Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Picking Beans

The rain this past Saturday was a huge help to the garden. Today, I went by to water (no rain in the forecast for a while to come) and there are plenty more cucumbers growing. I also picked three small ziploc bags of green beans and gave away two. I left one bag on the fence--I hope someone took it.

Yesterday, I was making dinner and needed a cucumber, so Noah and I ran over to the garden, and I picked two small green cukes and one small lemon apple cucumber. I also gave away another cucumber and some beans. In talking to people around the garden over the past few days, I have a sense that a lot more people are now picking vegetables than I thought. There are very few squash left at the moment, though there were a bunch growing last week. I'm glad that folks are feeling comfortable picking now.

We're losing more plants to powdery mildew right now. This is a common problem in all gardens, especially at the end of the summer, start of autumn.

We were pretty lucky when it came to insect pests this year. My theory is that we had very few beetle or aphid problems because this spot hasn't been a vegetable garden before. The cucumber plants in the 200 Foot Garden are huge and vigorous compared to what we had in our Roxbury community garden plot, where we had a problem with cucumber beetles. The powdery mildew will take a few more plants, but hopefully it won't have too severe of an impact. (I need to get over there with a bag and pick off the diseased leaves ASAP, but am having trouble finding the time.)

Our green bean production is low at the 200 foot garden, but I'm not sure why. It may just be because with the alternating planting that I did, the cukes and squash take up a lot of space and crowd out the beans. Next year, I plan to plant in a different scheme, with 10-foot blocks of single crops. For the beans, this should be a big help. In our Roxbury plot, we've been picking 2-3 pounds of beans (Blue Lake pole beans) twice a week, from 8 square feet of beans. And that's been going on for more than a month now. Next year, I'd love to have that sort of production from the 200 foot garden.

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