Things, they are a changing in the garden!
This week I harvested our entire crop of potatoes. See the picture below. It was not the large basket full of potatoes I hoped for. But it will provide us with maybe 4 meals of potatoes so that’s good. Once the plants above the ground died off you’re supposed to wait two to three weeks and then dig them up. I did that and didn’t get the big crop of larger potatoes I wanted. There is no peaking under the soil to see what’s going on so they all got dug up and that’s that! If anyone reading this knows I did something drastically wrong, please let me know!
I cooked all of the really small ones and made homemade mashed potatoes for dinner. It was accompanied by pork chops cooked in a sauce in the crockpot. Also smothered okra from the garden. For those who don’t know. Smothered okra is ground meat, onions (etc.) and cooked okra. One of Roy’s mother’s recipe that he loves!
I chose four of these potatoes to be our seed potatoes for the next crop. I’ve read about planting potatoes in sand and pine straw. Once the seed potatoes sprout we’ll be trying out that option of potato growing down in the sandy soil by the pond. I’ve been raking up pine straw by the pond getting ready for that next experiment with growing potatoes.
These are the chopped okra that I made the smothered okra with. This was two days’ worth of picked okra. Okra growing is neat because every two to three days each okra plant has an okra pod ready to pick. Once you see them start, within four days they are ready to pick!
The whole garden has gone through a thinning out process. Removing the small, crowding plants to make room for expansion of the healthier remaining plants. This is what it looks like now.
The 20 original tomato bushes have grown tall with many branches. They all had to be tied up which makes the plants look scrawny which in a way they are. These have been the scrawniest, lots of branches and tallest tomato plants ever. They have produced a tremendous amount of cherry tomatoes and a reasonable amount of large tomatoes. Once Roy added lime to the soil the “blossom rot” stopped. For a while, I picked the larger tomatoes when they first started turning so the “blossom rot” wouldn’t take hold. Now I don’t have to pick until they are completely ripe without any “blossom rot”!!! It looks like the tomato bushes are stopping their production and when they do that we will pull them up. We will then refresh the nutrients in those two rows and plant cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts that we are now growing from seed. You may remember we tried to grow broccoli and cauliflower this spring and it got so infested with bugs that we pulled them up. We are hopeful that this fall crop will be different. We will be checking them very often to make sure that doesn’t happen. They will also be planted farther apart which we hope helps! We have Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower seeds planted in individual cups and under the grow lights right now. It will take them around a month to get ready for transplanting outside which should work well with when the tomatoes plants look like they will be ready to come out. When I checked these today several of the brussels sprouts and broccoli have sprouted!
All of the potatoes were dug up and we’ll plant the next potato crop down by the pond so the first row in the garden was open! Instead of growing tomatoes from seed, this time we purchased 7 small Creole Tomato bushes and Roy proceeded to get them planted for our Fall tomato crop. For the spring crop next year, we purchased Creole Tomato seeds and will get those seeds planted early in 2020.
One of the changes in the garden is that all of the original corn stalks have produced all they were going to and the stalks began dying like they were supposed to. I pulled them all up and a few days later planted few new Kandy Korn corn seeds we got from the Feed and Seed in Hammond. They have all sprouted and some are almost a foot high already. The seeds were not all planted at the same time which explains the difference in corn stalk height.
The bell pepper plants have been thinned out. Those plants not having any blooms or new bell peppers were pulled up giving more space for the remaining ones to expand. Each remaining plant has multiple tiny to medium size bell peppers growing! Six bell peppers were ready to be picked this morning!
These are all of the bell peppers that were blanched and have been frozen today to be stuffed later and enjoyed!. Yes, that is a red bell pepper in the pot. After it was picked it turned red which is something they do sometimes!
The artichoke plant is still growing but no artichoke yet!
The okra plants are doing really well. They were thinned out last week like the bell peppers and original tomatoe plants were. The gardenhad gotten so congested that I couldn’t make it through each row to pick or maintain the vegetables. Every 2 to 4 days an okra pod is ready to pick on each plant.
This is an eggplant plant which is one of the plants very congested. There were not any that should be pulled up but I was able to prune lots of lower leaves which helped. The lavender flowers may be hard to see on all of the plants but they are all over the plants. Those flowers are potential eggplants which means their second crop is in the making. One of the several actual eggplants on the bushes.
All of the sweet potato blooms were cut off and a lot of the vine cut back. This was done in preparation for the vine to die down. The sweet potatoes are getting ready to be dug up. The original vine was so thick and tall that it wasn’t allowing the sun to get to the other vegetables growing next to it. After trimming this back I could see a couple of nice sweet potatoes showing through the soil!!!
This was our harvest this morning. Beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, bell pepper and some of our yellow onions. The yellow onions were not as big as they could be but the sprouts out of the ground had fallen over which is supposed to mean they are ready. They were not ready but they did have the yellow paper like skin on them before I cleaned them. Even though they are small I will chop them up to use in cooking soon! There are several more yellow onions still planted.
Our fig trees are full of figs but they haven’t started turning brownish purple which means they are ripe. One is turning a tiny bit and we are hoping for the rest to ripen soon. A dear friend of ours let us go over to her house where her figs are plentiful and lots were ready to pick. Thank you, Donna and Chuck, for sharing those little gems of deliciousness with us!
Thanks for following our efforts to grow some vegetables. We’re changing now to the Fall Crop time so this is an ongoing Chauvin Produce Company garden.
Oh, and we had Hurricane Barry come through here as I wrote this. We are happy that it didn’t turn out to be much of a storm for us. Other areas including New Orleans flooded. Homes and vehicles were lost in other parts of Louisiana and in Mississippi but we’re fine. Thanks to those who checked on us!