25 September 2009


Planted the last of the Peas yesterday. It looked like squirrels dug up a few seeds- or birds? but plenty are left.

Picked all of my Bell Peppers- there were three medium-sized ones left. Last year I got two pepper plants, and three peppers off them. This year one plant grew, and gave me five peppers. If I can get a half dozen plants to grow well next year, I'll be happy. Made a dish of stuffed peppers w/meat and rice and onions and garlic and herbs. The recipe used five things from the garden- Peppers, Garlic, Tomatoes, fresh Basil and Oregano.

One of the Broccoli plants is finally forming its head of florets. I can't wait for it to get big enough to cut! The Beets are nearly ready, too- we'll eat them before a week's out.

22 September 2009

tomatoes end

Took out the second plot of Tomatoes today- the cherry tomatoes and another volunteer plant were in that space. The small tomatoes no longer have good flavor but daughter insisted on picked all the green ones to put in the windowsill for ripening. After the vines were all chopped into the compost pile, I turned over the soil with a trowel, picked out all the stones I could find, crumbled the dirt fine and raked in half a bucket of cured compost. I think it's my best compost yet- smelled heavy and sweet. Smoothed and patted the soil down, then made a half dozen furrows with trowel and scattered in what's left of the Carrot seed. (Didn't make strips this time). Then watered with steaming hot. Also planted Spinach (bloomsdale longstanding) in the spot that had cantaloupes before.

Now all I have left for fall planting is peas, garlic and clover to cover crop the bare areas.

18 September 2009

seed strips

Picked a nice bunch of Green Beans today. Planted Carrot seed in the first cleared plot. Combined two tips that I learned from reading garden books. First was to make seed strips- cut paper towels into narrow strips, dab on a thin paste of water and flour every marked off three inches, stick the seeds on evenly spaced, let it dry. Then lay them down on the soil, sprinkle more dirt over top and pat down. Easy that way to make sure the tiny seeds are all evenly spaced. Then water with hot boiling water, that worked well for me in spring getting the seeds to germinate quickly. Two lengths of five paper towel squares cut into five or six strips each filled one plot quite nicely.

When it's too cool for the tomatoes to ripen on the vine quickly but they're still growing, I pick them and put inside on windowsill to finish ripening. The row of round, rosy shapes is such a cheerful feel of approaching autumn, for me. More so than falling leaves- we don't have many even changing color yet. But already the tomatoes line the windowsill, in their various hues creeping from green with a touch of rose to juicy bold red (as in this month's header image).

16 September 2009


Pulled up the last few carrots today- only four good enough to eat. Dug in a bit of compost and planted the rest of the Beets in their spot. Pulled up the withering Tomatoes from the first plot on the opposite side of the yard, where the volunteers were growing. Weeded and raked it over, thinking what to put there for fall. More carrots? spinach?

13 September 2009

fall bounty

Even though it's definitely fall now with cooler weather and more rain, the garden still gives bounty. Today I clipped the greens off a volunteer onion for chives, sliced a red Onion to substitute for shallots, picked a handful of cherry Tomatoes, two green Bell Peppers (not quite ripe but A will still eat them sliced with a dip) one fat Zucchini and a nice little bunch of Green Beans. The g bean plants are doing better now- far less signs of insect damage and I didn't see a single cucumber beetle. There were a few grasshoppers but then I spotted the preying mantis- a big one, as long as my hand, stalking under the bean plants. So I left well alone, hopeful that he's been eating my pests and will keep the plants defended.

12 September 2009


In all the places where I let Lettuce go to seed, there's new small seedlings coming up, from seed that dropped before (or while) I gathered. I'm going to let a few rains make them big enough for a baby greens salad, then turn over the plot and plant it new for fall.

10 September 2009


Yesterday made a salad using some of the last of summer's Tomatoes, and the first of fall Lettuce. It was so sweet, with all the baby greens. A bit of seedling Beet leaves, too, from the thinned plants.

08 September 2009


Did a bit of fall cleanup in the garden today. Cut out wilted and yellowed leaves from the heirloom plants, the rest look fine still. Cut down some of the large volunteer Tomato plants- they were all collapsed on the ground and getting bug-ridden. The unripe tomatoes that weren't blemished I brought inside to ripen in windowsill. Pulled up the wilted cantaloupe vines and the smallest Zucchini plant which I don't think will give me any more zucchinis. Those went in trash bag, as I don't want to spread any disease from the cucumber beetles. Weeded the now-bare cantaloupe plot, and found some of my Cilantro has sprouted! It just might grow enough to eat some fresh cilantro again before cold weather. In the other two bare plots at the end of the row, the Clover I seeded for green cover overwinter has come up sporadically. I might rake the bare spots over and seed again, especially before it rains this weekend. A small picking off the Green Beans again. On the plant I left alone for keeping seed the long, fat pods are starting to turn yellow. The one green bushy Marigold plant is still sporting flowers, and a few of the lesser Sunflowers put up small secondary flowers after I cut the first wilted heads off. I found among the blue bindweed growing on the fence a single tendril of Sweet Pea, grown tall and with folded buds, but it never made flowers. Makes me nostalgic and sad, my mom used to grow sweet peas in the garden, but here they didn't flourish for me (yet!) The Beets have all come up, and the young Lettuce is growing lush and healthy everywhere. Now I'm going to have to start slug patrol again.

07 September 2009

red and orange

The Tomatoes are going. The cherry ones don't taste good anymore, and the heirlooms are getting wilted, prone to bug holes. I just can't get out into the garden enough to keep it clear of pests, right now. I'm going to pull up the cherry Tomato plants, and coax the larger ones along a bit longer, their fruits are still tasty.

Ate the two smallest Cantaloupes, as the leaves are all beginning to brown and wither. I thought they wouldn't be good, as they were half the size of the two previous fruits, and their skins looked funny- thick web of lines over them. But the little melons were perfect inside- bright orange, sweet flesh. It's encourage me to try growing them again next year!

04 September 2009


Still lots of Tomatoes, the Green Beans have really slowed down. Some plants don't have any new beans at all, when I check them again. Picked a small amount today. The cucumber beetles have moved onto them- I picked off several, and a stink bug, and yanked out a few plants that were pretty heavily damaged. Cut off all the wilted leaves, and threw in trash. Hopefully it doesn't spread. Looks like the Cantaloupe is done, too- it's getting too cool. The two melons left aren't getting any larger and I want to eat them before the bugs do.

02 September 2009


Have I conquered the cucumber beetles? or is the cooler weather of fall doing them in? I don't find many on the plants anymore, and the smallest Zucchini plant is putting up new leaves. Yesterday we had some jumbo shrimp for dinner, so I crushed the shells and dug them into the dirt around the heirloom Tomato plants. Heard they like extra calcium while fruiting. Maybe a little late for that, though. Loads of the fall Beets are coming up!