Less Noise, More Green: The Garden is Transitioning into Fall

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Garden is Transitioning into Fall

I  don't know about you but I am ready to embrace fall. Crisp blue skies, magnificent foliage, apple picking, soups, stews, hot fruit desserts and baked oatmeal for breakfast, are all just around the corner. Fall can stay forever.

I have a confession to make. I like winter vegetables better than summer. Cold days call for hot food and there is something soul satisfying about a big bowl of chunky soup. Out comes the slow cooker and the roasting pan. The house smells of  different variations of vegetables for several hours a day. On the weekend the kitchen smells of apple crumble.

In the garden the emphasis switches to leafy greens and root vegetables. Right now I have both Curly and Red Russian kale growing in the beds. This plant is such a hard worker. Cut a few leaves off each plant and it will keep producing right through the winter.

I grew two kinds of broccoli in the spring and the Waltham 29 is still going. I pulled the other variety and plan to plant out more Waltham 29 transplants next week in their place.

The red and green cabbage transplants are doing well. They are starting to see a little slug action so the traps will be coming out again.

The cauliflower and brussels sprouts are also growing strong. I pulled cabbage white caterpillars from the leaves this week, though. Must stay vigilant!

This year was not an easy one as far as carrots were concerned. I planted three times and still only have a spotty result. I will be planting seeds again this weekend.

Turnips and rutabaga (swede). I love rutabaga and want it to be successful. I fear I have planted my rows too close to the marigolds. Next year I'll give them more room.

This is the first year I've had any result from my beet seeds. They will not win any prizes but I'm still delighted.

Butternut squash getting big and plump and my Christmas ornament buttercup squash is thriving, too.

My peanut plants have pretty much stopped flowering and they are putting down lots of pegs. I think I should have cultivated more around the plants to help the pegs push into the soil . After all the rain we've had the soil is pretty firm. I wonder how many are actually making it beneath the surface.

Lastly, now is the time to plant fall lettuces and spinach. Here are some spinach seeds just emerging. The big heat of the summer is over and the nights are cooler so the plants prone to bolting should do well in these conditions. There is plenty of time for leaf lettuce to grow before October 15th, which is our first frost date.

There is much work still to do in the garden before I shut up shop for the year and prep the beds for the winter. Lots of work and hopefully lots more harvesting!

Miles to go before I sleep.

See you in the garden,


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