Harvest Monday – 17 February, 2014

I had a few days back at my parents place this week and when I returned this afternoon the garden was heaving with produce ready to come in (well, not everything, but definitely more than I’ve had to date).  Things are coming on very quickly now.

Over the last week I picked:

Hundreds of tiny wild sweetie cherry tomatoes.  These are most delicious but do take great patience and time to pick.  The bushes are sprawling huge this and the fruit oh so teeny.

Just one days pickings.

Just one days pickings.

I’ve also picked the first of my other cherry varieties (which I actually have no idea of their names).  A few yellow ones and some very dark red/purple ones which are half way between a cherry and full sized tomato.  Both nice, but nothing quite beats the taste of the wild sweeties.

The first and only Roma tomato also got picked this afternoon.

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A few zucchinis including the tiny ones pictured above.  I’ve found some of the fruit starts to yellow and go bad at the flower end instead of growing to full size while others grow perfectly.  Any ideas why?

I picked the first single cucumber last week and another TEN this week.  Yay!  I feel some cucumber pickles coming on.

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Some strawberries – all eaten straight away.  I’ve got lots more coming on too now that the intense heat has left us and the fruit gets a change to develop instead of drying on the bush.

Lettuce and silverbeet.

Basil, parsley and mint.

My manic pumpkin vine has pretty much died off, so I’m thinking I should pick the six pumpkins.  Or is it better to leave them until the stems dry out too?

For more head over Daphne’s.

This entry was posted in Gardening, Monday Harvest and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Harvest Monday – 17 February, 2014

  1. Glenn Finlay says:

    Hi
    Great Harvest!
    Love the look of those little sweeties! We have been making pickles too which the kids love. It reminds me so much of my childhood and brings back good memories. We have a glut of Zuchini so doing half and half pickles.
    Our Zuchini needs to be hand pollinated or fruit won’t set and grow. Cucumber seem to do better. We have some gem squash which also seems to set well. Maybe the bees can’t find Zuchini?

    • Barbara Good says:

      I’m the same in regards to the cucumbers doing so much better RE pollination than the zucchinis. I put it down to the cucumber coming into flower at the same time and near to the sunflowers which are always covered in bees. Could be just coincidence though.

  2. skud says:

    I think the yellow tomatoes are Lemon Drop, probably from me 🙂 Sadly my tomatoes aren’t anywhere near as productive as yours — went in too late, I suspect.

    Zucchinis: there are male and female flowers — the male ones just have a stalk while the females have a bulbous base that turns into a fruit. If the females aren’t pollinated (i.e. pollen from the male reaches the female) then the fruit shrivels and drops off. If you have lots of insects in your garden then it’ll happen automatically, but if not, you can hand pollinate with a little paintbrush or a cotton bud. Early morning is supposedly the best time. To be honest I’ve never had much luck with hand pollination. This year I have LOTS of insects so the zucchinis are starting to produce regularly without my intervention 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      Aha, I thought the yellow ones were from you… any ideas about the other ones. I bought some from a charity store but it just said cherry.

      Zucchini stuff makes sense now, thanks. I don’t think I’ll bother with hand pollination, as I’m still getting enough full sized (and monster zucchinis when I miss them) zucchinis to keep us well supplied.

  3. renlikesred says:

    Some of my zucchinis have been doing the same this year but I thought they were actually burning from the intense heat as it always seems to happen after really hot days. Same as you though, am getting so many others it hasn’t worried me. I thought the rule if thumb with the pumpkin was to wait until the first good frost? But I have a few good sized squash too that seem ready to me. Spaghetti squash and an unknown fella. Am thinking just to leave them all until the vine dies.

  4. We leave the pumpkins on the vine for ages, well after when you think you would harvest them. Let them dry out completely, the longer they sit after ripening the deeper the orange, the richer and sweeter the flavour – and they store better with hardened skins.

    Nice photos 🙂

  5. I think your zukes might have a little blossom end rot. Happens with high humidity or maybe with watering? I’ve a few that go that way too.
    Leave your punks to dry out as long as you can. I picked mine when the frost toasted the vines last year and I have to say they were pretty bland. Ok in soup where I could flavour them up but pretty awful by themselves.
    I’ve been harvesting 1-2 zukes a day, my first buttercup pumpkin, strawberries which I now think must be aline strawberries as they’re tiny and on great long running stems of strawberries and they taste like feijoas or a bit pineappley. Divine! I’m also picking a few cherry toms every day but these tom plants came from a friends garden where I dug them out as weeds. Self sown from last year. 🙂 I also bandicooted some good sized but wonky shaped spuds from my hugels. They’ve grown well but growing pressed up against each other and with great hulking tree branches sharing the space they’re not going to be acceptable to Maccas for sure. 😉 They tasted amazing last night though. 🙂
    Keep on keeping on and LOVE your wild sweeties. 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, blossom end rot was my thoughts too. But then others have said poor pollination and yet others have blamed the extreme heat, who knows. My pumpkins last year were disappointingly bland too, I hope these ones are better. Think it might be time to try out a few different varieties next year though.

  6. Rachel and Jamie says:

    So jealous of your tomatoes! After the weeks of 40+ heat we had two days of pouring rain and floods! naturally, the tomatoes didn’t cope and virtually all of them split.

  7. fergie51 says:

    Tomatoes look so cheery! General rule with the pumpkins is that they should be picked before the first frost. Be careful, the way the weather is carrying on that could be anytime! A lot of us have had pollination issues this year. Think the pollen got fried into dust in the heat wave.

  8. narf77 says:

    OOOOHHH!!! I know something! I had the very same thing happen to my zukes and someone suggested blossom end rot. I reckon they are onto something as it is the result of too little calcium in the soil and our soil is acidic here in Tassie. Might be the answer? I also read that if you remove the flower as soon as the fruit forms it should prevent the fruit from rotting and if you do notice a little spot of rot, just scrape it off and the fruit should heal around the scrape (apparently)…not tried it yet as mine all turn into giant marrows before I get a chance to peer myopically at their rear ends…I had a giant squash completely dissolve on me the other day…unpleasant to say the least! The curse of the blossom end rot!

    My tomatoes are all small and green and most probably going to stay that way. I doubt we will get any ripe ones this year as it has been a dreadful year for them all over Tassie apparently. My cucumbers that I didn’t plant are going nuts. They must have grown from a cuke from last year that probably dissolved before I found it to toss it onto the compost heap and now they are free ranging all through everything else.

    My pumpkins are mental and almost all over the place. I didn’t realise that they should have been “all over red rover” by now! No-one appears to have told mine that. They grew from my compost heap experiment along with tomatoes, beans and the odd spud. Even if they don’t ripen it has certainly been an education in fecund vegetation 😉

    I just noticed that Jess mentioned it might be blossom end rot and as we haven’t had the extreme heat that you have had and our bees are going mental all over the flowers I think we can put it down to blossom end rot 😉

    • Barbara Good says:

      I knew about the removing the flower (not that I’ve been very diligent about doing that!) but had heard the scraping thing, will keep it in mind. Argh dissolving squash, gross!

      As for the green tomatoes – I say make some green tomato pickles, yum! Sounds like you have a very helpful and productive compost!

      • narf77 says:

        For someone that wasn’t even going to plant veggies this summer (too late and too hot) my garden is going amazingly well. I decided to treat it as a complete experiment this year and let the veggies do whatever they wanted (NOTHING to do with me being too lazy to stake my tomatoes etc…) so the tomatoes are laying down where they aren’t being held up (like wearing corsets) by the strangling pumpkin vines that are spreading all over the place. I have adventitious seeds that have sprung up in the compost all over the place and its just amazing to see how nature sorts herself out to allow everything to have a go. Almost to the stage of starting to plant winter veggies and have NO idea what to plant but its going to be fun 🙂

      • Barbara Good says:

        Oh I have no time to think about winter plantings at the moment – I wish I could pause the year for a week or two so I could find some time to get the seeds in. I’m going to try tomorrow, but I’ve said that for days in a row, who knows if it will happen.

      • narf77 says:

        I did that with my summer veggies and almost didn’t have a veggie garden. I am just about to pull out my (failed) zucchini plants and prep the soil for some winter veggies. I figure it is about time the blossom end rot made way for the cabbage moths…

      • Barbara Good says:

        Guess what the girls and I did this morning? Turns out we might have a winter crop if all goes well and the blasted green house doesn’t get blown over in the wind. The cabbage moths are going to love them I’m sure!

      • narf77 says:

        Awesome! Motivation for me to get off my derrière and follow suit 😉

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