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.