Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

August is upon us all and in the gardening world it means different things in different areas to different gardeners. As I have mentioned before we had a very cool summer this year but August is what it is and the plants all seem to stall and go into a holding pattern before giving in to autumn.  I too change my focus;  less watering, minimal deadheading, less weeding. I do however deep water my roses and young trees.  Time to gather like crazy (hopefully) from the vegie garden and see to the excessive zucchini crop, pole beans and lettuce.  Still eagerly awaiting the first ripe tomato (I know... it is the end of August) and cucumbers.  Slugs played havoc with my beds this year and all had to be planted twice, losing precious growing time.  Slugs also managed to eat every one of my much desired Walla Walla Sweet onions. Sad.  I am already composting that bed.  C'est la vie.  So I will take advantage of these "dog days of summer",  and take on some much needed painting projects and start my mental list of the fall projects ahead of me.  I am also being careful to take time to soak in the last weeks of the "blooms in my beds".  Echinacea, Hollyhocks, Loosestrife and Gaura to name a few.



APPLE ANNIE

One never knows about fruit trees.  Will the conditions be right for a bountiful harvest or will there be any fruit at all?  I have no idea what the secrets to a successful harvest are, one year we have 0-12 apples on each tree (Yellow Delicious, Granny Smith) the next we have so many it is difficult to figure out just what to do with all of them.  This year the Yellow Delicious (not a great "eating" apple) sprang forth with abundance and they began falling to the ground.  I gathered up the ones on the ground and took them to the barn where my horses are and all had a good treat.  I picked the rest (totaling close to 300) and spent several hours turning them into applesauce.  I have never made applesauce before but with the aid of the ever handy sieve attachment (that I borrowed from a friend) for my KitchenAid it was actually very simple. Not sure if we will eat 24 jars of applesauce, but I am thinking apple butter would be very yummy too!