Sunday, October 7, 2012

Not Quite Summer, Not Quite Fall

Even though the summer harvest season is nearing its conclusion, there's still a bit more out in the garden to bring in. Last night and tonight we have temperatures down into the forties (degrees F), which peppers and eggplants in particular don't appreciate. Their leaves all looked a little droopy this morning, so I am guessing that it's nearly time to pull those plants from the garden.

My eggplants haven't done as well this year as last, but the peppers have been performing like champs in more gardens than just mine. Gardeners all over the county are just about bursting with joy over the peppers. I am pretty sure I'm not alone in having many bags of chopped peppers in the freezer and many jars of dehydrated pepper-bits on the pantry shelves to make sure we're well-seasoned all winter long.

This massive storage of peppers is in addition to the numerous peppers that we have eaten grilled, stuffed with cheese, just "on the side" of a plate of salad, Mexican-style beans & rice, and (on a very good day) mole' chicken.

My little family is enjoying its late-summer fling with green beans, too. The little patch that I planted in August, that got tromped through by the workmen who were paying more attention to our house repairs than where they were walking (hard to complain about that ...), has provided quite a few meals-worth of beans. They've been delicious!

The fall-planted garden will be providing more food for us soon. I'm hoping for a little more seasonal-overlap than just radishes, but we'll see how it goes. Hope everyone else's gardens are doing well!


  1. Our bell peppers didn't do much this year, though the hot and mild banana peppers went gangbusters, like usual.

    I'm glad to hear that green beans planted in August went well. We asked around a few years ago about planting beans in mid to late summer and were told they wouldn't likely do much. I'm glad to hear that's not he case. I'll have to try late planting a next year - I find its hard to go out and plant in the heat of late July and August though.

  2. I have never successfully grown a bell pepper. Regular peppers yes, however this year, the only thing that lived this was mint. And it popped up on its own.

    Your basket looks delicious though...Might have to hit the Farmer's Market tomorrow...

    I bet you could do a radish vegetable tart. There is a delicious recipe on Epicurious for the leaves.

  3. Can u provide me a list of when to plant what vegetable I am new to gardening my tomatoes did great this year would like to try planting more next year. Just not sure when to plant and what.

  4. Owlfan,
    If you plant the bush beans in early August or late July, there will be plenty of time for them to make a crop, and the peak of the Mexican bean beetle season will have past. Both good things! And yes, getting them planted wasn't 100% fun because it was blazing hot then and we were living in the hotel still, but I knew that I would want those beans in late September and early October. You should definitely give it a try, but in your garden south of Atlanta you will have a couple of extra weeks in which to plan and plant. Thanks for the note!

    Atlanta Tree Pro,
    Bummer about the bell peppers, but I have noticed in my own yard that they have good years and bad years, and I'm pretty sure the difference hinges on conditions that are outside my control, since I do things pretty much the same way most years. I wonder - what's going on in your yard to keep the bells from doing well? Have you ever sent a soil sample to the testing lab at UGA? Peppers have relatively higher requirements for some nutrients - magnesium is one that's included in the routine test. Just curious. And yes, the veggies have been great to eat! About the radishes - we eat the root-part but the greens go to my bunnies. I think they wouldn't like it if I started cooking up some of their favorite greens for myself. It's a good thought, though. Thank you for the recipe tip! (The bunnies might have to resign themselves to sharing.)

    UGA has a link to a planting chart at the bottom of this publication:

    Vegetable Gardening in Georgia

    Scroll down to find the link to the pdf (it should download onto your computer). The dates are for the middle of the state, so if you live north of Atlanta, like I do, you'll need to adjust the dates by a couple of weeks. Otherwise, though, for a new gardener the chart is great, because it includes names of varieties that have been shown to do well in Georgia. It cuts back on a lot of the "trial and error" or "seed-packet-roulette" that a lot of new gardeners go through. Hope it helps!

    Thank you all for the notes! It's great to hear from other gardeners.



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