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Green Beans, Peppers, and the Mystery of the Fallen Corn Stalks

At the beginning of the growing season, it’s hard for me to contain my excitement for that first harvest. I will check my plants daily, sometimes twice, to see if anything is ready to be picked. In August however, I don’t think a day goes by where something is not taken out of the garden. To be honest, it can be somewhat difficult to keep up!

Often, the ripening happens all at once and become one big massive harvest. Here are some of the most recent successes.

Large Harvests

Green Beans

Over the last few weeks we have picked nearly 12 pounds of green beans. There are still some left and ready to be picked as I write this article. In fact, the entire back row of beans are now being left to mature in order for me to save the seed for next year. The variety we choose to grow was called the “Provider” and it sure lives up to it’s name. Not only did we make seven jars of dilly beans, but we have frozen multiple gallon bags of beans for use throughout the winter.

Peppers

Given that these guys have been growing since January 31st, they have ripened well sooner than in the past. In fact I am on course to get a second harvest this year alone. So far we have pulled nearly 4 pounds and were able to can them as roasted red peppers. Can’t wait to use these on pizzas and other meals!

Ground Cherries

I’ve talked quite extensively about ground cherries in previous articles, but until this year, have never had much of a harvest. Two plants have been growing since the peppers were started and I have pulled 2 and a half pounds so far and they are not stopping. Given that each ground cherry weighs about .01 ounces, I figure we’ve collected over 300 berries.

Cherry Tomatoes

These have just started to ripen. I have not pulled a ton of tomatoes out of the garden as of yet, but there are so many vines ripening that time will tell when we will be overrun!

There are many other plants that are nearly ready. These are just a few that are in season in Wisconsin right now.

New Plants

We’ve added some new plants to the front of the garden. Blueberries! I had intended to only get two plants, but mistakenly ended up with four. Oops. It will take a couple of years for these to start producing, but nevertheless I am excited for another variety of berry to add to the current lineup.

Corn Mystery

Finally, being that it is August, it is nearly time for sweet corn to be ready. In fact, we harvested three cobs today. I will be honest and say I have not had the best luck with corn in the past. Last year we were able to get one cob as the rest were scavenged by raccoons two days before harvest time. About 63 stalks, gone. The year before we ran into a similar situation with deer.

This year, I have already lost four stalks. I do not think it was animals this time. Something seems to be knocking the plants over. My hunch is it is either the wind or something else besides an animal. When the stalk gets to the ground, our resident rabbit has an opportunity to nibble on the cobs, but I do not think he is doing the initial damage. Upon further inspection of one of the stalks, it is as if something has eaten its way through a lower part on the stalk. In a couple of cases, the area of the break is black as if it rotted. As of now this is a mystery, but I hope to get to the bottom of it. If you have any ideas what it might be, please share in the comments below.

I will wrap this post up and leave you with a view from a corner of the garden, here in August.


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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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