Fall Weather and Summer Summary

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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Fall is trying its best to come to Nebraska, but summer just won’t give in. Our normal temperatures should be in the mid-70s during the day and the 50s at night. This last week we were topping out in the upper 80s and lower 90s during the day and 70s at night. It was a full 20 degrees warmer than normal. The tomatoes had another flush because of the warm weather, but I’m so done with tomatoes for this year and so is everyone else. It’s a shame to just put them in the compost, but I have a shelf full of canned tomatoes and no one really wants any more. I may still make up a big batch of soup for winter consumption.

The cleanup begins. The strawberry bed and the green pepper bed have been cleaned, and only six more beds and pathways remain to clean up. Pathway building is probably done for this year, and the focus will continue to be on cleaning up the garden for next spring.

The green peppers were a bust for me this year. The leaves got all wrinkly and didn’t produce a single bloom or pepper. As I was pulling out the plants last week, I noticed tiny little buds were just starting to form. I researched the problem on the Internet and found that peppers do that when calcium is lacking in the soil. I’ll have to see how to put calcium in the soil for peppers next year. It didn’t seem to bother anything else other than the peppers.

The sweet corn was prolific this year and produced about 15 dozen ears of corn from two raised beds. The green beans produced a couple of five gallon buckets of beans from one raised bed. I haven’t dug the potatoes yet, but I suspect they will be good as well. The weeds took over the onions, so they were not as good as I had hoped. The cucumbers produced a few cucumbers then dried up and died. The pumpkin and watermelon vines I saved from the dreaded vine borer produced some great watermelons and pumpkins, but many were ravaged by some kind of critter. I suspect it was the raccoons again. There was a hole in the pumpkin the size of a large plum, and the entire inside of the pumpkin was eaten out. (*big sigh*) I now know how to deal with raccoons and keep them out of things. So it looks like the fences will have to be beefed up in the other areas of the garden as well.

There’s not much else going on here in Terra Nova Gardens. How’s your garden harvesting and cleanup going?

Have a great day in the fall garden!

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