Thursday, August 29, 2019

Midwest Gardening August 2019 Part 1 Vegetables

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Midwest Gardening Part 1
Vegetable Garden August 28th, 2019
 I've split my gardening into two posts....Now, for the CROPS!

August 28th picking, plus peppers we ate for dinner (4) 5 small zucchini and some pickles I put in the refrigerator.

From my kitchen I can see out to the EAST is the DILL. I joked and said enough to supply Heinz pickles, LOL.

Again, I planted extra this year, just for the butterflies. Each day I scan these stalks for larvae happily munching and sucking on the stems. We are going to let this seed this whole fenced section, for next year. Fences are for bunnies and do nothing for woodchucks, raccoons, moles or ground squirrels. And, bugs of course go everywhere.

Further down the fence we have our late pickles, which have been bearing well. Some of the leaves are curling, but lots of blossoms. Empty now--hubby picked a whole shoebox full on Wednesday. We also have squash wandering along the fence. lower. I tried to train them up, with no success. Hubby says they are dark green hardshell squash. When (IF) we get one, I'll share the name.

Down further and into the fence in the garden are more squash vines. Butternut seems to be the most successful this year. Thank goodness we had started them in pots and transplanted. They will certainly need another month at least to be ripe.

Butternut squash is a family favorite, and great keepers. This one is about 12" long now. More than one of these has wandered over into the neighbor's side hanging on the fence.

This one is hidden in the leaves and very long. I missed taking the ones hanging on the fence when I took photos...I'll get them in mid-september on another post.

The back of the garden has the BigBoy tomatoes we started from seed. They are winding down, and it is a toss-up whether we pick them or the critters chew them. I'm thinking raccoons because the toothholes are so big.

Leaves are starting to curl and some dried up---

The heat contributes to the 'burn off' on the plants.  On Monday, I will pick everything that is turning at all and ripen them in the house on trays! Then we will pull the vines and keep them separate from the weeds for mulching. 

Behind the greenhouse is NO MAN"S LAND. I had this all cleaned out---but it is a jungle again. Anything could be growing back there. When it is long pants weather, I will venture back there.

I know there is chives back there, I cut them in spring, before blossoming and dried them.

The garden side of the greenhouse has some zucchini still quite happy, and I'm sure there are some lurking in there somewhere.

The wood in the upper left corner is from the green house.
Our beans and pickles grew on all these contraptions...we will be pulling some of the lattice out now, and moving them. Rotating crops is always a good idea. We really try to do GREEN and organic gardening, so beans will be moved. The bedspring on the other side has been super for the cucumbers. The downside is BUGS. 

Hubby planted 6 giant Kolrabi in the garden. They were doing very well, until the excessive heat and bugs. I'm guessing if or when they are full size (about the size of a softball) they will be woody. We will see. Think of kohlrabi as American Jicama..juicy, crunchy and tasty.

My lettuce by the Dill gave out two weeks ago. But this planter is still doing well. Monday, I will plant 3 planters with new lettuce. I'm using this for Sunday. We are having a family Trout Boil...always a favorite.

My green onions are looking like these...more stalk then onion. We have two planters with red. We plant to transplant these to the garden for growing into next year to full size!

Here's some zucchini that gave up---one blossom, left. They produced lots though. 
Not using mulch on the Garden cloth---has been successful. Hubby doesn't do weeds, and I've not been able to do that much in the garden. Walking on squishy ground is very hard on my knee. Today it was quite firm and I pulled quite a bit.

This is white onions...that didn't do much, seeds planted late, like everything else.

We only got 3-4 pickings of beans but tons of zucchini.

In the past, I showed how to ripen tomatoes. Usually two-three days in this east window and anything ripens.

As our crops slow down---there will be time to do the inside of the greenhouse, and stain the wood on the outside. We need to add the insulation, wire some lights, and clean all the containers and arrange the storage. I definitely want a tool rack, and some cute stuff in there also. Hubby isn't into cute, so everything will have to be 'functional' cute! 
Water will be hooked up. We will try moving the peppers in pots in, and lettuce in planters through Fall, just to see how warm it stays.

 For this year, Chicagoland gardening has been cold, wet, cold, wet, wet, cold, then hotter than HADES and more wet...dry for 3 weeks, then wet and now---simply gorgeous. You just never know!

I will be sure to commiserate or answer any questions, and please let me know... 



  1. Hi Sandi! I am so excited to find your blog finally. I looked on the Over the Moon Link Party when you mentioned it and was never sure if I found the right one.
    Anyway, I LOVE this post! Mr. Menace and I just put bed springs in the trash pile for someone to haul off and I'm going TODAY to rescue them and put in my garden for next year.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your greenhouse and plan to show it to Mr. Menace so he can make me one...
    No Man's land made me laugh and feel better. My whole garden looks that way. AND .... I'm going to try your husbands idea and put down some cheap plastic landscape fabric that we have in between my rows next year and maybe that will help with my weed/grass problem.
    Loved all the pictures.
    :) gwingal


    1. Hi, Nikki...thanks so much for joining. We had very hot temperatures (not as hot as you) but we didn't put down mulch over it. We use the simple 100 feet for 10-12$.
      Last year we put down mulch, and had very poor root growth, I think the mulch cut down on the oxygen.
      Recommendation is to put down the fabric (with pegs, plant between the seams, or cut holes specifically for good size plants. We left our edges bare for the vine vegetables. It does cut down on weeding, and also leaves you clean shoes, sorta. Crabgrass was crazy huge(we've really never had that before) and that will actually vine out and poke down through the fabric and reroot. Hubby doesn't weed and I wasn't able to get into the garden until mid August (with my knee) so it really did help. We planted onions and lettuce in boxes and herbs in boxes which helped also(no weeding) basically!

      PS you can reuse the fabric, we just roll it up and store the pegs in a plastic pot!(by the green ones, then you can see them.

      Good Luck. If you lack space, plan on going up with beans(pole) and your vine plants going up...saves on space!


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!