the august garden

 apple trees

apple tree - leaf damage

 crepe myrtle

 roma tomatoes - on the decline

looking back to one of my favorite spots
a little corner, hidden somewhat, with flowers abundant, fire pit, hammock and benches 

peegee hydrangea - the change in color signals the change in seasons 

someone needs to thin the strawberry plants 

bouquets of cosmos - a favorite

Harvest Total thru August ~ 444 lbs.

Herbs ~ 3 lbs.
Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Basil and Chives

Fruit ~ 94 lbs.
Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries

Vegetables ~ 347 lbs.
Kale, Lettuce, Endive, Spinach (8 lbs.), Cosmic Purple, Chantenay and Parisienne Carrots and  (41 lbs.), Sweet Peppers (8 lbs.), Japanese Long and Dutch Yellow Cucumbers (45 lbs.), Bush Beans (21 lbs.), Forum Onions (23 lbs.), Caribou Russet Potatoes (71 lbs.), Garlic (4 lbs.),  Beefsteak Tomatoes (3 lbs.), Roma Tomatoes (96 lbs.), Cherry Tomatoes (6 lbs.), Kohlrabi (6 lbs.), Golden Beets (4 lbs.) and Squash (16 lbs.)


We harvested a little more than 100 pounds in August bringing our total up to 444 pounds! We still have a 4x8 square bed of potatoes to harvest as well as more roma tomatoes, if the plants don't die early. From the picture above you can see the leaves of this plant are not happy. The plants will continue to produce until totally dead, so we'll just leave them until completely done. New plantings of green beans and kale are already producing and we're still reaping sweet peppers, raspberries and herbs. I'd like our total to reach 500 pounds since that is the amount we reached last year (the first year I began weighting our harvest bounty) and it seems a good goal to reach for. At the end of the year I'm going to do a comparison of last year's results to see what produced and what didn't and try to analyze why. Sometimes it's gardener error and sometimes it isn't!

It seems we have the Japanese Beetle problem under control thanks to using Neem. It is a safe-for-edible plants concentrate that you mix with water and spray. We've used it on the apple trees, crepe myrtle bushes, Japanese Maple trees, Crab Apple tree and the Sand Cherry bush. The Crab Apple tree does not look well so we'll see if it survives. We bought it on extreme clearance last year (under $10 maybe), so don't feel it will be much of a loss, just a deal that slipped through our fingers. 

The apple trees seem happy with the application of Neem, but I'm not sure whether to attribute their leaf loss to Japanese Beetles or not since I never actually saw one on any of the four trees. These were also bought inexpensively because they were small, albeit from a reputable company a few years ago, so we are hoping they will all survive. We have not fertilized them but for compost but this year we will do so (in the fall and spring with an organic fruit-tree specific fertilizer) to help them along with whatever pests are around. 

This has been a learning year! We've learned that 1) the garden can produce heavily even when we have a busy schedule and don't have as much time to tend to her and 2) that we need to have a system of proactive maintenance with fertilizers and sprays (organic) to set the garden up to be a healthy one (this is even more needed as our future summer schedule may also not allow us to have eyes on her regularly).

Last night we ate spaghetti with sauce made from garden tomatoes, onions and herbs roasted that day. Tonight we'll have mashed potatoes from our own russets. It is not lost on me the sweetness of growing our own produce just outside our back door framed with the beauty of the floral blooms.