Click the pictures to enlarge them and get a better look.
All except one tomato plant gave up producing about 6 weeks sooner than usual. That means no tomatoes for me in December and/or January.
The most beautiful and most productive tomato plant was the one in the fence border close to my back door. It’s still producing! And it’s why I’ll have tomatoes in November.
The first picture was taken in September. (Note the sedum has turned pink.) Click to enlarge so you can see more of the fruit. The plant cascades to the ground, so there’s fruit there too.
The second picture was taken Oct. 20th (Note the sedum has gone from pink to rust color.) As you can see, it’s still beautiful and heavy with fruit.
Below is one of my many harvests from the plant pictured above. (The one pink/red tomato in the right foreground is from another plant.)
Peppers are a highlight of the fall garden.
Always slow to get started in my garden, they’ll produce all the peppers a gardener could want once conditions suit them.
They gave me a bit of a scare this year. At least a half dozen of the biggest and most beautiful plants only had one or two peppers on them all summer.
It was as if nature waved a magic wand on September 1 and suddenly the plants were covered with small peppers. By the end of September the fruit was so big and so heavy that I had to add more stakes so the branches wouldn’t break. Most of these plants have 5 or 6 stakes for support. They could’ve used more if I’d had any.
My friend, Charles, who is a conventional gardener of 50 years recently visited me and wanted to see the garden. He was amazed at the peppers.
I’ve been eating 2 to 3 red peppers a day since about mid September.
The big chunky pepper (pictured above) is a Buran. It’s a new variety for me this year. Have saved seed for next year from one of the biggest and best fully ripened ones.
Buran doesn’t get as tall or produce as many as varieties like Marconi or Corno di Toro. But they’re prolific enough to make it well worth growing. Very meaty, large, and sweet especially once they turn red.
In case you’re new to gardening, all peppers turn red when they’re mature. When they do, they’ll be sweeter and they’ll have a lot more Vitamin C in them.
Turmeric and Ginger
Turmeric and ginger are two of the most beneficial herbs you can add to your diet. However, finding quality rhizomes can be difficult.
What I’ve seen in stores never compares to fresh-just-harvest ginger or turmeric from healthy soil.
A piece of ginger (pictured below) planted in my garden or border with 2 or 3 buds (nodes) has produced as many as 26 shoots in just 5 months this season. (Ample rainfall was probably in part responsible for that.)
It seemed to me that the greatest growth was in September as the plants appeared to double in size.
Aster – Great for Beneficial Insects
If you’ve ordered the hot pink aster from me in the past, below is the parent plant from which yours was taken.
Saving this Marketmore cucumber for seed, I left it to mature until the vine was dead. I brought it inside a couple of days ago. Once it starts to soften, I’ll scoop out the seed.
After fermenting for five days in a jar of water, the good seeds will sink to the bottom. I’ll take the scum off, rinse the seeds in a colander, and dry on a piece of screen for about 3 weeks.
Cucumber seed stored properly (cool, dry, dark place) will remain viable for 8 to 10 years. You can’t get much better than that!
I had cucumbers well into October.
Easy to start from seed.
These asparagus were grown from seed and then transplanted to a grow bag for the season. Next spring I’ll lift the roots. select the biggest, and plant in a permanent location.
And yes, that’s poison you see to the right that needs to be removed. I can never totally get the root out because it’s entwined in the fence. Thus, the poison comes back every year. One of many reasons to hate fences.
Most of my strawberry plants were lost last winter while making some major adjustments to beds.
Had only enough to snack on this spring. They’ve made a comeback and look great this fall.
Fall and winter are great for trapping because holes are readily visible. Traps are under the upside-down pots in the picture below.
The patch of green in the top-middle of the picture is peas. They produced only enough to snack on. But – they’re still blooming and may have time to produce a few more pods.
The green plant with red in the picture below is summer poinsettia.
Covering the Soil
I use the annual, summer poinsettia, as a cover in various parts of the garden. Mustard is also shown here, which I seldom plant.
Note the ginger plant at the top center.
The summer poinsettia, which sometimes reach my shoulder, is always covered with bees and other beneficial insects.
I don’t know this blue fellow’s name, but isn’t his color magnificent? Anyone know what they’re called?
I still have one sweet potato vine to take up. (Planted 6 slips; lost 3 to a critter.)
Friends harvested theirs more than a month ago. When I heard they’d harvested, I got so excited I dug two of mine. Big mistake. Mine had not finished growing, so I didn’t get as many from those as I would have had I waited.
Every garden is different. Although my friends only live a mile away, their garden is on a different time schedule than mine.
I’ll take my last bunch out of the ground just BEFORE frost is expected. (If dug after a frost they don’t keep as long.)
Because I’ve been planting lettuce every week or 10 days since August, I have it in all stages of growth.
My last plantings of October 11 and 21st are still in containers. They’ll be moved to the garden soon, but I won’t anticipate a lot of growth from them UNTIL spring.
More than likely these October seedlings will be the ones to give me lettuce early next spring, long before my spring plantings are ready to be harvested.
I notice more and more problems with germination in purchased seed no matter how reputable the source. Newly purchased Sierra Batavia, a favorite of mine, didn’t germinate this fall. Nor did Winter Density.
Fortunately, I had newly saved seed from this year’s garden. I planted Winter Density and Sierra Batavia and they both germinated in 3 days.
Below is a 9 foot just-planted bed of lettuce. Four varieties. Four rows about 5 inches apart. I estimate being able to eat out of this bed by Christmas and into January and February.
(It’ll be covered in freezing temperatures.)
Pots of Rooted Rosemary Cuttings
I never got around to transplanting these. I’ll try to winter them over in the garden with a bit of protection and transplant in the spring.
Potatoes loved conditions this year and I had an abundance.
Still have some in the garden that I’ll harvest before a hard freeze. (Potatoes don’t taste good if they’re dug after the ground freezes.)
As I approached my garden yesterday just before evening, I realized how misleading it can be to the unknowing eye. Many look and never know I have a garden.
But I do. And it gives me the food I need to sustain me.
There’s not much food (if any) you can buy at the stores that is health giving. Your very best bet is to grow your own. If you can’t do that, hopefully you know a farmer you can trust.
After that, buying organic would be your best option. But be aware that more and more “organic” is not always what it should be.
Be in control as much as you can. It’ll make a big difference.
Let me know when I can help you.
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