Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Fall Brings Changes to the Garden (2011 Garden Update #10)

Thanks to beautiful September weather, the garden is still hanging on for a few more weeks!

This year Utah has had one of those gorgeous Septembers, hot weather with just a slight crisp feel to the air.  I love this time of year, especially when it stays mild enough that the garden keeps producing vegetables and herbs.  A few of my garden plants are gone and some are only producing at half-speed, but I'm always happy for whatever fall produce I can get.  This is the time of year when I start evaluating what I grew and thinking about what I'll change for next year's garden, so here are a few of the things I noticed when I went out and wandered around last night.

As you can see in the top photo, I'm still getting summer squash, but out of six robust clumps of squash plants, several of them are completely gone.  For whatever reason, the 8-ball zucchini didn't do well this year, and next year I think I'll move the summer squash to a different garden bed.

This photo shows what a difference sun makes for tomatoes.  The tomatoes on the far left are shaded now for much of the day, and they're barely hanging on.  Compare that with the ones on the right which are still getting sun from mid-morning until about 6:00 at night.

The nights aren't really too cold here yet, but they're a little colder than the tomatoes would like and fewer new tomatoes are appearing.  I'm happy for any that do show up though, like these Green Zebras.

And my Celebrity plants are still producing tomatoes too.

This year's Brandywine tomato got tomato blight and never did really recover.  I want to check into whether there's some kind of soil treatment I could use during the winter to help prevent this next year, because I do want to keep growing the tomatoes along my deck.  (Please chime in with a comment if you know about this.)

I finally got some dill growing by my new shed late in the season, so I've decided to just let it go to seed and hope for a big patch of dill there next summer!

I'm thrilled to have this much basil hanging on and over the weekend I'm going to trim it again and hope for one more picking after that!

It's also time to trim the rosemary and put some in the freezer for winter.  (Check this link if you want to see all the posts I've written about Freezing Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs, because it's definitely that time of year!)

I'm not sure why I haven't used much tarragon this year, but I'm also going to freeze some of it.

The sage has really done well in the herb bed and I'm loving the looks of it so much I might move some of it into a flower bed next year.

This small bed along the east fence is bursting with parsley, mint, and flat parsley.  I let the parsley go to seed on purpose so it will come back next year, but I do need to trim the mint!   (And obviously, if you live nearby and need herbs, come on over!)

I've decided thumbs down on devoting an entire bed to winter squash for next year.  I only got two acorn squash from the Honey Bear Squash plant.  The Buttercup squash produced about 8 squashes, but they aren't any better than the ones you buy at the store.  I'll plant something else here next year.

Eggplant is really a warm-weather plant, so I'm excited that I'm still getting some.  Next year I'll grow Japanese Eggplant again and increase it from 2 plants to four so I have more ripe ones at the same time.

I pulled out the Red Russian Kale but the regular dark green kale and the Swiss chard are still going strong!  These sometimes last into November if we don't get snow.

The cucumbers are pretty much done.  And note to self:  don't plant cucumbers so close to the eggplant next year.  I'm also giving up on bell peppers, after years of not really getting any usable ones, but hot peppers are on my list for next year.

And a sure sign of fall is empty beds like this.   The green beans are long gone, and last week I pulled out all the onions.  I'm not sure I'd grow onions again.  Although they were fun, most of the onions were rather puny (maybe I shouldn't have pulled them out, but they didn't seem to be growing.)  And the question I wonder about every fall, should I plant some fall greens here and hope to get them before snow comes?  I'll have to look at seeds and see what I find.

You can see other garden updates from earlier this year or other years by clicking on the tab GARDENING at the top of my blog.  If you have a garden at your house, let us know in the comments how it's surviving the arrival of fall weather. 

17 comments:

Katherine Martinelli said...

I'm so jealous of your garden! It is just beautiful. What a bounty!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Katharine. I've been working on it for quite a few years to get it just like I want it and I'm pretty happy with it now!

John Green said...

Your Garden is so beautiful, I know you have enjoyed it. Keep up the good work, you must have a green thumb...

Kalyn said...

John, thanks. About the green thumb, sometimes I do, but I have my failures just like everyone does!

Jeanette said...

I am so impressed by how many plants you've grown this season. I have to say I am a bit sad that growing season is coming to an end. I always look forward to summer produce. Love the zebra tomatoes - they're one of my favorites - so pretty in salads.

Kalyn said...

Jeanette, I am always sad when I stop getting things from the garden. I do enjoy the process of starting over each year though.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This was my first year growing tomatoes, and we're already planning to enlarge the tomato cage next year. I'm cutting back on growing some herbs I just don't use very much, like Thai basil and lemon basil. And I've let my dill and parsley go to seed, too, in hopes they will self-seed for next season.

Kalyn said...

Lydia, I am so excited that you're going to have more tomatoes. And I have had good luck with dill and parsley self-seeding; hope you do too.

sangeeta said...

I so want to be your neighbor. Loved loved loved your garden and all the herbs. I grow some of the herbs and struggle for some others.... such a beautifully maintained garden inspires me :)

Louise said...

Hi Kalyn, Your site is such an inspiration. Are you planting a fall garden? I am replanting again as I have had a problem with a woodchuck visiting. He ate all my romaine lettuce, spinach and 15 swiss chard plants. I am also going to plant garlic for the first time.

Kalyn said...

Sangeeta, I would love to have a neighbor who would help keep the herbs picked. I offer them, but no one ever takes me up on it!

Louise I'm still debating about planting some fall stuff. It's a crap shoot in Utah; no telling how early it will snow.

Jay said...

Lovely garden Kalyn, I've enjoyed seeing how it's been progressing. I'm guessing your family has thoroughly enjoyed all the fantastic meals you've made with your wonderful garden bounty.

Tomato blight is a beast. Being on the west coast of BC, rain can be and often times is, very plentiful. We'll have one growing season with glorious weather, the next with so much rain, you begin to wonder if the water tap in the sky has broken!

As for the dreaded blight. if I see any sign of late tomato blight, I'll trim a lot of the bottom foliage from my plant/s so nothing or as little foliage will be near the soil. I also remove as much blighted leaf matter I can from the plant, then dispose of it in the trash, as blight does not die off in the compost.

But, even with those preventive measures, I usually end up pulling out the blighted plants and trashing them, in hopes of saving the plants I have left.

I have been quite sucessful in killing off weeds in two of my raised beds that had been unused for a few years, with clear plastic sheeting.
They had become overgrown with stubborn weeds & what I could not pull out I left, then I covered the beds with a double layer of clear plastic sheeting. I used bricks to anchor the sheeting down, but good sized rocks would work as well I'm sure.

I left the sheeting on for the winter and have to say it did a darn good job of killing off the majority of the weeds. More heat hitting the plastic from winter sun would have been even better at "cooking" the beds, but here, you get what you get when it comes to Mr sunshine.

I've not tried the sheeting treatment for soil that might contain blight as I move my tomatoes every year, but the sheeting treatment might well be a solution to your wanting to plant your tomatoes in the same spot next year. The heat from your house wall hitting the sheeting would be very helpful.

Hope I've been of some help.

Jay

Kalyn said...

ay, thanks for that suggestion. I hope to have at least 6 more weeks of tomatoes before I have to decide what to do about it. Meanwhile I was planning to trim all the blighted leaves and branches today so it sounds like I'm on the right track.

awesome Dawson said...

I second Jay's suggestion to "solarize" your soil. One of the things I always check if I have a garden problem is the info at Organic Gardening.com...especially for treatments for things that are affecting what I'm growing for food. They have a neat summary of such here: http://tinyurl.com/3dbtl2o

Specifically regarding tomato blight, here's a link to the organic gardening section at About.com that has pictures to diagnose which type of blight you have and what to do about it:: http://tinyurl.com/lc8jk9.

Although they recommend moving your tomatoes to a different bed next year, I'd give the plastic sheeting treatment a try first, if you don't really want to move them!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Dawson,
After looking at those photos now I'm wondering if my tomatoes really do have blight, because they don't look like any of the three types of blight shown. Going to ask the garden center experts here

Bruno said...

Hi Kalyn,

Your garden looks great considering it's so late in the season!

As you've already seen, my garden did poorly this year due too the unfavorable growing conditions in this part of the country. I'm hoping for Mother Nature to be kinder next year and I've made notes to change some things over which I have control.

Keep up the great work! I enjoy comparing gardening notes w/ one another...

Bruno

Kalyn said...

Bruni, I like it too. It's fun to see what other people are doing that you might want to try. Next year I'm going to experiment with more greens I think, and maybe try growing more of my plants from seed. And this week I need to do more trimming of the dead leaves that I got started on!

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