Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tracking the Harvest: May and June 2013

Who knows what a normal gardening year looks like? I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever be possible again to predict with any accuracy when a crop will come in!

This year's harvests are coming along, but fairly slowly. In other words -- it's all a bit late. I know I'm not the only gardener in the area with this problem, because I've been getting calls at the office from other gardeners who are waiting (and waiting ...) for some of their crops to reach maturity. The potatoes in my yard were a week or so late.

About two-thirds of this year's potato harvest.         PHOTO/Amy W.
The tomatoes, though, are driving us all nuts! Some people are getting decent ripening in their cherry tomatoes and some of the hybrid varieties, but most of the big heirlooms seem to be waiting for less rain and warmer temperatures.

Cherokee Purple tomatoes, just hanging out, not in any hurry to ripen in this cool, wet weather.  PHOTO/Amy W.

The native plants out in the wooded back yard seem unfazed by the weather, but the Rabbiteye blueberries in front are very late, and they aren't too many generations from "native".

Goldenseal making its beautiful red fruits in my back yard.        PHOTO/Amy W.
So, to update the harvest tally, this is what my yard has given us - measured in kilograms - in the past couple of months:

Onions, multipliers
Peas, edible pod
Beets plus greens

Bush beans, green
Swiss chard
Berries, misc.
Onions, bulbing
Tomatoes, ripe
Onions, multipliers

The total harvested weight for May was 3.6 kg, which converts to 7 pounds, 15 ounces; for June it was 36.5 kg, which converts to 80 pounds, 7 ounces.  
The running total for the year, January through June, is 59.75 kg, which converts to 131 pounds 11 ounces.
Last year's harvests from these months were very different, but last year was warm unusually early, so it isn't a good year for comparison. I am pretty sure, though, that the tomatoes should be stampeding into my kitchen by now.

Hope we get a few days break from the rain soon, and that all your gardens are doing well!


  1. My garden is late too. I've picked one good "cooking" of pole beans, a handful of summer squash, and cherry tomatoes enough to eat. I pulled my first Parks Whopper tomato last night and have a couple of Cherokee Purple that should be ripe in a few days if the sun will shine a little. My tomatoes plated in raised beds are faring much better than those planted in the ground. They are stunted in growth and have few blooms. I planted cucumber seeds directly into the raised bed on Memorial Day weekend. The vines are looking beautiful - full and green and LOTS of male blooms but no female blooms that I can see. And the bees are out there. Do you think the plants are going to produce at all? Can a plant have no female blooms at all by some huge mistake or weather condition? It's just been about 40 days since the seeds went in the ground. I'm hoping fruits are still possible. Any ideas?

  2. Hi Barbara,

    Depending on the variety of cucumber that was planted, it could be another 2 or 3 weeks before there are any cukes to bring in. Does the seed packet say how many weeks it will be to maturity? My earliest-planted cucumbers are bearing, but not the latest ones. Like yours, the flowers on those are all male still, and they were planted at about the same time (around the end of May).

    Pole beans usually are slower to make mature beans than bush beans. I plant bush beans to get an earlier harvest, because most years -- and this one is no exception -- the Mexican Bean beetles destroy the plants sometime in July. I will be turning the bean-patch under sometime this week and planting a new patch somewhere else in the garden. The patch is a mess of beetles, spiky yellow larvae, and lacy leaves.

    Last night I brought in the six Cherokee Purple tomatoes that have begun to blush red at the flower-end, to finish ripening indoors. Those plants seem to have fusarium wilt - I'll take a picture when I get a chance later this week. I'm expecting to need to harvest all the rest of the Cherokee Purple tomatoes that are close to ripening, and then to replant that space with something else. The good news is that there are LOTS of big green tomatoes on those two plants. They won't be quite as delicious as if they had ripened on the plants outside, but they will still be very good.

    Hope our gardens both move along at an increased pace soon! With slightly less rain! I am longing for great basket-loads of vine-ripened tomatoes.


  3. Score - I finally have cucumbers. Just babies but cucumbers all the same!


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