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This season’s past, present and future

September 8, 2011

First, the past:

The 2011 Roma tomato harvest was at least as good as last year’s inaugural attempt. I think I had a total of 23 producing plants this year, mainly Roma VF but a good number of heirloom Martino’s Romas too. These are amazing; each plant produces as many as 85-100 of these little plum tomatoes. As a determinate variety, the Roma comes in one massive harvest over 3-4 weeks vs a couple of individual tomatoes a day for the better part of the season as with indeterminate varieties (like my big Brandywine vines).

Well, a few days ago I pulled the Romas and harvested anything that looked like it had even considered to ripen, so I had a couple of buckets to process this week.

So this was my last of the last bunch of Romas, now dehydrated and frozen as “sun dried”.

The present:

The loofah gourds really seemed to enjoy this week’s monsoon; all 56 I counted on the vines obviously gorged themselves on the 7 inches of rain and managed to double in size.

A couple of samples are below, with my standard nalgene 32 oz water bottle included for scale.



The future:

The fall plantings are taking off with the cooler temperatures and a steady supply of well water/ rain. The sugar snap peas appear to have germinated at close to 90% vs the 10-15% I experienced last year at this time. All the lettuce and kale I seeded has done well as has the chard (including a few volunteers). I have an abundance of the spicy wild rocket arugula coming up, both volunteer and manually seeded from the spring crop left to flower.

Looking south over the 16×4 “greens” bed, with some healthy young chard and bok choi in the foreground

And back north over the same bed:

I’m considering my makeshift “greenhouse” plans for the winter; I don’t know exactly what I will eventually do but you can count on more grand scale than last year. 😉

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mrs. Cohutt permalink
    September 9, 2011 7:40 am

    Grand scale? Uh oh.

  2. September 14, 2011 5:52 am

    You, sir, are an inspiration. BTW, are you retired or just especially hard-working? I guess that doesn’t really require an answer; I’m just wondering aloud how you, and how ALL gardeners, make time to actually garden. Your “greens” bed makes me salivate a little. I planted some arugula last year (or was it the year before?), and thoroughly enjoyed the peppery little leaves. As hubby and I work more green veggies into our diet (and pay exorbitant prices for them at the grocery), I am more determined to get more produce out of my little plot of land.
    And, congrats on the loofahs! I’ll plant some next season.

    • September 14, 2011 6:48 am

      Thank you.

      I have a while yet before retirement but have more time for this now that our children are college age and beyond.

      I generally don’t look at this as work; it is still “play”, a new adventure and a stress release for me. The benefits are substantial- healthier, more flavorful food, significant reduction in grocery bills, more “interesting” back yard (haha). I will probably settle down a bit in a year or two with a more planned & systematic year round planting schedule, but for now I am still expanding and experimenting. Some experiments work, some don’t, all are interesting.

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