Monday, September 5, 2016

Garden Update

Every year I say, "Well there is always next year" when something in the garden is disappointing. This year the disappointing factor was me. To be honest most of the time it is me. Or I am a contributing factor. This year, I have been having some health issues, that combined with the 100°F weather or monsoon type rains, and I had to stay frequently indoors.

 My garden is overgrown with sprawling tomato plants and twining morning glories. Despite the straw in the garden, the weeds secured a strong hold as well. The tomato cages bent under the weight of the fruit filled vines. Sadly  quite a few were tossed into the compost pile due to being overripe, there was hornworm damage, the low hanging tomatoes had nibble marks and the top of plant tomatoes had been pecked by birds.

We may go back  out over the next week to gather the rest of the peppers but by and large everything is on the decline. Squash bugs overtook the east part of the garden. The hubbs and I are taking a few "staycation" days later this month and we will used those days to clean up the garden. Once everything is cleaned up, we paying to have the plot plowed and a load of manure turned in. I am undecided if we will overseed with a cover crop (ryegrass) or cover it with straw.

Regardless, I still managed to pull in quite a haul. I had to used my garden dump cart to harvest everything. And all the critterdom will celebrate tonight, as the gate to the garden is open and they can feast upon what remains.

Assembly line for prepping the tomatoes (27 pounds!)

I worked in batches to blanch, peel, remove any less than desirable spots and placed everything in ziploc bags. I put the ziploc bags over ice in the cooler until I have time on Monday  to start making sauce and salsa.  Not pictured--but I have jalapeno's  ready to make a small batch of candied jalapenos. 

I am kind of tired now, haha

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  1. Great haul on tomatoes, Tonya.
    You'll be loving all that this winter, but yea, it's tiring getting it to that point.

    Hint-if you do cover with straw, don't spread it out and fluff it up--instead, take those "sections" it comes apart in and lay those down, slightly overlapping on the ends. That will smother anything trying to come up and work better to keep the weeds in check.
    After doing that, the next year should be minimal weeding. Keep laying stuff on top and eventually you won't have a big problem. That's key to healthy soil AND no weeding. I never till----it just stirs up more seeds that are laying dormant in the soil waiting for a chance at the sun.
    Happy Fall, Tonya. Hope you're feeling better.

    1. Thank you Sue. Some days are better than others and I guess that all you can ask for, haha. Thanks for the tip on the garden. I definitely need to make it easier for myself.

      I made a batch of salsa yesterday. I used my food-saver and vacuum packed 2(3 lb each) packages of Roma's and Amish paste tomatoes to freeze. When I want to make a sauce I can pull them out of the freezer, thaw and run them thru my Foley mill. And I am working on a final batch of sauce that will be divided and seasoned for sloppy joe's and chili then I will can those. Oh and I also froze 7 ups of tomato juice. I will probably end up with another 4-6 or so cups of tomato juice I can either can or freeze.

      And you are right, it will sure be nice come this winter pulling those out for soups and sauces. Thanks for stopping by!


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