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.

Friday, September 2, 2016

End of the Month Round Up--August

The Vegetable Garden Sept 1, 2016. Mostly empty now......

Well, August has come and gone in a flurry of harvesting. It was all about the Corn and Tomatoes and Zucchini and Potatoes and Onions. Pans full of goodness daily...so much so that we were able to share with our many neighbors.  I find that the most joyful part of gardening--being able to share the harvest.

The vegetable garden is just about done. I have just a few more ears of corn to harvest and of course--the Brandywine tomatoes and SunGold tomatoes.  The Brussels sprouts are tiny yet--I've never grown them before and don't know quite when they will be done.
There is also 4 more rows of Mokum carrots that will be harvested on an "as needed" basis-usually a pound or so every few days.
The broccoli has had 3 cuttings and there's another ready. I've been giving it away as I have plenty in the freezer to last all year. I'll pull it after tomorrow's cutting.

Even though they aren't done yet, the Green Peppers will be yanked this week. Even the neighbors won't take them anymore. Enough with it!!   The Kale--same thing.  Enough!

The freezer is stuffed.  I have ALL the broccoli, green beans, green peppers I need for the year.
I only have 5 pints of corn---there is no way I could grow as much as we would need, but my corn is
"saved" for SPECIAL occasions--holiday meals and birthdays, so that's ok too.

I did not freeze ANY berries this year.  I went so overboard last year, that I still have some to clean up.....namely peaches, applesauce, raspberries, and blueberries.

I also have in the garage ALL the onions, garlic, and potatoes we will need for the year. I actually gave away quite a bit--it was a banner year for potatoes, that's for sure!

I'll be back at the end of September with another update, then the Winners and Losers for the year.
Until then---have a great beginning of fall (hooray!!!!).
A  "Thank You" tray of goodies for Neighbors Ed and Carol for taking us to Muskegon August 13




Beautiful flowers behind my ugly deer fencing



The Phlox was finally able to bloom after the great Deer Munch-Off

Morning Glories enjoying the cool weather

The Sunflowers were crazy beautiful this year. This one had 25 (!!!) heads on it!

A Bowl of Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Mokum carrots and the first of the fall lettuce

Now--MY boring notes.  Go away!

August was MUCH warmer than normal--most days were mid 80's --a far cry from our normal high of mid 70's.  The hottest day was 90 degrees. The coldest night got down to 47 degrees.
There were 23 Sunny Days. We got 2.65 inches of rain--though most of that fell in one day.
There was also a LOT of humidity this month--something we typically don't have. Good for the corn
and tomatoes, but I'll be glad to see it go.


August 1  1 pound Patriots, 2 gallon ziploc of beans---Gave to neighbors
 
August 2  1 pound BluRays(ours!), 1 pound Patriots-neighbors, 2 gal. ziploc of beans-neighbors

               Onions flopped
               Potatoes starting to collapse
               HORNWORMS on Tomatoes        
               Garden extremely dry. Had to water. Ugh.

August 4  HOT-95 degrees, Still no rain. Gardens are in desperate need of water.  I water the main                      things, but am letting the green beans go.  We're not using any more, they are just about
                  done anyway.
               2 pounds Blueberries, 2 zucchini, 1 pound Mokums,
               Don picked another 2 gallon bag of beans for various neighbors

August 5   PULLED RED ONIONS
                PULLED GREEN BEANS
                1 pound Chandlers--very tart this year--they are early, that might be why so tart??
             
August 6   Watered and watered and watered some more. DRY as toast out there. The lawn is
                 crunchy , and everything is in poor shape.
                Zucchini started back up again.  BluRays and Patriots still going strong. Chandler
                  blueberries are turning but are so sour this year that no one wants to eat them.   ???

August 7   Crookneck squash, zucchini, BluRays,1 pound  Mokum carrots.
                Celery is looking FANTASTIC,  dug three of the stray potatoes--5 pounds Yukons
                First sowing of corn is getting close to being ready. Hooray!
                PULLED COPRAS

August 8   3 pounds CHANDLER blueberries--though not the first batch, it is the first sweet
             
August 9   1 pound Mokum carrots, 2 Zukes, 1 crookneck
                 Matt's Wild Cherry, SunGold tomatoes continue in dribbles
                 90 degree temps, still no rain.

August 10  Picked the LAST OF THE BLURAYS--2 pounds.  A sad day indeed.
                 2 zucchini , pound of mokum carrots
                 90 degrees and still sunny. Lawn completely dead, trees look terrible, birch shedding
                   leaves

August 11  Sunny, 90 degrees
                 Wild turkeys sitting under our trees--wings held out trying to stay cool.
                 2 crookneck, 2 zucchini, 1 pound Mokums, lots o' cherry tomatoes--Sungold and
                   Matt's Wild Cherry.    Corn getting very close now. Raccoon trap baited, just in case.

August 12   RAIN--1/10th inch  What good is that after all this time?
                  Zucchini x 2 , 1 pound Mokums, 1 pound blueberries
                  BLACKBIRDS FLOCKING UP???  Had HUNDREDS in the yard this morning.
                  Moments after they left--dozens of Robins

August 13  RAIN 4/10th inch
                 Played hooky-Went to Muskegon with neighbors

August 14  Dug first bed of Yukon Golds.  Very nice. 35 pounds
                 Came out to the garden to find a raccoon in the live trap.
                 Best indicator the corn is ready and he was right!!!
                 3 pounds Chandler Blueberries

August 15  CORN !!!!!!!   9 ears. Picture perfect. No corn worms this year-thank goodness!
               

               Also picked 1 pound Mokums, second bed Yukon Gold potatoes-30 Pounds, 2 gallons                           Broccoli side shoots, 1 green pepper, kohlrabi, and of course zucchini

August 16  1 pound Patriots, 1 pound Mokums, 1 pound mixed cherry toms (SunGold and Matt's)

August 17  RAIN  1.25 inches (all in about an hour. WOW)
                 Corn 6 ears, ACORN SQUASH-1--had to throw away, had something boring in it, 1                            pound SunGold toms, 1 doz Copra onions from the "extra" bed to give to Carol, zucchini

August 18  PUMPKINS--10 nice ones-each about 8-10 pounds,  Pulled vines, Manured area
               
           
                  2 pounds Patriot blueberries, 2 pounds carrots, 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi
                 Gave Carol and Jackie large trays of blueberries,carrots,cherry tomatoes, potatoes, onions
               
August 20  Corn-16 ears--this FINISHED CORN PATCH #1
                 Patriot blueberries 2 pounds
                 Dug third bed Yukons.  Had a rodent chew up quite a few of the potatoes. 25 pounds
       
August 21  Picked early before leaving for Indiana--I'm taking a box of vegetables for Susan
                   TONS of Kale, yellow crooknecks, 3 green peppers, 3 pounds potatoes, onions

August 21 and 22  Trip to Indiana to bid Lorna a fond farewell and wish her the best as she embarks
                           on her new life in southern Indiana.  What great fun we had. I shall certainly
                            miss her gentle kindness. At least I can still pick on Susan!!    :D
             
Sweet and petite Susan (L), Lorna, and Me-the Jolly Giant at 5 foot, 6"
August 23  Came home to lots and lots of picking--including--TA DA----1st BRANDYWINE!
August 23  First of the Brandywines!!!!!  
                 Also got a 2 gallon sack o'broccoli, 2 yellow crookneck, 2 pounds Patriot blueberries
                   and a quart of SunGold tomatoes.

August 24  1 quart SunGold tomatoes, 1 pound Mokum carrots, 4 crookneck squash. 6 ears corn
                   from Patch #2

August 25  1 Qt SunGold tomatoes, 1 pound Patriot blueberries, 1 pound Mokum carrots, 1 Celery

August 26  1 Brandywine tomato, 6 ears Corn--Patch #2
               

August 27  1 pound Patriot blueberries, 3 green peppers, carrots , crookneck squash (4) , 1 qt cherry
                   tomatoes

August 28  6 ears corn from Patch #2,  3 pounds "stray" potatoes, 2 gallon sack o' broccoli shoots
                Took a tray of Tomatoes, Peppers, and crookneck squash to the neighbors

August 30    Moikum carrots,  first of the fall lettuce, Corn-6 ears for supper

August 31   Dug rest of German Butterball potatoes 10 pounds
                  Pulled Crookneck Squash
                  Gave all the tomatoes a severe cutting back--we only have 2 weeks left before frost
                  Got a load of old straw from Nancy---will put on this years Tomato Patch when empty
                  Put the good pieces of Agribon into garage for the winter, the rest (torn) gets burnt

I've started dumping pots of flowers--and this coming week I need to start bringing in the geraniums for the winter. It's starting to hit the 40's at night.  Houseplants will also come back inside.




54 comments:

  1. Hello Sue, you have me wishing I was one of your neighbors. What a great harvest. The tomatoes, carrots and corn would be some of my favorites. Your flowers look beautiful, I love sunflowers. Happy month of September!

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    1. Hi Eileen--I wish we were neighbors too!--I'd love to go out hiking and birding!!! Enjoy the month-should be a fine one!
      :)

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  2. Holy cow - you've had a BUSY month! And gotta say - lucky, lucky neighbors...I didn't even get enough snap beans to freeze this year, much less give away in gallon bags. And enough kale and peppers? Say what??

    I just had to throw away a winter squash too - the "critter" that attacked mine was my husband with the riding mower AFTER I told him NOT to go on the hill. I only had 3 squash on the straw bale plants to begin with and one is a baby so who knows if it will mature in time - argh!

    This summer has been so incredibly busy (and HOT!!!) and I'm looking forward to fall much more than usual. Congratulations on your amazing season - it certainly was a stellar year for you!

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    1. Hi Margaret--hot is right! Ugh! But, it was good for the garden, so maybe we'll let it slide.

      Ha-you made me laugh with "Your critter". Oh, those husbands. If only they knew just how close they get sometimes to being in trouble!
      And if you want Kale, PLEASE come get some. My gosh. I'd send you home with BAGS.
      Have a great weekend!

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  3. Very nice pics and nice narrative to go with them - looks like you did really well this year. Wish I had all that space- but then I'd just go overboard and get myself in trouble.

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    1. Hi John-that kind of "getting into trouble" is always ok. As a matter of fact, gardening might just keep us all OUT of trouble-LOL!
      Have a great weekend in the woods.

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  4. Well it sounds like you had an unbelievably good harvest this year…that is terrific. It will be so nice enjoying the bounty from your labor of love for many months to come.

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    1. Hi Karen-so nice to hear from you. I'm afraid THIS is the year we will always be comparing the garden to--the one we'll never be able to match again. Ah well, such is life. Hope you are having a great time in your new digs. Take care and thanks for stopping

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  5. Everything is so beautiful and lucky you to freeze so many veggies and still share. Because of moving will have to wait till next year to do some of this! You are a great gardener!! Nancy

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    1. Good Morning, Nancy--I know this year must be so hard on you with the BIG move-but how very exciting for you guys. It's gonna be great to have a place built JUST for you. Looking forward to an update. Thanks for the visit.
      :)

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  6. I wish I was your neighbor too! I like your deer fencing, haha. Is it panels or tensile rolled? Your sunflowers are AMAZING!! I am in awe of your garden. I lost quite a few tomatoes to a) rabbits, b)birds c) my densely overgrown garden and I couldn't find them. We didn't grown beans, corn or potatoes this year. All my cucurbits are finished. We are salvaging tomatoes and peppers, then it is time to rip it all out! Yay for almost Autumn :)

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    1. Hi Tonya-the ugly fencing around the flowers is just those hog panels. Ugh. But in my imagination---lovely wrought iron. I'm like you--I'm always SO GLAD when it's time to rip stuff out. I'm JUST about done. YES!
      :D

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  7. Sue, yes, this has been a stellar garden year for sure. I've been putting the excess tomatoes on a makeshift vegetable stand by the road in front of my garden with a free sign on it. Everything just disappears over night. It's my way of giving back to the neighborhood for letting me invade their area. Every thing is just about spent here and the task of Fall cleanup has begun.

    The temps here are starting to dip into the 50s at night with 70s during the days. We have one more week ahead of 90s and then I'm hoping that will be the end of those. It's been a hot humid summer here in Nebraska. June was dry but July and August were above the average in rainfall. I didn't have to water once during those months.

    I really must incorporate more flowers into my gardening. Yours look so fantastic. Your garden is gorgeous and not like my weedy one. Some day maybe I can reach your level of gardening.

    Have a great day in the garden.

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    1. Hi David--so great that you didn't have to water much this year. It's a problem when you have high temps, isn't it?
      I think adding flowers is such a great idea---it brings in lots of pollinators and some flowers even attract the pests away from the food---which really is a nice bonus!
      Hope you have a terrific fall. Take care and thanks for the visit
      :)

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  8. We are hoping our first cob or sweetcorn will be ready soon. It's going to be a poor pepper year for us so send some our way. Brussels sprouts are a winter crop here.

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    1. Hi Sue-good luck with your sweet corn. It was a great year here because of all the heat.
      Brussels sprouts are a winter crop here as well, but our winter comes REALLY early.

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  9. Holy harvest! How gratifying to be able to put up enough food to last through the year. I hope to get there someday.
    Your garden is so inspiring. Maybe once we move, you can take a side trip to NC and help me set it up?! I have a similar design in mind. Your flowers are the cherry on top!
    Enjoy your cooler weather. Even the 70's seems like relief to me. ;0D

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    1. Daisy-Hello! I can't wait to see how you set your garden up. Always neat to swap ideas with people. I just love seeing other's gardens and gather (pun INtended!) new ideas. I imagine you'll do a fantastic job--pollinator flowers included!
      We're up for another couple of very warm days again. Shoot. I thought we were finally DONE with the heat! Have a great holiday weekend.

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  10. What a great harvest blessing you have, Sue!To be able to feed the neighbourhood is a great privilege:) I always look forward to your garden update...because you share lots of beautiful garden dreams for me to dream of:)
    We grow a lot of Brussel Sprouts or should I say...they just like to grow themselves. They are supposed to be like little round cabbages but mine never comes that way...it's either I missed the harvest date to the minute or what??! Ours just blooms open - everyone of them...but we still harvest and eat them that way!
    BTW, you look kind and joyful ...it's nice to see you in photo:)

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    1. Annie-thank you so much for your very kind words.

      That's interesting about your Brussels Sprouts. Mine have started forming the little cabbages and I'm so excited to try them. I hear they're best after a frost, which won't be long for us---perhaps a few weeks at most.
      Have a wonderful week, Annie

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  11. Holy crap. What a haul this year for you in spite of the challenges of weather and critters. All your hard work sure paid off, in spades! Your gardens are so organized and efficient. And, trust me, no one is looking at your deer fence when they check out your flowers around the house. Yowzah! And if we were nabes, I'd take off some of those giveaways and throw cukes bombs back atcha right and left. I do envy your corn stash. Nothing tastes better than homegrown. Hope you are enjoying this cool-down. It's bliss after all the heat and humidity.

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    1. Hi Kris
      Cuke bombs? Ha--good one. And I'd take 2 from ya, but that's about my limit on cukes, unless of course you make me a cucumber salad.....
      :D
      The corn is now done....but it "lives on" in the freezer. Thanksgiving and Christmas and Don's Birthday dinner. Can't wait. What time can you come?
      :)

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  12. Beautiful flowers and photos, Sue, and your vegetables look absolutely scrumptious! :)

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    1. Linda, thank you so much! I appreciate the visit. Hope you're having a good holiday.

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  13. Hi Sue, I sure love your garden, and the way you keep track of your harvests on your blog! I had to laugh about you pulling up your peppers. I keep harvesting mine, and forgetting to cut them up to freeze. I had a huge cucumber harvest this year, due to planting some in the back yard next to our deck, away from the neighbors' locust tree that has sent runners up all over the official vegetable garden. I was a little sad when the plants got diseased and died last week. If you haven't pulled out the kale yet, think about leaving some over the winter. Mine last several seasons here in SE Nebraska. Thanks for your nice comment on my WW post. Yes, the summer has flown by. It has been so hot here, that I am about ready to be OK with fall and winter coming, and a new start next year, with no garden tours to prepare for. (We were on a couple tours, and I did things differently, so that the place I garden across the street got a bit neglected.)

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    1. Hi Sue-so good to hear from you. I had to pull those plants. My freezer is stuffed with peppers and the neighbors no longer answer the door!! Thanks for the advice about the Kale--I will try that! That would be a fine start to the spring. Happy Fall, Sue

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  14. The veggies look so good! My eyes popped out of my head at the sight of them! Beautiful ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Summer-thank you so much. Hope you're having a great weekend!
      :)

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  15. I'm really coming late to the party! What I want to know is how come your veggie garden and flowers look so darn good this time of year? My garden looks like it's on death's door and would just as soon keel over and die.

    I'm going to have to pull my pepper plants, too. (After last year and all my plants dying, one by one, I never thought I'd say that.) But I have plenty of stuffed peppers in the freezer and will make a big bag of chopped up ones to use over winter and that's all I need.

    Don't know about anybody else but I love reading your "private" notes as much as your regular posting. You certainly are organized.

    And, boy howdy, do you have short friends! ;o)

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    1. Hi Mama Pea--yep, short and sweet friends are the best!
      I pulled a ton more tomatoes and stuff today. It all looked horrible. The beds are now mostly empty and I'm soooooooo glad it's done for the year. But, I know us and you (and I ) are probably already planning how NEXT YEAR will be even better!!

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  16. What an incredible harvest. You have no idea how envious I am of your success in the vegetable garden. I do remember I had success when we lived in Canada but I'm afraid, despite the year round growing climate, Texas is a bust for me. Still I plod on. And your flower gardens are gorgeous too. Do you not have any bugs and diseases where you live?

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    1. Rock Rose-thank you so much for your kind words. Yes-we have every kind of beetle know to mankind (cucumber,colorado potato,etc.), but many seem more attracted to my flowers than the vegetables...and I spend a lot of time with my cup of coffee in the morning "picking bugs". Ugh.
      Hope you have a cool and refreshing fall. I think we're all looking forward to a break from the heat.

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  17. I can't believe how FAST everything comes and is finished in your garden. Fantastic you managed to grow all those staples for the whole year. Don't you ever plant cover crops? later today I will go to the small bed that housed my cabbages and put in some broad beans. They are so hardy, and the root mass will help to keep nutrients in the soil even after they get done in. The potato beds will get fall rye. It's been cold and wet here and that suits me fine, the drought was scary.

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    1. len-It is pretty quick growing here-I think the endless days help.
      I've never used a cover crop. Every year the beds get topped--depending on what rotatioin it's in--with either straw, leaves and grass clippings, or manure. I never turn my soil-just keep piling stuff on top.
      I wish you'd send some cold weather!---they keep postponing our cool-off . I'm sick of the heat and humidity.
      Have a terrific September
      :)

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  18. Loving your raised beds, husband does the same but less variety. I'm the other half of what gardens we have, my interest are mostly flowers and now redoing my neglected garden beds. It's been too hot here to get much done but still find a a few less hot days here there to get needed work done. Enjoy the coming season.

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    1. Hi Patsi-Thanks so much for stopping and commenting. Hope you have a wonderful Autumn
      :)

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  19. Gosh, your garden looks amazing! How wonderful to have a freezer full of things you've grown.
    I swept up all the bark between my raised beds and am thinking of trying sand as you have done. Any words of advice?

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    1. I have sand because that's what was there-it works well for me--makes it easy to weed, but sand is TERRIBLE when it's wet out--sticks to your shoes....a big mess.
      I hope you find something that works for you. There are a lot of options.
      Good luck!
      :)

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  20. Sue I'm coming to live in your garden, it just always looks amazing! I'd like to tell you I don't eat much and won't take up much room but I'm afraid neither of those statements is true :(

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    1. Hi Tricky Wolf---well, if you eat potatoes, that's ok--I've got TONS of that.
      Thanks for the visit. Hope all is well in your new adventure!

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  21. Sue, what a boundless energy and enthusiasm you have fending off the heat, drought and humidity and canning, freezing, sharing the bounty of your gorgeous garden! I'm in awe!!

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    1. Karen-thank you. Now if I could just grow a spectacular flower garden--like SOMEONE I know............
      This has been a tough summer, hasn't it? Let's hope next summer is a tad cooler!
      :)

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  22. Amazing harvest. Not many people could came to be self sufficient from their garden but I'd say you're their, I'm a long way off yet!

    With your Brussel sprouts you don't normally harvest them until it becomes a lot colder. Between November and February I'd say.

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    1. Hi Kev-thanks for the advice on the Sprouts. I am REALLY looking forward to those, as here in the states, organic ones cost so much that it's a once or twice a year TREAT. Hopefully mine will come through fine. They're looking pretty good so far.......we'll see if the worms got in there or not.
      Have a great week

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  23. I loved and grew Brussels Spouts. They are to be pick after the first heavy frost... Yum!

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    1. TB-Hello! I hope I can wait that long--they're sizing up nicely. Hope you and the Missus are having a fine start to Fall!

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  24. I've been away so I'm just now seeing this. I really like the way you garden and I greatly enjoy these updates/reports! I'm glad to see you had such a productive summer. And I chuckled when I read that catching a raccoon was the best indication that the corn was ready. :) Glad you got some. All of ours was raccoon food this year.

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    1. Hi Bill-Thanks for the visit. Sorry if you've been posting and I haven't seen it. I'm "gone" now as well. Will catch up shortly. Sorry about your corn. It's the highlight of summer......

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  25. Love seeing that you have put away all you need for the next year. Some great harvests in that list. Always love your "overhead" garden photo. Those are some beautiful flowers. The perfect pretty deer fence will come to you in a moment of inspiration. I have hope! No fair posting great photos in the middle of the "boring" notes. We've actually hit the lower 30s a few times. Nothing frosted enough to stop it yet. I'm draining rain barrels and putting the garden to bed too. Gonna try to hang onto the containers as long as possible on the patio.

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    1. GonSS-Thank you so much for the visit--I hope you're right about the deer fencing. The one I have is sooooo ugly. Believe me-I'm straining to think of an alternative!
      Those end of season garden chores seem to keep us as busy as when the garden was in "full swing", don't they? Have a great fall!

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  26. I like to find a decent amount of quiet time to go through your posts-notes and all and can't believe it has taken me this long to get to it. I'm lucky, I can leave my root vegetables in the ground all winter with a blanket of straw. If I had to store not sure how it would go because high humidity all winter. I'm trying to imagine the amount of work you must have put in to end up with your wonderful harvest. Well done!

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    1. Hi Susan--I wish I could get by with leaving things out under straw--but that would be a LOT of digging in the snow-LOL!
      The amount of work goes down every year. The garden is pretty maintenance free now--hardly any weeds anymore......planting and harvesting are just my idea of fun.
      Have a wonderful fall

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  27. you have such a beautiful garden indeed, sue! Love to see all growing well in your place..

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  28. My all time favorite tomatoes, carrots and corn. Love these!

    Regards
    Amit | Mobile Repairing

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