Monthly Archives: October 2013

Friday PhotoEssay

Here we are on what is purported to be the last hot/warm day of the year, with a precipitous temperature drop coming this afternoon/evening as the front moves through. I’m ready for fall! I know that some people are even ready for a hard freeze to kill off some of their tomato vines.

There were some big changes in the Demo Garden this week. Can you tell? All the vines are gone from the vertical garden area as are all of the eggplant. I think we are probably going to pull out the tomatoes next week. No, they won’t be completely done and dead, but most of the tomatoes will be harvested and the remaining green ones probably won’t ripen quickly. Of course, all the things in the two fall garden beds are looking great and will probably appreciate the cooler weather!

The Swiss Chard and Arugula in the Pizza Garden are ready to start harvesting…I guess we’ll have to get on that and make some fancy pizza, huh?

In the category of “what a difference a month makes,” the spinach that we replanted a couple weeks ago is growing well, next to the sole plant that survived from the August planting.

Some of the root vegetables are starting to size up nicely. This is one of the Scarlet Red Stems turnips. You can see that some of the surrounding plants are still small, but this one looks nice. There are several that have started getting close to harvest size.

The ‘Nero Tondo’ radishes are also developing some nice roots. These still have a ways to go as far as reaching full size (think baseball sized), but it’s nice to see that they are starting to size up. It just occurred to me that some people might find the rather scaly-looking, grey-black skin off-putting. I wonder what it says about me that I just think it is cool and not the least bit distasteful? (It probably also helps that I’ve eaten them before.)

Ah, my friends the Watermelon Radishes. I’ll admit, this one is looking a bit like a purple top turnip at the moment. I’m sure it will turn out to be a nice pink radish though. I think the ones with pinker outer skins often have better interior color.

The ‘Rattail’ Radishes are getting some nice roots on them, but no “rattails” yet. I realized a couple days ago that planting a cool season vegetable that you harvest the seed pods from was probably not the right choice for a fall garden. I’ll be surprised if these actually develop the edible seed pods at this time of year, unless we get a hot week after a couple weeks of cold. (I’m thinking that’s not likely, but I guess I could be wrong.)

Have a great weekend!

Kids’ Snack Garden Year in Review

This was a fun garden, largely because of the crazy vegetable arbor that spanned the walkway between this garden and the vertical garden! We also had some really nice plants.

Top Performers

‘Super Sweet 100’ Cherry Tomato – Prolific and sweet, the only real complaint about this variety is that the tomatoes tend to get smaller toward the end of the season. Other than that, a great variety!

‘Lunchbox Red’ Snack Pepper – For the first time, one of the snack peppers actually did well! The red variety started producing in mid-summer and kept going steadily until about a month ago when it went crazy! The plants are healthy and the peppers are a nice size.

‘Easter Egg’ Radishes – These colorful mixed radishes are always a reliable winner.

Good Performers

‘Sugar Ann’ Sugar Snap Peas – These are the peas we had in a container at the beginning of the year. They did well…we just wanted more of them!

‘Breen’ and ‘TinTin’ Baby Romaine Lettuces – Both of these did well. I can’t really think of anything spectacular or problematic about either of them. The ‘Breen’ lettuce had that beautiful dark red color earlier this spring.

‘Mokum’ Carrots – This orange variety is a reliable producer and was this year. It was perhaps a little more variable in size than I would like to see, but I’ll blame that on the spring weather.

All the sunflowers – you either like them or you don’t. They all did what sunflowers do!

Mediocre Performers

‘Kaleidoscope Mix’ Carrots – Sometimes the carrot mixes do well and other times not so much. This mix didn’t ever size up very well, but that may have been the early season drought more than anything. They were tucked in the corner and may not have gotten enough water.

‘Emerite’ Pole Bean – The bean grew and didn’t do much of anything until the cool, rainy part of the summer. Then we did get some nice beans, but that stopped once it was hot and dry again. It did better than we sometimes experience with pole beans, but not a lot.

‘Lunchbox Yellow’ Snack Pepper – Unlike the red variety, this one has tiny little peppers and was not nearly as prolific, especially earlier in the summer.

‘Honey Bun’ Cantaloupe – We added this melon on a whim after the lettuce was done, and it performed about like I remembered it from a couple years ago. It didn’t like the wet weather and was constantly under attack from insects. Still, in most years you will get one or two good melons from it.

Poor Performers

None, really.

To Be Determined

All the fall vegetables are still growing, so no definitive answers on those yet!