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Frost Arrives = Last Garden Report of 08
(October 13 Report)

Not much greenery left now.

This freakish eggplant sprouted a "nose." If I could get all my eggplants to do this,
and stick on "eyes" I'd be a captain of industry in the novelty produce business.

My goal for this first year of giant pumpkins was to get one over 100 lbs.,
but I missed the mark. For some reason the mid-sized pumpkin (which
appeared very late in the season) had a mottled color scheme despite
all the pumpkins coming from the same type of seed.

The pumpkins were turned over to this local youth for acts of
Halloween vandalism and mischief.

Almost everything in the garden is now dead like these beans.

Many people here comment on how well I am able to grow celery although I do
nothing more than throw seeds in the ground in the spring. In fact, while most
of the garden has perished, my super tough celery lives on (although it's getting a bit wild).

Although peppers take a long time to grow here, the payoff is great at the end.
Those in the top row are Chinese Giant Grillers and on the bottom are mini-sweet peppers.
I actually grew the bottom peppers from seed I harvested from a bag of peppers I bought at Sam's Club last year because I loved the flavor. These turned out to be the best tasting peppers
in the garden. The CGG peppers are mildly hot - perfect for stuffed peppers or...

The Chinese Giant Griller peppers live up to their name.

I'd call this an over-abundance of cherry tomatoes.

I let these pear tomato plants grow "wild" without any support and they
produced far more than I could use or give away.

This onion looks like a big green spider. These "Kelsae Giant Onions" were supposed to get
up to two pounds, but none of mine even got close to one pound.

From Garden To Table
(September 10 Report)

This past week I harvested peppers, tomatoes, beets, onions and green beans for some more canning.
Here are the Hungarian wax peppers divided between hot and mild
(the only way to tell the difference is by where the plants are in the garden or by tasting them.)

Pictured are quarts of sweet peppers (left), salsa (center), hot peppers (right) and pints of dilled green beans and beets. I used a hot water canner and a pressure canner depending on the
acidity of the vegetable and pickling mix.

Harvesting In Full Swing
(August 27 Report)

The giant pumpkin looks a bit more orange this week,
which could spell the slowing of its growth.

Surprisingly, this new pumpkin has appeared on a vine that hasn't
produced any fruit up until now. However, this one looks different with green stripes.

This photo shows the continued march of the giant pumpkin vine!
This should probably be cut to direct all nutrients to the giant pumpkin, but
I don't want to risk killing off the whole plant at this stage.

This large tray of lemon cucumbers...

...was turned into 14 jars of pickles.
Some are dill and some are bread and butter pickles.

 These green beans are very healthy. Next year I am going to grow them
to even greater heights. A recent harvest yielded enough beans
to make six jars of dilled green beans and onions.

This shows the effects of tomato blight that has plagued all area farmers this year.

Even this tomato in a pot up by my house has suffered as its spindly nature attests.

However, these tomato plants that I let grow "wild" without any supports show no ill effects.

Here are some green bell peppers.
Odd, considering I didn't plant any bell peppers this year.

These little Tabasco peppers can be stuffed into a jar of vinegar to make
a great topping for French fries. Such vinegar is served at Steak-n-Shake
restaurants and marketed by Trappey's...

Pestilence and Death Abound
(August 20 Report)

The giant pumpkin forges ahead!

The smaller pumpkin however, is finished.
Its vine and leaves have withered and died.

Tomato blight has caused stunted plant growth,
but there are still plenty of tomatoes.


Eggplants are my favorite vegetable because of their rich color and variety.
In the end, they all taste the same when cooked.
A great thing if you like eggplant dishes as I do.

This variety is called "Fairytale."

This is what broccoli ends up as if you don't pick it.
The rabbits will eat this with much mirth and merriment.

This celery bunch poses in a rustic setting
prior to consumption with blue cheese dressing.

A buttercup squash poses underneath a hot Hungarian pepper plant.
The squash vine died for some reason so the fruit was plucked!

This cabbage is astoundingly large.

This cabbage has been eaten by unknown herbivore.


Frigid Minnesota Nights of 55-Degrees
Hamper Growth
(August 13 Report)

The large pumpkin has grown, but not as dramatically as in past weeks.
The pumpkins now rest on a bed of sand with landscape fabric on top
to prevent moisture and rot underneath.

Shades have been constructed to bounce harmful
UV rays back into space from whence they came.

This carrot was harvested and minutes later...

It met with critical acclaim from discerning taproot aficionado!

Soon these beans will be table-bound.

This lemon cucumber is hanging through a trellis
where it can develop in solitude.

Scissor Mishap And Recidivist Bugs
Can't Slow Growth
(August 6 Report)


The giant pumpkin continues to double in size every week...

A closer look shows that this pumpkin has its own gravitational field.

However a scissor mishap has resulted in this gash. The scissors fell out of the
gardener's pocket as he knelt down to show the pumpkin some affection.


This smaller pumpkin is nothing to sneeze at either.

Another baby pumpkin has turned up on a different vine.

The vine of the giant pumpkin is 25 feet long and had to
be rerouted to prevent escape from the property!
Other vines not producing pumpkins have been severed to redirect nutrients.

This buttercup squash will yield delights in the fall.

The bugs have returned to the cabbage, making coleslaw of this head.

These hot peppers are starting to show their colors.

This squash flower is a haven for the less reputable elements of the garden.

No need to buy tomatoes for the next couple months.
All varieties beginning to turn red.

Here are four healthy looking eggplants, but upon closer inspection...

...we see that this one has been the victim of a voracious bug!!

The eggplant was completely hollow.
Mass quantities of bug dust were applied to the garden in a knee-jerk response. The specter of Jeff Porcaro was conjured during the dusting.


Garden Rebounds From Deer & Pests
Thanks To 90-Degre Heat and Gallons Of Water.
(July 30 Report)

Recall last week that the pumpkins were softball-sized.

They have now eclipsed a basketball on their march toward scale-tipping gigantism.
All flowers were pulled and smaller pumpkins pruned.
Gardener endured threats from scores of bees during the operation.

This photo shows a typical day's harvest.
Pictured are: early cucumber, white eggplants, black beauty eggplant,
fairy-tale eggplants, patty pan squash, crook-neck summer squash, zucchini,
Hungarian wax peppers, Detroit red beets, a golden beet, and a basket of spring mix lettuces.
The eggplants are earmarked for tonight's main dish of eggplant parmesan.
Beets, squash and peppers to be grilled and lettuce to be paired with cuke for salad.

This head of broccoli is coming along nicely. Note encroaching cucumber vine!

This cabbage has rebounded from being eaten by bugs
following the application of some magical anti-bug dust.

These pole beans have devoured this six-foot pole and desire continuance skyward.

Garden Dealt Blow By Rampaging Deer
(July 22 Report)

From a distance everything looks fine...

...yet these hoof prints that pierced the landscape fabric
provide evidence of deer grazing!!

Deer nibbled off the tops of cucumber plants.

They pulled beets from the ground and trimmed the tops.

These green bean vines were pruned by the deer at the locations with arrows.
Tomatoes were also eaten off the plants.

The battle against deer has commenced with the ultra-foul-smelling stuff.
The odor stays with you as a mental imprint for days.

Deer repellant was sprayed on all plants and on these strips of fabric tied to the fence.

Deer aren't the only nuisance at work. An evil bug has made this cabbage plant into Swiss cheese.

The pumpkins were unaffected by the deer. Here bees pollinate the pumpkins.
There were about eight bees in that flower jockeying for position.
Note other bug making appearance under grass blade.

This pumpkin is about softball size. Another is even larger.


Since the fence was moved, the pumpkin vines have prospered.
Red line shows where fence was one week prior.

This winter squash is a model of perfection.

Mass quantities of summer squash now available.

This squash plant has violated the fence.


Amazing Growth Spurred by Hot Early July Sun
(July 11th Report with NEW CAMERA)

Garden Overview

Success has been aided by this bag of old-school fertilizer.

Note the illustration of the long-sleeved farmer toiling amidst lush foliage.

Five pumpkin plants now an undifferentiated mass of growth about 12 feet long!

Pumpkin flowers abound.

Ping-pong ball sized pumpkin.

Pumpkin attempting to reach fence and breach perimeter!

Perfectly shaped tomato.

Tomato collapsed under its ponderous weight. Nearby onions denied sun as a result.

Buttercrunch lettuce.

Green beans reaching for the sky!



Hot Hungarian wax peppers.

Spring mix showing signs of harvesting for evening's salad.


Another Week of Massive Pumpkin Growth
is Chronicled for June 24!

The Painesville pumpkins are about to bloom!

Pumpkins from seed have exploded as contenders!

This Tabasco pepper plant has a pepper already that is almost the height of the plant itself!


June 17th Garden Report

Garden overview on June 17.

Painesville pumpkins showing progress.

Closeup showing plants vim and vigor.

The three pumpkins started from seed in the garden.


The Garden's Humble Beginnings...

The pumpkins were planted on a mound on Sunday, June 1. The mound is actually higher that it looks in the photo.
The chomping bug was discovered to be a small centipede-type creature that was
promptly put to death. Several healthy worms were in the large pot and
they were transferred to the ground with the plants.

New eggplants were purchased on May 31 and planted.

An eggplant that was eviscerated during the hail storm of May 30.

A Painesville bug of unknown species hitched a ride in the box
and chomped these leaves on the trip to Minnesota.

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin plants arrived via UPS from friend in Painesville, OH on May 30.

Sprinkler mounted on volleyball pole at 8.5 feet height for maximum coverage.

May 21 - Garden tilled and ready to accept seed and plants!