“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…..
Everything 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……
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
In A Vase On Monday
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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