* garden season change

Posted on October 30th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.

With the nighttime lows starting to dip down into the 40s the last couple of weeks, I finally had to admit that the summer is over.  A couple weekends ago I tore out all my squashes and tomatoes, added in some compost to my beds, and replanted them with garlic and shallots.  I also planted all my flower bulbs, including 60 ranunculus, a few stray daffodils that were displaced by the new raised bed, and some checkerboard fritillaria.

Harvest first:


Tomatoes: two huge colanders full of green and greenish tomatoes.  Due to my tomato splitting problem ever since the rains started up again, I’ve been picking the tomatoes a little before they ripen anyway to let them finish on the kitchen counter.  I pickled three jars of green cherry tomatoes, using the small batch pickled green tomatoes recipe at Food in Jars.  While I was pickling, I also threw in one jar of the last few baby summer squashes.

The remaining big tomatoes were set on the kitchen counter to ripen up.  It worked!  I canned four jars with some garlic and herbs from the garden (striped romans with thyme and momotaros with basil).

We also made a big salad with the red cherry tomatoes.  Also in the salad was my pathetic carrot harvest.


I had all sorts of germination problems this year, and it shows.  At one point I seeded this area so heavily that I mixed up all the different varieties, so I’m not entirely sure what kind they are (Baby Little Finger?)  Interestingly, my fall bed carrots are going like gangbusters.  I may actually have to thin them!

More salad vegetables: a kind of spongy head of lettuce, a couple golf-ball-size lemon cucumbers, some arugula, and two radishes from an Easter Egg mix.  One of the radishes, a big white one, got so big it split open, but it might have been the mildest radish I got all year.

Winter squashes:  Given the real estate I devoted to the pumpkins and squashes this year, I didn’t get much back.  One Blue Hubbard, one Sweet Dumpling, two Delicatas (though one of them looks really weird, like it cross-bred with something else), 3 greenish Sugar Pie Pumpkins, 2 perfect Jack Be Little Pumpkins, one very green Jack O’ Lantern pumpkin, and one hilariously immature Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin.  That last one was supposed to be a beautiful red Cinderella coach pumpkin, but it didn’t set fruit until late in the summer.  I’m told you can eat immature pumpkins, so I’ll give it a try.  I set the rest of the green pumpkins in a sunny window and they all turned orange!  I can’t wait to eat them.

Of the winter squash, my Blue Hubbard is my favorite because it’s so enormous and so pretty.  I planted two of these, but the second plant didn’t successfully set until way too late.

Out with the old, now in with the new:  I got an amazing garlic sampler from Nichols Garden Nursery.  I’m lucky I was able to find someone to split it with because this is a lot of garlic!  1.5-3 heads each of 6 varieties!  I also got two packs of shallots at the garden store.  I coincidentally just this week finished up my shallot and garlic harvest from the summer, so planting these gave me something to look forward to.

With my fall bed going, though, I don’t need to wait all that time until next year: I’ve been getting peas, beets, chard, and turnips.

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