Tuesday, October 16, 2012

End of Summer Garden Recap


I realize that I'm talking about the end of Summer while we're well into Fall, but we have had quite a busy last few months. The best news--the new windows are in! They were installed a week earlier than expected, and I can already tell the difference. We have needed new windows for years. The old ones were the crappy builder quality ones. Two had broken seals and moisture had come in. Some didn't close right and you could see gaps (which meant bugs could slither their way in). The screens didn't fit in all of them, so I couldn't open windows to let fresh air in. However, that didn't matter upstairs because all the windows on the top floor were so drafty. That meant that while the temperature was perfectly comfortable downstairs, as soon as you'd walk up the stairs you could feel the cold winter air, and cranking the heat up did not make a difference. In the summer the upstairs was stuffy. Our new windows are the energy efficient kind, and I think we'll see a real difference in our heating and cooling bills over the next year. Actually, I think I can already tell the difference. It's not chilly upstairs, I don't feel the draft when I walk up the stairs, and I have screens that fit so I can actually open windows to let fresh air in without worrying about flies or stink bugs flying in. Life is good.

So, about the garden. The pepper plants are the only thing that made it through the summer with flying colors. The photo above is of habanero peppers, but our 3 bell pepper plants are doing well too. The fruit are small, but it's nice not to have to buy peppers at the store.

Things That Didn't Work

mortgage lifter 8-1
{Mortgage Lifter on August 1}
basil and ML 9-21
{Mortgage Lifter on September 21--dry as a bone}

The Mortgage Lifter tomatoes never did take off. If you remember I posted a Mortgage Lifter SOS back in August because the plants were not producing anything. Actually, that's not true--one plant grew one tomato and that was it. Some suggested giving them an Epsom salt spray, which I did. That, plus the slightly cooler temperatures after the heat wave broke in August, seemed to help the plant that already had a tomato, because many more flowers appeared. Unfortunately, none of those flowers resulted in a tomato. The other plant was sucked dry by a tomato horn work. I came back from Maine to find that plant brown and dry, and Friends, I touched that creepy worm while moving the plant around. I almost died. Anyway, no luck with the ML variety this year. Not sure if I'll try again next year. But, as you can see, the basil has got on smashingly!

corn 8-12
Also, before I left for Maine, this is what the two surviving corn stalks looked like. This was the first time I tried growing corn. They were tasseling and we were looking forward to the home-grown sweet corn later in summer. Alas, we got back from Maine to find both stalks cut down and the corn completely chewed up (by the evil squirrel). Wah-wah.

A Pleasant Surprise


I want to end on a high note.Although squirrels and rabbits dug up all my sunflower seedlings and plants, one sunflower made it!  This is the only picture I managed to take, a little blurry, sorry about that. It attracted lots of bees, unfortunately a little too late in the season to help pollinate my veggies. But it was nice to have a sunny sunflower in my garden. They're my favorite flower, that's why they're on my blog header. Some of the seeds have dropped to the ground and I've seen a few new sunflower volunteers popping up. I doubt they'll make it through the freeze that's coming soon, but I was happy to see at least one sunflower pop up in my garden.

Did your garden have a good summer?


  1. Well, first let me congratulate you on your new windows! I once lived in a house where we would cover the windows with plastic (on the inside) every winter. It was amazing to see that plastic getting whipped around - even though the windows were closed! So, I know how wonderful new windows must be. I am most sorry about your corn. I didn't realize squirrels would do that! I bought ML tomato seeds, but I never planted them. I may try them next year. I will know not to expect too much! :O

  2. Impressive harvest! I love the Sunflower! My garden did not have a good summer because of the drought--except for the flowers. They seemed to thrive, but of course I watered them a lot. Sorry about the Corn! Darn critters.

  3. Yay for new windows. Your sunflower is beautiful -summery and festive. Great looking basil. We are having quite a cool start to Spring so mine is growing very, very slowly indeed and I just used the last of my frozen pesto so I am very jealous of yours.

  4. I would imagine the heat did not help the ML tomato. I love when I get at least one sunflower. My peppers were a huge disappointment except for the green chiles. Nice harvest and glad to hear those windows are in place.

  5. My veg garden got off to a very slow start - a lot of seeds rotted in the ground because of the continual rain - but eventually I got some decent crops - but definitely not as good as previous years. Your peppers look really healthy, shame about your tomato plants though - maybe you'll have more luck next year. Hope you have a nice and cosy winter with your draught-proof windows.

  6. You have had more successes than me this year, I didn't get a single sunflower and my basil was dismal!

    I think having new windows will make such a difference.xxx

  7. Summer was good to my garden, although I still had changes to make this fall to keep all the plants happy. Stay safe in the storm! You're in my thoughts!


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