My garden is still producing!
The tomato bed looks pretty bad these days. The plants have grown up, over and out of control. Some got so heavy they snapped their stakes, most I just left the way they were and pick the tomatoes out in a vegetal game of hide-and-seek. The Caspian Pink on the end has surprised me by producing the best and largest tomatoes all season long. I'm definitely planting another next year.
I probably won't put 17 in a bed all together again, though. And I definitely won't try and stuff an additional 12 bell peppers in the same bed, either. Maybe just twelve tomato plants in a 5' x 12' bed...six on each side? Hmm....
This late in the season, while my green beans and basil are just about done, the winter squash are all coming into their own.
The acorn squash had a disappointing output, but I suspect that may have had something to do with having to compete with buttercup, spaghetti and pumpkin squash all in the same bed. I probably won't do this again next year. I make no promises, though. Those acorn squash need to buck up!
The bees are still out and about, happily fertilizing everything that is still flowering, even if it's a fruitless endeavor (Hah! Gardening puns!). They worked really hard this year: let's give them all a round of applause! Yay bees!
The buttercup squash went crazy at the end of the bed and threw vines up and over the edge, raced around in the grass and are looking for other yards to explore.
There's just something so amazing about plants that go completely nuts and try to take over your yard and produce food for you at the same time. The thrill I get from watching them grow from seed is hard to explain. One small or large seed, a bit of soil, a lot of water, sun and time and in the end: food! We haven't bought any vegetables outside of garlic and onions this entire summer and it's been delicious!
Speaking of which: butternut squash, anyone?
Considering that I had planted these a couple of weeks after everything else, the butternut squash was a resounding success. I made a butternut squash soup that was fan-TAS-tic! I'll give you the recipe on that one in a separate post.
Considering that I'd never grown any winter squashes before the Growing Challenge, they were really easy, prolific and tasty. I'd definitely recommend adding some to your garden next year, if you like them. I've got plans for lots of different recipes for them and have been watching to see which ones Caitlin likes best. So far, she's decided to be picky and not like any of the squash. Good thing for her there are still a few green beans left!
On the other hand, the twins? They love all of the different squash I've offered them. Emma loved the soup and the spaghetti squash dinner, Logan loved the mashed buttercup and both went crazy for the crookneck and zucchini.
By the way, I found a pair that were hiding.
It was an unexpected find, too. I had thought they'd stopped producing, but perhaps they were just on a short hiatus? Now, if they can survive the next few nights outside, the temperature is supposed to bounce back up again.
Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from stripping it, almost bare on Thursday. I couldn't stand the thought of losing any of it to a sudden unpredicted frost. The weather is so funny in Colorado that even when looking at the daily predictions, you never know when it may abruptly drop even lower or shoot higher.
Here's what I got for my last minute panic harvest:
That pile? That's 76.65 pounds of squash you're looking at there.
I haven't even added up the tomatoes and tomatillos yet.
Oh and don't forget the last of the peppers.
Wow. It was a great year.
Updated to add: That was 23 lbs of tomatoes and tomatillos. Woo!