Sunday, September 30, 2012

Maine Fall Folliage

I was in Mid-Coast Maine from September 21st through October 1st. When I first arrived, the colors on the trees were just beginning to change. I would guess that perhaps only 20 percent of the trees had turned. But things had really progressed by the last day of my trip. I took a long, slow drive from Camden, through Hope, Liberty, & Unity before turning toward Bangor. While it still wasn't "peak color", it was getting close. As I could, I pulled over to take some pictures through the pouring rainfall. There were areas that  would take your breath away.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September in the Kitchen Garden

September has arrived in the kitchen garden. While this hasn't been a stellar year by any means, I have had a few success stories.

The Winter Squash finally took off in August and have now covered most of the bare dirt. It is difficult to see where one squash begins and another variety ends. I noticed this week the first signs of powdery mildew on the squash leaves. Now it will be a race against the clock to get the last young squash mature before the plants succumb to the disease. Hopefully a few more weeks of sunny, dry days are ahead of us.

I finally have some nice sized "Butternut" squash on the vines, but none have yet matured. Unfortunately, the deer pushed against my fencing and ate a nice chunk out of three young squash. So the harvest won't be too large this year.

My two "Bush Delicata" plants have struggled. They are just now starting to really set some fruit. I do have one monster "Delicata",  pictured above. What I lack in numbers I made up for with the length of this one!

The Kabocha "Orange Sunshine" vines have done the best of the three varieties of Winter Squash that I am growing this year. One vine has now stretched the entire length of the garden and is still setting baby fruit. This one is about the size of a baseball. I don't know if there is enough warm weather left for it to reach maturity.

This one is further up the vine. It has reach full size and now just needs a few more weeks to mature and turn orange. I am hopeful.

Here is one of the three "finished" squash. They are fully mature and ready to pick.

My onions have done well this year, much like the garlic. I guess it has been another good year for the allium family. I am happy, but not thrilled with the "Frontier " yellow storage onions. They are smaller than the "Prince " yellow stoarge onions that I have grown in past years. Their tops started falling over about three weeks ago and they are now ready to be pulled. It will be interesting to compare and see how they store this Winter.

A close-up.

The red "Mars" storage onions are huge, as always. This variety always performs so well for me.

I need to knock their tops over so that I can pull them out in the next few weeks before it rains.

I can't say that my cucumber trellis experiment has been successful. Certainly, it didn't help having the finches peck and eat most of the growing tips. Now that the side vines have reached the ground, they seem much happier and have started to set more baby cukes.

Here's a mis-shapen "Russian Pickling". Maybe a different variety, grown in a different location, would be happy on the trellis system.

My three "Tuscano" Kale plants keep quietly plugging away. The older leaves keep getting munched on by something, but it keeps producing more and more leaves.

The tomatoes have been a mixed bag of success. One variety that has done really well has been my "Galina" orange cherry. It is starting to get covered in ripe tomatoes. It's time to get picking!

My "Black Krim" plant is my tallest tomato, with the most set fruit, for the third year in a row. It is such a productive plant for me. The tomatoes near the bottom of the plant are starting to change to that lovely red/blackcolor. I bet that I have 20+ large green tomatoes on that plant right now.

"Moonglow" is a new variety for me this year and it has done fairly well. The first of its fruit are starting to turn yellow. As you can see on this garden tour, a few more weeks of sunny, dry weather would be very welcome.