I’ve had a good but rather odd gardening year. And even the odd has often been good! We had a pretty long spell of warm weather early this year which gave everything a good jumpstart. Then it cooled for a couple of weeks and then the warm weather returned.
During that warm early season my rhubarb didn’t produce very well. The stalks were thin and I thought I was going to need to divide the plant this fall, even though it didn’t really seem crowded. Then during the cool weeks it came back and I’m just finishing up harvesting it. During the cool weeks a lot of my garden seemed “on-hold”. So things that were starting to grow suddenly took a little vacation. For instance, the red peppers in the photo are cayenne peppers which should grow about 6″ long. These early peppers stopped growing and ripened. The peppers currently on the plant are getting nice and long like they should. I had a few tomatoes that ripened really early and then they slowed and now I’m just waiting for the rest of them to ripen. There have been a few other anomalies but overall it’s been a good year.
We’re at what I think of as the change, when the early producers die off and fruits and vegetables that need heat come into their own. My lettuce, green beans, strawberries and rhubarb are done. I’ve harvested the last of the kale, for now – it will probably send up another crop in the fall. The peppers are coming on strong, the blueberries are starting to ripen. I picked a couple of figs today but the bulk of the crop will ripen later in the early fall. The tomato plants are loaded – now they just need to ripen. I think I might actually get eggplants this year! Last year was the first time I planted them and they didn’t get to full size, but I planted late and we had a cool summer. Keeping my fingers crossed that those on the plants continue to grow…
Most of my herbs are growing like crazy. I’m trying an experiment with mint this year. I’ve made a couple batches of mint infused simple syrup that I’m freezing in small containers to use later in the year. We’ll see how that works. The one exception is the basil which I’ve had all kinds of issues with this year. I may try one more time to get some decent sized plants going.
With the beans and lettuce completely finished I have some room in the garden and am thinking I should try to plant some fall crops – maybe I’ll try cauliflower. Or carrots and parsnips. Looks like it’s time to do a little research. If you didn’t have time to get a garden started this spring, it’s really never too late. Visit your local nursery and see what inspires you!