For vegetable gardeners, August and September are when harvest occurs and you see the fruits, or rather the vegetables, of your labors.

The star of my gardening efforts this year is the raspberries.


Years ago at my local co-op, I bought a pot of raspberries, one of my favorite foods. It grew into this wonderful patch.

The record for raspberries has been 22 pints; this year my raspberry patch produced 25 pints. They’re all beautifully lined up in my refrigerator.

Green Beans on Plate IMG_1780

The green beans also were outstanding. I just picked and cooked my third or fourth batch.

Cucumber on Ground on Plant IMG_3898

The cucumbers were small and I only had about 12 or 18. Some years I get dozens and need help eating them.

Strawberries IMG_1730

For strawberries, I have some in pots. Last year, I bought one of those terra-cotta strawberry pots with planting hole openings. However, it didn’t do anything spectacular in terms of strawberry yield.

A funny thing though. One of my gardening helpers asked if you plant strawberries in the top and strawberry plants just pop out of the planting hole openings. Nope. You have to put plants there.

Zucchini Yellow on Plant IMG_3901

As for zucchinis, it was another disappointing year. I had a few large ones that I gave away and a few small-sized ones. No big pile of large zucchinis like I had one year.

Kale IMG_2138

As always, the kale and Swiss chard do well until the bugs come to feast late in the season.

Garden With Collards and Tomatoes

I haven’t eaten my row of collards yet, so I need to find a good recipe for them.

The carrots are just getting big, so they’ll grow some more during September.

Peppers IMG_2128

I only grow one pepper plant every year. This year, I got one pepper. I see that I need to step up my pepper game.

Eggplant IMG_2759

The same is true with eggplants. The one I grew this year won’t make a main dish.

Herbs IMG_2756

When my daughter was here for Christmas two years ago, I got the idea to plant herbs. The thyme, oregano, and tarragon do well here. We bought expensive small packets of fresh herbs that didn’t get used, so growing your own herbs is a money saver. The herbs are on the left in the photo.

As for a winter garden, I’ve given up. They don’t do very well here in the Seattle area.

My daughter Mona, the botanist, call me last weekend. She was planting her winter garden. In Sacramento, California, it does very well. I’m so envious.

Mona's Garden Produce Basket

When we visited her and her family in early August, we had lots of wonderful produce from her garden, including zucchinis.

Zucchini Cake IMG_3493

A favorite is chocolate zucchini cake. It’s often made for birthdays, such as here for Rachel’s birthday. The grandkids like to make it.

Zucchini and Cecilia IMG_3563

Here my granddaughter Cecilia posed with one of Mona’s big zucchinis.

Container Garden IMG_1733

If you don’t usually have a garden, start planning for one in the spring. It’s a great way to grow groceries. You can even grow a lot of produce in containers on your patio.

Originally Published on

Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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