September already seems like a blur! Overall we had great weather, with ample rain and reasonable temperatures. September is not the hectic harvest month that July and August are, but there was a nice variety of crops harvested: Italian dandelion greens, onions, carrots, various beans, black-eye peas, tomatoes, lots of peppers, radishes, herbs, lettuces, beets, cukes, potatoes, the first “Wando” peas, eggplants, and “Butterscotch” squash. These were a first for the potager, a smaller version of the standard “Butternut” squash which we’ve decided are a necessity from now on.
You may recall that the envelope was pushed to extend the season longer than last year with seedings of beans later than ever before. So far, the gamble has been a good one. All of the late bean plantings have been very productive, with the very last one (shown above) full of blooms and tiny 2-3″ beans. There’s no frost forecast for the upcoming week, so these “Speedy” variety beans, planted August 15th should be harvested successfully. When they come out, there will be more room for the radicchio, turnips and kale that share the bed. The radishes in the front right corner began coming to the kitchen the very end of the month. You may also recall that all of the spinach seed that was leftover was planted mid-September. This bed contains “Avon” in the bottom row, which has not germinated well, and “Gangbusters” in the upper rows….the very uneven seeding job is my error, but the germination is much better for this second variety, one of my very favorites. (Find it at Renee Shepherd seeds.) The last of the “Olympia” seed was planted in another bed, but very few germinated so no photo required. But, since the germination would have been even worse, or non-existent next spring, it was best to plant them in September even if the results are only a plant or two. The bed shown above will get a poly-tunnel cover for overwintering, and hopefully provide a very early harvest next spring.
The potager produced 54.5 pounds of food in September, compared to 53 pounds last year. I was surprised, since the number of tomatoes was intentionally reduced because last year there were definitely too many. They were replaced with more plantings of various beans and greens which weigh less, and beets and carrots which haven’t been harvested yet. I’m pleased, because the changes have balanced our needs better. So, that’s the report for September, a bit tardy but here at last. Enjoy October! I’m sure it will flit by in a flash as well!