I've spent this week doing some fall garden cleanup, and harvesting a little bit as I go. I'd like to reach my 1000 pound goal, and I'm beginning to think that will be achieved, with only 14 pounds to go.
On Tuesday I brought in the two smallest butternut squash that were left in the garden. They aren't super ripe for storage, but definitely at an edible stage. There are several more large ones still in the garden, not as ripe as these.
The celery is from two plants that went to seed during the summer. I pulled all the others, but cut these two back to the ground to see if they would grow again, and they did. I never did get large stalks of celery from any of them, even the ones I put out for fall harvest. The small stalks are fine for soups and salads, but I doubt I'll plant celery in my 2013 garden.
The Fortex beans are still producing enough for fresh eating, but this could probably be the last picking of the year.
I'm finding an occasional ripe/ripening tomato on the remaining plants. Those by the house, fence and shed didn't die from the recent freeze, but the Cherokee Purple in the main garden is gone.
The peppers have all been pulled, these two had been missed in the final picking.
Last but not least, I'm getting a few leaves of Little Gem romaine lettuce from the half dozen plants that germinated from the late summer planting. More diligence on my part would have resulted in some nice salads, but I neglected to replant when the seedlings didn't emerge.
The total for the day came to nearly 5 1/2 pounds.
On Wednesday I found a few more ripening tomatoes (one came from the box of green tomatoes in the closet), and enough strawberries for two shortcakes for dinner. That was a real treat! The day's total was 1 1/2 pounds.
As I was raking up some foliage in the garden, Annie became very excited about movement in the flower bed. Thinking it could possibly be another baby bird, like the one she found and killed a couple of weeks ago, I took her out of the garden and shut the gate. I went back in and checked where she had been nosing through the flowers, and found a giant slug. I took it in the house and scared Mr. Granny with it before killing it. Of course, I ended up with slug slime all over my garden gloves....icky
! Back in the garden, I noticed some movement in the strawberry bed. Hoping it might be the toad I had released there last summer (and never saw again), I watched as "it" moved through the heavy foliage, then finally appeared at the edge of the bed. A mouse
! I have never had mice in the garden before, but I had noticed one running across the lawn in front of the shed a week or so ago. I thought about letting Annie back in to chase the mice away, but then worried about diseases they might carry. I'd hate to expose my little girl-dog to something that might harm her.
Today I pulled a few more carrots, and cut a teeny tiny cabbage. This one was planted at the same time as the others that were recently harvested, weighing 2 or more pounds each. It was about the size of a tennis ball and weighed a measly 3 ounces! Added to the weight of the carrots, today's harvest total was just under four pounds. A running total of the harvest weights has been added to the side bar.
The tips of the morning glories were nipped by frost, but they are still blooming. The cold weather hasn't bothered the cosmos at all, but the zinnias were looking bad and got pulled out. The area behind the flowers has been cleared of its zucchini plant, and is being prepped for garlic planting.
Most of the main garden has been cleared. The strawberries, raspberries, a few butternut squash (in the barrel) and two celery plants are all that remain.
I don't feed Annie and Otto enough (can't you tell?) so they munch on Bermuda grass. I really need to get it dug out before winter weather sets in.
The kennel garden is still a jungle of flowers, quickly fading pole beans and Brussels sprouts.
There might be hope for some Brussels sprouts yet! Once I cut out the growing tips, the sprouts began to put on some size.
The fall peas are blooming, I hope they have time to mature.
A double row of young carrots.
And a single row of young carrots. I'm not holding out any hope that the row of cabbage on the left will ever mature. The row on the right has already been harvested, I need to pull out the roots.
I've pulled most of the tomato plants, but left a few that had lots of tomatoes that could possibly still ripen a bit. These two are next to the west fence. Our early frost has already happened, and we could get a little bit of warm weather yet. It was 77F yesterday, but only in the mid 60s today.
Two tomato plants remain next to the patio. Victor and Bloody Butcher are still yielding occasional ripe tomatoes.
Three cherry tomato plants remain next to the shed, but only the healthy looking Black Cherry on the left is still producing. I'm getting occasional ripening tomatoes from it every few days. I'll probably go ahead and pull the plant on the right, but the one in between is so tangled up with the Black Cherry that it will have to stay, even though it's not producing any good tomatoes now.
The last rose of summer.