late crops, and surprises

I am pretty bad at late season planting.  Partially I'm just tired by late summer, and busy doing all the late summer stuff that's NOT planting.  Also, it tends to be steadily hot here in August, until a quick cool down right about now in late september.  That doesn't help germination of cool-loving plants, nor do the chipmunks and squirrels who are especially pesky this time of year.

I did diligently planted spinach this year.  My first couple of plantings were a bust, and I was so excited when the latest one had a flurry of sprouts.  Until they started getting true leaves  Most of it is DILL!  Sigh.  After weeding/thinning I do have a pretty good patch going now.

spinach!  No wait....Dill.

at least these guys appreciate the dill
Also in the ironic category is my best luck with fall peas ever.  This is not where I planted them though!

Some pesky creature dug these up and replanted them inside one of my blueberry containers.  But, they are happy, and handily trellised with the netting that's supposed to keep things out.  HA.

And not really a fall crop, but I planted beans after my garlic came out mid-July.  I've harvested a few here and there for dinner, and froze a couple of pounds already.  This week I pulled the plants and took off whatever was left--almost FIVE pounds!  They are Masai variety, and make lovely little filet beans in only 55 days.  Perfect for a late planting. 

When I sat on my porch picking beans, I couldn't help but think "why doesn't everyone do this?"  Five minutes of planting time, only three little four-foot rows, and I pretty much ignored them after that.  A partial morning of harvest and blanching, and now I have several meal's worth in the freezer.  A pretty good return on investment.

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  1. Nice caterpillar! Love the pea story, ha! I managed a second crop of peas and beans this year for the first time. I haven't picked any beans yet, but did get a nice batch of snap peas, with another meal to come.

  2. See, S, there's a lesson in that for you, and all of us. I think by late summer we're seeing forest and not trees. ALL of the garden is mostly what you describe with your late bean crop: a few minutes of your time, then ignored, then blammo big harvest!

    I think about what I consider to be my pesky, time-intensive crops (tomatoes, mainly, and summer squash) and I realize what bugs me about them is I continually need to harvest (and stake/trim the former) and though I am rewarded for my efforts, those Brussels sprouts I planted in late April? I have not even TOUCHED them, nor the collards cabbage cauliflower leeks nor even the potatoes. Oh, and winter squash. It all came out of the compost this year. Can't get more happy about that.

    Won't you miss it though in 2 months?

  3. Ali: I should take some pics of the ginormous spiders we have too, they are not quite as pretty but more impressive. We don't have pea pods yet but I'm hopeful...

    El: It's so true. A few weeks ago I felt behind and somewhat disappointed (does that always happen in late August?), now I'm feeling smug and grateful. And in 2 months? I won't miss it (yet), I like the break really, but I'll starting planning for next year...


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