on second chances

Sometimes, with gardening, you can recoup your losses.

Our first round of broccoli, except for a head or two, pretty much burned up.  But without any effort on my part (and some wonderful rain and cooler temperatures) the second growth of side shoots is looking wonderful.

In a moment of optimism (even before the drought eased) I planted late-summer crops of beans, beets, cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots; and so far they are doing well.  A few of my tomato plants have recovered--though several are looking quite bad for this time of year, I think the heat and drought stress followed by more normal moisture levels encouraged some disease.  I did find a few cherokee purples hiding in the bush this week

And I must say, I was skeptical of using the hoop space for growing tomatoes. Up until this year, I have zero problems in our climate growing them in the traditional fashion.  But, this year, if it wasn't for the 2 plants inside, I know we would not have enough fruit for salsa or sauce.

hoop house romas

Other crops inside are not the greatest--peppers and zucchini were slower to mature than my outside beds, though are doing fairly well now.  I had high hopes for melons and cucumbers, but neither did well at all.  In fact the only vine that did survive turned out to be a volunteer climbing zucchini!  It took me a painfully long time to realize that the one thriving plant in the row was not a cucumber--though I did catch on quite a bit before I found this, HA.

I so wish this was a melon taking up all the space instead.  Oh well!

I biked to the big Saturday market this week, and felt pretty happy comparing our bounty to theirs.  Sometimes it's good to remember what you have.  And for what I haven't.  I bought a big tub of cucumbers, just in case our fall crop fails--and satisfied my need for quick dills and fermented sours.  And a big bag of Door County peaches--which were happily eaten with no fanfare or thoughts for the future.

As it is, this in no stretch will be a banner year, but at least we have plenty to eat around here, and a bit to put away for winter.  I can't decide if we'll have a long fall growing season, or if the year will continue at an accelerated rate--June in March, August in June--September in August--will we have winter early and just drop the last month off the calender entirely? Actually I think that would be okay with me.

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  1. I'm suddenly surprised by my broccoli as well. I had pretty much written it off and now it's got tons of secondary heads. And to think that I had planned to rip it out after I got back from vacation.

    1. I never pull broccoli, just keep harvesting it--sometimes way into winter! I even think the side shoots are easier to harvest (and search for bugs).


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