How’s your veggie patch coming along? Any troubles to report? My own Kitchen Garden, above, is struggling to grow in the extreme weather that has so far defined the summer of 2021. Oy vey. Here’s my “farm report,” followed, I hope, by yours:
Bed #1. Delicata Squash. Are you familiar with this winter squash? This is my first year growing it. Delicata has a thin, or “delicate” skin that does not require peeling before cooking or eating. The plants are growing very slowly, but at least they are growing.
In the same bed, next a cattle panel trellis, is one acorn squash plant. The vine did nothing at all for the first six weeks after sprouting. Now it is climbing the trellis, in search of July’s too-elusive sunshine.
Bed #2. Bell Peppers and some storage onions. Our wildly-fluctuating temperatures caused the peppers to set flowers when the plants were just 6 inches tall. I pinched off all the flowers, and now, at last, the plants are branching out.
Bed #3. Tomatoes. With help from me, these heirloom varieties are inching their way to the top of the wooden trellis I built for them. The plants are flowering and fruiting now, despite July’s buckets of rain and mostly sunless skies.
Bed #4. Snapdragons. I forgot to take a picture.
Bed #5. Asparagus. These are finished for the season. I’ve let them “go to fern.”
Bed #6. More Storage Onions. These are thriving happily in the horrid weather. Onions have a “can-do” attitude.
Beds #7 and #8. Potatoes. These, too, are growing cheerfully in the two beds I afforded them. The plants are hilled with several inches of chopped, weed-free straw. The varieties are good storage types: ‘Red Norland,’ ‘Yukon Gold,’ and ‘All Blue.’
Beds #9 and #10. Acorn Squash. I have one plant on each side of a cattle panel trellis. So far growth has been painfully slow. So slow, in fact, that I didn’t bother to take a picture for you.
Beds #11 and #12. Butternut Squash. This winter keeper is growing much faster than its Acorn kin. The vines are putting out lots of new growth against a cattle panel trellis.
What a boring post! And I don’t expect anything spectacular to happen in the next 5 days, because the forecast calls for rain, rain, and more rain. So please tell me how your own veggie patch is faring just now. Are the plants flourishing for you, or are they mostly struggling, as mine are, in less-than-ideal conditions? Talk to me in the comments field below. xKevin
My garden is struggling as well, same too hot, too cold, too wet, now drought and I am struggling to keep things watered. Our temps are far too hot for this time of year, no rain in sight and now we are socked in with wild fire smoke. Your tomatoes put mine to shame 😉 Just a tough gardening year, I will take what I get. My flowers are nice!
Beverly, zone 6, Eastern PA says
This season is unparalleled for amounts of flowers and foliage and sadly, INSECT ATTACKS. Figs are forming early, 26 tomato plants are at the tops of their cages and beyond, and 2 pea patches are just finishing. Many herbs have been used or processed, garlic crop (‘Music’) is curing in the cool garage with Scape Pesto in the freezer. Black Raspberries used up the remainder of my freezer containers, best crop ever. Pole beans look promising and a second patch of bush beans will go in where garlic came out. My own homemade Black Bamboo trellises are trying to contain ‘Diva’ and ‘Lemon’ Cucumbers.
We had a long dry spell in May and excessive heat since April. We were generally low on rain for most of 2021 (apparently because you are hogging all of it!) Feast or Famine…
Still longing for a Pergola to provide respite between chores, having lost a 50+ year old Spruce that strategically sheltered the hot backyard. Garden beds are an adult playground and I can play every day.
I didn’t think this was a boring post, Kevin. At least we know how the weather in NY state is affecting the growing season. I bet they will all burst forth in August. We didn’t have rain for so long and now it seems every couple of days, rain. In any case your kitchen garden is beautiful. xo
Not boring at all! My ADK garden is a bit behind yours. I’ve been amazed by the different growth rates of our Spaghetti and Butternut squash plants. The excessive rains have brought on nice lettuce and many cherry tomatoes. I’m currently spraying baking soda and water on the potato and tomato plants and removing any signs of blight.
Rony Vardi says
Same!! Your post made me feel so much better about the sad state of my vegetable beds.
After 7 years, the deer have discovered my raised beds behind the garage. They topped all the tomatoes down to the cages and ate all my parsley. They do not touch the basil, sage, rosemary, oregano or curry….we have put fencing around the beds, but I think it might be cheaper to just buy stuff at the farmers market!
My garden appears to be doing a tiny bit better than yours. Our slow growth is due to no rain for weeks. Gardeners can water but it doesn’t match the watering job mother nature does. As for washers, I am using a 30 year old Maytag. Last year I had to replace my 35 year old Maytag dryer. I bought a Speed Queen. I don’t want laundry equipment with lots of bells and whistles. It gets used so much that I want appliances with fewer parts to fail.
Here in the NY Adirondacks, our garden is also growing VERY slowly. The scarlet runner beans are pathetic, and the peas never got very high (I know, we should have pulled them out already but I keep hoping for a growth spurt). Most everything seems to be struggling, and as Beverly mentioned, pest attacks seem particularly bad. Of course, the weeds are LOVING the weather. As a fairly new gardener, I’m a bit discouraged—but it’s still wonderful to sit outside (when it’s not raining) and enjoy the sight and sounds! Kevin, thanks for sharing your garden with us! It is beautiful!
North Alabama. We have wonderful, fertile soil. I grow organically. Last years garden produced such an abundance I had to give away baskets full twice a week. This year, not so much. My peppers are hardly producing at all due to not enough hot, dry days. Squash bug invasion has all but wiped out my entire squash crop. Okra coming along and the tomatoes are full on the vine, but not ripe yet. Cucumbers are on the highest level, so they are doing ok. The biggest problem is that my garden has sat in literal mud for days on end. Many days I couldn’t even get out there because I would sink half way up to my knees in mud. I am determined to do raised beds next year, at least the rain can drain out and I can walk around the beds. (of course I’ll have to put them on higher ground) Rain every day this week in the forcast, again.
My raised beds are doing really well. Best ever year. Vegetables are coming in early.
Love your garden Kevin.
Mariska L says
My Garden in Queens NYC
Oh Veh is right! Any more rain and I will have to rent a kayak to get across my lawn to my garden beds. And not to mention the heat,…five minutes outside and, as my neighbor would say, I’m Shvitzing. Thankfully, my tomatoes are holding their own and , dare I say, seem to be thriving. Another Gem I tried this year is Red Stem Malabar spinach , and yes, it grows in the heat and also doing very well. If you haven’t already tried it, I recommend it. I’m on my second harvest/planting of Japanese turnips , they are doing very well along with my carrots. My cucumbers and eggplant are flowering and waiting to set fruit. Sadly, peppers, zucchini and patty pan squash are dragging their soggy feet. Lots of leaves , some flowers mostly fallen off from the heavy rains. I know, who doesn’t do well with zucchini?
Fingers crossed, the gardens will improve.
I think it was Audrey Hepburn that said , To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. –
Keep the faith☔️
My garden in Southern Ontario is growing great if it were not for the pests. Vine borer had been a major problem. I have lost two cucumber plants. Still have 3 plants left. I keep picking off the eggs on the zucchini plants but so far so good, as I have picked three nice ones. Potatoes in my bags have been a huge success. Loads of Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Reds. Tomatoes are huge with fruit just starting to ripen. We have had a drought here, now I know why. All the rain is in your area. Please send some my way. I am getting tired of watering lol. I love reading your stories, thanks for sharing them.
Dailey Dunn says
My small patch pretty much mirrors yours, none the less it has given me immense pleasure to work it…my it! My lettuce is doing great!
Buckets of rain and no sun for you, 117 degrees and nothing but sun for me. 117 was one day, but there hasn’t been a day since that hasn’t been over 100, sometimes by a bit. So, I’ve lost some plants. Bush beans, the corn looks terrible, a couple of blueberry bushes (that hurts the most), branches of Pluots… I water, but the heat is too much for them. I don’t know why, but this year my lemon cucumbers are just not growing. They sit there with the same number of leaves week after week. I was especially looking forward to them since I didn’t grow any cucurbits last year to deter squash bugs. The year before at this time of July I was harvesting lemon and White Wonder cucumbers by the armload. I’m glad I don’t depend on the garden for produce. (Zone 8b, Southern Oregon Rogue Valley)
Christina Mckenzie says
Oregon here! Crazy weather not the usual nonstop rain. We had 113 degrees one day and I all but lost my hydrangeas. My tomatoes are coming on and I’ve harvested some beautiful zucchini and basil!
Mine too! Garden is sluggish. Things are not growing as fast,& they need to! Our growing season here on Maine isn’t very long. I did get 2 big cuttings of turnip greens, & picked a big bag of peas(which. After shelling,got about 3 quarts.)
In the middle of Michigan our weather has been wacky also. We would have a week of high temperatures along with humidity and then a week of cold temperatures wind and rain. We live in turbine Ali and seems that our wind blows constantly. It is so bad at times I have to take my plants and put them on the porch so they don’t blow across the yard. My squash is OK, my spinach I’ve planted twice, my radishes I’ve planted twice, are green beans are growing like crazy & what can I say about the zucchini!!! Cucumbers…might have enough to eat, but will have to go to the farm market for refrigerator dills. Speaking of dill, I’ve planted that twice also. We are infected with tiny little horsefly like bugs & they are making a mess of my Vines. Seven won’t touch them!!! Our tomatoes are like a
Jungle with vine & blossoms, fingers crossed.
Here in Mahopac my raised bed is doing great. I used your method of winter sowing and then planted the growth in my raised bed. I usually plant mostly herbs and strawberries. I find that the raised bed is easier for me. Maybe next year I’ll try some veggies. Good Luck with your garden, I’m sure in due time the weather will change and get back to somewhat normal for all of us.
Gina Bruehl says
We are in Northern California. California is going through a horrible head wave. It’s been soaring into the 100’s for the last week, and the lows are luck to get below 75. Some of my veggies are thriving in this heat (like the tomatoes!), but many of my other plants are suffering. My poor lilacs are burnt to a crisp. I pulled them into the shade on the deck (they are in two big pots), but I think I’m just going to have to cut them wayyyy back and hope for a cooler Summer next year! My basil is suffering as well. Hugs to you Kevin! Wish we could get some of your rain out here in California! We are really suffering from this seemingly never ending drough!
Plants are growing in fits and starts, snuggling in during the extremes of wet/heat/cold/dry. Weird growing patterns. Weird blooming times. Still amazed they are hanging in there so we’ll. Able to adjust. Good lesson to learn watching how they cope.
Pretty much the same story in northern IL. Altho my squash is doing beautifully; plenty of blossoms and several squash coming in…just hoping the animals don’t get to them before I do. Already have some pickles. Peppers & tomatoes also doing well but I just rejuvenated the raised bed with new soil and composted manure. But who knows what’ll happen when the hot temps/no rain weather returns. My hollyhocks were more abundant and beautiful than ever this year but then got fried in the constant 90+ temps. But I do have a healthy crop of weeds…as usual.
Charlotte DiPaola says
I’ve been wanting to send you a picture of how crazy my winter squash is growing on my cow trellis but don’t know how. Thank you for the trellis suggestion. It has made all the difference in managing my garden. And since I live one village away from you, it just must be my well water. No squash beetles this year but a lot of other weird bugs. I’m patiently waiting for tomatoes which I set up with the teepee stakes I saw you use. All ideas you share based on your experiences are greatly appreciated.
Lee George says
Hi Kevin, greetings from Central Massachusetts! I love seeing your garden pics, and your arches are great! We can all sympathize dealing with Mother Nature’s erratic behavior this year… deluges alternating with sizzle-on-the-griddle hot days for us = killer humidity. My tomatoes have expanded and flopped over like water-filled balloons despite their supports, hope they don’t crack open, but the basil and rosemary are very happy! Tough keeping my perennial gardens happy though, my flowers are alternately drowning/frying, and I’ve started covering my urns when rain is forecast for several days in a row, they’ve taken a beating! Oh well, it’s not snowing, and it’s still a blast to grow stuff! Stay well.
Donna S. says
Sure is a different growing season . I put in a couple cattle panel trellises this year and things are growing well up them . My butternut squash are 3 ft. Up the side, I’ve got cukes climbing the other side . Outside the garden gate is the other c.p. trellis with scarlet runner beans going crazy on one side , morning glories on the other . So glad i decidedto give them a try ,so much fun ! I must be getting enough sun here in the finger lakes of central new york , everything’s growing well ! Love reading your posts and watching your videos .
Raine D. says
Not a boring post at all, Kevin! I enjoyed it all the more because I gave up on my little garden (which has gotten smaller every year until it’s all but microscopic) because of the weather & the deer. The weather’s been too hot (I live in BC & our recent heatwave killed anything the deer hadn’t already eaten). This spring I gave up on trying to grow anything at ground level & planted a small “garden” in pots on the front porch, stupidly thinking the deer wouldn’t come up the 4 stairs. Ha! I regularly hear the clatter of little hooves on wood & catch a glimpse of huge ears moving past my office window & will look out to find 2 or 3 deer browsing through my planters right at the front door — they could ring the bell if they wanted to. They’ve eaten everything down to the dirt but the rosemary & lavender. But while I dream of a freezer full of venison (already seasoned with the thyme, oregano & basil they’ve eaten), it’s an idle threat. This is the last year I will even TRY to grow anything but natural fauna in the yard. From now on we’ll just support the farmer’s market. The only garden I’m enjoying these days is yours!
David Adamson says
I love Delicato squash, so delicious but a it takes two to make a serving, at least for me! Great for roasting and if young eat skin and all. I’m going to grow butternut next year you way. When I do them I’m going go plant them in grow baskets instead of into a bed.
Love following you and your email posts.
Nancy in zone 7A just above NYC says
Nice to know how others are doing. Last year was our worst ever for vegetable production in the more than 40 years we have had a garden. Attribute that to the very cool, wet and long spring. This year a great old-fashioned spring and our tomatoes are loaded; we have already harvested one Early Girl and a few cherry tomatoes. Our peppers also started producing before the plants were large and we didn’t remove the flowers but did remove the peppers when they were pretty small. Same thing with eggplants. Both now getting bigger and producing more fruits. Beans, cukes and squash plants (winter and summer) growing fast. Two yellow squashes should be ready to pick soon. See some butternuts forming. Have had nice lettuce. Several cabbages huge and firm, ready to harvest. Broccoli is so-so. Cannot grow radishes well here – a few came out nicely, rest had no root. We plant them mostly as a trap crop so that’s not a big disappointment. Okra still just a few inches tall. Kohlrabi doing nicely. Only bad pests so far are Japanese beetles and they don’t attack our vegetables, mainly hardy hibiscus and some on roses. I invite them for a swim in soapy water at least once a day and about 20 jumped in the first day. Now seeing only a handful each day.
Kevin you are not alone! Here in TN the rain kept missing us in June and it was hot. Now? Humid and so much rain! If I so much as look at the Roma tomatoes, plop! They just drop off the vine. Cherry tomatoes are nice but like everyone else just slow. Okra is producing but the plants are shorties! I wish I knew your technique of removing flowers – next time! Delighted you posted!
Cathy Dellinger says
I’m in The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be a decent tomato year which is always a crapshoot. Kale and chard are doing great. Did you know if you plant you kale starts deep you will get massive plants on tree trunk stems?? I learned this last year and wowsa! Tons of earwigs . This is the first time in two years, after a battle with squash bugs, that I’m making another valiant attempt. Two delicata plants. One is taking off, one is meh. Zucchini looks ok. I am seeing a lot of fungal something or blight (not sure) on hollyhocks and turtle heads. The Japanese beetles have not yet arrived, but they’re due any day now. I’m ready with my Beetle Jus and Captain Jack stuff. Peas are tall, flowering and very late. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. ♀️
Here in my NH zone 5 garden the tomatoes are doing ok – we’ll see what all this rain does for them. Cucumbers are also doing ok; they were getting crowded by some volunteer pat-a-pan squashes so I pulled most of them (didn’t need that many anyways). The pole beans and wax beans were doing great until the bunnies discovered them. They chomped the pole bean so that the climbing shoots all died – hopefully they’ll send up new shoots if I can keep the bunnies away. Tried netting the wax beans but they are pulling the leaves through the netting and eating them – we’ll see if I can come up with something to protect them better. Carrots have been slow. Beets are doing well. The herbs and asparagus that got transplanted this year are doing well too except 1 oregano plant that didn’t make it (so I bought another). Strawberries did well considering last year’s drought was not kind to them. Raspberries and blueberries are starting to come in.
The summer garden never really got going. I spent most of my seed planting season dealing with the gas line replacement and the digging of the trench and then the filling in of the trench. I still have to re-clear the pathway from the alley gate to the kitchen door in case the refrigerator arrives early.
I am hoping to get some seeds in some peat pots this week as we have a long growing season (into September and sometimes October) and I’d like tomatoes, basil, pumpkin and melon this year. I may also try an eggplant and bell pepper.
The onions I planted seem to be doing really well. I noticed some big ones now popping up out of the soil. Or maybe the soil is sinking and washing down around them I need to do some repairs to the raise bed garden as the boards are slumping and the dirt is settling. There is garlic in that planter as well but I haven’t checked on it. The snapdragons are still going, albeit sparser than they were.
I still have to fill in about 25 feet of trench and replace the bricks in the back patio but that can wait until cooler weather. The building of the other three raised bed planters can also wait until rain softens the ground and the price of lumber comes down.
I am hoping for some good rain this fall so I can get the other three beds in for a plentiful winter crop. Then the following Spring there will be no stopping me. I’ve replaced all of the water lines, roof and gas line (twice now) and I can’t think of any more major repairs that would have to be made that would interfere with my gardening.
Ellen R says
Zone 4, west central MN. Last year I gave up planting a garden in the ground and went to a garden tower. It didn’t produce well last year because it got in too late and I had to be away for 6 weeks in the later season. This year is going a bit better but the cold and hot temps have taken a toll while the drought conditions haven’t helped. This year I have been able to maintain the moisture with rain water most of the time. The lettuce and basil produced well and the bush beans are blooming profusely. Now I’m hoping that the conditions will be better for the fall greens (lettuce and bok choy) and radishes. As others have mentioned if the veggies don’t produce better this fall I think I will convert the garden to flowers in the future. I had to put some petunias there this year to keep the bunnies from devouring all of my plants. The climate changes we are seeing will take some time for me to adjust to I’m sure. Keep sharing your experiences with us!
I have a nice little planter box in my back yard. I planted rows of marigolds between the veggies. I was hoping they would keep the bugs out. So far so good except for the broccoli. something finds it very tasty. Otherwise my little garden is doing great. It’s been a hot, smoky summer here in northern British Columbia, Canada
From CT: So far, garlic scrapes wonderful. Snow peas best year ever, summer squash “iffy” at first, but liked the excessive rain and lots of blossoms on string beans. My tomatoes are coming along, but I agree, the weather has been different and more difficult, than I ever remember it for vegetable gardening. Perennial gardens seem to be thriving, though, along with the weeds.
I recently bought a Speed Queen set for laundry and I love it. Maytag of course is a very good product as well. I had a Maytag Microwave that lasted 17 years. It is so good of you to share all this information with us. I love reading and look forward to your blog each week.
Hello all and of course Kevin!
I’m here in Portland , Oregon. Just back inside, on a really pleasant and sunny Sunday of watering, clipping and assessing the super hot 117 +/- two weekends ago! When it’s that hot nobody is counting.
Unfortunately, just before the heat “ATTACK” I was sweetly/desperately asked by my daughter to help her move into her new fixer outside Seattle, Wa.
Everthing got a good watering before I left and a bit of a “plant blessing” but I didn’t have much hope with forecasts of unbelievable heat coming our way. Once I boarded Amtrak the waterer had left the building.
Before the “Heat Dome” hit, things were doing pretty well. I’d expanded my veggies considerably and added more tomato plants to 10 over the 3 of last yr. I’d never had success with petunias but this year they were gorgeous in my flowerbox and growing like crazy!
I have a difficult, shady garden on an east facing slope, so finding 5 hrs. of uninturrupted sun is hard, especially in the usual cloudy NW.
But, this year is definately anything but ordinary! So everybody, thanks so much for sharing! Kevin, No! not boring as others have said. Just affirming that there are no guarantees and we have to love the rain, sun, and clouds….plus a few disasters! along our gardening path.
This summer we are getting no rain and no bugs. I guess no bugs or slugs is the plus. My hydrangias, roses, petunias, and so many others, were completely roasted when I returned from my, “Mom, please come help us move,” request.. Many tears shed upon my return. (Who would cry over a fried petunia?” Well l did , But I was dreading even worse.) Now, amazingly everybody in my garden family is pushing little leaves, shoots, and buds after looking like a roasted zucchini under the broiler 2 weeks ago. I left the dried leaves on and just kept watering. That was the recommendation online. Trying to be patient.
Our forecast is for more very hot weather, but for now it’s pleasant and if anything is doing well it is the pumpkins! A dozen or so, gifted in Dixie cups, on a community forum.
Ah! the randomness of life as a gardener….or want to be.
Hang on all….no matter how bad it seems think of next January when we’re itching for a scratch in that mucky earth, drooling over the tempting seed catalogs.
Thinking about all of you thanks for sharing.
Elaine R. In easternB.C. says
Another B.C. Gardener here fenced from the deer. It wa a hot/ cold/ hot/ hotter yet spring-summer with virtually no rain. The well has to be managed as it followed a very dry almost snowless winter. Peas hardly producing, tomatoes, lots of growth but not much set yet. The squash are finally cunning madly but the sown ones have overtaken the early starts. The best one however is a self sow..which looks pumpkin like. It came up weeks before the supposed last frost and lived through the end of May and the 10 th of June frosts and is blooming well! Garlic thinks it is time to ripen down so I don’t know what to expect. We have never had a week of plus 35c before or days of 40c!
Just a bit away from you in Saugerties.
The successes: shelling peas, baby turnips, snapdragons, cutting flowers like snapdragons (zinnias and sunflowers just starting bloom).
Doing okay: am harvesting the first yellow squash and zucchini but losing some to blossom end rot. Cucumber vines are setting flowers but mostly male ones right now. Tomatillo plants are growing well and forming fruit. Tomatoes are setting fruit but have signs of early blight/leaf spot so have been spraying copper fungicide. Potted figs are setting fruit but developing fig rust. Am harvesting the first bush beans.
Ugh: I can’t get a beet plant to grow to save my life…seeds germinate, sit there forever static, then die. Lettuce never grew properly and the few that have are being eaten by something. Ditto for chard, which did SO well for me last year, even with repeated seeding.
Just praying for maybe 3 consecutive days of sun to dry things out just a little…
I live in Raeford, NC, and my container garden is doing great. Tons of tomatoes, cucumbers are doing fine, planted peas too late in the season so the crop wasn’t as good, but that was my fault. Peppers seem to grow no matter what. We had a bit of a drought, but since all of the plants are in containers…we can control the amount of water in a drought. No bug infestation so far. I think this has been a good growing year for my little home garden.
Evening Kevin! Disappointing gardens and washing machines are reasons enough for anyone to be a bit glum. Maybe the season is just behind. Your peppers and tomatoes look hopeful. Here in the midwest we usually have local tomatoes by now. Last week they came from Mexico, this week, Arkansas. Hopefully, soon a local Missouri tomato will be found. I remember years when you could buy them from a local farm three pounds in a bag for a dollar. Now I’d pay the price of steak for a bag!
We gave up on vegetable gardening after competing with the deer the last couple of years. Glad to pay local farmers.
This year focusing on the perimeter of a lower patio with a covered deck. Partial sun/shade plantings–no blasting sun and just enough watering–it’s been rewarding. Your pergola may be similar. It is one of my gardener’s dreams to have one covered with wisteria or ivy or grapevines, how wonderful!
Alas, a local doe with her fawn moved into the neighborhood and first time we ever saw one, the fawn was the size of a small dog.. It was truly delightful to witness. Unfortunately Mrs. Doe thinks the garden is her salad bar. Once over my initial shock as she plucked off the tops of all my petunias and daylilies, some hybrids, what can you do? A mom has to eat. I learned what she doesn’t like and will add that to the garden journal for next year. All the daylilies will have to be dug up and moved to the upper deck in pots, but my husband doesn’t know that yet, shhh, that’s next year! Or should I do that when they go dormant?
I even love seeing some peppermint or spearmint I plopped in early spring and it is starting to spread–I know it is a weed and invasive…but it cheers me up and it smells wonderful. It even repels fleas and dogs love to lay in it. And Mrs. Doe doesn’t like it. Might have to research mint uses? Ideas?
My only input on washing machines was my Irish German Bohemian mother used to say, never discuss your appliances where they can hear you. Meaning they would break! Well, I made a lovely loaf of bread in my food processor the other day. Perfect. On giving the button one last whirl around before removing the dough, nothing….it gave up. I’m taking it back, only used a few times, but I’m not giving up my battle with food processors.
Years ago, I made lovely Santa tree ornaments with a terra cotta mold and cinnamon paper pulp dough mixture and sold at craft fairs until my food processor bit the dust. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I need a concrete mixer?
Love your posts, Have a happy Monday!
Gardens here in nw NJ are struggling for sure. All this rain and 100 deg. days being so early has stunted all but the weeds and bugs. The pollinator garden is doing well but the veggies….oy
I hope there’ll be something to harvest before October.
Your garden is beautiful!
Zone 5b in Iowa…
My garlic are doing well as did my blueberries! Other edibles…not so good. I have been blaming this on the encroaching shade from 2 trees on the sides of my garden beds, one one the east and one on the west. My beans need more sun!!!
I am trimming my tomatoes up from the bottom as you recommended. Hope it helps!
Burndett Andres says
Really enjoyed this post and all the comments. You seem to have struck a chord. We garden in northwestern NJ and have been enjoying weather similar to yours. Our fenced veggie garden is flourishing at present. We thought all of our tomatoes were going to perish from too much rain earlier this season, but they have rebounded beautifully as of this moment. Nice radish harvest. Second planting gave us a nice harvest of tops for pesto, not no bulbs. Scallions are great. Lettuce is great. Cabbage, cukes are looking good. Hot peppers, green beans and sun hold tomatoes are coming on strong. Very dicey weather here, but high hopes for a good year. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.
My gardens are a soggy mess. Everything’s beaten down with heavy downpours and nothing is growing well. As soon as we get tomatoes, something is pulling them off, taking a big bite and leaving the rest as evidence. Very discouraging this year.
Denise McInerney says
Here in Zone 7, Northern Virginia, the weather has been in perpetual whiplash, cool to hot to cool and back again. But my tomatoes and green beans are flourishing, I think because they were planted when their first several weeks were in the 70’s. I’m average height and the tomatoes have grown taller than I’ve ever seen, so tall I’m going to need a stepladder to pick them! The Juliet, Bumble Bee and Tiger Artisan Blush cherry tomatoes are bearing like crazy, already sharing with neighbors, as well as the green beans. Cucumbers are growing well so far but I’m expecting pests to arrive any day. Sadly, though we love all varieties of squash, we’ve finally given up. The squash bugs and other pests have been uncontrollable the past four or five years, no matter what we’ve tried. For some reason, basil isn’t happy this year, but other herbs growing well and will go in the dehydrator soon.
Mary, Zone 5b, Eastern Oregon says
Amazed how similar our gardens are performing. Long cold spring, extreme heat, then frosty cold and wind, and now a month of HOT windy weather. Leeks, carrots, celery, kale, cabbage, broccoli, squash (winter and summer), watermelon, tomatoes, parsnips, parsley, basil, and serrano peppers are doing well–although still recovering from the extreme changes in weather. Had to replant beets. Rhubarb, radishes, and cilantro bolted. Beans and bell peppers are sulking. Asparagus also in fern stage. Dill loved the weather! We can have a frost any month of the year, but hope the extend the season through September with sheets and frost cloth. Put shade cloth over crop that doesn’t like full sun. Can’t stop the drying wind, but drip-irrigated raised beds help. PS. We have had Electrolux W/D for three years and love them in our small laundry space.
I read with interest the troubles and trials of your garden produce this year. I am not having a lot of luck myself – except for swiss chard – WOW! It keeps growing and growing! I keep cutting the outer leaves and leaving the rest to grow. However my Kale is barely moving and getting quite a few bugs:( Tomatoes so so – more leaf than fruit. Torrential rain for a few weeks has not helped. Thank you for the tip about peppers! Mine are flowering and fruiting at 6 inches – I did not know you had to nip off the flowers until they reached a certain height – yikes! No wonder I only got one pepper from one plant lol. Anyhow hope your garden is now coming along. Thank you for all the tips:)
Carol D says
in zone 8a east of Atlanta. Hello, June was dry and sunny, now June is wet and sunny mostly. Every afternoon to early evening, we have been getting buckets of rain but the rest of the day is sunny. Nothing is growing as well as usual but not so bad. We have tomatoes coming in slowly but surely. We had to pull the cucumbers out because the vines had some kind of disease. Replanted with a super resistant variety, hopefully they will have time to give us some pickles. Okra is starting to bloom, we dug the garlic, it is almost cured. Bush beans have come and gone and been replaced by butternut squash which is starting off slowly. I hope it will pick up. Watermelons are also going slow but one North Georgia Candy Roaster plant, an heirloom winter squash, is going gangbusters and has huge fruit on it. Soybeans for edamame are up and growing well. We planted them after we took the garlic out. Our zinnia bed out front has come up kind of spotty so we had to fill in the gaps. The first ones have started blooming and they are colorful and fun. I think that is all.
Feeling better about my garden now! My cucumbers are growing soo slowly. But my raspberries seem to be loving this weather.
Joanne Folstad says
Too bad we couldn’t get together on this, Kevin. My Saskatchewan garden is duing from heat and drought in spite of daily watering. Check it out https://grandmasprairiegarden.wordpress.com/
Janet Reid says
Central NY state, zone 5. Cool and very, very wet. Garlic ok. Mint fantastic. Perennials 8. Weeds 10. Moss & algae out of sight. Starting to worry about fungus. On the other hand, frogs & lightning bugs having an excellent year!
Anne in VT says
I left the autofill as is as I really have no idea which zone to consider myself in at this point. After a fairly mild winter, but with some very very cold spells, we two are now in the rainy season. Happily the vegetables seem to prefer this. We can eat kale daily and not run out. The tomatoes have blossoms and we hope for an excellent crop. I planted two sets of bush beans in different locations. Just as well, as we have a large number of rabbits this year and they have decimated one group of beans. Our cat can take care of baby bunnies, but is reluctant to take on the larger ones that escape as babies and grow. I am glad the bunnies are satisfied with the beans and have not attacked anything else so far. As usual I have not been feeding my Brussel sprouts often enough to expect much of a crop. I did swear I would never grow them again after last year, but I love them so much that I could not resist trying. If I did feed them every two weeks I think they would do quite well but that is a test I have not yet made. The peas were very slow to start and the crop was nowhere near as large as previous years. Oh well, that is what makes this so much fun.
Take care of yourself, Anne
My garden is also a struggle! My parsley, kale, beans and sweet peppers are the only ones thriving. My squash garden, tomatoes, along with the asparagus and “butterfly, bee garden” is just not too happy this year. Lots of leaves, and very few flowers and fruits.
But it is still nice to look at daily.
Denise McInerney says
Hi Kevin, I noticed someone mentioned problems with deer. We live near the large Manassas National Battlefield Park, which is home to HERDS of (hungry) deer. We’ve tried everything over the years and the only things that truly worked were Milorganite (which needs to be reapplied periodically, and since it’s made from human waste, sprouts volunteer tomato plants everywhere you put it!) and our all-time favorite, the Scarecrow motion-activated water sprinklers. They sit on a little pole stuck into the ground and attached to a garden hose. When the sensor is tripped (you can adjust sensitivity, range and angle of coverage), it makes a loud rattling sound as it simultaneously squirts 3-second bursts of water at any critter that crosses its path. We have two units covering our large backyard and have had NO deer damage since we first tried them 8 years ago. (Our next door neighbor also put one in her front yard, but received an annoyed message from the UPS delivery person who got squirted one time too many when she forgot to turn off the water!)
Kathy SW PA says
8′ fence around the garden that keeps out most critters. Green beans coming on strong and cucumbers producing prolifically. Nice onions but pulled 2 and they’re soft. Too much rain? Used to be able to grow beautiful cabbage, now leaves always holey even though we use non-toxic spray.
Did you have an asparagus beetle invasion? It’s hard to tell from the picture but it appears so. We get them bad up here on the Cape. Besides a plague of rabbits and squash vine borers everything is growing well!
Ruth in Western PA says
It’s been a frustrating summer both in the flower and veggie gardens. On the rare occasion it’s not raining cats and dogs, the sun is so hot it’s burnt the leaves of my basil plants. The gardens were doing well back in June, then a freak hailstorm knocked every last petal off my rosebushes and broke the main stems of most of the tomato plants. The summer squash all looked like someone had stomped on them!
Usually by this time of year we’re kneedeep in cherry tomatoes. Right now there are a few green tomatoes, but that’s it. The summer squash plants have recovered, but we’ve yet to harvest a squash. The pepper plants are big and bushy, but no peppers. Now my neighbor has squash vine borers. Fingers crossed they didn’t make it over here!
Looks like I’ll be getting most of my veggies from the Farmer’s Market this year.
Janet Metzger says
It has been an unusual year here in the Dallas area; everything started to bloom in Feb (at the correct time on Feb. 14) then the freeze hit us hard. We started to recover; the cooler “spring weather (80’s) last much longer than usual. Just today did we start to get our Texas summer heat. But last year there was a shortage of vegetables to plant, so I am trying to remember from 2 years ago. Tomatoes have been harvested as per normal, but a very small crop. Okra is ripening, a small crop; Persian squash and cucumber are doing fine, as are the black -eyed peas. But everything is very buggy, unusual bugs. I will just let things be till I pull out the plants and put in the fall greens.
We replanted the jessamine vines that we lost; they are doing sort of OK. The box wood clippings that I put in the ground in Nov. started to turn green before the frost. Died back again. Came back again. Died again. Now there are baby baby boxwood plants in the same hole but not the original plant that we planted. It was 12 holes x 9 sprigs/hole. I think only one hole is missing anything alive. I do have a boxwood sprout growing in a pot. SO maybe someday we will have a hedge back! Needed as the new neighbors are all cutting down 40-year old live oaks that keep us shaded!
Linda A says
Hi Kevin, I’ve run out of the fertilizer you recommended some time back for flowers & veggies. Threw out the container but now can’t remember the name. It worked especially well for flowers. White small plastic container; fertilizer is blue. Help?
Blueberries are finally producing & I might even get to eat some if I can get to them before the Blue Jays here in Southern Oregon. Rest of veggies, not so well.
Linda A says
Kevin, Forget my question about the fertilizer. I found it in your post about house plants. I’ll go back and click on your Amazon link. Thank you, Kevin! I like that product.
Very interesting to read all the posts about gardens. Weather patterns are changing across the country.