The last month has seen a lot of changes in the veggie garden. Autumn is truly here now and the first frost date in Rhode Island is October 15th. Some plants have taken their final bow for the year while others are just getting going. The wild days of late summer are long gone and the beds seem much more sedate and manageable.
|Peppers growing in containers are holding on.|
Planning is under way for putting some of these plots to bed and decisions have to be made about next year’s garden.
|Thai Peppers are hot!|
Gone for the year are the bush green beans. They produced well, giving us three different harvests, but I (and my kids) will be happy to not have to look at green beans on our plates for a while. When I pulled them up, I found a lot of strawberry runners which I will dig up and replant this week.
I pulled the cucumbers a while ago. The zucchini and yellow squash are also no more. I made mistakes with this crop this year and the yield was pretty pathetic. No zucchini bread in the freezer for us this year. I harvested all the descent sized eggplant and am starting to pull up the plants.
I have not planted any more lettuce. We are not big salad eaters in the winter and when I have grown it this time of year, we have not eaten it. I have learned to be cognizant of our eating habits so that I don’t plant what we don’t use. This is especially important for gardens the size of mine.
With the threat of frost on the horizon and all the plants having died back, I went ahead and dug up the rest of the potatoes. Wow. I am so happy with the performance of this crop! Potatoes like acidic soil and these were planted under a pine tree. The potato gods favored me this year, which is good because the winter squash gods did not. I had to pull the pumpkins early on and both the butternut and buttercup squashes were wash outs.
|Digging these up was a lot of fun.|
Lastly, my beds are tomato free. Tomato sauce and soup are in the freezer and a large jar of dried tomatoes in the pantry. I still have tomatoes growing in containers, but I will pick them this week.
So, what’s left?
Autumn veggies are my favorite. Turnips, beets, carrots are all doing well. I have both green and red cabbage starting to form heads and brussels sprouts and cauliflower on their way.
I planted broccoli starts which are growing well and decided to leave the old broccoli plants in the ground. Some are in flower now, but all are still producing heads. Curly and Red Russian Kale are also thriving.
I have lots of peanut plants that are showing no signs of dying back. Jack Frost is coming and I may be forced to pull up these plants soon. I have no idea if I have any peanuts. I see pegs in the ground but also a lot that didn’t penetrate into the soil. I think I needed to cultivate around the plants better.
|Peanut plants, showing no signs of quitting.|
Autumn veggies grow slower and need less attention than their needier summer relatives, which is a good thing because as a gardener, I need a break! No rest for the wicked, though. On the agenda is planting garlic, cleaning the beds and prepping for the winter sleep.
|Broccoli planted at the start of summer, still producing.|
At my community garden bed, the plants are thriving, even though I have completely ignored it and barely watered in the past month! This is what happens when you have full sun:
The brussels sprouts are enormous, at least double the size of the plants in my home garden.
We love brussels sprouts and I'm encouraged that we might actually get a harvest this year.
The cauliflower is doing well and look at the heads on these green cabbage!
I need to weed the plot but it is doing just fine without me. Independence is a wonderful thing.
See you in the garden,