September 26, 2023

Garden Notes: September 2023

September harvest bucket


  • 8th: 0.01"
  • 10th: 0.59"
  • 11th: 0.04"
  • 12th: 0.06"
  • 13th: 1.43"
  • 17th: 0.56"
  • Total: 2.69 inches
  • range of nighttime lows: 53 to 70°F (11.7 to 21°C)
  • range of daytime highs: 77 to 92°F (25 to 33°C)

Weather Notes

Nothing noteworthy, just the welcome September slide of the temps from hot to comfortable. We could use a little more rain.


  • lettuce
  • kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese cabbage
  • carrots
  • arugula
  • turnips
  • beets
  • radishes
  • Chinese broccoli
  • sugar beets
  • bloody dock
  • garlic
  • multiplier onions
  • green beans
  • okra
  • slicing tomatoes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • bell peppers
  • daikon leaves
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • last of the pears
  • red raspberries
  • muscadines
  • yam berries
  • watermelon
  • pecans
  • Ozark Razorback cowpeas
  • turnips
  • turnip greens

Besides planting, my gardening activity is picking every other morning. Most things have slowed down, but a few are still producing well.

The green beans have responded to the cooler weather by stepping up production. This is welcome since I wasn't able to do a second planting this year, which I had planned to replenish the canned green beans in my pantry. We particularly like Green Bean Caesar as a side dish in winter, so I like to keep them around. While I didn't get a large harvest, I was able to do some small batch canning. Every jar helps! We are certainly enjoying them fresh.

Steamed green beans and yam berries. Tasty!

Any leftovers are good in salads with cherry tomatoes and
green pepper. The dressing is my homemade Ricotta Ranch.

Here's something I've never made before, pear fruit leather.

I don't make fruit leather because we don't eat it, but I had a last gallon of pear sauce that I wanted to dehydrate for powdered pear sauce that I had a problem with. The problem was that it wouldn't dry out to a crispy enough state so I could pop it in the blender and powder it! After about four days of running my Excalibur, it was still soft. I hate to say it, but this may signal the end of that old food dryer. I firmed it up a bit more in a very low oven, cut it into strips, and rolled up in waxed paper. The jars were then vacuum sealed for good measure. So that was the last of the pears.

I decided to use my sole pint of frozen summer strawberries to make an ice cream pie. Ice cream is a summer treat, so I wanted to get an ice cream pie in before the temps dropped too much!

Strawberry ice cream pie with graham cracker crust.

It's such a lovely pink when the color is natural. 

That's about it for me. How's everyone else's garden doing? Done for the summer? Fall garden growing? Ready for a gardening break?

Parting Shot

Orb Weaver and egg sac

The next generation of garden helpers is tucked away under the eve of the front porch.


Ed said...

I have a whole garden planted in daikon radish right now. What do you do with the leaves that you are harvesting?

I finished with our pears and will hopefully finish with our apple harvest yet this morning. Then I plan on putting all my canning/preservation things away until next summer and move onto other projects.

Leigh said...

Ed, young daikon leaves are good in salads and the bigger ones can be cooked like any other green. I also feed them to the chickens and goats.

I'm glad to hear you've reached the end of your preservation season. I'm still canning a few jars of green beans here and there. The rest make good eating.

Cederq said...

Nice vegetables Leigh, wish I was there to enjoy them with y'all! Kudos on you for your liking of spiders! Don't kill spiders, even in your house. They are little helpers and do fine pest control. I have a sign coming into my apartment, "Do Not Kill Or Molest My Spiders!"

Quinn said...

Pole beans are usually my heaviest producers, no matter what else grows (or doesn't) in my gardens. I put one 3-cup container of beans in the freezer this year. ONE. And ate all the rest just as quickly as I could pick them. Very grateful to have anything at all from the garden this year!

Leigh said...

Ed, I forgot to mention that when I harvest daikons for kimchi, I chop up the leaves and put them in too.

Kevin, we definitely like spiders! We've had some new ones this year; I should get pictures.

Quinn, good for you for eating so much of your garden fresh! I try to do that with okra, mostly. I do like some canned green beans for over winter, but there's nothing tastier than fresh steamed green beans (with salt and butter!)

Nina said...

Your peppers look great! Only my Serrano peppers did okay this year. The weather was cool and wet most of the summer, and what little fruit actually started to grow on the peppers, bugs managed to eat. Tomatoes have finally started ripening, but are still slow. We had a single half ripe pumpkin in our patch. My late season planting of lettuce was hampered by the weather as well. I have herbs though -basil, parsley and soup celery, so there is that. We had a lot of early salads, a goodly amount of cucumbers, and some beans, although not enough to put up. I'm happy that I have enough tomatoes finally canned for the winter. I should be able to make a batch of salsa to put up as well, if I can get to the farm market for peppers. I'm super happy about the 2 kg of blackberries in the freezer, that I can turn into jam or whatever, when I have time. In all, a garden year of mixed successes and failures, but fun was had and we had enough to eat fresh veggies for the summer, so I'm calling it good.

Leigh said...

Nina, it sounds like you had quite a few successes. My winter squash have been late to form and slow to mature as well. I'm just hoping they'll make it to maturity before first frost.

I reckon it's always best to look for things to be thankful for.

Goatldi said...

So many yummy bites ! Love your salads I assume I can find the Ranch Ricotta Dressing on a list. I need to try it. The pie looks down right dangerous to cause suddenly small Wranglers.

I am intrigued about the Muscadines. Wonder if they would grow well since our weather is about the same with a few twist.What variety grows for you?

Leigh said...

Goatldi, salads are always a favorite! Under the picture, I hyperlinked the name, so just click that to go to the recipe. I always make ricotta from my whey, so this is a great way to use it.

The muscadines are just our wild grapes, so no specific variety. Although I do notice that nurseries commonly carry them. There are two types, muscadines (purple) and scuppernongs (golden). I think the purples have better flavor, but that's just me. The seeds are a little large and they're tart, but they make absolutely fantastic jelly.

Mama Pea said...

I admire the gardening you do nearly year 'round because with the price of food currently (and shortages we're seeing), anything we can grow ourselves is becoming invaluable. BUT, this time of year I'm ready to pack it in and take a break from gardening! (Must admit if I had your more favorable growing climate I might feel differently though.) Strawberry fruit leather never lasts long around here but, still, I always find leathers a pain in the patoot to make. Last year I made haskap berry leather and it didn't go over well. I have smooshed strawberries (no sugar added) in the freezer I could make leather from but at the moment I'm feeling very lazy about that. ;o)

PioneerPreppy said...

After my storms and all this year including drought and all I just finally let it finish and see what I got. Still a pretty good haul but it was amess to be sure. Glad you had better luck it;s gonna take a year or more for me to get back into the swing of things!!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I've never thought much about fruit leathers before. I'll have to see how well these go over (or figure out what to do with them in baking).

I agree about growing whatever we can, considering the high cost and low availability of many foods. Even a little bit helps!

PP, you certainly had a tough year for gardening. Even so, it's nice to hear that you got what you did. I know you're happy to get it!

daisy g said...

Yay for spiders. They are amazing creatures who help keep pests at bay! If nothing else, I wish some folks would take the time to appreciate the intricate designs of their webs. Incredible builders!

I pulled up the last of the red ripper beans to make room for brassicas. I’’ve still got a few kajari melons on the vines. My okra never got anywhere.

I grow some, but supplement with a local organic farm’s produce. We also frequent a local lady who sells eggs, when we our girls slow down in laying. Thank God for farmers!

Enjoy the change of seasons!

Leigh said...

Daisy, that's too bad about your okra! We've had years like tht too. I like your supplementary sources. The only farmer's market in our area is about an hour's drive away, so not very convenient.

Your summer garden did really well. I hope your fall garden is just as productive.

Rosalea said...

Seriously good looking harvest and food. Had to look up 'yam berries'. I'm really ready for a garden break. Just spuds to harvest, garlic to plant and a few other things to clear out once we get a hard frost. The blooming things are still full of pollinators on these unusual warm days for late September. Love spiders. We have resident Harvestmen who roam the verandah screens and entertain us when we are out here. The odd spider lives with us inside as issues.