We are freeing-up some critical real estate in the vegetable garden by removing most of the bush yellow beans and some of the large zucchini plants that can't seem to make-up their mind-up on whether they want to produce some more or not. That created enough room in a short raised bed to plant some cold crop favorites as radishes (one of Alexis' favorite lunch snacks) and spinach (one of my favorite snacks) that I had no luck with in the spring. This spring started so late that by the time we finished the new fence and added fresh compost to the veggie beds the weather warmed-up so fast that both the radishes and the spinach bolted. It may also be the problem with raised beds which are a few degrees warmer than the low ground reason why I will only grow these two crops in the lowest height veggie bed that is only 6" above the ground. Lesson learned I hope!
Luca's sunflowers are done following the sun and we are awaiting for the seeds to turn black:
Alexis's radishes sprouted in three days and look at the sprouts after a week. The variety is Bell radishes and should be ready for harvest in 22 days from planting. We'll see about that! (UP-DATE: the radishes never grew because October was too hot)
The few rows of hard neck onion seed that I collected and planted 12 days ago along with new lettuce Simpson variety look great! We will have fresh green onions and lettuce in no time!
Last of the "Ox Heart" Romanian tomatoes are ripening on the vine. I picked all the other in the yellow and orange stage and placed in paper bags for indoor ripening but hubby didn't allow these ones to be picked just yet. He prefers the taste of tomatoes directly to salad off the vine.
Another cold weather crop are the sweet peas. Since I had a few left since 2012 spring, I planted them in the pole yellow beans box and thanks to the rain we had last week we are seeing the sprouts already. We will need about 6 weeks to see peas and I am not sure that we will have a chance at eating peas this fall. I call this the fall experiment since I planted them too late in September and I will give an up-date on this experiment during the October Veggie Garden up-date blog.
Last of the figs are ripening now and I have no competition from the family at eating these. Delicious!
My sweet small peppers 2013 experiment is coming to an end as I learned that the grocery store sweet baby peppers have an open to pollination seed, and are able to grow just fine in our only 5 hours of sun garden. We now have the first pepper that turned to the expected yellow color before the end of the season. These peppers have a thin skin and are very sweet taste even in the green stage! Great for lunch! You may want to try this too! Just save the seed from the store sweet small peppers and start them in March indoor.
Luca's pumpkin tried really hard to set pumpkins this year but several flowering pumpkins rotten before pollination. I was about to pull the plant out but then I had an idea. I lifted the plant of the ground and supported it by tomato cages and a new potential pumpkin flower in healthy condition (no brown spots yet) is awaiting its time for pollination (about 8 days only I hope). It may be too late in the season to hope for a pumpkin but you never know.
We are continuing to enjoy the hard neck onions unknown variety that I now probably have propagated and recycled for 6 years. It is the first we eat in the spring as early as April (if we sow the previous year's seed in the fall) and the last to grow in the fall after the scapes with new seed had been removed.
The lemon tree had its best year ever still holding about 20 lemons (the most we've ever seen in 8 years).
"Meyer" Citrus LimonWe've tried for years to grow berries but thanks to my hubby's addition of the garden fence we now can enjoy fresh raspberries, blueberries, figs and alpine strawberries without sharing them with the birds and other pests.
Another important job to do in the garden is planting the garlic for next year. I have 4 new named varieties to try from a neighbor that grows a few dozen organic varieties a year for sale. I will plant garlic this week-end in the raised bed where tomatoes grew this year and where I will plant cucumbers next year.
Did you save seed for your favorite tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and squash yet? If not, is not too late! Do it now and you have free seed of your favorites foods for next year season.
So what is still growing in your fall vegetable garden right now? Please try to leave me comments!