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Done and Done

October 15, 2009

Planted 3 bulbs worth of garlic – about 20 cloves – on October 7.  Then after a subsequent week of cold temps, I decided to end the growing season yesterday by pulling up the bean, squash and tomato plants.  Lettuce is still in the ground along with two volunteer pea plants that popped up underneath the beans (good luck, little ones).

Lessons and Observations from this past year …

  • Put warmer-weather fruits/veggies (melons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant) out earlier under hoop-supported row covers.  Our unpredictable climate and short season postively requires such adaptation.  This year’s experiment of keeping them in pots on the deck (where I thought they’d get more heat) didn’t help them a bit.  Brought in peppers and eggplants for the winter – if I can keep them alive, they’ll go in the ground under covers in spring.
  • Continue policy of planting more peas and carrots.  Especially carrots.  I may devote most of a bed to them next year – it’s one of the few veggies Mr. E will eat.  Tilling, creating the lightest soil mix possible and picking out stones (screen soil next year?)  = carrot success.
  • I hit the limit in terms of beans with 7 bush bean and 6 pole bean plants.  We can’t consume more than that.
  • Ditto Lettuce: 6 plants is enough.  There’s always a chance for 2nd planting in September.
  • No success in growing cucumbers again this year.  Try sowing seeds directly into the ground in June under landscape fabric next year in addition to a few seedlings.
  • No real success with spinach again (2 anemic plants).  Test soil and put out earlier next year.
  • Order 4 more tomato ladders from Gardener’s Supply.  The 6 I put out worked like a charm – had my plants done well this year, I would have been in trouble constantly trying to stake and tie them.
  • Successes: lettuce, peas, beans, 12-15 potatoes, 9 squash/zucchini (incl. 2 babies), 4 ears corn, 2 heads broccoli, 3 small peppers, 1 beet, 1 melon and about 15 green tomatoes of varying sizes. 
  • New produce for next year: pumpkins, winter squash, kale, garlic (already planted) and asparagus.

Building at least one, maybe two more beds.  Oh man, it’s going to be a long winter.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lee permalink
    October 27, 2009 7:22 AM

    I’m in a dodgy area climate-wise for eggplant and pepper. A very knowledgeable gardener I know said if you are careful the crop for eggplant and peppers are best in year two. Year one keep them in pots and move around according to sun. Overwinter indoors. By year two they are big and strong enough to deal with the outdoors and have a head start – otherwise just as they’re fruiting the autumn ill weather kicks them around.

  2. Kevin permalink*
    October 27, 2009 12:47 PM

    Thanks, good to hear that. I’ve got two of each inside now for the winter. It was clear this season that the eggplant & pepper plants I grew from seed didn’t have a chance to mature before the cool nights of late September hit. This method of overwintering them indoors makes perfect sense to me.

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