Harvest TIme

16. September 2021 18:38

The corn in the photo is a partial harvest from two 4' by 8' raised beds. These grew from seeds left over from last year. But last year the corn stalks grew only 4 to 5 feet tall and they produced few and small ears. This year the plants are 6 to 8 feet tall with plenty of large (grocery store sized) ears. It is a pleasant surprise. I wish I understood the reason and can duplicate in in future years.

This year's garden is very different from that of the past few years. First, it got off to a later than usual start as we were making some changes to the fence line and adding some additional raised boxes. The weather this summer has been consistently cool. Gray, drippy mornings with sun breaking through around 10 or later and the fog rolling back in the evenings. The only hot spell was less than two days. Ground squirrels invaded and wiped out multiple attempts at squash, peas, beans and several other crops. But we have had good luck with tomatoes and corn -- although those are ripening later than usual due to the late start.  The stone fruit was sparse -- few blooms in the spring and the bushy tail critters also attacked much of that. However the pears have been bountiful and it appears apples will be likewise.

The tomato plants have grown much bigger this year than last year, I have been running a sort of trial to find varieties that do well in our climate. The previous best tomato is one Burpee stopped offering, so plants from 2016 seeds are competing against two Oregon university developed varieties and two new options from Park's seeds. Thus now that the plants are producing, we have way too many tomatoes for our needs. At this point, it looks like one of the new Park's varieties is going to be the winner. Next year, I will plant only two or three tomatoes plants instead of twice that.

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