Winning and losing

This weekend was another hectic weekend spent gathered with family. Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely lunch out with my two moms at Our Daily Bread followed by a girls out, quick stop shopping tour (we don’t linger but go for what we are after…in out and on the road).

Sunday, I enjoyed another good lunch with momma Marge, then got to work on the garden before celebrating the kick off of the National Assisted Living week with a dinner with g-ma at Warm Hearth Village.

Though I miss the markets, it is a good thing to have this time available to try and catch up on chores in the garden.

Unfortunately, I call the battle for fall crops a draw…the weeds are still growing rampant despite the decreasing daylight lengths and slightly cooler temps. Win one for the weeds (they are the season winners). Also, the bugs are still finding my plants and are noshing on them. The good news is that my periodic checking under the row covers and squash-o-rama (organic pest control = bare handed brutality) of the beetles seems to be effective. It is probably true that if you had time each and every day to check every row/plant and squash bugs, that you could impact the populations. Still, I think the only reason it is effective at this time is because all that is out there are larvae. The adults are gone and what I currently am squashing are all larval stages. So, nothing to replace these guys at the moment. Win one for the farmer.

Between the harlequin bugs and the flea beetles, they did manage to destroy my red cabbage transplants (pictures will be taken soon). Win one for bugs. I replanted spare red cabbage transplants yesterday, in a different location. Some of my other cabbage plants look a bit rough, too.

The broccoli and Chinese cabbage is starting to take off. Win one for the farmer.

The kale seeds have germinated and with a little rain (WHAT? Did I just ask for rain), they should be quick to grow.

I got more spinach and the first seeds of arugulas (even star, rocket and dragon’s tongue) were planted. Yay!

We are still fighting for fall crops. I’ll take some photos soon to chronicle the battle. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be back at the markets in a couple of weeks.

Till then….I actually wouldn’t mind a little rain. For the first time this season….the garden is dry! Crazy.

Fall prep – a quick update

Final post for today – apparently, we are under a hazardous weather outlook with the chance of some thunderstorms and heavy rain for later today. That seems pretty typical for this summer’s weather happenings overall.

I just printed out some climatic data that I downloaded from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for the summer months. In Radford, May saw 4.47 inches of rain, June had 7.39 inches of rain, July had 7.85 inches of rain, and August has had 2.05 inches to date.

Soggy. It explains, too, why I will be pulling up the tomato plants (and burning them because of late blight) and cucumber plants (and burning them because of downy mildew and bacterial wilt) and why I am late with doing…anything and everything in the garden. I usually try to post pretty pictures on the blog, and that is a biased activity. Soon, I will be posting the bad and the ugly so y’all can see what we have been dealing with this weird, wet season. Aside from the fungal organisms, the insects and weeds have really enjoyed this summer. It isn’t possible to hand weed an acre garden. Big time fail there.

Anyway, on a more positive note. I did manage to get a few fall crops (transplants) planted yesterday morning before I went to work harvesting. In the ground are 3 varieties of broccoli and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. Still awaiting planting are the other cabbage plants, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. They will go in this weekend…rain or shine!

Fall transplants

Fall transplants


Fall prep

And, just another quick note….it may be hard to imagine, but fall plantings are being thought about. Yep. Three flats of broccoli and cabbages have already been seeded with more in the wings to do. Just arrived in the mail are seeds to try for the fall. Exciting, isn’t it?

Fall seeds

Fall seeds

Tuesday’s market

I have my harvests collected, cleaned and packed. We’ll be visiting Pulaski in a couple hours, bringing some beautiful savoy, red acre and early flat Dutch cabbages, a red Russian, curly and Toscano kale mix, a five lettuce leaf mix, broccoli florets, parsley, and a greens mix of purple pak choi, mustard tatsoi, Asian mustard, champion collards, and five color Swiss chard. See you soon!