July was an excellent month, with enough rain that the only watering required were the pots and containers. In fact, the garlic, onions, and shallots did not appreciate all the rains, and began to rot before they were truly ready to harvest. It took a good sorting, but the good ones are now braided and hanging in the Lady Cottage, and those with suspect spots have been eaten or preserved. Once those crops were out, lots of beans, carrots, beets and other crops were planted. The only downside has been the ravages of the raccoons, who have eaten or ruined at least fifty pounds of tomatoes! So, there have been none to can so far.
Some of the autumn crops have gone into the ground after the peas, lettuces, and early beans came out: storage carrots, rutabagas, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, baby pumpkins, winter squash, and leeks. The total number of varieties planted in the potager so far this year is 118.
The total for July is 188.25 pounds. However, this does not include the onion, shallot or garlic braids which have not been weighed, nor the tomatoes consumed or destroyed by the critters. In 2017, the total was 213.75, but that did include 50 pounds of garlic and 42 pounds of shallots. 2018’s total was 224.5, but included 37 pounds of garlic and 22.5 pounds of shallots.
The heavyweights this month have been the summer squashes, cucumbers and melons, which unlike last year have not been destroyed by squash bugs or borers. There has also been a glut of broccoli and cabbages, which have thrived in this cooler and wetter than usual July. Peppers and beans have been abundant, and lots of onions added to the totals.
So, overall, I feel that other than the raccoon problem (11 have been relocated so far, but there was still a critter party again last night!) this has been the potager’s best July, mostly due to the lack of insect problems, not having to drag hoses, and the really nice variety of produce coming into the kitchen on a daily basis. Now, on to August!
Beautiful bounty after such a horrible beginning! But how do the racoons get into the potager? I assume they’re too large to squeeze through the fence. Do they climb?
Yes, they can climb the side of a building or a tree, so climbing over my fence is easy for them. Now that no one hunts them (remember the raccoon coats of old days) and they carry too many diseases to eat, there are just too many per square mile!
Always so interesting how different weather patterns cause some plants to thrive and others not to thrive. A good lesson of the importance of planting a variety of vegetables. And those raccoons! Good of you to relocate them rather than kill them.
It is interesting that the weather that hinders one crop blesses another. Also, that the really harsh winter we had was hard on the perennials, but also apparently on the “bad” bugs…well, except for the Japanese beetles. They seem to thrive regardless!
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Those beetles sure do! Dratted things.