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Season End

October 11th, 2010 by Joyce

The growing season has been so busy that I haven’t posted. The spring veggies were outstanding, however, the summer was challenging. Extreme heat for long periods with frequent rains was not helpful. Because of the wet weather, the transplanted peppers and broccoli had no need to put down deep roots and when the dry weather finally came, the plants actually fell over. The peppers frequently wilted and we had a poor crop. The broccoli did continue producing all summer long.

The prolonged heat prevented the green beans from setting fruit, even though the vines grew rampantly and bloomed profusely. Finally, in September, we began to harvest beans. Only then did we discover that the pole blue lake beans I had planted were not producing true to seed but produced at least 3 or 4 different types of beans, many of which were undesirable. By then it was too late to plant more beans.

Tomatoes started producing well only to be thwarted by fusarium wilt. Fusarium thrives in hot, wet conditions and plagued most tomatoes in the area. The brandywines that I set out later did not suffer as much, but neither did they produce abundantly.

The Armenian cucumbers and Bowling red heirloom okra both produced well.

Crops for fall had to be sown during the dry heat of August. Most germinated because I watered faithfully. However, the days have remained warm even now in October and the baby pak choi has bolted. The tatsoi and carrots are looking good and we have a few snow peas and radishes and a small amount of lettuce.

I’ll soon be turning the sheep into the summer garden to clean it up and I’m making some new raised beds to get the garlic planted this week.

The spring hatches of chickens and ducks were good. I’ve butchered some of the cockrels and will soon be doing more. I’m wondering whether the chicken plucker will be as helpful with the ducks as it is with the chickens. I’ll find out in a couple of weeks. At least we still have poultry alive and well even though we have trapped 6 chicken and duck eating raccoons in the last 2 weeks.

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