Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harvest Day 2010

Today was finally Harvest Day in the vegetable bed ! With our incredibly cool and wet Summer this year, I have been very concerned about the Winter Squash reaching full maturity. Last year, I was able to Harvest the Winter Squash September 27th - but that was a hot, dry Summer. So I waited 3 weeks longer this year. It has been fairly dry, with some sun the past few weeks but the weather looks like it is changing back to rain. I felt like I have taken all the extra time I had and this weekend it was now-or-never. As you can see, the garden is definitely on a downhill slide. About half the squash leaves have powdery mildew and the tomato vines are turning brown.

But, on the other hand, I was able to get an additional 21 days of ripening time. As you can see in the above picture, the Winter Squash have pretty much taken over 2/3 of the garden. The Zinnias have been swallowed and you can't even make out the onions. I know they are there somewhere! So I began by pulling up the "Delicate" & "Butternut" Squash plants. After they were removed... suddenly it was much easier to see my lovely row of onions!

Pictured above, my half row of "Prince" a yellow storage onion.

And "Mars" the red onion planted in the other half of the row. I have so say, the onions have done really well in this challenging Summer. They have definitely been one of my success stories this year. In reading about onions, I have learned that you are suppose to knock over the onion tops a few weeks before harvest to encourage the stems to heal-over at the top of the bulbs. Of coarse, I never got around to doing this, but most of onions thankfully did it on their own. So all I had to do is give them a gentle "tug" out of their home of the last 6 months.

Look at the length of those root systems!

Ta-da! My onion harvest of 2010! Not bad for one row.

So here is the numbers for "Prince". I harvested 15 onions with an average weight of 7.68 oz.  My largest onion was 11.6 oz and the smallest was 4.8 oz. The total "Prince" harvest was 7 lbs. 3.3 oz.

The "Mars" onions were larger. I harvested 17 onions with an average weight of 11.47 oz. The largest onion weighted in at 1 lb 5.2 oz. and the smallest was 6.3 oz. The total "Mars" harvest was 10 lbs. 2.7 oz.

Here is my Winter Squash harvest curing in the sunshine. Considering the weather that we experienced this Summer, I am pleased. My only concern is that there are still some squash, of both varieties, that haven't fully matured. You can see in the picture above, the top right three "Butternut" that have a pale green color. I also have about half of my "Delicata" that are still light green in color and not creamy white. I will just have to watch them in storage and see if they continue to mature.

Here are the numbers for the "Butternut" harvest. I harvested a total of 16 squash with an average weight of 3 lb 1.5 oz. The largest fruit was 5 lbs. 2.3 oz. The smallest was 1 lbs. 2.8 oz. The total "Butternut" harvest was 49 lbs. 10.7 oz.

Here are the final numbers for the "Delicata". I harvested a total of 18 fruit with an average weight of 1 lbs. 5.6 oz. The largest fruit weighed 2 lbs. 7.5 oz and the smallest was 12.9 oz. The total "Delicata" harvest weighted 24 lbs. 4.7 oz.

Here is the "after" picture. What a difference. My final numbers for today's harvest:
  • 73 lbs. 15.34 oz of Winter Squash grown this year
  • 17 lbs. 6 oz of Onions grown this year
  • Total harvest today- 91 lbs. 5.3 oz

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