2015’s final update in pictures

The time has come to take one last look at what’s going on in the garden, which isn’t much, to say the least. Last weekend we cleared most any fruit off of the plants, except for the peppers and pole beans. A number of those plants are still going fairly strong. However, Mother Nature threw us a curve ball these past couple days with bringing our first frost a couple weeks early. It’s going to get warmer this week, so there’s still hope for at least a few plants. And we brought a couple of our potted pepper plants (say that five times fast) inside, so hopefully we can keep them going for awhile longer.

Back outside, we decided this year that instead of pulling up all the plants out of the bed and composting them, we’d simply cut them down and compost them in the beds themselves. We started doing that a little, but we still have a long way to go. Taking that as a nominal segue, let’s get on with the gallery!

Out back, the tomato plants look a little grim, but the pepper plants survived the frost and chilly days nicely.
Out back, the tomato plants look a little grim, but the pepper plants survived the frost and chilly days nicely.
How could we forget about the asparagus! A number of little "trees" have sprouted through the dying tomato jungle.
How could we forget about the asparagus! A number of little “trees” have sprouted through the dying tomato jungle. Here’s hoping that next year (year 3) will be the year we harvest some!
We have lots of cayenne's still trying to ripen. They've got another week, at least!
We have lots of cayenne’s still trying to ripen. They’ve got another week, at least!
We moved the herb planters into the sun to see if we might be able to get another harvest out of them. Chances are...maybe.
We moved the herb planters into the sun to see if we might be able to get another harvest out of them. Chances are…maybe.
In the first stone bed is the remnants of the tomato jungle, plus the brilliant green fronds of our largest section of asparagus.
In the first stone bed are the remnants of the tomato jungle, plus the brilliant green fronds of our largest section of asparagus.
A view of the same stone bed from the other end. Looks just as bad.
A view of the same stone bed from the other end. Looks just as bad.
In the other stone bed, some of the tomatoes are still going.
In the other stone bed, we’ve got a small crop of marigolds on one end…
...and on the other end, a couple of the tomato plants are still going. Those Sun Sugar hybrid tomatoes are strong!
…and on the other end, a couple of the tomato plants are still going. Those Sun Sugar hybrid tomatoes are strong!
In the long bed, we've still got some lima bean bods. The other cowpeas are near the end.
In the long bed, can you even tell that we’ve still got some pole beans? Well, lima beans, anyway. The marigolds, meanwhile, really like the cooler weather, apparently.
Another view of the long bed.
Another view of the long bed. Beans, yes, but it all kind of looks like weeds at this point.
We've stored the PVC raised bed cages. In Bed #1 with the pea lattice, we removed the broccoli. It was a dud this year. Meanwhile, in Bed #2, there are just a few lettuce remains.
We’ve stored the PVC raised bed cages. In Bed #1 with the pea lattice, we removed the broccoli. It was a dud this year. Meanwhile, in Bed #2, there are just a few lettuce remains.
We composted the dead cucumber plants in Bed #3 and still have to cut down the okra and kale leftovers in Bed #4.
We composted the dead cucumber plants in Bed #3 and still have to cut down the okra and kale leftovers in Bed #4.
Along the side of the house, marigolds are about all that's left.
Along the side of the house, marigolds are about all that’s left.
And our two potted tomato plants are pretty much done.
And our two potted tomato plants are pretty much done.

So that’s going to do it for our last look at this year’s garden. We’ll recap all the ups and down next week in what we be our final blog post of the season. Hard to believe 2015’s gardening season is coning to a close, but now it’s time to get on with winter prep. So much to do!

 

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5 thoughts on “2015’s final update in pictures

  1. A Really Small Farm 10/21/2015 / 9:44 am

    Looks almost tropical from here!

    I agree with you on composting. I used to pull everything up and pile it all into heaps to compost. Of course with a six month winter that decomposition doesn’t get going until the following spring. Now, except for diseased plants, I just chop up old plants with the mower or tall ones with a sickle, till every under and mulch again.

    I’ve got most of my kale under frost blankets. Its doing well even when the lows hit 24 degrees for a few nights. I think in your climate zone you could possibly extend the season for fresh kale to mid-November.

    • Garden State-ments 10/22/2015 / 8:32 pm

      We hope to someday work on having a fall/winter garden, but things tend to get so busy in the fall, the garden just takes a backseat. But you’re right about the kale. That and other dark, leafy greens are supposed to do well around here in the fall and early winter. How nice to hear that yours is surviving despite the cold. We just went through a mini heatwave (temps in the 70s — balmy!) and a last, few tomatoes thought it’d be a good time to ripen.

      Composting in place just makes sense. As we discovered last year when we pulled everything down, we really don’t have to room to compost large amounts of matter. Better that we work within the existing beds. And if it works right, we won’t have to add much new soil to them next year.

      • A Really Small Farm 10/22/2015 / 8:43 pm

        I’m thinking about a fall garden, too (forget winter!). In a sense I have one now in the form of root crops and kale in the ground but these will all need to be harvested soon. Right now I just pull up or cut what I want to eat. I put an extra layer on the kale tonight. Wish my broccoli and cauliflower did better this year. Almost no heads produced out of over 100 plants. But I’ve got turnips and rutabagas instead.

        Nice 70 degrees! We had a warmish spell in the 60’s for a few days. I’m setting up next year’s corn patches this weekend- tilling under the old mulch and then mulching with bedding from the sheep pens. Hoping to save some time next spring that way.

        Dig that garden residue in if you can. I’m going to have to pile up my tomato vines somewhere because of blight and maybe burn them. Rotted lots of green fruit even most that I’d picked. Still got about 12 quarts in the freezer but much less than I’d expected.

      • Garden State-ments 10/23/2015 / 8:36 am

        Wow, that’s a great tomato haul by our standards! 🙂 We came away with about 10 quarts either frozen or canned. It’s more than enough for the two of us, but we did expect a little more. Though, at one point, all the tomatoes coming out were been eaten almost immediately. They get to a point were the skins get to tough if they sit around too along.

        The weather round here has been really fickle of late. First it was freezing, then it was warm, and now were kind of back to normal, but rain is in the forecast. It certainly keeps us on our toes. It’s be nice to have a root vegetable garden at some point. Our soil is so ridden with clay, it has taken some work just to get it good enough to use with non-root veggies. We’d like to create a sandy soil bed at some point. Maybe within the next couple years.

      • A Really Small Farm 10/23/2015 / 9:41 am

        I’m going back to my old tomato varieties next year and just a few of this type. Seems like the late blight has become more frequent in this region in the last few years.

        I’ve added clay to my sandy soil which has probably made a some difference but the addition of organic matter every year has probably made more. There are native soils nearby that are on the clay side but with sand. These are really good looking, dark and crumbly, especially in the forests where they get a lots of leaves and twigs.

        Raining today and cooler so I guess I’ll stay indoors for a little while. There are some clean up chores to do like mopping and vacuuming.

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