Fall Harvest Continues

I picked the birdhouse gourds today, even though we haven’t had a frost yet, because I didn’t want them to start molding like the butternut squash did. They were grown up a tomato tower, so the gourds we’re not resting on the ground, but all the leaves were dying. They were surprisingly light so they might have been curing in the air.

I don’t want to attract birds, but planted them for the grandchildren because, you know, they haven’t got enough stuff .. I planted mini pumpkin seeds for them too but they came up as zucchini. Seed quality seems to have been an issue this year, but then again, us gardeners will look everywhere for an excuse for our failures.

I also picked the last five zucchini and pulled up the plants today; what a long and prolific summer we had. The little 3′ diameter mound looks so tiny to have provided so much bounty. I know the roots extend out ten feet but the mound is surrounded by leaves and looks small and solitary.

I put a wheelbarrow full of compost on it and will watch it resting and digesting until spring. The amount of produce that zucchini provides is incredible. I got a gallon size zip lock bag of 8′ ones every three days. It was three plants on one mound so it could hide some on me to get huge for zucchini bread. We gave a ton of it away too. Best bang for the buck in the garden.

Its time to cut off the asparagus ferns about 2″ above the ground because they should be turning brown and no longer feeding the roots through photosynthesis. Asparagus might be the easiest garden crop to grow because once you plant it you can harvest it every spring for 20 years. All you do is cut them down in the fall.

The harvest goes on for weeks and weeks until the stalks coming up are pencil thin, then you quit picking and let the ferns grow all summer. The shade they provide can help your summer lettuce to not bolt. We only planted 7 root crowns but every year we get more and more stalks to the point now where we almost get tired of them. Almost. Not tired enough to give any away though.

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