Anyone else around here ready for Fall? I think I need a couple of days off to tell you the truth. I've been so focused on the garden and trying to get as much as possible put up before it all up and quits. This weekend I'm going to make a big canning push. I've got probably two 5 gallon buckets of tomatilloes that need to be turned into something yummy. They are taking up precious room in the fridge and the freezer and there are more ripening even as we speak. I swear this time of year another fridge would come in handy. I've never raised tomatilloes before. They are kind of cool. They are putting out a ton of fruit. It's a good thing we love Salsa Verde. I'm still trying to find some other recipes for them so if you have any suggestions please leave a comment.
The tomatoes have finally stopped producing a bucket a day. Some of the plants still look pretty good. They'll probably start blooming again soon. The heirloom tomatoes are finaaly making a showing. They are sure late to the Tomato Party this year. I've had one heck of a banner year for tomatoes for sure. I've put up whole tomatoes, quartered, and chopped. There's the Salsa, Rotel tomatoes, Italian tomatoes, tomato juice and the spaghetti sauce. I dried every single one of the skins from all those for tomato powder. I'll be using it to make tomato paste and sauce this winter.
It's too bad I found out so late I could have sold a bunch of tomatoes. I'm actually thinking that next year I might be able to sell a little produce. It's not much but the money could be used for some other projects we are wanting to get done. We need to run water down to the second garden and get it hooked up semi-permanently to the drip irrigation lines. We need a faucet down there anyway. It sure will be handy for watering critters. Anyway... It's something to think about.
Can you see the squash at the bottom of the picture?? SQUASH!!!! So far they are doing well and I've not seen ANY stinkin *&% squash bugs yet. We finally resorted to trying a new product on the market. It's called Eight. It's got 0.02% Permethrin You have to be careful with it and not get it on any of the blooms. It's not "bee friendly". We try not to use anything harmful but being careful to use as directed care this one can be used. So we use it right around the base of the plants. I've got a bunch ready to hit the canner tomorrow. I'm so excited! WE HAVE SQUASH!!!!! Can you believe it? lol maybe I've finally beaten those stinking bugs. Time will tell.
Those little grape tomatoes there in the box are something else new I tried growing this year. They are super sweet and delicious. I can eat an entire container of them in one sitting if I'm not careful! Those are another thing that will definitely go on next years list of plants.
All the melons are about to quit on us. I've picked three cantaloupes, the one lonely watermelon, and a small Juan Canary melon this week. Mars doesn't really eat a lot of melons so I best get busy! lol There are a few more out there but the vines are starting to die off and things are starting to look a little sad.
Another lesson I learned this gardening season is that there is NO way I'm going to plant more than one or two of the hot peppers. They are still going crazy. They sure do love the high temperatures. I've been drying the cayenne peppers and have Serrano, hot banana and the jalapenos dried as well. I want to plant more bell peppers next year and back down on the hot stuff. The thing is though that they are so fun to grow. I've got three pepper plants I started from some seed my mom sent Mars. They are starting to produce and I have NO idea what I'm going to do with them. They are supposed to be some super duper hot peppers. There's one called a Red Savanna Pepper. Some sort of super habenero and another one I can't remember the name of. They have taken so long to grow that the markers on them are all but faded to white. (Note to self- You MUST start keeping a garden journal)
I never was able to get my broccoli and cabbage started. My fault really, I should have tried to baby it more but at the time I was covered in tomatoes. Another lesson learned. I have to make the time to take care of them because we just love broccoli!
I know I've not been around much here lately. Many of you are in the same place right now. It's a busy time of year. It's hot and there is lots to be done and to tell ya the truth I'm getting flat wore out. I've been making a half-hearted attempt at a fall garden. There are peas, spinach and lettuce sown. The garlic needs to go in this month and I still need to get their new home ready for them!! Maybe I can find a spot to plant leeks too. That would be cool. Anyway.... That's what I've been up to for what seems like eons. Come on Fall. I'm hot, sweaty and tired of Summer.