Last weekend, I FINALLY got around to cleaning up the raised beds, moving the pots and other random assorted things from beside the shed, and doing a few other things on my (still not complete) fall cleanup list. When you don’t take summer vacation until after labor day, and then have all kinds of weddings and craziness after that, you tend to procrastinate on things like this (said Ms. Excuse Pants). Here are the “befores”. Yeesh. Not cute.
As crappy as those tomato plants look, I am happy with the results of the ‘stake and tie’ method. I liked it better with just bamboo and twine rather than the cages (they just proved kind of annoying). So I need to get some new bamboo next year but I plan on using the same method. It would have been even better this year had I:
1) Not stopped with the tying sometime in early August, so the top halves weren’t really tied at all.
2) Continued with pinching the plants off when they got too tall.
3) driven back in bamboo stakes blown loose by wind storms.
Also kind of annoyed with my tomatoes in general this year. Some of them did OK, but it was by NO means a bumper crop. In fact, my white tomato plant gave me ONE ripe tomato all year (there were a few green ones on the vine finally when I just pulled it up), and my pineapple tomato plant gave me lots of flowers, but nary a tomato. Bummer. The most prolific is always the cherry tomato varieties for me…I can’t even keep up with those and many rotted on the vine or on the ground. (Admittedly, garden neglect also meant that lots of regular tomatoes rotted away…but even with those counted, it still was a pretty crap year.) I’m going to try to amend the soil better next year (we did compost this year!) and hopefully it will be better. The first year of raised beds was by far the best for me.
I’m also bummed about my eggplant. I wanted to TRY to like it this year (I have mixed emotions about it). I planted these (center) along with everything else in June, and I’m not sure they’ll ripen before frost. They’re still very green. As always, I did have a bumper crop of peppers (and basil).
I still have a few things to cut back, put away, and replant, but this is the biggest part and I am SO glad it’s done. It was a serious eyesore.
OHMYGOD! How did those pics of Ainsley at the pumpkin patch and with the family pumpkins get in here??!?!