I spent some good time in the raised beds garden this afternoon! It’s about 80 degrees here, and there’s a breeze, so it was quite pleasant to work up a sweat and get my hands in the dirt. I watered everything, and after my recent bout of rage pulling of weeds, I had very few weeds left to pull, which was nice. There’s so much going on in the United States right now, and it felt good to yank things out of the ground.
Pak choi is sprouting up, as are the second sowings of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. Kale and turnips appear to be lagging, but I’m sure they’ll catch up. Both the purple and yellow peas are about a week from reaching the netting and then they will really start climbing.
I still have about a dozen jalapeno pepper plants that were very, very late germinating. I used old seed and I’m surprised they came up at all, but hey, you get what you get when you clean out the seed box. I think I can coax peppers yet, even this late. It may require some glass cloches, to keep them warm, but I’m up to the challenge.
Asparagus is sending up new plants, despite my scorched earth approach to clearing that bed. There’s grass in the back that will require me to dig it out with a shovel, but I plan to flag the asparagus that’s back in there and try really hard not to dig that up. I don’t know what possessed me to put asparagus in a raised bed. I should have just put it out in the herb garden and let it run. I may start a second bed out there in the spring.
Blueberry foliage is turning a gorgeous red, and the one I rescued from the front berm bed has really shot up now that it’s potted and doesn’t have to compete with grasses. It did not produce berries this year, which is fine. The Elliott and Duke bushes surely did, and I really enjoyed having them in the garden and close to the house.
The first sowing of carrots is looking healthy, and I plan to let my young friend Emmary pull them when they’re ready. The Coleman cooler is FULL of butterhead lettuce sprouts about a half inch tall! I’ll have to thin them eventually, but having that much of my favorite lettuce right outside the back kitchen door is going to be great! The basil pots I originally sowed back in June are still producing, so I gave them a long drink of water and will pinch them back hard to encourage one more big burst before frost.
I dragged the five strongest remaining fabric pots of tomatoes inside the fencing, since the deer have indeed been eating the tips. I caught them red-hooved at 3:00 am and startled the hell out of them when I came outside. Jerks. I picked five nice tomatoes today, and will be slicing and eating them tomorrow, I believe, with some balsamic and the aforementioned fresh basil.
I had spare tomato plants from the ridiculous amount that I started this spring, and I tucked them into the garden dirt here and there, and into three porch pots. They’re doing way better in the raised beds in regular old dirt than they are in the fabric pots with plenty of feeding. Next spring the fabric pots will host something different, and I’m putting an entire 4×6′ bed, maybe two, over to tomatoes. I’ve really enjoyed them this year!
My porch pots of herbs and tomatoes are doing very well! I have second sowings of basil, parsley, and cilantro are sprouting up. When my roof was replaced this summer the tree in the front yard was heavily trimmed. Now I have plenty of sunlight on the front steps and the tomatoes and herbs have been soaking it up happily.
I visited the herb garden this evening and found everything pretty happy. The ground cherries, zuchinni, and tomatoes planted out there might need some help keeping warm as the fall progresses, since they got such a late start, but I’m hopeful! I may dry some of the lemon balm, the anise hyssop, and all three mints for medicinal teas, and I may dry some oregano for pasta. Next year I’ll reseed what didn’t do so well this year – I’m looking at you, dill, sage, and thyme – and keep adding more herbs to the space I have. There’s so much room for more, but I’m taking on a little at a time. One of the things on next year’s list is a rainbow of yarrow plants. Good for pollinators, good for cut flowers, and another medicinal.
It’s been a pretty good summer in the yarden, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far into the winter I can keep things growing with straw mulch and floating row cover over the hoops on the raised beds. I’ve heard that turnips can stay in the ground all winter, and I plan to try that. If you’re having a fall themed party with straw bales, please let me know, and I’ll take them off your hands after the party!