Care to take a grey and drizzly stroll through the garden? I took these pictures last week, the leaves are more colorful (and falling!) now. This will likely be the second to last time my camera comes with my into the garden for the season, things are getting very quiet out there.
Growing up, I recall gardening season ended (in my area) with the start of school in early September. Maybe that is because people became busy with a schedule that pulled them away from home. Gears shifted. But now that I've tended this garden for a few years, I realize just how important September and October are to the overall growing season. Aside from the promising days of early spring, these last two months are my favorite time to be out there among the rows.
Half of the garden is officially closed for the season so the chickens have been turned out to scratch and forage all the live long day. It's getting dark so quickly now that it is easy to miss the perfect timing for moving them to the coop for the night. The other day we went up to move them from garden to coop and they decided to put themselves to bed, roosting among the remaining tomato cages. It was quite a sight!
The remaining half still holds growing beds of dark leafy greens, beets, lettuce, carrots, rutabaga, and a few leeks that didn't get very big. Late blight finally came, the latest arrival we've ever seen. I almost thought we were in the clear. I pulled all the remaining green tomatoes and will attempt to ripen them inside. Blight will appear on most of them within a few days, but some will ripen without. I made a great deal of ketchup and salsa already, but no marina sauce yet. I've been freezing the remaining whole paste tomatoes as they ripen and will make all the sauce that I'm able in a few weeks when they are all ripe. Thankfully, prior to the arrival of late blight and the subsequent overnight demise of our 30 plus tomato plants, it was a pretty good season.
I received and email from High Mowing stating that our garlic has shipped so that is something to look forward to. I saved about ten heads for seed from this year's harvest. It will probably take me a few years to have a large enough garlic bed to keep all of our own seed. But I think it'll feel pretty darn good when that happens.
Each year I try to pay attention to the comments my gardening friends make regarding plant varieties that they are really enjoying - so I can add them to my garden the following year. Nothing too crazy, just a handful of new varieties. So far, new seeds to try for 2015 include:
- Bangles - tiny bell peppers
- Purple Cauliflower
- Borage (I've grown this in so many places over the years, never here!)
Have you grown any stand out varieties this year that you'd recommend? I'd love to hear about it!
Each day is a little more quiet out there. Soft and golden. Grey and moody. Rain is coming later tonight, I'm going to get a pot of stew simmering and bake an apple pie. October begs for such things.