Another growing season in our part of the world is coming to an end. There are still several things in the garden that are waiting to be harvested and can handle some frost. But not much is growing anymore during the cooler days and increasingly colder nights.
End of season garden update 2021 is not on video, there is not much to show, since we had bad hail damage at the end of August. Thankfully most of the produce that could have been damaged had been already harvested.
And some of the things that we really cared about, like Mount Royal plums, hot peppers, and Somerset grapes were mostly spared from the hail damage. I’m not sure how that happened, but it showed us again that miracles happen.
Now two weeks later, we are really enjoying the plums and grapes with even more gratitude. Life unfolds in many ways, and what we would consider good or bad, really just IS.
On the same note, as we shared in our spring update, our apple tree was in full bloom, when we got a late spring frost. We still got a great apple harvest from that tree, just before the hailstorm.
Another tree that bloomed a bit later was hit by hail, but we could harvest the apples right away, and make some yummy apple jam. It reminds me of the saying: “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Overall, we had a great gardening season, as usual, unusual. We had a hot summer for our part of the world. Things that we often struggle with to grow did really well, and others did not so well.
Since we have been gardening for so long, it does not surprise us as much. It’s just the normal cycle of ups and downs in the garden. For a new gardener, such things might seem strange.
I wanted to encourage new gardeners to keep growing, no one year is like the other.
This year peppers did really well. We have developed some techniques to grow peppers in a cold climate, but we could see how the warmer weather made the plants thrive so well.
We didn’t just get lots of peppers, but we got lots of colorful and very tasty peppers.
Alongside with hot papers and even basil to go with them that grew outside.
The eggplants on the other hand did not so great. We did get some harvest, but thinking about it, I decided this might be our last year growing them. Using the eggplants that we got, alongside summer squash, I noticed that they are really interchangeable in recipes. However, summer squash grows so much easier and does not have to be in the greenhouse.
For years I have been pushing our boundaries, to see what all is possible in a cold climate. It sure was fun, and we had some great experiences. But now I am at a point aiming for productivity and simplicity.
And we grew pickles this year. Lots of them. Cucumbers are one of the most challenging plants that we keep growing here. Often they just start blooming, by the time the first frost comes. Not so this year. We had more than we could keep up with. It was a really fun experience. I let one grow to maturity to get seeds from. Hooping to get better results even during cooler summers.
As usual, we got lots of tomatoes. Our favorite variety Bulls Heart did not disappoint us once again. We usually prune to one stem, and this year we left two growing. As you see in the picture, the production increased. And this is a recent picture, we have already harvested so, so many.
Also, you might notice that the cover of the Dome greenhouse is ripped and hanging down. It did not stand the hail. But thankfully not many tomatoes got damaged, and since it is a dome we can just fix the triangles that got damaged. But, since it is fall, we will wait for the final fix till spring. For nor we just threw a piece of plastic over the top of the dome.
The fig trees did very well also. We grow them mainly for fun, just because we can.
One of my favorite fruits in the garden are cherries. We grow the Carmine Jewel sour cherries. Read more about our fruit tree varieties here. But, to be honest, I just added the picture because of our garden cat, Eevee. What is a garden update without her? Do you have a garden pet?
The experiment to grow squash on the driveway ended rather dramatically. However, we did get one squash and the wisdom not to do it again.
In our spring garden update, I showed you the garlic we planted from old cloves. At harvesting time I could not see any real difference between the two. The old cloves and the new produced equally great. So yes, if you have cloves left from the year before, go ahead and plant them. We will be planting new garlic at the end of September.
We have also already planted overwintering spinach for next year, so the harvesting, planting, and harvesting cycle continues.
How was your gardening season?