Wrapping Up The Veg Garden

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“To get the best results you must talk to your vegetables.”  ~Prince Charles

 

Before I talk about the garden, I should say I have been away from my blogs and the computer for 6 days about 10 days ago.  We traveled to Denver, Colorado for our oldest niece’s wedding.  It was great seeing my siblings, their families and my cousins from my dad’s side of the family.  We don’t have much in the way of extended family left.

While in Denver, my older sister and I made a day trip by plane to Arizona to see our mom and Aunt as it has been almost a year since I last saw them (my sister lives in Arizona).  My mom was in better health this time, and so pleased as we brought back photos and mementos.  They could not travel to the wedding.  No I did not bring my computer or a camera and we have no cell phones so it was an almost technology free time….we did bring our iPod.

The weather was fabulous (75 and sunny)…thank goodness as it was an outside wedding under the Pavilion at Cheesman Park.  I missed a dusting of snow and a hard frost at home, but the garden seems almost untouched and still blooming away.  Now I am resting up…plane travel is not an easy way to travel anymore.  OK back to the garden……

 

I found this quote and thought, ‘how odd’.  Talk to your vegetables?  No I don’t think I do….but then I think I must have.  Especially when young seeds are lovingly planted and growing as small seedlings.  But once grown and flowering, I let them be like the adolescents they are, giving only a bit of food and water.

This year we had many successes and a few failures to learn from.  And as I wrap up this year’s veg garden, I am also preparing for next year’s garden.  And I must, since I rotate my beds, and have to know which will be my garlic bed as this must be planted soon.

 

So let’s see how the veg garden has fared…..

 

 

DSCN9386Everything was finished and pulled by mid-October…..what a nice prolonged harvest.  This is the squash bed.  The squash were few, and that is because I planted them in early June and allowed too many volunteers to grow up and around the bed.

Currently we are clearing the areas around this and other beds.  And we planted many pots here in this bed, to heal them in over the winter months.  I have several shrubs, I dug up in spring, and a few plants I purchased…all were waiting in pots on the patio for a late summer planting, but that did not happen.  So instead we planted them here, and mulched them in for the winter.

Let’s move to the far left bed that we recently uncovered……

 

 

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This is the bed in which the rabbits built a nest.  I had planted strawberries and blueberry bushes here….to use this as a fruit bed.  But I bought another bed for fruit (which we will install in spring).  This current fruit bed was covered with milkweed and other volunteers especially blackberry suckers taking over.  The blueberry bushes were moved to the overwintering bed above.

We pulled everything, removed the soil, put down landscaping fabric and screening, then refilled the bed.  In the spring we will plant all the greens including lettuces, arugula, kale and spinach.  And we will further clear the area around in spring, except for the chives.  

 

 

 

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Now we are looking to the right of the overwintering bed.  This was the garlic bed, and we also planted some pumpkins here.  We had loads of garlic, and a few small pumpkins to use for decoration, but no big pumpkins.  I need to find more space for the pumpkins.  Some garlic scapes escaped me, and have developed wonderful cloves we will move to one area in this bed.  We can always do with extra garlic.  The garlic bed, for next year, is seen straight ahead against the fence.

This bed will be a squash bed next year with zucchini, Delicata squash, beets, chard, basil, Italian parsley and carrots.  I have to plant the squash earlier next year under cover to protect them and give them more of a head start.

 

 

 

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This was the tomato bed.  We had a good harvest with some okra, peppers and eggplant.  The sunflowers that volunteered here took up lots of sun and room limiting my harvest.  So next year in the spring, I will move all volunteer sunflowers to another area.

I have some garlic cloves from last year’s missed scapes that have grown larger here.  And I will add about another 100 cloves to this bed for next year’s harvest.  The tomato bed will move to the bed where we are overwintering bushes and plants.

 

 

 

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And finally the pea/bean bed.  Peas gave us a good harvest but not the cukes.  They need more room as the beans took up most of the space.  This is the bed where we added screening to keep out the voles.  I also used the Seeding Square to plant beans here.  I will say, the screening we installed at the bottom of the bed helped keep the voles out, and we had no voles breaking through and destroying plants.  So the beans were amazing with pounds and pounds weekly.  We will be adding screening to other beds next year, and I will use the Seeding Square again as I believe it did allow me to use more space and get better yields.

 

 

 

oct radishes

After we pulled the beans, the lettuces and radishes we planted in late August/early September were still growing here.  The cold nights helped spur them on, and we had a small harvest in late October.  

I will plant radishes here again in early spring with peas…and then bush and pole beans in later spring along with a few herbs like dill.

 

 

 

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The portable bed yielded some green chiles.  And I will add a few tomatillos and cukes to the green chiles in the portable bed on the patio next year.

And also on the patio we had a decent harvest of both potatoes and onions this year. We decided to reduce the amount of potatoes we will plant next year to only 4 bags (instead of 8), and plant more onions, both red and white in the remaining grow bags.  

 

 

 

indoor herbs collage

I also dug up some perennial herbs and brought them in recently.  Lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, marjoram and chives in the first container.  Thyme was planted in the potted Pelargonium, and brought in for the winter.  And then the rosemary plants were cut back a bit and brought in with sage and oregano.

Basil was pulled and frozen…a few were put in a vase in the hope they will root, and rooted in a few weeks time (in the first photo at the top of the post).  Now I will plant them hoping they survive and give us fresh basil this winter.

 

 

 

indoor coleus begonia collage

Lastly, I took some of the potted begonias and coleus and brought them in for the winter.  I hope that the plants I have brought in will bloom and give me some color this winter, and maybe a few blooms or foliage for vases too!

 

So all that is left now is to clean up the basement from the spring seed starting, and get ready for next spring.  I am also flirting with the idea of planting some herbs like dill, basil and parsley as well as lettuces, kale and radishes in the seed starting area, to see if I can get some fresh herbs and produce growing inside for winter.

 

 

Another vegetable garden season finished for now.  Did you grow vegetables this year…what was your best harvest?

 

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In A Vase On Monday 

 

marigold vase

The cutting flowers lasted through some cold mornings,  and so I picked some more knowing another killing frost was coming soon.  Marigolds or Tagetes mixed with cosmos and Gaillardia graced this vase that had fall colored foliage of peony and grasses adding some color.

 

 

 

marigold collage

I also had enough left over flowers to make a small vase bottom right. I had one Tithonia left in the garden so I added it to the small vase.

 

 

 

marigolds and cosmos collage

And the last of the alyssum and Antirrhinum, with more Cosmos and Tagetes plus kale leaves making a lovely little posy.  Amazing how resilient these flowers were in pots….little was touched by the frost as the garden is very protected by trees and hardscape.  Although soon we will have a mighty freeze and it will all end.

 

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.

 

 

Read-Rural-online-magazine

 
 
I wanted to give fellow blogger Jen@ The Light Laughed a shout out.  She has just published the first issue of her on-line magazine Rural.  As Jen says it is a dream realized.  Many of you may know Jen already or from her days writing at her old blog Muddy Boot Dreams.  I recently did an interview with Jen on my other blog which was quite a treat for me.
 
I hope you will check out the first issue……this is a free online magazine.  You can sign up here, and here.  I do have a poem published in this first issue which is such an honor.  Many congratulations to Jen, and I wish her much success with this project.  Please help Jen celebrate and be sure to share Rural with your friends.

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Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will hope to have a wrap up of my October garden.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 

 

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I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

78 comments

  1. Sara - My Woodland Garden says:

    Wonderful photos and interesting and useful texts, as always! – I confess: I agree with Prince Charles on many things. 🙂
    It’s good that you told there’s your poem in Jen’s beautiful magazine! I saw there are excellent contributors but at first I didn’t notice your name at the bottom of the page. Both the poem and the photo are lovely.
    Have a great new week!
    Oh yes, our vegetables… Tomatoes didn’t enjoy the two rainy and cool months (June and July), but the carrots became nice and tasty.

  2. Noelle says:

    I talk to many things…but now that I am older, it is quiet and I do not move my lips! We are having a lovely sunny day…your white wooden palings look beautiful in your garden. I love this season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hello, I am so glad you had a wonderful trip to Colorado and a nice visit with your family. I enjoyed reading about your garden and seeing your lovely vase of flowers. great post and series of images. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

    BTW, hubby planted your Obedients Plants and I did talk to them and I wished them well! Thanks again!

    • Donna says:

      Oh I am so happy you were able to plant the Obedients….I look forward to hearing how they do. And I have lots more if they fail…although they shouldn’t with all the encouragement!

  4. Island Threads says:

    Donna, I am so pleased for you that you got to see your family and especially your Mum, traveling is tiring, I am finding I get tired now just thinking about it let alone making a journey, but there are times when it is well worth the effort,

    you have done well with your veggies, I am going to try your idea of lining the veg beds with weed suppressing fabric, I am hoping it will stop a weed with a running root that has taken them over, when I made the beds there was no sign of it, just grass and a few annual weeds, luckily I have not had trouble with voles, mice or any other wee beasties, so far anyway,

    you are well organised for winter, indoors and out, I like your winter herb pots, glad the frost didn’t do any harm to your garden, Frances

    • Donna says:

      I had a couple more frosts and still minor damage…and I have had to be the most organized with my veg garden and winter prep. I hope the fabric helps your beds Frances.

  5. Cathy says:

    Your vase has a real faded summer look about it – just right for this time of year when you are beginning to clear up your garden and take stock. Thanks for sharing. Will you do any sowing in your basement now, or leave it all till spring?

    • Donna says:

      I am planning to sow lettuces, spinach, arugula, kale and radishes indoors this winter in hopes of having fresh salad….but flowers won’t be sown until January, Feb and March for spring and summer….mostly tagetes, pansy, viola and snapdragons. The rest will be sown outdoors.

  6. Sarah says:

    I love reading about how you go about things on the other side of the pond Donna. I never really put my garden or allotment to bed. Both are always producing something to cheer me up, but I do not venture out into either if the weather is bad. Really pretty vases, there is still so much worth cutting I’m finding.

  7. Anna says:

    It sounds as if you had a great trip Donna and how lovely to spend time with family members especially when you’re not able to see each other regularly. I’ve also been away from home from some time so have much work still to do to put my vegetable gardens to bed for the winter. In answer to your question my most successful crops this year were all the soft fruit I grow. Despite the advent of that first frost you have put together a most pretty vase. I remember Jen’s beautiful photos on her blog so will certainly nip over to have a look at the first issue of the new online magazine. Thanks for the link 🙂

  8. DeniseinVA says:

    So glad you got to see your family and especially your mother and that she is doing so much better now. You certainly had a productive year in the garden. It was fun reading about it and looking at all those lovely photos. Thank you once again for being such a good friend to Today’s Flowers. Have a great week 🙂

  9. Hannah says:

    I admire your pristine white garden beds, Donna, and lining them with screening to keep out the voles would be marvelous. I have enormous vegetable beds since that is my main thing, and just do old-fashioned rows. I do rotate most crops between beds, but here I can grow kale, Chinese radishes, and some other greens through the winter then eat spring greens and let them go to seed, so can’t rotate their beds well. I use lava rock in my planting trenches and holes to deter the voles, and had some success using cayenne pepper around the bean plants this year. I have lots of trouble with blackberry vines coming up in everything. I had marvelous tomatoes and eggplants this year with the hotter weather, still going. The runner beans do great in the cool fall weather all the way until frost. I love the huge beans in soups. I haven’t done a very good job with garlic but am planting some soon. Next year I’m planning to devote one of the long narrow beds solely to edible sunflowers, I wanted to grow them everywhere but read that deer would eat them so will grow them fenced. I will start growing baby plants under lights soon, along with cuttings from the garden, and I do talk to them. Mostly I just talk to myself in the garden and the plants listen in. Your vase looks very autumnal, I love the variegated colorful leaves. It was great they made it through the frost for your vase. I particularly like the Gaillardia, I finally succeeded with it this year. Your trip sounds like a delightfully hectic time of visiting relatives, Donna. I lived in Denver for 6 years, that high altitude sun is so strong, I had gorgeous winter squash there. I didn’t like the early and late frosts and snow though.

  10. Kris P says:

    I’m sure that discovery of a rabbits nest among the strawberries and blueberries must have been maddening, Donna, but how clever of them! I have a miserable time protecting anything against the squirrels here – I can only imagine how difficult it would be to contend with rabbits.

    Your vases are wonderful, as usual. I was particularly taken with the variegated foliage.

    • Donna says:

      Here rabbits don’t last long as the predators clean them out of the area…then they seem to show up again….but yes they can be maddening sometimes.

  11. Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life says:

    I really like your raised bed frames. Pretty as well as useful.

    Thanks for the shout out link to your friends Rural Autumn online magazine. I look forward to visiting her.

    I’m coming to you via Mosaic Monday today. Thank you for a lovely visit.

    Brenda

    • Donna says:

      I am so happy you stopped by Brenda…I wanted the veg bed frames to match the fence and was so happy to find these….hope you liked the online magazine.

  12. Julie says:

    I am glad you got to see your family Donna and that your mom was in better health for the visit with your sister. Time without a computer or technology is a treat nowadays. I talk to my vegetables, I thought everybody did!

  13. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, I enjoyed hearing about your vegetable garden and seeing your photos. You certainly grew a great deal of produce this year! What did you do with all of those beans? I do not can; but I freeze tomatoes – just enough for chili over the winter. Our green beans were very good this year. The tomatoes had blight and that was disappointing. Have a good week!

    • Donna says:

      Sorry to hear about your tomato blight…that is frustrating. I only grow hybrids that are bred to fight blight as we are often hit by blight. The beans were made into refrigerator pickles and frozen. I don’t can either…

  14. Andrea says:

    I agree with you Donna, travelling by plane is not so easy, most specially in this part of the world where traffic to the airport is such a mess! About your garden, it looks so pristine and clean that it looks like always an exhibit showcase. It will never happen and is very difficult to do in my area, where everything has to be done on my own, unlike in advanced cities like yours where soil mixes are already available, and water is not difficult. Anyway, i don’t complain i am just stating facts, haha!

    • Donna says:

      Oh my veg gardens are seldom pristine…I have many invasive weeds that I am always battling. I am lucky to have lots of rain and snow which helps…and we do have organic soils and compost available thankfully. Because our soil is such heavy clay, I have to grow veggies in raised beds with better soil.

  15. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti says:

    Hello Donna!
    I’m glad the weather was good for you all for the wedding in Denver. We are still experiencing a mild fall, with temps in the 50’s and 60’s during the day It does get much cooler at night. I live in the foothills so our temps are even lower.
    It looks like you had a very productive garden this summer. Soon all will be quiet in your garden and you will be dreaming of spring. Enjoy these last autumn days!

    PS: I subscribed to “Rural” and I enjoyed your poem and all the beautiful photgraphy and quotes in the magazine.

  16. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    Wow, look at those beans and peas! I’m trying to remember if you grew them on trellises or tomato cages, or some other method? Both beans a peas are examples of produce that tastes oh, so much better fresh off the vine!

  17. Karen, Pixel Posts says:

    We just finished digging out the gardens for this season. We. had some great veggies, peas, runner beans, cabbage, carrots. onions, lots of beets and squash! I use raised beds like yours. I love that heart mosaic!

  18. rickii says:

    We are plagued by gophers, so screening is going down wherever there are new plantings (what a nuisance). Your raised beds are very attractive, as is your late season bouquet.

  19. Cathy says:

    An enjoyable read about your vegetable garden Donna. You also still have a lot of flowers left – we must enjoy them all while we can!. Lovely photos again, especially of the vases and the first picture of those lovely healthy basil leaves! My Tithonia has now been cut down as it only had a few small buds left which would not open now.

  20. Ginnie says:

    To tell you the truth, Donna, I always read your posts about gardening with great interest, totally amazed at all that you accomplish in one season. You can be very proud of what you do…bringing all those goodies to your table and vase!

  21. debsgarden says:

    I was interested to see how your seed squares did. I remember when you planted them. I am glad they were successful. Fresh basil through the winter sounds like a treat! This past month I planted lettuce, collards, kale and swiss chard. My winter garden is always more successful than the stressed out summer one. Amidst the veggies I planted pansies. Lovely, and unfortunately, an open invitation to the rabbits! I am also looking forward to fuyu and tamopan persimmons, soon ready to pick.

    As always, I love your vase collages.

    • Donna says:

      Deer love my pansies so I only plant them in vases….your winter garden sounds like what I hope to plant under lights in my basement for winter here…those persimmons sound yummy!

  22. Pam's English Garden says:

    Nice wrap up of your vegetable garden, Donna. I finished clearing mine out last week. I have only carrots and parsnips left to harvest, and some herbs that survived our first couple of frosts. My most successful vegetables were probably my red beets as usual, although my bush beans and pole beans were prolific and delicious — have lots in the freezer. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit with your family! I’m so glad. I empathize about flying — I flew to CA last month for the Garden Writers Convention and I’m still tired. I will check out the magazine. P. x

      • Pam's English Garden says:

        I enjoyed the convention although the weather was unnaturally hot for Pasadena in September — 102 degrees when touring gardens! The best part was meeting bloggers I previously knew only online like Dee (Red Dirt Rambling) and Carol (May Dreams Gardens). I guess its like that at the G.B. Fling, but I went to GWA instead because my goal was to network about my writing. I came away feeling more confident about what I am doing. I think you would have enjoyed it.

        • Donna says:

          Wow that is hot Pam. Sounds like something I would have enjoyed. Perhaps Atlanta next year…and maybe we could meet up there. Now that would be a treat!

  23. Debra says:

    =p I’ve come to hate travel by plane. Good that you got to see your family though. This was my first year growing a veggie garden in this climate. I wasn’t nearly as successful as I hoped but I have learned a lot. I SURE didn’t anything like your haul! Grats!

  24. Debby rAY says:

    Donna, your photos are so beautiful…and the mosaics are fabulous! Congratulations on your contribution to this new online magazine! What a glorious publication RURAL is!

  25. Tatyana@MySecretGarden says:

    Wow! You’ve done a lot Donna! Your bean tower is awesome! Usually, we have lots of beans, but not this year. Maybe, because I planted them too late, or maybe because of the hot and dry summer.
    I like how you plan everything ahead – what and where to plant next spring! I plant some veggies spontaneously.
    Last October bouquets are lovely…

    • Donna says:

      I do change a few things but with so much to plant and limited room, I have to follow a plan….I have found beans do like a lot of water…hoping you have better luck with them next year.

  26. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Now that’s good eating Donna! I loved growing the cucamelons this year and actually harvested quite a few. They are more sour tasting than cucumbers but delicious (and fresh) and easier than cukes maybe once they get started. Next year I am reducing the Potager space. I am using only raised beds to grow in. I’m hoping I can keep up with it more and “talk more to the vegetables.”

    • Donna says:

      It is hard to keep it all going and I do have a great helper. I love trying new things each year, but I think I am just going to stick with veggies I love and eat the most so i can plant more…

  27. Michelle Ramblingwoods says:

    Even your empty beds are so nice looking… We had clover and crooked stem aster grow up around our beds and that was a good solution as to what we were going to do about the sides…. I am heading over to the magazine.. Welcome back..I wondered what you were up too…Michelle

  28. Rose says:

    Looks like a very successful vegetable harvest, Donna! I still have to clean up my vegetable garden, one of many chores that I put off until we had a good rain to make it easier. It rained the last two days here, so I don’t have an excuse any more:) Green Beans definitely did the best for me, but my tomatoes were disappointing, I think due more to the weather than anything. Will definitely check out Jen’s magazine!

    • Donna says:

      Weather can be so frustrating…I have had to learn how to combat it or work with it…always a moving challenge…too cold, too dry…well you know.

  29. catmint says:

    I’m always so impressed at how organized you are garden-wise, Donna, and how good you are at growing veggies. Thanks for sharing your actions and plans.

    Your family trip and taking a break from most devices must have been refreshing.

  30. Helene says:

    Loved your vases Donna, Marigolds are so beautiful – I haven’t grown them for a few years, next year I would like to have them. Your raised beds are an inspiration, I’ve just got ONE and I would like several more. I grew sweet peppers this year and got FOUR peppers. I won’t grow that again, but my cherry tomatoes are always a great success. Next year I will also grow stratberries.

    • Donna says:

      I love marigolds as they are easy to start indoors…my mom grew them all the time. Peppers are iffy for me too. They require ample warm/hot weather, sun and rain…and even then I may not get many.

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