Gardening activities definitely slow down this time of year, but there is still plenty to do. October's gardening consisted of some planting, some harvesting, and some cleaning up. The fall garden is coming along, and I still have a few things I'm waiting on from the summer garden. I still have summer beds to clean out and mulch to apply. The deer have been back in the beets, though I've been covering the beet bed most nights. They have pretty much demolished my buckwheat. All that aside, here's what's been going on.
Planting. This has included more lettuce (1st planting didn't do well), radishes, garlic, and these....
These are multiplier onions. I got them from Territorial Seed Company. I've tried for three years to grow conventional bulb onions, with unsatisfactory results. We like onions so I am trying several new types like these Egyptian Waking Onions...
|Egyptian Walking Onions|
These survived post office abuse, so I'm happy so many of them are coming up! The other type of allium I'd like to try is ramps. These are a wild leek and native to this area. They grow in shade, which we've got. Perhaps with all these plus wild onions, I won't need to grow the conventional type.
Our big gardening news is that just the other day, we planted our winter wheat, 46 pounds worth.
|Newly planted wheat field in the background|
It's in the background in the above photo, on the other side of the fence where the field corn used to be. Nothing is coming up yet, so there's nothing to see. We got it in later than I'd wanted, but there just isn't enough time in a day.
Growing. Most everything is coming along, some things better than others. I mentioned the deer damage to the beets, and am thankful they didn't get them all. I only wish more seeds had germinated (or that I had planted more).
|Beet & Collard bed: beets in front on left, collards on right behind them.|
Those are collard greens, to the back right of the beets. I planted them for the goats this winter. This is the first time I've grown them and we think they're tasty. More importantly, they are supposed to be very cold hardy with a flavor that improves after frost.
Also growing well are mangel beets for the goats and broccoli...
|Mangel beets in front, broccoli behind|
The broccoli desperately needs to be thinned. These, like my beets, turnips, carrots, lettuce and radishes, are growing from saved seeds. A packet of Dwarf Siberian Kale seeds (pictured below) was a freebie with one of my Baker Creek orders....
The yellow-orange flowers in the photos are marigolds I planted last summer...
|Marigolds & Swiss chard in the old Roma tomato bed|
This bed is where my Roma tomatoes used to be. They companioned the marigolds, calendula, and Swiss chard. Once the tomato plants finished producing and were pulled, the marigolds took off.
Even though I had great success with my companion group gardening over the summer, I planted my fall garden in monoculture beds. This will make it easier to find my root crops when the leaves have died back and everything is covered with mulch and/or snow.
|Turnips on left, cabbage collards on right, & weeds in the middle|
Turnips are a stand-by around here (we love sauerruben), but the cabbage collards are something new. I thought they were cabbage plants when they bought them, but they weren't. I'm curious as to what kind of sauerkraut they'll make. Amazingly, I have one cabbage still to head, planted last spring...
I'm still getting Hutterite Soup Beans, though the plants were frost damaged so that is coming to an end. I haven't gotten a lot, but they made a second showing after the hot weather passed. I also harvested my second bed of sweet potatoes last month.
|I harvested my 2nd bed of sweet potatoes.|
These are Porto Rico bush.
This is the type I had problems with black rot last year, so I'm keeping my eye on them. They are Porto Rico, and this year's batch is tastier than I remember last year's to be. I reckon we'll eat a lot more sweet potatoes this year, since my white potatoes didn't do so well.
My sweet peppers and tomato plants are in the front yard, in the herb garden. First frost forced the early harvest my sweet peppers, but the tomato plants don't appear to be damaged much....
|Green tomatoes that will never have a chance to ripen on the vine.|
Fried green tomatoes anyone? Last year I made Farmgirl Susan's green tomato relish with them, but Dan doesn't think tomato relish should be green, so I'm the only one eating it ;) (Wonderful on scrambled eggs, BTW).
Cleaning up. Nothing goes to waste. The pulled plants are relished by the goats, including those sweet potato vines and okra plants...
|Goats feasting on the pulled okra plants.|
A few melons were found, but in my experience late season melons don't sweeten up like summer heat ripened ones. The chickens and the goats think them a treat however.
Except for days of welcome rain, I couldn't ask for better weather. And now that the leaves are turning, it's just a great time of year to work outdoors.