Appalachia Gardening

Garden Round-Up


Our garden is almost done for this year. We’re still getting peppers, tomatoes, and okra, but that’s it. As with most years, our garden success was a mix-up this summer.

Our squash and zucchini did excellent. As did the okra, lettuce, and greens.

We probably had the worst tomato year we’ve ever had. Even the small tomatoes didn’t do well. My cucumbers didn’t produce much this summer either. I grew enough for two runs of pickles and a few to eat and that was it. Same luck with radishes, onions, and beets. I planted the onions twice and neither planting produced anything much.

Unbelievably I didn’t manage to grow one candy roaster or pumpkin. The vines just would not seem to grow this year. Usually they’re growing so much that I feel like pruning them to keep them from taking over the place.

Our beans did so so. Nothing like they usually do, but we never managed to get them fertilized and that’s probably why.

My blueberries were outstanding this year and the grapes were good too. My hope for watermelons was wasted on whatever varmint decided to gnaw on them before they could grow bigger than a softball. Same for my cantaloupe and other melon.

Even with the lack or bust of growth, we still manage to have more than enough to enjoy and to put up for when old man winter comes calling.

I’m hoping to get some fall lettuce and kale planted, but haven’t gotten it done yet.


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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 28, 2018 at 1:50 am

    Our tomatoes didn’t set fruit well…It has to be cool breezy nights from what I remember…seems like the nights when they were blooming was warm…Rain didn’t come at the right time either…The yellow squash and zucchini did OK..but no like years past..For some reason the onions did produce as well…Cucumbers were good climbed up the trellis and produced until it started getting hot and dry…as did the few beans…we cut way back this year…better half had so much back trouble and my effort wasn’t too helpful at all…Most around our areas said tomatoes that they got jus didn’t have the flavor for some reason…Bought oorn several times as well as Okra…put some soup base in the freezer…Most of the corn we bought was wonderful…so much easier on us at our age….corn fields take a lot of work…and nowadays we just don’t have the room without cuttin’ saplin’s and plowing the lower forty…Of course it has laid dormant for a few years resting…so probably would make good garden…Lots of ragweed grows on it now…An old mentor and farmer friend said that the size of that ragweed would indicate a good garden soil…who knows…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS….I think I asked you once before….Have you ever made Blueberry Buckle….?

    • Reply
      October 15, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      B.Ruth – I have never made Blueberry Buckle. There used to be a baby food called that and the girls loved it 🙂 Could you share your recipe for it with us?

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I’m a late again, sorry!
    I only had the okra and a few hills of beans planted in my garden this year. The okra is fine. Florence blew it over but it turned up toward the sky again and kept going. That is some big stuff. Stems the size of your arm and leaves as big as a dinner plate. I’m just now seeing it start to produce heavily. Barring an early frost I’ll have plenty for a month or so. I love fried okry.
    My beans are doing well too. Their little patch is off from the main garden. I had to remove a yucca and so decided, because the plot was semi tilled to plant some beans. The plot is only about 2′ by 6′ but the beans loved it. Of course the critters loved it too. If not for ants, bean beetles and maybe even birds I would have plenty to eat and can. I did manage to make two half pints of pickled beans. Who knows I might get to fix some more.

  • Reply
    Yecedrah Beth Higman
    September 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Here in southeast Kansas around the area that I live in, the gardens were not good this year. Black walnuts are plentiful but the tomatoes were sparse and very small. lettuce and radishes did well on the first planting but wouldn’t come up the second planting. The beans did good at first then slowed to nothing. I guess it was just a bad year for a garden. The collards weren’t very productive but the concord grapes were outstanding this year.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 11:12 am

    We didnt get to cann any tomatoes either this yr. Barely enough to eat. Our corn didn’t do good. I had to buy corn to put up. Couldnt find no tomatoes to canned. Here in Greeneville Tn. We had dry weather for awhile. I think that hurt us. Hopefully God will bless us good next yr. With our garden. God Bless!

  • Reply
    jim keller
    September 27, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Talked to the Johnsons in Elk Park NC yesterday to see when they would be selling potatoes. Mrs. Johnson was echoing what I see here, the fruit trees were subject to a late freeze, potatoes rotted in the ground and deer finished off the veggies.
    Said it the worst year they remember.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 27, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Nature keeps us guessing. Seems no two years are the same; different weather, different bugs, different critters and different plants doing great or poorly. And when planting time comes we just don’t know how it is going to turn out. As the Bible says, “thou knowest not what shall be.” Like life, it is Hope and Faith and Work.

    I get discouraged sometimes with the long list I could make of diseases, insects and animals that plague my garden. I don’t make the list because to see it would make it worse.

    But we finally got rain after at least a month without. Supposedly more coming.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 9:32 am

    My garden was terribly neglected this year, but some things did amazingly well considering the neglect. There were plenty of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, greens. After I lost all my tomatoes one year to blight I spray with a fungicide a couple of times. Peppers did not do well, and the potatoes very small. Onions remained small. Until life calms down, I may just have a tiny garden next year. I enjoy hoeing, weeding, and harvesting, but no fun when the weeds get knee high.
    I always look forward to the garden so much just as my parents did before me. So fortunate that neighbors like gardening, but one of them is slowing down also. We always share with each other, and the garden gives us something interesting to talk about. However, I never did need much encouragement to talk 🙂

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Something was eating my melons. (cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew) After two groundhogs fell victim to my trusty 22 the melons all did much better. We only planted about 1/3 of our garden space this year due to health issues. I couldn’t keep up with the weeds and grass so we had low production in most things. We still had several good tomato sandwiches and an abundance of bell peppers.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 9:15 am

    This is the first year in ages that I didn’t have any extra tomatoes to can or freeze. I planted twenty plants of Cherokee Purple, Brandywine and Delicious with hopes of having plenty to share and can. I barely had enough for myself and a few to give my daughter who was building a house and didn’t plant anything this year. My friend has a back yard garden and only got about ten tomatoes off all the plants. Back in the spring and early summer, I was excited about what I thought was perfect weather conditions for gardening. I guess I was wrong. My green bean vines bloomed their hearts out but only had few beans and most of them didn’t mature until August. By that time they were tough and almost tasteless. The melons were huge and plentiful.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 27, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Tip, I guess some years it’s just like that. Seems like your root veggies all had a problem. Could have been too wet. I seem to have a bumper crop of of moles this year, even more than usual. Don’t recon we ever know why, it just happens sometime. I missed having some of your Tomatoes most of all. Your tomatoes are usually excellent and prolific.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    September 27, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Here in Michigan my garden did so so. The tomatoes worst of all. They rotted on the vine. We had plenty to fresh eat. No canning though. Pumpkins and squash did great. Oh well, there’s next year. God bless.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    September 27, 2018 at 7:32 am

    I finally cut the tomato plants down this week. They were growing on the deck in pots and did not do too bad. There were a few green ones still on the vine so I brought them in to ripen on the windowsill. I did about 7 gal. bags of chopped for the freezer. Great for soups and stews this winter.
    The sandwich tomatoes did not do as well. My parsley did not do well this year. Usually it is big and bushy but it is small and sparse. I potted some and brought it in to grow in the window and it died within a week. Guess I will buy parsley this year.
    Oh well, there is always next year to look forward to.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2018 at 5:20 am

    A Gentlemen we went to Church with was a King when it came to growing a garden and his prize plant was watermelon, and one year something was eating them as soon as they got as big as a baby’s head, and he couldn’t figure it out thought it was a groundhog, so one night his dogs was having a fit ( beagles in the pen ) and he ran out to see what it was and it was several coyotes in the middle of his watermelon patch, so he thought I’ll just move the dog pen in the middle of the patch and they’ll stay away from the dogs. Well, after he went to the trouble of moving the pen he said they ate those watermelons right up next to the dogs fence, wasn’t a bit afraid of those beagles, so your problem maybe those coyotes that are googly eyed on Redbull. hehe

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