Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wistfully Winding Down My Veggie Garden

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Southern Ontario: warm and sunny, a one-day burst of summery weather. Wandering around my garden yesterday afternoon, it was hard for me to believe that the dreaded first-frost date was approaching. For my area, that date is said to be October 13th, just three weeks from today! Oh, tell me it's not true...

Doesn't it look beautiful? The garlic chives are flowering, and the peppers are busy changing colour (I love the contrast between the initial pale yellow and the final deep red). That's a big clump of mint in front of the peppers. You can't see the green bean plants in the photo; they're at the back, closest to the deck.

While production has certainly slowed down, I'm still harvesting a reasonable amount:

I picked another 14 peppers off my jalapeno plant, bringing the total so far to 41 peppers from ONE plant. It never ceases to amaze me how productive one hot pepper plant can be (I've read about harvests of over 200 peppers from one plant before!) My second planting of green beans is still chugging along, and I picked another three quarters of a pound or so. I hope to get at least that much again before the frost hits (if we get another day or two like yesterday, that would certainly help).

My tomato plants have really slowed down. I'm still harvesting a handful of cherry tomatoes here and there, and leaving the rest of the romas on the vine as long as I can (when I hear a danger of frost in the weather forecast, I'll pick all the remaining tomatoes and let the green ones ripen on the windowsill).

I've also got some spinach and arugula starting to grow:

The nice green healthy looking stuff is arugula; the yellow and brown bits are leaves from the black walnut tree that's just behind our back fence. I'm constantly picking them off so they don't smother my baby plants!  While I think the greens have been nibbled on by some critters, I hope to get a harvest before the snow flies if I baby them along a bit. I've covered them with some agricultural cloth to protect them from both the snacking animals and the frost (it can be up to ten degrees warmer under the cloth than the outside air temperature).

I also have an abundance of herbs in my other garden bed and I want to get some of those cut and dried before frost hits. I got started yesterday by drying a couple cookie sheets worth of parsley in the oven. I have a lot more parsley out there, plus basil, purple basil, mint, chives and oregano. Unfortunately, it's raining right now, so I'm going to have to wait for everything to dry out before I bring it in!

What's happening in YOUR fall garden?


  1. Karen, I'll trade you your frost date for my upcoming 100+ degree temps this weekend, ok?
    I'm jealous we get teased with Fall weather here and there and then BAM! Here we go again getting hot. It was forecasted to be in the mid 70's here today and as I look at the current temperature it's in the mid 90's. Off much?? Your garden pics are awesome by the way!

  2. Wow, Rose, I can't imagine it being that hot in September!! Although today a little heat wave has rolled in and it's going to be shorts and sandals weather. With this being Southern Ontario, that doesn't mean we couldn't get frost in a few days, lol!

  3. I really take away all the tomato plants in my garden because I am sure of it that it will not survive when the winter come. I have pepper, beans, egg plant, and some strawberries in my garden. I just harvested a basket full of strawberries that made into a jam and gelatins. My peppers are doing well to except for the beans. They are small and thin and I didn’t know what it made them like that. They say that it is because of the weather.

  4. Wow, strawberries at this time of year? I'm jealous :) Sounds like you had a pretty satisfying harvest this year overall!


Related Posts with Thumbnails