July 25, 2016

Harvest Monday, 7/24/16

It's been a hot year and I'm starting to look forward to fall and winter. We had such a mild winter last year, I wonder what this year will bring.
Tomatoes are coming in but the squirrels have discovered and are getting tons of them. They've been tearing the fruit off the vines or just eating them where they hang. What I thought were peck marks from birds, turns out they're claw marks from squirrels.
Cherry tomatoes are really nice to have around, they're great in omelets or just to pop in the mouth.
Combined the bush beans and pole beans are producing terribly this year, but at least they are starting to produce more. I'll probably be pulling them to make room for a fall planting of peas eventually.
Cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash still coming in steady amounts. Squash bugs have invaded, so every couple of days I go out with duct tape to collect eggs and the occasional nymph and adult squash bug. After being hit by vine borers, the plants just aren't producing many squashes, plus there are cucumber beetles everywhere.
Three small ripe melons and a summer squash. The Ginkaku melons keep making melons, I counted eight still on the vines. Squirrels have been digging in the bed, killing one of the four plants.

I also picked a more ripe melon that isn't pictured to see how it would taste, very sweet and still crispy but starting to get a bit mealy. We much prefer them crispier with their sweet citrusy kind of honeydew flavor.
I picked a few tomatoes on Sunday that were just starting to ripen, to beat the squirrels. You can see the puncture marks from their claws on the Black Brandywine from when they got a couple of the other fruits. I'll probably go back to using fencing as supports for the tomatoes next year.

The loofah plants have started taking over the whole row of trellises but not a single bloom has yet to form, which makes me think their blossoming is dependent on day length. The winter squash and wax melons have just started vining, hopefully there's enough time left for some fruit to set. And the first Jimmy Nardello peppers are just starting to ripen, which I'm very excited to try.

Please join us at Harvest Monday, a place where gardeners and vegetable enthusiasts share their love of growing things.

Harvested this week:
10.632 lbs. tomatoes
3.932 lbs. melon
2.336 lbs. zucchini
2.000 lbs. cucumber
1.158 lbs. green beans
0.536 lbs. yellow summer squash
0.402 lbs. eggplant

weekly total: 20.996 pounds


David Velten said...

Good summertime harvest, a little of everything. Your tomatoes are beautiful. Too bad about the squirrels, they are tough to deal with since they can climb anything and chew through plastic fencing.

Julie said...

All your tomatoes look delicious! Good luck with your squirrel battles, they can be such a pain along with vine borers and squash bugs and so many other things! Those Ginkaku melons look interesting- I've never seen them before. That's a smart idea to use duct tape to get squash bug eggs. I usually just pick them off, but that sounds much more efficient. Although I did see fire ants running off with squash bug eggs, which I hate getting stung by fire ants, but if they'll kill squash bugs I might not dislike them as much!

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Those are lovely tomatoes! I'm glad the squirrels are leaving some for you. The squash bugs have been bad here, and several of my zucchini are gone. I think the heat is hurting the summer squash too. Looks like you are getting a nice selection of them despite the bugs and the heat.

Sue Garrett said...

We only really felt that summer has arrived last week which was our first spell of hot sunny weather. Ripe tomatoes are still some way on the future.

Margaret said...

Lovely harvests in spite of your squirrel issues. Loving all of the different tomatoes! It's so strange how critters that are a real pest in one area are merely a bit of an inconvenience in others. Squirrels don't really bother the crops around here, although they did dig around in some of my beds over the spring. Rabbits, however, are a whole other story - many a garden has gone from feast to famine overnight because of them.

Susie said...

Oh, so many goodies! And such a great variety of tomatoes. I actually had NO idea squirrels ate tomatoes, they tend not to in this area.

Phuong said...

Hi David,
The red and black tomatoes have been so good on BLT's, I love how the varieties taste so different from each other. The big Golden King of Siberia tasted like a melon with none of the acid profile that you expect in a tomato, so interesting.

It's terrible the drought you've been having, I hope it gets better soon.

Phuong said...

Hi Julie,
I've never done well with melons before, the problem was definitely overplanting. But now it feels like a whole horizon full of melons has opened up.

The duct tape is really helping me keep up with the squash bugs, I don't feel totally overrun by them unlike previous years.

Phuong said...

Hi Dave,
It's crazy the amount of pests gardeners have to contend with. I guess that's why we plant so many varieties of squashes. I'm growing a couple different zucchinis, but the giant zucchini plant is Striato d' Italia, which has put down roots all along it's main stem and some of the leaf stems. That really long zucchini was harvested from that plant.

Phuong said...

Hi Sue,
It's good the sun is finally visiting your garden. Tomatoes really seem to need lots and lots of sunshine before they'll ripen.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
Rabbits can do huge damage to seedlings. There was a rabbit living in our garden one year but it was after the garden was established, plus it was the best year I've ever had as a gardener. We're actually still eating delicious salsa from that year.

Phuong said...

Hi Susie,
Our neighbor actually warned me last year about the squirrels in this area. She said they ate every single one of her tomatoes the year before, and she hasn't tried growing tomatoes since.

norma chang said...

Wild life is a major challenge for gardeners. I don't mind sharing with them if only they will finish what they started and not take a bite out of every mature item in sight.

Phuong said...

Hi Norma,
That's for sure. And they can be so destructive with seedlings.