9.10.12 When summer overlaps winter

On seeing the winter squash vines starting to die back, one senses the inevitable change in season. Of the two types of winter squash we planted this year, we’d had high hopes for the Sibley but it failed to thrive. The cause is hard to say, conditions this past season have been all over the place. The Delicatas, on the other hand, soldiered on and did their best to produce, despite repeated attacks from squash vine borer and the arrival of powdery mildew.

We’re still a little confused about when to harvest these, conflicting advice abounds online. Reasoning that too long a wait prolongs the risk of disease, we’ve begun bringing them in. Delicatas aren’t meant as a long storing squash and, though we’ve been able to store them over winter, their sweetness declines with time, and are best eaten before the year’s out. These relatively tender-skinned squash can be eaten skin-on, and we have them either baked with stuffing, or as roasted slices.

Overnight temperatures are beginning to drop and the end may be near for cold-sensitive plants like these eggplant. We’re still hoping there’ll be enough for a batch of Pasta all a Norma and maybe even some pesto before they and the basil are gone for the season.

The greens bed is looking overgrown and straggly, but continues to produce chard, kale and salad greens while the fall planting comes in. We’ve been letting the arugula bolt and flower, providing nourishment for the very busy pollinators.

Fall greens: More chard, kale, and salad greens, along with Fun Jen, a couple of Italian chicories (Pan di Zucchero, Galatina, and Brindisi), and a variety of radishes.

Elsewhere in the garden, things continue to produce though at a slower rate. We’re still checking the cucumber and summer squash plants every day, but the Costada Romanesco zucchini are especially sly. Blending in with their vines, they can be elusive and take advantage of their camouflage to grow at will. This specimen weighs in at almost 4 pounds and, though over-sized, is rather grand.

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18 Responses to 9.10.12 When summer overlaps winter

  1. Delicata is just delicious! Our garden is on its last legs as well. The zukes looked like they were good for another round, but a series of warm days might have changed that. We have some kale and chard we let go to seed and they look like bushes now! Your harvest looks beautiful. Well done! P.S. do you grow carrots? No luck with them over here.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hi Val, thanks for visiting and your kind words! We do grow carrots, but often have to reseed. For such a ubiquitous vegetable, they’re not as easy to germinate and grow as it would seem, and tend to be sensitive to conditions of temperature and dampness.

  2. Patsy says:

    How healthy and beautiful everything in your garden looks! I’m glad to read your info about Delicata squash, as it’s one I’ve been considering trying next year.l

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hi, Patsy! It’s been a good year for growing delicatas, we’ve been pleased with what looks to be our best harvest of them.

  3. zentMRS says:

    It is funny to find a huge zucchini or squash on a plant that you check every day. It always seems to me that they must have grown overnight!

  4. maryhysong says:

    Oh all your greens are so bright and pretty! I’ve lucked out and have a bit of lettuce starting up; so glad too, I’ve missed my daily salads something fierce. Funny how one day you see a tight budded flower and three days later discover an overgrown squash, especially if it’s rained!

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hello, Mary! With the drop in temperature and shorter days, we’re still enjoying salads made from the garden but they’re starting to take a decidedly autumnal bent…

  5. Norma Chang says:

    Your eggplant plant is so pretty, no flea beetle attack, hope you have sufficient to make my namesake pasta dish. Lovely collection of delicata.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hello, Norma! Yes, we had the right amount of eggplant but it seems to really be the last of them. There’s baby fruit hanging but they’re looking cold-damaged and unlikely to mature in time…

  6. Jenny says:

    Your fall greens look fabulous! So much better than my current garden :) And very interesting yellow and green squash, never saw that before.

    • leduesorelle says:

      That’s hardly true at all, Jenny, you constantly astound me with all that you produce (and forage)! The yellow and green summer squash is a variety called Zephyr, and seems to be more well-known in the Northeast. It’s prolific, with a fine texture and nutty flavor.

  7. Shawn Ann says:

    great squash. Sorry one didn’t do as well. I didn’t do any winter squash out of frustration this year. Maybe I’ll try again next year! Yours look beautiful!

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hi, Shawn Ann! The delicata squash did exceptionally well this year with warm weather being a big contributing factor. It’s a constant battle with squash vine borers… yet we try every year!

  8. Dave says:

    Lovely Delicata! Mine did not color up well this year, but they were still edible.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thanks, Dave! We left them on the vine as long as we could, and expect they’ll continue to color up and sweeten in storage.

  9. Christina says:

    Fall gardening in Texas is starting. I planted my kale, pak choi,broccoli,cabbage, and herb starts this weekend. I saw your chard back there…..I am fixing to plant some!!! I hope mine turn out like yours. I want a different color,though. Looks good!
    We got a “cold” front in( dropped down into the 80’s,day, and 60’s,night. Oh yeahhhhh!
    Of course, we’ll get back up into the ninety’s, but the triple digits are gone for this year….

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hello, Christina! The optimism of spring planting may be surpassed by our optimism over fall planting! I just put away the house fans and hope it wasn’t too soon…

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