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Crazy, Unlikely October Bloom Day!

Poblano blossoms

My poblano pepper plants have been slow out of the gates. There are some large, green fruits on them (finally), but there are far more new blossoms. These, I’m afraid, will be disappointed by frost within a few weeks.

I’m late again with my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post. Thought I’d be driving to Ithaca yesterday after dropping my son at college. Along the way I realized there were too many things unfinished at home… but by then it was too late to capture images for my Bloom Day post.

Today, I toured my small kitchen garden and found stuff happening that simply isn’t normal for mid October. There’s plenty of harvesting still to come, but that’s not unusual. What’s crazy is the enthusiasm my plants are showing for warm weather. Except for lettuce, pak choi, and sweet potatoes, all my vegetable plants are in bloom as are several of my herbs. Pretty sure in most Octobers I’m nursing the last few bits through occasional frosts and writing about blooming ornamental and wild flowers. From the weather forecasts, there’ll be no nursing necessary this year.

It seems likely that within two weeks we’ll get some serious overnight cold. Heck, on October 29 two years ago we had heavy snow–frost in early-to-mid October isn’t unusual. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the flowers and I’ll harvest food as it becomes ready. I hope you enjoy the flowers as well.

Purple jalapeno blossoms

The purple jalapeno plants are in full bloom, and they’re covered with fruits! I used a few red-ripe fruits from them in salsa I canned this week. As always, purple jalapeno blossoms are gorgeous.

Tomato blossom

I post a lot of photos of tomato blossoms, but rarely in mid-October. This blossom has more than just pushed the limit of the growing season; it has emerged on a plant being consumed by late blight. The last three weeks have seen a dreadful end to my tomato crop; at least a bushel of fruits have developed lesions.

Butternut squash and blossom

The butternut vines weren’t impressive this year. I remember only two squashes forming and both are small. While there are still blossoms on the plants, all are male flowers; there’s no threat of emergent babies dying with the first frost.

Baby neck pumpkin and fairytale squash

In my experience, winter squash vines never produce enough female flowers. So, I was especially sad to discover female blossoms of both neck pumpkin and fairytale squash varieties so late in the season. I hand-pollinated these, but it seems unlikely they’ll have time to develop into useable fruit.

Green bush bean blossom

It has been about three weeks since I last harvested from my bush bean plants. A few flowers have emerged, but if the plants were planning a second harvest, their planning was bad: No way will beans develop from these flowers before the first killing frost.

French filet beans and blossom

Several times in this blog I’ve lauded the yellow French filet beans I planted this year. The vines continue to produce, though the beans aren’t growing as large now as they did a month ago. There are still plenty of blossoms.

King of the Garden lima bean vines

By far the most deluded of my kitchen garden plants are my King of the Garden lima beans. Had I known what overachievers these are, I’d have planted them back in late May. There are well over a thousand pods, most not ready to harvest. There are also well over a thousand blossoms. From blossom to mature bean has been very slow, so I’ll need to be happy harvesting only the 1,000 pods already set on the vines.


One Response to “Crazy, Unlikely October Bloom Day!”

  • Denise:

    My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook.(also a blog) I’m glad for the two recommendations. I love when people share good blogs with each other. Denise

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