Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bean Tunnel: Growing Four Months

By July, bean and squash seeds planted along the edges of the bean tunnel had grown a foot tall with some flowers. This first week of autumn has already given us two light frosts, killing tender ground hugging squash leaves. In the meantime we've harvested a few hundred pounds of squash and many meals of fresh string beans. We are letting most of the beans dry for use as seeds and soup.

 One very neat aspect of the Italian Zucchini variety we tried is that they become a winter squash with a hard shell when they mature. We're letting a few turn butternut squash color so that we can harvest their seeds when we try them mid winter. This variety has been remarkably productive, way beyond any other we've tried. Now, in late September, a dozen plants are still producing more than 50 pounds per week. A few vines have wilted leaves from insect/viral damage but most are still healthy with vines growing longer. They have avoided frost damage by climbing high on the trellis that raises them above the coldest air near the ground. 
Tender Young Squash Leaves Shriveled by Frost: September 23
July 11: Beans and Squash Starting to Flower
August: Vines Reaching the Top 
Purple Pole Beans Producing a Bumper Crop!
Most of the Chinese Yard Long Beans Hang Low Outside
One Week's Production of Zucchino Rampicante
Italian Zucchini Hanging Down, Making It Difficult to Drive the Tractor Through
Squash Behind Purple Beans
More Italian Zucchinis
Italian Squash Fruito Becoming a Hard Shelled Winter Squash