Summer is over although you couldn’t tell from the warm temperatures and sunshine today. All the corn is harvested, some is dry and some needs to dry a bit longer, so that big chore is completed. There are still many things to do before the real cold weather arrives. Today I harvested the Zebulon sunflowers and red beans and spread them out on platforms to dry. Tomorrow it will be time to harvest the grain amaranth and lay the plumes out to dry in the sun. The quinoa is ripe but the seed heads are moist so that can wait.
After Monday the night temperatures will be cooler than they have been lately dropping into the low 40’s. Daytime temperatures will be cooler, too. Early Wednesday morning though the low will be near freezing. If there is a heavy frost that will spell the end for all the pole beans, summer squash, and paste tomatoes. The tomatoes will be harvested before that happens and laid out on a soft tarp on a platform to fully ripen in the waning sunlight of autumn. If I can I will wrap sheets around the pole beans and summer squash to try to squeeze in a few more days of growing.
When the killing frost does come it will be time to harvest the root crops- carrots, parsnips, black turnips, rutabaga, gobo, salsify, Jerusalem artichokes, and the rest of the potatoes. It has been a good and productive summer in the gardens this year.