The Zucchini Stands Alone

This little Sebring Zucchini is one of only three that I was able to harvest this year.  


Last year I had more Zucchini then I could handle.  This year: nada.

Although  I am pretty sure that there was a bad case of Vine Worm Borer running around the garden, it just goes to show that even the most vigourous plants require attention to soil conditions and sunlight position.

That's the great thing about gardening.  Every year is a heap of new lessons learned, and new info to log away for future years.  Even though this growing season had it's share of frustrations, it was a good time for experimentation and trial and error.

And, on the plus side, that little zucchini was pretty tasty.


Frosty Morning

Looking out the kitchen window this morning I'm noticing that there is a very light layering of frost on the lawn.  I'll have to get out to the garden later today to evaluate the damage if any.

Things have been winding down recentley anyway, but I have still been holding on to hopes of a late summer zucchini and squash harvest.

We'll see...


Bugs, Blight & Bunnies

There have been some battles waging recently in the garden.  Of all the casualies thus far the tomatoes have been hit by far the worst.  All that rain I was so excited about back in the month of August has brought about some nasty consequences.  Namely a serious case of tomato blight.  

Apprently there is not always  just one factor that causes tomato blight, but constantly wet weather is a major piece of the puzzle.  This nasty looking rot started in just one plant and has worked it's way quickly down the row, plant to plant, like a bad case of the flu.  I've tried to stay on top of it by pruning the infected fruits out (and I have been able to salvage a few here and there) but for the most part this has thrown a serious wrench into my tomato-growing machinery.

Likewise I've had some problems with my winter squash (pumpkin and butternut).  The vines grow, the flowers bloom... and then before the squash sets in- the flowers just fall off.  At first I thought the blossoms were being nibbled by the local rabbit  population, so I put my portable rabbit-proof fencing around the beds.  No dice though.  The flowers kept disappearing.

Turns out the problem was not bunnies, but bugs.  There are tiny bugs that bore their way into squash vines (appropriately named Squash Vine Borers) where they lay eggs and wreak general havoc.  Plants can still look relatively healthy but, as I've found, the flowers do not fully develop.  The solution (say the books) is to bury the stem farther up from the affected area where the ought to put out new roots, causing much rejoicing all around.  

I'm not fully convinced, but I tried it anyway.  We'll see.

After all that depressing disease and pestilence talk I'll end this post with some cheery Sunflower pictures.  Because really, whats cheerier than a sunflower?


Seed Savers

I don't know how I missed the boat on these guys for so long, but the other day I stumbled upon the website run by the good people of "Seed Savers Exchange."  Their company's mission statement is, in their own words, as follows: 

Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. We are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

So bascially its some people who were so dedicated to not losing our country's old, regional, heirloom varities of vegetables (and fruits, herbs and flowers) that they rounded up these seeds from home gardners and now offer the seeds for sale on their website.

They've got great pictures and descriptions of all the different types.  Although in some cases the names alone would be enough to convince me.  After all, who could resist an Aunt Rubie's German Green Tomato, or a Sweet Mountain Yellow Watermelon?

I already ordered a full catalog from the website, and I am predicting now that I'll be recieving lots of seed packets from Seed Savers in early spring for next year's garden.