Monday, October 6, 2014

Harvest Monday 6 October 2014

Last week I started the garden clean up process. I decided time to pull the bush beans because I need that bed for planting garlic. Turns out the beans are not ready to give up just yet. The Provider beans were kaput but I got a good picking from Jade which provided a meal for us that night. In addition I got an even bigger pile from the pole beans. The Musica beans were still cranking, although the cold nights are finally shutting them down. I got a few more Gold Marie beans but they are now finished and many of the pods have been damaged by some pest feeding on them. Surprisingly, the Violetto beans are putting on growth and flowering for a third time. If I just had a longer growing season, they would be a very productive bean.

 

Beans

 

I am puzzled by the pest that is feeding on the beans. I was expecting to find some green stink bugs, which like to drill into the pods, but so far have not found any. I did spot a couple of small, narrow black insects crawling around the Musica beans, which also have suffered some damage. Unfortunately, they had vanished by the time I fetched my camera. These things were not bug shaped nor beetle shaped. The body was sort of wasp shaped but with no apparent wings. The body was black with no apparent markings. They did not look like tarnished plant bugs. I have checked photos of bean pests online and have not found a match. I hope I can get a photo of them because I would like to know what I am dealing with.

 

Tomatoes

 

Next up was pulling the tomato plants. I got a lot of green tomatoes for the effort and made a batch of refrigerator pickled green tomatoes. When pulling the tomatoes out of the raised beds, I had to be careful not to damage the peppers in the next row. Because of the loose, friable soil in the beds, the tomato roots like to roam the neighborhood and make themselves at home. Next year I have to reconsider what I put in the squares next  to the tomatoes. I may go back to planting shallower rooted plants like the onions in those squares.

 

Sunkist_roots

 

The plant above is a Sunkist tomato from a raised bed. You can see the length of some of the roots. Most of the very longest roots seem to have grown from the top of the root ball at the base of the stem. This pretty well illustrates the advantage of planting the tomatoes deep enough to bury some of the stem. And of course, the beds are only 8 inches deep so going down is not an option.

 

Brandywine_roots

 

Next I pulled the tomatoes that were planted in-ground in my extra garden plot. Those tomatoes did very well this year compared to the plants in the raised beds, and despite fairly poor soil. So I was curious to see what their root structures looked like. The two plants above are Brandywine and the root balls are probably about the same size as the Sunkist but without the really long roots. Apparently the roots found everything the plants needed in their own backyard and didn’t have to go roaming. At this point I realized I should have photographed the Sunkist and Brandywine root balls side by side, but the Sunkist was already buried deep in a trash bag of tomato plants and rotten tomatoes and I was not putting my hand in there.

 

Peppers

 

The Carmen peppers have finally started to ripen. I got a large set of fruit on the two plants in the in-ground garden but they were taking their good old time ripening. How do you tell a pepper the clock is ticking and frost is on the way? I also picked some more Trinidad Spice peppers and have another five on the plant in various stages of ripening. 

 

Escarole

 

I tried to harvest a single head of escarole from the August planting and wound up with two. Since I planted them farther apart than usual, they have kind of flopped on the ground so the leaves are entirely green. The first one I tried was kind of tough. I need to tie them up into heads so the center of the head blanches. Amazingly there was not a single spot of slug or earwig damage to these heads.

 

That’s what came from my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting from their gardens, check out Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.

14 comments:

  1. Lovely harvests. If I had to guess what your insect was I'd guess a thrip. Look on line for photos and see if it matches. Some thrips are different colors, but I used to get black ones at my last garden.

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    1. Thrips might match the shape but what about size? I saw another one today but whiffed when I tried to grab it. It is about the size of a carpenter ant, maybe a half inch long, has a segmented body. The damage is a sunken brown spot on the bean.

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  2. Beautiful harvest photos sure is an impressive harvest for this time of the year. Hope you are able to identify the insect that' doing damage to your beans.

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  3. Wonderful harvests! So jealous of those beans - mine have long been a distant memory. When you mentioned pulling the tomatoes without disturbing the peppers - that is one thing that really surprised me this year. I always thought that peppers being so heat loving would go kaput before the tomatoes. But my plants were still green and healthy, long after I pulled the tomato plants.

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    1. I think peppers are fussier about cold at the start of the season. Once established, they can tolerate some cold nights, but definitely not frost or freeze.

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  4. Beans are amazing producers, a third attempt by the Violettos! I grew Tarbais beans this summer and you would think that they would die after producing dry beans, and some of the plants did, but the rest of them are putting out new growth and blossoms and setting more beans. But even with my long growing season they don't stand a chance of producing more dry beans. I generally lose my bean plants to spider mites after they produce a couple of rounds. It would be nice to be able to plant beans one time for the season, but I have to succession sow because of the spider mites.

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    1. Too bad about the spider mites. You would think the morning fog would mist the plants enough, but maybe you don't get fog when it is 100 degrees.

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  5. My Gold Maries have also quit for the time being. They were great this year, along with the Fortex and Musica. I may have to give the Violetta a try next year. How does the taste compare to the other pole beans you grow?

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    1. I like the flavor but really like the texture. They have a firm, meaty texture, not squeaky or squishy. The purple color turns a dark green when cooked and they freeze very well.

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  6. Very nice harvest for October! I still have peppers in the garden but I don't think they will ripen to red this year. There are many reasons why I love Trionfo Violetto, the color, the flavor but mostly it is because it is just such a heavy producer. They will even survive a few light frosts and keep right on producing.

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    1. For me they are always the last bean standing.

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  7. I have planted really leggy tomato starts by lying them horizontally in a narrow trench, curving the growing top just above the soil, tied loosely to a chopstick or da kine. They root all along the buried part of the stem.

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  8. I have never had much success with growing Escarole (we call it "Batavian endive"), and I always find it tough, even when blanched. I think in Europe they sometime cook it, but I like endives raw, so I go for the curly ones (as you saw on my blog). Are the Trinidad Spice chillis very hot?

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    1. The Trinidad Spice/Perfume is not hot at all, that was the attraction to me. I know you're not a hot pepper lover either.

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