finally got some much needed rain. My kale isn’t out yet. After a frosty start to summer, we’re now, finally, getting hot weather, so I’m going to wait a week or two. I’m struggling at the moment just to keep the carrots happy. I do have some broccoli and romanesco waiting to go out though. I’m actually looking forward to the fall garden this year. Goodness knows we won’t run out of winter squash any time soon!

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