The Garden in August

In this last week of August, the garden is indefinitely winding down.

The second bed of potatoes is almost ready for harvest. These are (hopefully) my winter potatoes, so I'll leave them in the ground until the foliage is completely dead, then dig them up. I thought that two beds of potatoes might be a bit much, but considering I've eaten my way through at least 3/4 of the first bed already...
The garlic has all been harvested, and it's apparently a Goldilocks year. 

Onions and garlic hanging out in the shed on my fancy-schmancy curing tray.
I planted three varieties (no, I don't remember what they are, because, even after all these years, I'm still under the illusion that I'll actually remember things like variety names). One variety was too small - it produced wee, little, tiny, pain-in-the-ass heads. I've already used the entire harvest, making roasted tomato sauce. The heads were so small, the easiest way to use them was to roast them - trying to separate and peel the minuscule cloves was. not. fun.  Another variety was (almost) too big. As in almost-as-big-as-my-hand big. And each individual clove is enormous. I don't remember it being this big when I planted it...
It's huge!

And one variety was just right :) I'll keep cloves from these two varieties (as long as the taste is okay) for replanting. Oddly enough, I'm second guessing myself, and I'm tempted to try some fall planting again.

Just right - and purple!
I pulled out the Lazy Housewife beans - they aren't really producing, and I don't like them anyway, so off to the compost bin with them! I'm keeping the Rattlesnakes going for a while, even though they've only produced a handful of beans in the last couple of weeks - hopefully with some more rain and cooler temperatures, I'll get another flush of beans. I'm amazed though - last year at this point, the bean trellises were so full, they were in danger of falling over. This year? Ha!

But what about the Scarlet Runner beans? Complete, utter, 100% failure. Oh, they are pretty enough, but not one bean from 32 plants. Not one.

We don't need to be productive because we are pretty!
I'm assuming they aren't getting pollinated? Because they are flowering heavily, but pods simply aren't forming. And there are pollinators around, right Katy?

What's that? Can I eat it?

Carpenter bee - that explains the sawdust in the raised beds!
There are also hummingbirds around, so I'm not quite sure why I'm not getting any beans. I do know, however, that it's doubtful this plant will make a repeat appearance in the vegetable garden. The flower garden, maybe...

Burgundy okra
One crop that will come back is okra.  I'm really liking it, especially in vegetable soup. I had hoped to save seeds this year, but had one of those brain fart moments: Even though I know they are insect pollinated, I didn't think about cross-pollination. And since I grew two varieties...

I still might keep the seeds, since I really have no preference between the two, and see what I get. And to all those people I promised okra seeds - oops! Yes, I should really have known better :(

 I'm cautiously optimistic on the squash front. Even though my grand total for zuchinni zucchini (OMG - it only took two attempts this time!!) this year will be four, and the cucumbers are a complete wash, and the winter squash plants look like complete, wilty, mildewy crap, I might, just might, actually harvest something from them this year. There are still two Chersonskayas - the others, unfortunately, never grew and ended up rotting :(
Look at the stem getting all brown and hard!

Smaller, but still okay. And yes, that is an acorn squash along side.

There are two good Winter Sibleys too, which I hope will make it.

Winter Sibley among the ruins (and weeds) :)
And hopefully 2-3 spaghetti squash. 
Hang in there, little squash!

The acorn squash are still looking good, but I'm kinda disappointed - only 4-5 fruits in total, and they are small. Oh well - they'll be a good size for individual meals. And really, squash is squash - considering the failure from past years, I shouldn't be complaining about any that I'm actually able to grow!

The sweet peppers are all done, and had a respectable harvest this year, even though each pepper was somewhat small - lack of water, I think.
Yummy yellow peppers.
 And of course, the tomatoes are still going strong. I'm still picking at least one 3-liter basket every day - not bad at all!

Have I mentioned that I love summer?


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to blog, I really enjoy reading about what others here in Canada are up to in the garden. I am located in Northern BC and have been looking at getting more out of my garden. I too tried russian blue potatoes and had problems with the skin but I did enjoy purple mashed potatoes at Christmas that year. The reason I won't plant them again is because they were so darned difficult to find in the soil, they looked just like the rocks. I am trying potatoes this year in repurposed washing machine drums. I planted two varieties of fingerlings so we'll see how it goes. I look forward to reading your blog!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I have friends that live in Smithers, BC, so if you are near that area, I've been there (flew into Prince George, rented a car, drove to the coast and back) - fantastic area of the country!

      I'd love to know how the washing machine drums work out - interesting way to grow potatoes!



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