Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Last Harvest Before Fall Arrives.

Once again it is time to be grateful for our weekly harvests of home-grown vegetables. Sustained cool weather is coming closer each day that goes by on the calendar, so we have to harvest all that we can while we have the opportunity. A small fresh vegetable in my hand is better than a larger one that went bad on the plant, so this time of year I tend to play it on the safe side and pick the smaller ones too.

I was able to pick 27 giant marconi peppers that weighed a total of 2 1/2 pounds. The wind is beginning to affect my tall plants even though I have them tied up, so some of these picked were the smaller ones.

When preparing the peppers, I save the crowns from the larger peppers in order to dry them out and save the seeds. Although it looks like a lot of seeds here, many of them are immature and are not capable of germinating. After they are dry, I will sort them out by size. I figure that the larger the seed, the higher probability of successful germination in the spring.

The sweet banana peppers did well again. I got 67 of them and they also weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds. There are still many blooms as well as very small peppers (about 1 inch long) on the plants. They'll keep until next time I pick, which I expect to be in about ten to twelve days.

The heritage red raspberries continue to do well. This week I picked 4 1/2 ounces of them. That gives me a total so far this year of 2 1/2 pounds! There are dozens more still forming on the canes.

This is my first ever harvest of Cherokee Purple tomatoes! These three totaled just a few points under a full pound for all three, not each. There are several smaller ones still on the vines.

My Park's Whopper and Burpee's Big Boy tomatoes still have green tomatoes on the vines, and they even have new blooms.

Hopefully there will be enough time for these to ripen before it becomes too chilly for tomatoes to survive. I don't think there will be enough warm weather left this year for the blooms to develop into tomatoes.

I have just one female bloom on my cucumber vines.

All the rest appear to be male. I have only two vines remaining in good health, as all the rest have died already without producing a single nice cucumber. I think I'm going to try hand pollinating this one to see what will happen. I figure at this point, what do I have to lose?

Thanks to all my visitors for taking your valuable time to stop by my blog. Feel free to share a comment with me if you would like to. I enjoy hearing from you!

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK


  1. Wow, your peppers did great. I still don't know what is wrong with mine but since I am changing to all raised beds next year, maybe I can fix the problem.

  2. That's a lot of seed sorting ;)
    Those raspberries are great aren't they. Mine are doing well for their first year and they taste so good!

  3. Really great photos. I was pretty sad that none of our pepper plants produced this year. Odd because they were big and hardy, just no peppers. Better luck next year i suppose.

  4. You are pulling in some nice pepper harvests! I have tomato plants that are still setting fruit and there is no way they will make it to maturity at this point. I did a hard trim of the tops a few weeks back and that seems to have put more of the plants energy into sizing up and maturing the remaining already set fruit. Still a gamble whether I can get them far enough along to be ready to ripen off the vine when the plants start going down from molds, mildews, and cold stress. Keeping my fingers crossed for a mild and warmish fall. We don't get our first frosts until usually November but the cold rains usually kill the tomato plants long before the frosts arrive.

  5. It was a good year for peppers! I have gotten 4 times the amount that we need and they are still producing!

    Lucky you to be getting some fall raspberries! They look wonderful! The hurricane blew all of mine away :(

    I didn't have good luck with my cucumbers this year either. I usually have so many that I get tired of them and pull most of the vines. Oh well, every year there are crops that are good and crops that are not so good.

  6. Your pepper look great. We keep getting jalapenos, but all the other pepper plants were pulled yesterday to make room for broccoli. The Cherokee Purples look good. We've never grown them before. Maybe this year.

  7. My tomatoes have just started to develop blight, so I have picked a lot of fruit for ripening indoors to keep them out of harm's way. Also, I often bring my Chillis indoors (at least, into the garage) when it gets cold, in order to prolong the harvest.

  8. Wow, I'm definitely jealous of your pepper harvest. Ours were almost a complete failure this year because of and extremely cool and wet spring. We ended up buying peppers at the farmers market so that we would have a supply for winter use.

  9. becky3086, My giant marconi peppers and sweet banana peppers did do great, but my Red Beauty peppers and California Wonders did terrible! The Red Beauties all were sickly and died as did all the California Wonders except one plant, and that one can't seem to grow out the peppers it starts. Very odd, especially when my soil tested mid-range for all nutrients and minerals.

    Shawn Ann, It is a lot of seed sorting, but I'm used to it after the broccoli, Brussels sprouts and Fortex green bean seed saving that I did earlier this year. Yes! The raspberries are great!, Thanks! The pepper problem is strange. I've been trying to grow bell peppers for about four years with no real success. Yet the marconi and banana peppers grow like crazy. I can't figure it out.

    kitsapFG, Thanks! Hard trimming the tops... maybe I'll try that. We also don't get first frosts until around mid November. Good luck with yours!

    Robin, Good job on all those peppers! My raspberries are located on the southwest side of our house, so when hurricanes or nor'easters blow through, the raspberries are well protected from the wind. If they were out in the open there would be none left after Irene. You're right about every year some are good and some aren't. Maybe that is mother nature's form of crop rotation! Ha! Ha!

    Jody, good job getting that broccoli in! I still have to get mine if it would just stop raining for awhile. The ground is saturated here. After eating some of the Cherokee Purples, I think I'll go back to some of my other tomato favorites next spring. The taste was okay, but I've had richer tomato flavor from many other types. See if you can get one for tasting before you commit to planting them.

    Mark Willis, I agree with picking and bringing in the tomatoes before something happens to them! Good idea with bringing the chillis into the garage. It can make a great difference to all plant's production if you can safely remove them from the effects of harsh weather. If it extends the harvest, it's worth doing!

    Stoney Acres, Thanks! I guess all we can do is give it our best shot each year and see how it goes. At least you were able to get nice peppers from a Farmer's Market and not a big box store!

    My sincere thanks to each and every visitor to my blog and also for the comments that were shared with me.

    Happy Gardening!
    Veggie PAK