Garden Cleanup, Harvest, Apples

Time to add some pictures of how the garden is doing along with some of various things we've done!

At this point, the two cucumber plants (a Burpee Pickler and a Marketmore 76) have been tore down.  They were looking pretty bad when this picture was taken.  There was a lot of garden up-keep that was done on Monday of this week.


The cucumbers were right next to the tomato plants – so I wonder if the fungus rolled over to the cucumbers.  Anyways, the two Roma tomato plants were also tore out – but both of the Best Boy plants were left.  One Best Boy tomato plant has six small tomatoes that started a few weeks back – and the other plant has a few flowers that may produce a few more tomatoes.

Tomato Plants

Looking pretty poor right?  You can see the PVC irrigation system in this photo as well with two pipes lying on the ground.  One goes all the way back to the cucumbers and the other feed the tomatoes.

Moving to the potatoes – we dug up some potatoes on Monday – this was just one plant that I planted right next to one of the roma tomatoes.  I was happy to see we actually got just under three pounds of potatoes from this one plant!

Kennebec Potatoes

There are six – eight other potatoes planted in another area – and as you can see, all of those vines are dead now as well.  I don't want to take them out of the ground for a bit until we are ready to use them though – I hope they don't rot!

Kennebec Potatoes

The one potato plant in the potato box is still growing strong – and shows no signs of it being ready to die back!  With almost three pounds of potatoes from the one plant that was just in the ground, I can't wait to see how many are in this 2.5-foot tall box!

Potato Bin

Some of the Sugar Dots corn was picked on Monday as well.  While pulling the corn that was 20 – 22 days after the silks emerged, I also pulled a good amount of corn stalks that didn't produce anything.  While I am happy we got some corn, I'm not impressed with how the corn turned out.  But, that is my own fault for leaving them in the small planting containers for three weeks.

Sugar Dots Corn

In this area of the garden, most of the corn didn't produce anything.  This was an area where there were only a few ears that produce out of the 36+ that were planted.


I was surprised that most of the corn in the front garden produced!  However, the corn in the picture above barely got any sunlight throughout the day because of the forest behind our house on the south side – so it shades this area for most of the day.

But, the front garden gets full sun all day.  Out of the 20 or so corn planted here, only one of them didn't produce anything.

Front Garden Corn

Here is some that was planted in buckets and placed in the safety of the deer netting under the arbor.  The deer sure like to get into anything they possibly can!

Grape Arbor, Strawberries, and Corn in buckets

Lastly, the corn in the side garden between the house and garage – which was the Peaches & Cream corn – is HUGE!  Look how tall it is compared to the gutters on the house!  Either it really is the soil that made them spurt the growth like that – or the Peaches & Cream variety grow just as tall as field corn.  Unfortunately, the corn started putting silk on about a week after pollen began falling.  So just a day or two after the pollen was completely gone, there was another 17 ears of corn that were ready for pollination – drats – because they would have been some nice ears of corn!

Peaches & Cream Corn

Moving on to the green beans – the green beans in the front bed are all insect infested.  The plants are dying off and production is slowing.  But, I've left them in the bed to help shade the ground and keep it cool and moist.  But this weekend will see the end of all of the plants.

But, the plants in the bed on the driveway are thriving and doing well!  These plants are about 45 days old now and are doing spectacular!  Just yesterday we picked just above three pounds of green beans.

Green Beans

The peppers in the front garden are also doing well.  We've found that we like the red peppers better – the California Wonder peppers are first green but when they mature, they will slowly turn red.  So, we've been waiting to pull the red peppers because they have a sweeter taste to them.  Today I picked six more peppers – almost 1.5 pounds worth!

California Wonder Peppers

Now for the lettuce – I'm not especially happy with the lettuce.  The planting we had in the spring was very good and there was a lot of lettuce.  However, the lettuce has now been in the ground for more than a month – and only a few are growing well – while the others seem stunted.  I wonder if it has something to do with the peppers shading them until about noon – when they begin to get sunlight.

Black Simpson Elite Lettuce

And finally – for our apple trip.  After looking for orchards online, I came across a small mom/pop orchard in Monticello, IL called Wolfe Orchards.  I gave them a call and told them that we wanted to make some applesauce – and was curious to know how much their apples were.  They told me that their apples were $8 a peck – but they did have "seconds" with bad spots in them from hail damage or disfigured ones.  They said those are half price and only $4 a peck.

So we took the short 20 minute drive to Monticello and purchased five pecks of apples for $20.  Wofe Orchards had quite a selection of different apples all nicely arranged.  We took almost all of their seconds – which was a great mixture of different varieties.  So, we got about 50 pounds of apples for $20 – that is less than 50 cents a pound!

We might go back again this weekend to get some more – because we still have about 38 cans to fill.  The 50 pounds of apples were all peeled and cored – and then ground into applesauce – all manually!  The wife & I were up until just after 3 am (started around 6:30 pm) making applesauce!  We made about 19.5 quarts of applesauce.

Next time we are just going to cut the apples and core then – then put them through the food processor.  I read online that in the food processor, it will mince the apples to the applesauce-like substance and the skins are so fine that you won't notice them.  That sure will aid the process!

Wolfe Orchards Apples

Here is some that was planted in buckets and placed in the safety of the deer netting under the arbor.  The deer sure like to get into anything they possibly can!