Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Garden Update

September peppers.
There haven't been many photos in the blog lately, because I've had camera "issues." At this point, those issues are mostly resolved, so I finally went outside in daylight to take some pictures for a simple garden update.

The summer crop that is still coming in strong is the peppers. All varieties across the whole bed are doing well. The tomatoes, even the ones planted latest, are mostly limping along. I'm bringing in a few tomatoes each week, but not great piles of them like I would normally be harvesting in September.
Buckwheat cover crop, ready to be mowed down.

The buckwheat that was planted across the top of the spinach-beet bed is doing great. Soon, I will be mowing that down (or Joe will, with the weed-whacker), then turning it under to get the space ready for a winter cover crop.

Some animal(s) out in the yard have been treating the rows of spinach and beet seedlings like a personal snack bar, and I may, as a result, end up reseeding all those rows. This is an annoying turn of events, but not a total surprise. A creek borders our yard on one side, which means we have plenty of drop-in "guests" of the four-legged, furry persuasion. The creek is like a natural highway that connects parks and fields in the area. My yard is just a scenic-turnout that happens to also include a couple of fast-food establishments.

Cabbage-family snacks for rabbits.
 The cabbage and broccoli plants have established nicely and have begun to really grow, but the little green stick front-and-center of the photo to the left is the remains of another animal snack -- kind of like a broccoli-sicle stick instead of a popsicle stick.

However, I have another nine-pack of broccoli to plant, and it is enough to replace all of the most severely munched plants, with some left to plant further down the bed.

Healthy horseradish.
The horseradish, that we don't even really like to eat, is looking pretty amazing. The friend who gave me the chunk of root with which to start my plant said that the flowers would be lovely, but I haven't seen any flowers yet. I've had the plant for at least three years, so I'm thinking that I might not get to see flowers.

The plant is getting too big for its pot, and I'm expecting to re-pot it this coming spring, dividing the root to share and to make some horseradish sauce. Maybe I'll find a recipe for sauce that we like!

This year, most of my plants were in the ground, but I have seen horseradish so healthy that it threatened to take over whole yards. Mine is going to stay in a pot.

Over in the side yard, the sweet potato vines seem to be contemplating some kind of take-over. They have flowed into the next bed and across the newly-laid centipede-&-nutsedge sod that the water department put down after replacing the neighborhood water mains.
This year's sweet-potato glacier, slowly creeping across the yard.

In the picture to the right, a few okra plants can be seen along the left of the photo; they are holding their own among the vines and producing just enough okra for us to include some in a meal every few days.

It will be time to dig up those sweet potatoes very soon. I'm planning to manage that sometime in the first week of October. The slips were planted back in May, which means the plants have had PLENTY of time to make sweets for me by now.

Carrots to the left, winter radishes to the right.
The carrot and winter radish bed looks pretty good. There are still some places in the rows where carrots didn't come up, and it isn't too late to drop in a few seeds in those gaps. We are getting rain today, so it will have to be on another day, but I am thinking that there is still time for a few very late carrots.

The last seeds in won't yield mature carrots until sometime in the spring, but that's okay. I will have harvested plenty of other carrots by then, from the earlier-planted seeds.

Hope everyone else's gardens are doing well!


  1. I've got a similar looking garden - peppers coming in, a few straggling tomatoes, a handful of okra every now and then. Green Beans (Selma Zesta ordered from SESE) are still producing nicely. I have broccoli, brussel sprouts, and collards all planted. So for my question, is it too late fr me to sow a small patch of spinach and lettuce seeds? And - if I sow a few beet and carrot seeds now, when will I have them to eat? Early spring?

  2. Hi Barbara! Glad to hear that your garden is still going in spite of the crazy weather! Any lettuce and spinach seeds planted now will grow slowly; if we don't get any very hard freezes they will keep growing all winter, but they may need protection if they are small when we get our first frost. The babies aren't as hardy as more mature plants. Mature plants of spinach and some kinds of lettuces will be okay even through a hard freeze, but not all lettuces can survive temperatures down below 20 degrees F.

    Beets and carrots sown now will be late in maturing -- it could be as late as March (or early April!) before they are big enough to be considered "keepers," but if the winter is fairly moderate they may mature sooner. Either way, my previous years' gardens -- encompassing a wide range of weather -- indicate that you are likely to have the space back in time for spring planting.

    If it makes you feel better, I am planting a few late seeds, too, to make up for losses (bunny damage, lack of germination, etc) in earlier plantings.

    I have a friend who doesn't see the need for gamblers to go to Las Vegas -- she says they should just all start gardens; planting some seeds and waiting for the outcome provides plenty of drama!


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