• Everything other than hot peppers. Questions, discussion, and grow logs. Cannabis grow pics are only allowed when posted from a legal juridstiction.

Downriver 2023 - Garden Adventures


Extreme Member
So, what else has been going on in the garden? Let see:

Blueberries - they're done. Need to take the bird netting off.

Blackberries - They have been producing berries for the last few weeks. There's still plenty more to pick. Birds don't seem to bother them much, so I didn't net them.
Blackberries IMG_20230729_155228498.jpg

Then, you gotta eat them. Here's a "new" way for us - grilled Blackberry Cobbler lol. Excellent!
Blackberries - cobbler IMG_20230727_173640367.jpg Blackberries - cobbler IMG_20230727_190920889.jpg


Extreme Member
...what else?

Cucumbers - I planted three, new-to-me, varieties this year. I'm still looking for that "perfect" cucumber, lol. This year it's (L-R in the pic) Sweet Success, Double Yield, and Chelsea Prize. I just picked the first three Sweet Success yesterday, so I haven't tried them yet. The first Chelsea Prize should be ready in a few days. The Double Yield is the one in the middle of the picture with the longest vines and the multiple flowers everywhere. We've probably picked 10 of these already, and there's several more on the way. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. It grows well, produces early and tastes pretty good. The problem is, it's a rather light-colored cucumber and starts turning yellow just about the time it's ready to pick. It's keeping qualities are very poor. You almost have to eat them the day you pick them. There's not enough time to accumulate enough to process before they soften.
Cucumbers IMG_20230729_155110904.jpg

Tomatoes - the early varieties have just started producing a few. In the next few weeks, I think we'll be swamped.
Tomatoes - L9-L11 IMG_20230729_155047186.jpg

Okra - planted late. Just starting to grow in earnest. Saw the first flower forming yesterday. Shouldn't be much longer. (I have since weeded this row, lol)
Okra - L12 IMG_20230729_155053544.jpg


Extreme Member
...and what else?

Squash - Summer - I plant these after 7/01, which is usually after the threat of the Squash Vine Borer. I think there are six hills and four varieties. They're just starting to grow pretty quick. Again, it won't be long for these either.
Squash - Summer Zucchini  IMG_20230729_155352622.jpg

Squash - Winter - The Butternut are starting to run. I think there's a few fruit set already. These will grow until frost.
Squash - VA Butternut Select IMG_20230729_155343410.jpg


Extreme Member
I'm interested in your quest for the "perfect cucumber". Tell me more.

I'm currently growing Burpless, heirloom variety, which has no repeat, i.e. wind after eating - crispy and sweet and long-lasting - we love these.
Also growing Marketmore F1 - grows long, straight cukes, crispy, fresh and long-lasting but hasn't got that oomph of flavour and because this is a hybrid we get some rather odd coloured fruits from it.
Next up to go out in the garden is a Pepino from Portugal which I've never heard of - curious to taste this one :D


Extreme Member
I'm interested in your quest for the "perfect cucumber". Tell me more.

Well, I guess simply stated, right now I'm looking for an excellent burpless cucumber that also shines when pickled and canned. I like all kinds of cucumbers, but I have a brother whose stomach can't tolerate "regular" cucumbers. So, over the years, I've been on the hunt for that "perfect" burpless cucumber. I'm hoping one, or both, of the burpless ones I'm growing this year will be THE ONE, lol. Back in 2007, Burpee sold a cucumber called "Burpless". That was its name. Back then, I think that was the ONLY burpless cucumber they sold. I guess it was before burpless became a thing. It was an excellent cucumber, and my brother loved it. Now they sell several burpless cucumbers, just not one named Burpless. So, I'm on the hunt, lol.

Now, from a slicer point of view, I have two favorites that I grow regularly. The first is Marketmore 76, which it sounds like you're familiar with. I'm not sure if it's a hybrid, but I guess it could be. It was developed in the 60's from a cucumber called "Marketmore", and released in the early 70's. I think it's been "stabilized" since then. And, I agree with your flavor assessment - rather "mild", not a strong cucumber taste, but still acceptable. I think Its strengths are its productivity and reliability. Nice cucumber, overall.

My other favorite slicer that tops my list is Straight Eight. Excellent flavor, very productive, as well as reliable. Probably the one I compare all others against. This is the one to beat, for me. As a side note, there was a cucumber released some time back called Straight Nine. It was supposed to be all things Straight Eight, only more resistance to disease and whatnot. I found this cuke to be LACKING in all the areas that make Straight Eight so good, at least to me. Therefore, I didn't give a flip about all its disease resistance.

And then there's picklers. Maybe we'll save that one for another day, lol. I'm sure this is much more than you wanted to know, haha.


Extreme Member
So, the last few weeks have been kinda busy, picking and processing cucumbers and tomatoes mainly.

Various tomatoes, picked 8/16
Tomato - various IMG_20230816_164855133.jpg

...more tomatoes (and a few other things), picked 8/20
Tomatoes IMG_20230820_131030238.jpg

...and yet more tomatoes, picked 8/26
Tomatoes IMG_20230826_175726130.jpg Tomatoes IMG_20230826_175732170.jpg


Extreme Member
Here's a few tomatoes, individually.

Homestead 24 - Produced two different pheno's out of the same packet of commercial seed. Not sure what to make of that. The other thing is it's supposed to produce 8 oz fruit. We only got 1 oz and 4 oz. Two shapes. 1 oz egg/grape shape – firm, avg flavor, no acid – good for salads. 4 oz, round, sweet, no/low acid. Both are pretty good tomatoes.
Tomato - Homestead 24 IMG_20230813_141842822.jpg

Rebel Yell -
We like this one. Prolific, meaty, flavorful. Does have green shoulders though. We'll grow this one again.
Tomato - Rebel Yell IMG_20230819_132752221.jpg


Extreme Member
Rutgers 250 - This tomato was recently released by Rutgers. It is supposed to be an improved version of the classic Rutgers tomato – which is what most people think of as the Jersey tomato. Our notes for this year describe it as "round, consistent size - about 7 oz. Meaty. Not particularly sweet or acidic – just a good tomatoey flavor. Skin kinda tough. Pretty fruit." We'll probably grow it again.
Tomato - Rutgers 250 IMG_20230819_132848293.jpg

Uncle Steve's Italian Plum - Not sure why it's called a plum tomato. It's an 8 oz paste tomato. Supposed to have originated in Italy generations ago. It's very large for a paste. Nice and meaty. Good flavor. Great for making sauce. Might grow this one again.
Tomato - Uncle Steves Italian Plum IMG_20230819_132919042.jpg


Extreme Member

Monkey Ass - I did NOT name this tomato, lol. This is a pink heart tomato. Large - average 16 oz. Meaty, tomatoey, sweet, low-acid. Great flavor. Good slicer or sauce tomato. Green shoulders. Wispy foliage plant. Good producer. This is a very good tomato. Unfortunately, they seem to be rot prone prior to ripeness. Pick early and let ripen on the counter.
Tomato - Monkey Ass IMG_20230819_133029171.jpg Tomato - Monkey Ass IMG_20230819_133100240.jpg

Tomato - Monkey Ass IMG_20230819_133140224.jpg Tomato - Monkey Ass IMG_20230819_133120132.jpg

Brandywine (pink) - Per seed vendor - "Large fruit with superb flavor. A great potato-leafed variety from 1885. Beautiful pink fruit up to 1½ lbs each." Pretty much agree with all of that, lol.
Tomato - Brandywine IMG_20230822_130020008.jpg


Extreme Member
Winter Squash - Waltham Butternut - Virginia Select. This is a very good winter squash. Keeps for up to a year, and still tastes great. Also makes a great "pumpkin" pie.

Squash - VA Butternut Select IMG_20230816_151704610.jpg
Squash - VA Butternut Select IMG_20230816_151657535.jpg Squash - VA Butternut Select IMG_20230817_173201683.jpg
Last edited:


Extreme Member
Double Yield Cucumber - This is the cucumber that starts turning yellow before they're even mature. But, it does produce a lot of cukes. If you catch them early, you can process them. I made a batch of dill pickles with them. I think you can see the jars in the background of a few of the tomato pictures.

Cucumber - Double Yield IMG_20230826_164413602.jpg


Extreme Member
...also made some Spicy Bread & Butter pickles. These are goooood!

Canning - Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles IMG_20230904_143622221.jpg

As a side note, if you're going to can something, make sure you remove the burner cover under the pot BEFORE you turn it on, especially if there's TWO covers stacked together! Oops.

Canning - burnt burner cover IMG_20230918_164949464.jpg Canning - burnt burner cover IMG_20230918_164959409.jpg


Extreme Member
Sooo, what's been going on in the garden the last two or three weeks?

Well, the tomatoes are done. Picked the final round, which are going into a Paper Lantern hot sauce.

Tomatoes IMG_20230907_144104142.jpg Garden - vegetables IMG_20230914_141538543.jpg

The okra has started to flower and produce pods. Should be able to harvest quite a bit before frost.

Okra IMG_20230906_114143546.jpg

Heavy Hitter, Africanx
Okra - HeavyHitter IMG_20230906_114218577.jpg Okra - AfricanX IMG_20230906_114159492.jpg

There are still a few things besides peppers growing - Summer and Winter Squash, Lima beans, okra - but all of them are winding down. Now the focus is shifting toward peppers!
Last edited:


Extreme Member
...and in October the focus indeed shifted to peppers, but that's another thread.🙂

Everything is pretty much winding down in the garden, but we did pick a few things during October.

First up, Waltham Butternut Squash - Virginia Select: Vines continued to spread and set fruit.
Squash - Waltham Butternut - VA Select IMG_20231002_162328897~2.jpg

At first threat of frost, we decided to harvest them. This year's haul was not as large as previous years, but still more than enough. The seven on the left were isolated, and will produce a lot of seeds. I'll probably be offering them later on, once the garden is done-done.
Squash - Waltham Butternut - VA Select IMG_20231017_124146608.jpg


Extreme Member
...and beans. Most of the beans we grow are to produce seeds for variety preservation. We also grow a few to eat as well, lol.

Christmas Speckled Lima - Vines grew like crazy, but the Summer heat slowed down pod set. In September pod production commenced, and we were able to harvest about a pound of seed.
Bean - Christmas Speckled Lima IMG_20231007_185832584.jpg Bean - Christmas Speckled Lima IMG_20231007_185832584_2.jpg

Rich Purple - This one was attacked by unknown critters, wiping out about half of the plants. What was left still managed to produce about 12oz of seed.
Bean - Rich Purple IMG_20231007_190311730.jpg Bean - Rich Purple IMG_20231007_190311730_2.jpg

In addition to the two above, we also harvested seeds from French Gold, which we planted to eat, and a self-sown cowpea called Whipporwill. Both were very tasty!