Thursday, September 14, 2023
|The River Bed in July|
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Thursday, September 7, 2023
That's what I've been doing. We are on the brink of tearing out a lot of the garden for autumn, but for now I just start each day with a muck bucket and a pair of snips and I trim out anything that doesn't look nice. That could mean anything from just deadheading Dahlias to lopping off a wheelbarrow load of Sunflower tops and overgrown Cosmos. We have just reached the end of a two week dry stretch which culminated in several hot, oppressively humid days. We are now entering a break of cool weather with some rain and I won't have to worry so much about watering annuals to keep them looking nice.
Friday, September 1, 2023
Peter Piper Picked a Peck
of Pickled Peppers.
And when you have a peck o' peppers, its time to get pickling.
I am using my Havasu peppers for refrigerator pickles. Now last year I ended up eating these fresh with hummus. They have a nice thick wall and were not particularly hot. Their cone shape makes them perfect to slice up for scooping dip. This year they are hotter and I haven't enjoyed them fresh. Last year I planted them intermixed with Sweet Banana Peppers. There is a rumor out there that if you plant your sweet peppers and your hot peppers together, that the sweet will be hotter and the hots will be sweeter. That would certainly be true if the plants cross pollinated and you planted the seeds. This year it is probably just the weather, but that is how rumors get started. Maybe next year I will buy another pack of Banana Peppers and see...
Sunday, August 27, 2023
It is finally getting to the time of year where I can move perennials around again. The weather has been mild and we just got a good soaking rain. Its time to start dealing with this blank slate.
The bed to the right had become quite crowded and was being used as a temporary storage place for a couple of things. Over the past couple of years, if I had something that I wasn't sure what to do with I would stick it there. Some things worked and will stay. Some things worked too well and outgrew their space. I decided to start with the Peony which became too tall and wide to look right up front. I will also be relocating the apple tree next to it and there was a Candytuft that was being crowded out so that came out too.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
This week I picked the last dozen ears of sweet corn and froze it. It held well on the stalk, but was beginning to lose a bit of its sweetness. It was still very good, but more ordinary than what I like to put on the table as "corn on the cob". I again got four dozen from one raised bed. I had thinned the plants down to about 65 plants. Some plants tried to produce a second ear but they were later and didn't amount to anything so I removed them from the plants. There were also some plants that just didn't produce early enough and those ears (about a dozen) were late to the pollination game so I composted them as well.
You can see that these ears are quite mature. We prefer them that way because the flavor is more developed. The pollination was absolutely excellent. We had eaten three dozen ears as corn on the cob, which was as much corn as we wanted for several weeks. The husks on these was actually beginning to fade to tan. Picked at the last minute. This stage is perfect for cutting off the ears and went right into the freezer. They say this variety, Gotta Have It, and sH2 super-sweet hybrid variety, retains its flavor in the refrigerator for three weeks. That would have been an interesting experiment had my fridge not been full of cucumbers! From Gurney's website:
Gotta Have It has tender kernels with a rich, oh-so-sweet flavor and an incredibly long shelf life – over 3 weeks when refrigerated in its husk! The kernels are slow to get starchy, and they retain their sweet flavor even when frozen. The flavor holds up for a wide range of maturity, so you have a longer window of harvest than with many other corn varieties. The 7-1/2 ft. tall plants are shorter than the average corn, but just as strong as field corn. If given enough room, it will produce up to 3 ears per stalk. It's a very productive variety.
I have heard that farmstand corn in our area is between 70 cents and a dollar an ear this year. Here in my garden it certainly was a good year for sweet corn.