Monday, October 16, 2017

Final Large Harvest

This past weekend saw our first dip to near freezing weather. While it wasn't a killing frost, the lawn was a frosty white Saturday morning and the bird bath was frozen solid. With that in mind, I harvested the last of the "tender" crops earlier in the week. Top on my list was my one and only "Lambkin", a Piel de Sapo melon from Spain. After I finished planting all of my dahlias in early July, I still had a bit of bare garden left. And of coarse I couldn't let that stay that way! So I picked up two "Lambkin" melon plants at the Farmer's Market. I knew it was pretty late in the year and that part of the garden is fairly shady, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I was rewarded for my optimism with one - yes one! - set melon. It has been growing and slowly maturing. Finally this week the mottled green skin began to turn yellow. It was time for a harvest! It was quite aromatic and had a very interested solid white flesh.

  • "Lambkin" melon - (1) 1 lbs. 10.9 oz

The cooler temperatures also meant that it was time to harvest the Winter Squash. I had only three plants this year, down from my normal 6. Two of the plants were "Waltham" Butternut, which I was able to plant the earliest. My other Winter Squash was one bush "Delicata" plant. It was planted late and struggled to ever get really settled and happy. But it all turned out to be an interesting experiment in plant numbers, garden space, and production. I have always grown 2 "Butternut" plants but they have always had to share their growing space with 4 other winter squash plants. This year, for the most part, these two plants had the whole area to themselves. The result was huge vines that produced like I have never had a Butternut produce before. Each vine easily reached over 15' in length and just kept setting fruit. I ended up harvesting 12 mature butternut from them and there were three more that were full size but still green. 15 large squash from 2 plants! By comparison, last year, when there were 6 Winter Squash, my two Butternut plants gave me 3 total squash. There might be something to be said for a little elbow room.

  • "Waltham" Butternut Squash - (12) - 39 lbs. 6.0 oz.
  • "Delicata" Squash - (1) 11.6 oz

The nightly temperatures have fallen enough that the large tomatoes are no longer ripening. But the smaller varieties and the cherry types keep plugging along. A nice harvest for mid-October.
  • "Galina" - (57) 9.9 oz
  • "Blush" - (58) 2 lbs. .7 oz
  • "Chef's Choice Orange" - (1) 5.8 oz
  • Wapsipinicon Peach" - (7) 9.2 oz