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Saturday, August 24, 2013

August Vegetable Report

With the tomatoes finally starting to ripen, I'm ready to give an August vegetable report. To see what others are growing, click on the link for the Backyard Farming Connection.

Also linking with From the Farm blog hop, click on the link.
Prudent Living OTHF

To compare with my July garden, click here.

A favorite paste tomato for taste and texture is Heidi, which weighs in at 2 oz (57 gm) here also with my favorite summer squash, Crookneck, 12 oz (340 gm), which has a delightful buttery nutty flavor and creamy texture.

But for yield, and also a tasty squash surprisingly tender at the large sizes which it attains, an Italian striped squash called Cocozelle, at 1.5, 1.75, and 3.75 lb-

The large one is still tender at this size-

My favorite crop is probably beans, I grow some heirloom beans and some commercial varieties.   Even more than squash and tomatoes, nothing one can buy in the grocery store can compare with home-grown.  I save seed every year, which means fall is characterized by a lot of bean shucking and sorting.   I also grow runner beans, which are a different species than regular beans, and require pollination.   They also leave the seed leaves, or cotyledons, in the ground when they sprout, and have large rough pods only tender at earlier stages. They typically have red flowers and purple to black seeds.   I have been growing a great runner bean called Insuk's Wang Kong Bean, brought over from Korea, and named after a Korean woman, Insuk, which sets better in heat than most runner beans.  But this year I am experimenting with growing white seeded runner beans which also have white flowers, to see if the beans are more tender and/or flavorful.   It has not been a good experiment because for some reason the flowers are not getting pollinated as successfully resulting in much reduced yields: runner beans have been my highest yielding beans some years because of their big size.   Here are the flowers and stubs where beans should have set on-

So, that is a disappointment, but at least the rabbits that suddenly decided to eat my bean seedlings last year have not done so much this year, though voles are nipping off my pole beans in one bed, going down the row,
even after my usual ploy of wrapping the stems in aluminum foil.   These vines are very vigorous, they are an Italian yellow shrimp bean called Anellino Giallo.  It is so sad to see them shrivel up, loaded with beans.  Below is a selection of some beans I am growing this year, from the top, a mystery pole bean that showed up in some rows of bush beans, heirloom Yer Fasulyasi romano bush, Red Peanut (AKA Old Joe Clark), Anellino Giallo, Grandma Robert's Purple Pole Beans,  Speedy bush beans, Uncle Steve's pole beans, Super Marconi pole beans. and a mystery pole bean that showed up in a pack of bush beans, and at the top, pale purple with shiny black seeds with white speckles.

The first crop to yield was cucumbers, here Tanja, which I grow on a trellis as well.   I like to grow parthenocarpic cucumbers, which don't need to be pollinated.

On the fruit side, my best early apple is a large red called Prince William, one of the Purdue early apples (whose names contain the letters PR).  It frequently has no damage from codling moths since it develops before the moths are out laying eggs on the fruits.

I hope you are finding the time and space to grow some vegetables and fruits, beyond compare.



  1. So sad about the Italian beans, but your other vegetables are looking good. Beautiful apples, too.
    I have Kentucky Wonder pole beans that are doing really well this year. Bumble Bees are staying busy pollinating them.
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Thanks, Lea. Aren't beans great? I'm picking lots of beans now from my other beds at least, as well as squash, and my tomatoes are getting ripe and soon will be enough to make sauce.

    I wrapped some netting around the bases of the beans as well as the aluminum foil, so I hope the remaining beans are safe. That bed is really overrun with voles so I am going to give up using it for beans in spite of having the trellis set up there. I've tried trapping them and it is very difficult.

  3. It's always sad when some critter comes along and lops off something that's happily growing and getting ready to produce! It looks as though everything else is doing pretty sure is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Bee Girl. After doing all the work to set up the perfect bean trellis and using it for years, I'm sadly thinking I just can't attempt to grow beans there anymore because the voles are so bad in that bed. I do have some alternative trellises set up in other beds and also made some temporary trellises this year out of bamboo, so I guess I can stop using this one, maybe I can try cucumbers there since I haven't had consistent vole damage growing them. They also don't bother kale but did doesn't require a trellis so it would be wasted on them. It is nice that my newest garden bed, which is huge, doesn't have a bad population of voles yet, but give it time... Arggh. I hate gardening with so many critters.

  4. Hannah what a great harvest so far. We also grew Cocozelles this year and they will be planted in my garden again.