I am closing up shop for vacation until basically next month, so yesterday was a big push to get the garden in shape for an extended absence.
The pumpkins have firmly trellised themselves in the fence. There are definitely fruit setting along the vines, and with the pumpkins up off of the ground, we may avoid most of the rotting/splitting issues. The stems look thick enough to support the pumpkins as they grow, so I think the real worry will be the fence falling over instead. I need to pick up some more anti-squash-beetle dusting powder tonight or tomorrow, but that's the last thing I need to worry about with them until fall.
Despite their fantastic production this summer, the cucumbers had almost completely succumbed to rust by last night, so I pulled them out and bagged them as landfill trash. I picked up all of the fallen leaves and bagged the dirt from around their roots too. I don't want to perpetuate the cycle by mulching their leaves back into the dirt. It's a bummer that there are no systemic cures for rust, since those plants were doing gangbusters even at four feet long.
The potatoes were not much of a success. I waited too long to plant them, and then waited way too long to harvest them, so they had mostly gone straight from growing plants to re-sprouting again. oops. I still love my potato bags, though. I left the last two sets of potatoes in their bags and poured more dirt on top of them. Maybe they will complete a second season before frost...?
Now that they are safely fenced, the peppers have almost completely recovered from their predation last month, and are flowering and fruiting again. One of the four Chinese 5-Color Peppers has a purple pepper on it, too! So cute! We'll have to grow more of those next year.
My last gardening act after harvesting the watermelons yesterday was to fertilize all of the currently-producing raised-bed plants (and the pumpkins) with "fish food." This is basically bass-a-matic (liquified fish) in a gallon jug that I mix with water. Unfortunately, I tripped and splashed myself with the fish goo while I was watering, so when I got back inside, the cats were all over me. You smell WONDERFUL and what's for dinner?!
I had to hit the shower and start laundry before I could get their dinner served.