Monday, September 9, 2013

Harvest Monday: Garden Fatigue Edition

I'm feeling kind of blah about the garden this week. We are a week into September and experiencing what I call garden fatigue. The harvest is steady but limited in variety and things look a little sad down there. Many of the older plants are diseased and dying and my fall crops never do that great. Those plantings that survived are still smallish and only have about a month before our earliest frost either does them in completely or at least slows them down considerably. For some reason this is the time of year that the wild creatures become more active too and I find a number of plants that are chewed on. The one thing that keeps things looking at least somewhat perky down there are the marigolds. This year I actually got them planted out and they are blooming merrily. Sorry, I don't have a picture of them today but hopefully will in a coming post.
But back to garden fatigue. When the garden gets to this state I lose a bit of my enthusiasm and tend to pull back on some of the basic jobs I should be doing, like watering and weeding and even taking photos. I'm doing far better this year than usually, so things are improving on that score, but I need to give myself a stern talking to to get things done and that doesn't always work.
The harvest now is primarily tomatoes. My vines are still loaded with them but the vines themselves are all but dead. Thankfully enough of them are big and with a pink blush that tells me they will still ripen, which is a good thing!
 Kale continues producing well and in fact, there is a new planting for the fall that is getting pretty large, so barring any creatures going for them they should provide a good harvest over the next few months. I just have to find some new and exciting ways to eat kale because it does get dull for all it is a nutritional powerhouse. We do kale-bean soup and I have a great saut√©ed kale recipe. But that's about it.
We were inundated with beans last week, but this week they've slowed down quite a bit. The Chinese Red Noodle beans are really coming into their own now. They have proved to be a hit with my husband and son, so I'll continue to plant them in future gardens. I have a late planting of green beans that will be ready to pick later in the week. You can see that I picked my first two winter squashes. They are Buttercup, which we love around here, one large and one small. I have two more still growing out there along with eight Butternuts, one Kabocha, one Long Island Cheese pumpkin and one mystery squash (likely a misshapen Long Island Cheese.) Not a ton, but it is my best success with winter squashes to date. Last year I grew the same number of squash, but they were all much smaller. My Delicata plants gave me exactly one stunted little squash and a ninth Butternut, the smallest, broke off its stem and immediately started to get soft around the neck.
You can also see leeks in the photo above, which were harvested for last night's supper of potato leek soup. Yum! That's it for this week's Harvest Monday, which is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions every week. I hope you're not experiencing garden fatigue and I hope mine has passed by the next time I post!

26 comments:

  1. Sadly my red noodles beans are coming to an end.
    I too am having garden fatigue, and many of my plants are not looking very perky.
    I find kale freezes well, maybe you could freeze some for later use.

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    1. I guess that's what winter is for, to get us recharged for the garden next spring! I do freeze kale too, just wish there was a way to make it more exciting when cooking.

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  2. hi
    the red noodles beans looking wonderful.great harvest for september.
    wish you a wonderful week,
    regina

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    1. Thank you Regina! The noodle beans are a great new discovery for me. Hope your week is good as well!

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  3. You have a lovely harvest. I know what you mean about letting the garden go at this time. Everything just gets so big and out of control it is hard to keep it up and keep it nice.

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    1. Thanks Shawn Ann! I guess it is just the normal cycle of things!

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  4. A great looking week! Our garden is really slowing down and looking ragged too. And I understand your feeling of fatigue we are there too! I think that is a natural part of gardening! That's part of the reasons I like fall and winter gardens so much, all the work is done in the summer and all you really have to do is enjoy the harvests!!

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    1. I hear ya! Thanks for the comment. I think what also adds to the "fatigue" is feeling a little down that the summer is over and the winter is on its way.

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  5. I read with delight, your harvested crop post not without a tinge of jealousy because of your Red Noodle bean success. I still can't seem to get them to produce much. Tried again this year. I too have only one LIC pumpkin and like you, think I have one that is misshapen ((

    Fatique...yes, it is hard to keep up the momentum and even think about planting fall and winter greens and radish.

    Thanks for this garden update as it is always inspiring to know what others are having success (or not))) with!

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    1. Thanks Gardeningbren for the nice comment! And it's been good to see your blog posts again! The noodle beans came in so late and with your far northern garden maybe the season is just too short? Hard to tell.

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  6. I think we all get that fatigue at times, you'll grow out of it. Have you ever tried kale salad before? One of my favorites is to shred it sort of like cole slaw and then prepare it like a caesar salad. And I tried another kale salad from Food52 a couple of weeks ago that is dressed with a peanut dressing, it was really tasty.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Michelle. Since we are out of lettuce that sounds like a great idea to try!

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  7. Sorry about your garden fatigue. Your harvest basket looks absolutely amazing to me!

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    1. Oh thanks Barbie! It will pass, this much I know :-)

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  8. Your harvest looks great, especially the noodle beans, must look out for them. Have you tried Kale chips yummy! You just toss the leaves in oil and rost for a bit sprinkle a bit of salt on and scrummy. Google it there are heaps of recipes. have a good week.

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    1. Thanks Sharon! Yes I've done kale chips and I like them although my spouse does not much. It's a great way to shrink down a heap of kale and snack on it.

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  9. A very nice harvest of squash, tomatoes, beans, and kale! I also see some leeks and green onions in there. More variety than I had this past week. I know just what you mean about feeling garden fatigue. I was pretty busy preserving and harvesting whatever was ready each day that I didn't realize until I was preparing my Harvest Monday post that most of my photos were tomatoes and beans. The variety of summer crops is dwindling down and fall will be here soon.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, yesterday was the first day in weeks I went down to the garden and didn't find anything to harvest. I could have pulled parsnips, leeks, or brought in tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, winter squash or Brussels sprouts but none of them were really fully ripe, so why push it? But it did feel kind of weird.

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  10. I guess I am experiencing the same garden fatigue and loss of enthusiasm that you are I am afraid! It is just too hot and dry here! Your Kale looks wonderful. I planted some recently but it is teeny tiny yet. I love my marigold too this year and you are getting a great harvest of squash which I didn't this year! Chin up! Soon we won't be able to garden because of the cold and snow! Nancy

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    1. Quite right Nancy! I know this is a temporary feeling. We have had cool Autumnal weather but are expecting heat again this week. Things in the garden will pick up again and I plan to really work on improving the soil in my beds for next year.

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  11. My problem is lack of enthusiasm for going out and planting the few things that need to be put in the garden at this point. I should have done it last week, but that didn't happen. I'll be away for a week so I can't do it now. I think at this point it just might not happen.

    And I love those red beans. Some day I'll have to grow those Chinese long beans. I did try them one year but the failed, but I want to try them again.

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    1. I have a similar problem Daphne, but this year I was better about it. Problem is, the plantings started out great and then just fizzled. I can never figure out why. I found the noodle beans came in slow, but when they finally did they've been great. They have a strong beany taste which my family likes.

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  12. Oh yes, garden fatigue! Perfect words for what I've been feeling for a couple of weeks now! Such a challenging time of year :-/ Beautiful harvests, none-the-less! Congrats on another bountiful week!

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    1. Thanks Bee Girl! I hope we both overcome our garden fatigue! You know next spring we'll be raring to go again!

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  13. Noodle beans perked up for me in the fall in San Diego too, maybe they like cooler weather. Here I planted some and they remained at about 3" and never really grew. Yours look so lovely! My antidote for late summer blues is to plant a fall garden of greens, and this year I'm trying some peas and short-season beans, that should go on into fall and also make early spring greens.

    I eat vegetables combined with either rice or buckwheat (I also may add some meat, poached eggs, or dry cooked beans for a full meal) and put cheese or sour cream and various spices on them- change the spices for interest. I imagine Kale could also substitute for cabbage in sauerkraut, have you ever tried that? I make it in quart canning jars, chop in a food processor, add sea salt and a probiotic, either powdered Acidophilus or some Kefir, to each layer, then it only takes 4 days for it to ferment.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Hannah, and welcome! I too try to plant a fall garden, but that is part of the problem, because no matter how hard I try, it rarely does very well. I have way too much regular sauerkraut, so I think the kale had better be used in other ways. Did find a nice kale salad that I tried today and it is a winner.

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