Our 2021 garden: progress and pruning

As always during my morning rounds, I checked on the various beds to see how things are growing.

This most mature of our Red Kuri squash has ceased growing in size, and is just beautifully deepening in colour as it ripens.

While it’s neighbour is getting bigger. We won’t have a lot of mature winter squash at the end of the season, but we might have at least the two of them before first frost hits. Which, I hope, will be very late this year!

The one Mongolian Giant with so many seed heads, now has more of them opening and blooming!

These ones just amaze me. These are the Hopi Black Dye sunflowers that were started indoors, but did not actually germinate until after the other ones were direct sown outside. They were much smaller when transplanted, then all but one got their heads chomped off by deer. And yet, not only are they recovering from the deer damage, they are producing seed heads! Meanwhile, the ones that were direct sown are looking a lot bigger, you can see where the seed heads are starting to develop, but so far, they still have not actually emerged as obvious seed heads.

I do want to try these sunflowers again, but I think we will have to invest in a seed tray heat mat to start them indoors, to help with germination.

Yesterday, we picked summer squash and beans. Today, it was tomatoes!

Because of their small size, I use one of the red Solo cups to collect the tomatoes, and this time I quite nearly filled it to the top! That’s the most we’ve gathered, yet. 🙂

You can see a few of the tomatoes have split, from all the rain we’ve had recently.

I also “topped” the tomatoes this morning. I had no idea this was a thing, but a couple of garden related channels I follow had talked about it. It is only needed for indeterminate tomatoes, as they just keep growing taller, putting out more blossoms and fruiting, until the first frost kills them. That leaves a lot of green tomatoes. For this time of year, pruning the tops off the plants will stop them from getting bigger, and the green tomatoes will start ripening faster, instead of staying green longer, so there will be more ready tomatoes before first frost hits.

If that is what starts happening, with how loaded the tomatoes are with green fruit, that should hopefully mean we will start harvesting enough at once to make it worth preserving them in some way. With their small size, I’m not entirely sure what method we’ll use, yet. Only my husband and one of my daughters eats tomatoes, so it’ll pretty much be up to them to decide that one. 🙂

Thinking ahead to next year, the Spoon tomatoes are fun, and they’re great for fresh eating – we’ll likely grow them again, though they are also likely to self seed. The Mosaic Mix tomatoes are doing well and being enjoyed, but we want to try others. There are several varieties of cherry and grape tomatoes my older daughter wants to try, and I want to grow paste tomatoes. I may not be able to eat tomatoes fresh, but I can eat them if they’ve been processed enough before being used as an ingredient. Plus, we have the Yellow Pear variety of tomato we already picked up seeds for to try.

We need to start going over our plans and wish lists for next year’s garden, so we can plan and prepare things this fall.

The Re-Farmer

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