Late Summer in the Garden

For late August, the garden looks fabulous.  I can’t remember the last time I had a garden that looked this good right before Labor Day.  By this time many plants are usually just hanging on, burned up by heat, lack of rain, or something like fungal wilt.

Peppers and eggplants are among the plants that are thriving.

I have ripped out a number of tomatoes that didn’t look like they would produce any more and planted fall crops in the vacant spaces.  My tomato experiment this year yielded three winners.  They are Cherokee Purple, Celebrity, and Amana Orange.  I will plant those next year, as they have survived wilt and continue to bear.  Not that I won’t also plant some of the others, depending on space…

From left, Celebrity with small green tomatoes, Cherokee Purple, and Amana Orange.

It looks as though I will have a lovely crop of eggplants as we move into late summer.  The peppers are also producing beautifully.  I have also been lucky in my basil this year, both the Italian and the lettuce leaf have done well.

There are four eggplants forming on this plant, plus flowers.

A few of the seeds I planted last week for fall have come up:  the scallions, the carrots, radishes, peas, and turnips are peeking out.  Today I planted arugula and baby bok choi.  I have mache in reserve for later.  It turns out this is the big salad green at Christmas markets in Germany.  If it grows there in winter, I ought to be able to harvest it in Virginia.

Peas are coming up.

Yesterday, I got four large summer squash and another is coming on.  I also picked a few okra pods and some tomatoes.  Sometime this week I’ll probably take a few peppers.  If I wait, the voles or rabbits may get them, but so far (perhaps because I have behaved like Mr. MacGregor with the rabbits) they remain intact on the plants.

I hope gardening this fall is as good as it has been this summer.  I’m certainly preparing for that.  I wouldn’t mind having lettuce from the garden all winter, either, but after such a good season, that may be too much to expect.

Look at these peppers.

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