summer 2013

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Fall Garden

I headed up to the garden yesterday with every intention of pulling out all the tomato plants and cleaning up the bed.  I found a bunch of healthy plants with lots of green tomatoes.  I decided to just trim up the plants so I could walk easily between the beds and give them another week or two.  Who knows, they may have time to ripen on the vine.  If not, I will pull them off before the first frost and put them in a paper bag in the garage.  I do this every year and usually I get ripened tomatoes a few weeks later.

I lost most of my tomatoes to stink bugs this year.  The cherry tomatoes held up the best.  I am getting some roma tomatoes now that don't seem too affected by the bugs.

I did find a lot of potato plants popping up.  Any small tuber left has started the process over again. I pulled them up, here is what they look like in the ground.

I have lots of fall crops coming up.  I planted kale, broccoli, turnips, parsnips, beets, carrots, spinach, lots of lettuce and carrots. I have never eaten a parsnip or turnip, but when you grow your own food, it is fun to try something different.



lettuce on left, broccoli on right

 Time to plant garlic.  Don't plant the kind from the grocery store - it is usually treated to not sprout.
You simply break off the cloves and plant them 4 to 6 inches apart and about 2 to 3 inched deep.  They will be ready around July.

garlic - now is the time to plant.
a hard neck variety - better for our climate

I was shocked to see my broccoli I planted last spring has finally given me a crop.  Next year I will research a quicker producing broccoli.  The plants I put out for the fall/winter I bought at Dutch Plant Farm in Frederick, MD.  I expect them to flower after frost.

broccoli and peppers

pole beans

I have row covers to put over the plants when the frost comes in.  It consists of lightweight white material supported by wires.  I will post a picture when I put them up.  This will help to extend the growing season.  I will also put a lot of straw mulch on top of my root crops to hopefully extend the season into winter.

Some of my native flowers are blooming again!  Purple coneflower keeps coming up.  (I cut them down after they set seed and a new flower has emerged.)   Yarrow, gaura, liatris is still going strong. Coreopsis still attracting bees.

I  went to a lecture that mentioned an interesting fact about bees.  It seems it takes 20,000 to 40,000 honey bees to pollinate an acre of an apple orchard.  But only 250 native mason bees to do the same job.  Native bees are the first out in the spring and the last in in the winter.  The honey bee was brought over from Europe. Their benefit above pollination is their honey of course :)

bumble bee on liatris



echinacea  purple cone flower

Saw a wheel bug aka assassin  bug.   A beneficial that will eat lots of bugs you don't want in your garden.

October in Thurmont cannot be matched.  Took a walk in the woods.  Incredible!

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