Welcome Sunshine!

Potager sun  After five days of heavy rain, it is wonderful to see the sun beginning to light up the potager.  So, gathering my harvest baskets and camera, I waded through the puddles to see how things had changed during the deluge.  Leaves The first observation was the many cottonwood leaves that have already come down and settled into the flower beds.  It seems early, but it is almost mid-September so apparently it’s time. Potager path waves  Entering the potager, there were “waves” in the paths from mulch being swept along.  Some of the landscape cloth is entirely clear but there are tall piles of mulch here and there.  To the naked eye, the potager looks perfectly level, but heavy rains like those we’ve had recently reveal the truth.  There is a slight slope from the southwest corner to the northeast corner.  There’s lots of raking to level things out in my future.   (Sigh!)  Can’t help but smile as I pass the “Wando” peas.  They were  Wando pea pods  blooming before the rains began, but now there are dozens of pods forming.  With the five days of 95 degree heat and high humidity before the rains came, I wondered, but “Wando” has a reputation for tolerating heat and extremes and it looks like they deserve that good rating.  I’ve never grown parsnips before, so I was thrilled to see they’ve grown a good 4″ taller since the rain started.  Parsnips  That’s exciting!  And the “Butterscotch” winter squashes really added some pounds in my absence.  They’ll be ready to harvest soon, but note that dreaded squash bug just to the right of squash! Butterscotch squash  They had a big party while I was indoors reading and listening to the rain, inviting all their friends for an orgy and laying eggs on every leaf in the area.  I’ll be paying for that lack of vigilance.  Remember those baby rows of radishes in my last “Six on Saturday”?  Well, here they are today, ready to harvest!  Radish fall  I’d love to report that they were lovely, but those days of heat made them a bit tough and HOT!  Too spicy for my palette, but maybe they’ll mellow out a bit if they’re cooked lightly and added to a pasta salad.  Those dratted spotted cucumber beetles didn’t take a break during the rains either.  They are everywhere, chewing on squash blossoms, bean leaves, and everything else.  Spotted cucumber beetles  There were at least 10 in this one squash blossom when I pulled it open, but all but the four who decided to pose for the photo escaped.  I suppose I should do something about their excessive numbers, but after reading “The Prodigal Summer” during the rains I am reluctant.  (Loved the book, by the way and if you have any interest in butterflies, moths, nature’s balance, etc. you probably will, too, although it was a bit sexy for my old-fashioned tastes.)  Once the leaves were dry, I picked various beans.  The Cannellini worried me, as some of the pods had black moldy spots.  Bean Cannellini spotted  Upon opening, the beans inside seemed fine, although surprisingly some of them had actually sprouted inside the pods!  And so, a lovely afternoon was spent harvesting “Dragon Tongue,” “Jade II,””Cannellini,” and “Inspiration” beans.  They aren’t quite as nice as the earlier harvests because of the holes made by those cucumber beetles (WHY don’t they just stick to cucumbers???”  And, they weren’t all supposed to be ready to pick at the same time, but despite careful planning according to the maturity dates, they are!  There were also jalapeno, red sweet cherry and bell peppers; a couple of cukes, a handful of radishes, two pounds of beets, and over two pounds of carrots.  I could have left the carrots, but I’m readying that bed for the strawberry runners that are beginning to form on the “Honyone” June-bearing plants.  Harvest 9-11  It’s lovely to know that even while I remained inside during the five days of rain, the potager was busily doing its thing, providing pounds and pounds of good eating!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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4 Responses to Welcome Sunshine!

  1. bcparkison says:

    At least all was not lost The mulch can be put back in to place with a little extra work.
    Here the rain has made it easier for me to continue to dig out all of the weeds and grass in my flower beds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! There is a lot going on in your garden! I’ve never tried those types of beans – maybe someday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad the rain didn’t destroy everything. It’s such an exciting time on the plot, isn’t it 🙂


    • carolee says:

      It’s always exciting to me and every day is different. Today I moved swallowtail caterpillars from devoured dill to some parsley and carrots, planted more spinach since this year’s seed is unlikely to be good next year, picked off more Japanese beetles and worked on general clean-up.


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