Monday, 9 September 2013

The Harvest (round 2!) - end of the gardening season

So it's September!  It's now dark outside when I get up for work and there's a distinct chill in the air in the AM too.  So it's time for an (almost) last garden update now that we are officially in "harvest season".

Now I say "almost" last update because the only thing still growing and producing right now is the pumpkin plant.  I'm planning to leave my mini-pumpkins grow until the frost comes, so hopefully they'll have another good solid couple of weeks to a month to get some size on them.  The largest right now is probably about 5 inches in diameter.

Anyway, on with the harvest!

Lone zucchini
So my zucchini plant only produced this one lone zucchini so far.  Technically it could still do more but I don't think it will.  The zucchini plant spent the whole summer looking thoroughly unhappy and unhealthy.  And almost every time a new zucchini would form, it would turn yellow, then black.  I don't know if that was due to too much water or not enough heat or what the culprit is.  Usually you don't have to worry about zucchinis not growing, the problem is typically catching and picking them before they get ridiculously over-sized.  So not a great year for these but glad I at least got one.

Wee onions

Now these were technically supposed to be BULB onions.  They never really grew too well either, but I think their problem was that they were shaded by a larger plant.  I would give them a sunnier bit of real estate next year.  They grew OK but they are much more the size of pearl or pickling onions than a bulb.

Last of the lettuce

 So in the end the lettuce yield for this year was three large heads.  I'm not sure why only part of the row grew, but I think it might have been a similar case to the onions where shade was a factor. 

Obscene amounts of parsley

 One plant that was hugely productive this year was the parsley plant.  Thank god I only planted one.  It was a starter that I put right beside the back step in it's own little corner.  It did tremendously well, and along with having fresh parsley all summer, I had a huge amount for dehydrating.  A full dehydrator's worth gave me one of those little ziploc snack size bags of parsley.  Which is a lot, and will probably last me forever. 

More carrots

With one row of carrots planted, I ended up with three pullings of about this amount, which is two solid handfulls each.  Which is a pretty decent yield in my estimation.  Next year I would thin them out a bit more to increase their size (I don't use any plant foods or fertilizers or chemicals to try to achieve this, my garden is treated only with compost).


  One set of plants that really surprised me were the cucumbers.  I had given them up for dead when they were looking really sick in July, but four of the six came back and produced some cute little cukes for me.  They are small but incredibly tasty.

The letdown...

This is the entirety of the yield from my pepper plants.  On the left is the single bell pepper that was produced, and on the right are my two teensy jalapenos from my so-called "early" plant.  It was just really REALLY not a good year for peppers, they need significant stretches of hot weather to get the job done, and full-blown summer never really happened in Alberta this year.  So it's a bit disappointing that this is all that grew, but not really unexpected.

So that is the end of the season for my tiny little garden!  Overall, I would rate year one as a good experience despite the soggy and cool weather.  Hopefully next year we will have a bit better of a growing season and I'll be able to try a few more plants.

An update on the pumpkins will be forthcoming, stay tuned!

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