Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Gardening

Yes, I still have things growing. The temperatures have been below normal, and they even used the "S" word for this weekend's forecast. But there is still activity in the garden.

I am enjoying the fall planting of lettuce in the bed which held the first planting of cucumbers and bush beans. There are three short rows of carrots on the far end.

Tim and Neighbor Mike constructed an extra hoop house that fits over the lettuce. The cloth will give me frost protection down to 26*. Next summer I can replace the cloth for shade cloth and keep the lettuce cooler hoping to delay the bolting. I cut this cloth out of a larger sheet, hemmed the edges, and added gromets to fasten it to the frame.

There are still seedlings coming up and this bed will soon be a lettuce jungle.

The Nasturtium, which stops blooming in the heat of summer, always rallies and offers billows of bright fall color.

In the "paste tomato" bed, the only thing left is the Sungold which is being nursed along to provide salad tomatoes.

The third planting of bush beans is still lush. It produced a couple of gallons of beans to freeze, and now is keeping us in dinner beans. Now and then it gets ahead of me and I have to freeze a small batch. The Purple Queen beans are reverting to their pole bean ancesters and taking over the remaining cornstalks.

The "slicing tomato" bed still has some tenants, but they will be pulled this weekend. The bell peppers on the far side are going strong and I will have to freeze some.

The Serrano pepper looks very festive. We are going to try drying these.

The chard looks gorgeous!

But this is one ugly summer squash. The growing end keeps generating new growth as the old leaves die off leaving an ugly snaking stalk. I keep having to wind it around and back into the bed. Thre are still a few small squash coming on.

Plan for this weekend is winterization. I've done my "ungardening" gradually instead of all in one day. It feels like less work that way. But soon we will be battling leaves and anything left in the beds will just be an obstacle. The compost bin is full, but there is still work to be done to get everything cut down and protected, and the equipment clean, disinfected and ready for a smooth start in the spring.


  1. You're writing too fast, missy ! Hope the winterizing goes well. We're enjoying our very first truly cool fall evening...I'm wearing long pants for the first time since April 27th.... and am generally enjoying the bracing air immensely !

  2. We've had a hard frost a few times now and most everything outside is toast. We pulled up all of the tomatoes last weekend and they are ripening downstairs. Just need to clean out the beds now but our compost bin is full too!