A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

End of the Month Roundup-August

 It's that time of year when the garden is really looking "worn".  Despite the horrible start, yields of most things are good on the stuff that wasn't killed by late frosts, gnawing pests , and just plain weird weather. Many of the beds are almost set to be put to bed for the winter.
Rainfall was horrible this month---an inch on the 2nd, and a whopping 3.3" on the 27th.  NOTHING in between.  That heavy rain on the 27th beat our record of 1.2 " by a wide margin.  It's all or none anymore it seems.  Crazy crazy Mother Nature!
Temps were mostly in the 70's by day and 50's at night. We had one week of hot weather--but now it's back to normal (whatever THAT is!)

 I pulled the onions on August 25.  I got 128 of the Copra--my favorite storage onion. That is perfect.

I'm trying a new way of drying them--on my shelving units in the garage and on the covered deck and it's working well. I was just laying them out on newspaper , but they always got in the way. This is faster and better. See? You can teach an old dog new tricks!

 Broccoli side shoots have been harvested 8/15, 8/20 and 8/25.  I've already removed one bed full that bolted and will be pulling the other two beds in the next week.  Though I usually plant 2 full crops-a spring and summer, the late arrival of spring (June) made that impossible. I still ended up with a good 3 month supply in the freezer.  It's not enough, but better than expected.

 And proof of how odd things are this year----BRANDYWINES!!! I don't get them most years, even if it's warm. They take 90 days. And yet, here they are, August 27 brought in the first two and I picked two more yesterday.  Though I'm mostly vegetarian these days, we've gone through 2 pounds of bacon in the past week.  BLT's are on the menu for at least a couple weeks. Hooray!!
I even managed a watermelon on August 27.  There's one more out there.  I am NOT repeating these next year.  For such low production, the space is better used for something else. I can get these organic at the farmers market for $2.50.  It was fun growing it once, but I won't again.
Carrots are starting to be harvested.  On the left--Prodigy ( I only pulled one to see and compare) and on the right-Danver's .  The Danvers are really "root-y" and we don't like them for fresh eating, but blanched and frozen, they will make a fine addition to soups and stews.  Production was great, once I figured out it was the birds eating them and covered the seedlings with screens.
The compost heap yielded a nice surprise---5 pounds of russets---must have been from some storebought last winter. I haven't grown russets in a few years. We prefer Yukons, but there are some nice sized bakers and the rest can go in stews.

I'm digging a few of the Yukons as needed, but haven't dug the majority. They're better off waiting in the ground until my cellar cools a bit.  I'll probably dig them in Late September.  Yields of what I have used are average (small).  The quality is the best I've ever had.....very hard and not a flaw on them.

Around the house, things are in full glorious bloom.  August and September are really the best months for my flowers. I need to do better early in the season. I'm always so envious of folks with loads of spring blooms.

 Who doesn't love sunflowers and some of the self sown ones are gorgeous this year.

Loving the Zinnias from Botanical Interests. What a show they've put on this year.
 First time growing Cosmos "Seashells".  I like the fluted petals and the blooms are quite large.

The sidewalk border .  Love the Zinnia Zahara line-they really stand up to the heat and drought.
I'll have harvest totals once I'm done with everything, and then the usual "What Worked, What Didn't" post and then that's it for the year. I can't believe how fast the summer has gone.
I've enjoyed all your posts --it's so satisfying to see such bounty in all your gardens.
Have a wonderful Holiday weekend.