Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Week's Garden Status.

Although the temperatures have been lower this week, I was still able to harvest some nice vegetables from the garden.

Here are 8 Park's Whopper tomatoes that will go onto the kitchen window sill for a day or two to finish ripening. This group weighed one and three quarter pounds.

Here are a couple of nice ones still hiding under the vines.

As you can see there are still some green ones on the vines. The surprising thing was the number of new blooms that have grown out this week. There's easily thirty of them! I'm contemplating installing a plastic enclosure to see if I can promote the development of these new tomatoes. The plastic will raise the daytime temps inside, but the night air would cool off the enclosure to about equal to the outside air temperature, so I'm not sure it will pay off. It sure is tempting though. More fresh organic tomatoes at this time of year would be great!

I picked two and one quarter pounds of collards this week. We'll cook them up with a nice country ham bone for seasoning and add them to one of our weekend meals.

We are still getting raspberries and picked two and one half ounces of them this week. Several of the canes are browning out so they're about finished for this year I believe.

We got two figs that weighed one and one half ounces total from our brown turkey fig tree this week. There are many more on the tree, but they are not ripe and I don't know what the falling temps will do to them. I suspect we won't be harvesting them because they won't ripen.

My grandkids were helping me pick more giant marconi green peppers. This is Noah and he has been helping me in the garden the longest since he is the oldest. He also helps me turn the compost. He thinks the steam pouring out is really neat! It is!

This is Keira who also loves to go out in the garden with me. You know that when your grandkids come through the front door and ask to go straight out the back door to pick things from the garden, that you have made an impact on their thinking.

Here we are with some of our garden bounty. They picked 49 marconi peppers that weighed a total of three pounds. They were so proud of themselves! I was proud of them too for wanting to be involved in vegetable gardening.

I don't have a picture of them, but I picked four pieces of okra that weighed two and a half ounces. I rinsed them off and put them into the freezer until I accumulate enough to cook.

Now for some items that will hopefully provide future harvests.

I've hilled up the marconi peppers in a beginning attempt to prepare them to try to winter over. When the leaves all have fallen off, I'll clip off all the branches and cut the stalks/trunks all to the same height, then slide a piece of two inch diameter pipe insulation over each of them to protect them from the freezing winds. I'll cover the soil with a heavy layer of compost for added protection for the roots. We'll see how that worked when next spring rolls around.

This is my two rows of buttercrunch lettuce that I just planted last week. So far, so good. I'm planning to put a wide row cover over them for some protection from the weather. I'm also going to take the Swiss chard I have growing in a container and transplant it down the center between the rows of lettuce. I'm going to transplant the celery plants in the same row since I don't have enough Swiss chard to finish a row. I think they'll both do better planted in the soil rather than in a container during the winter. With the cold air all around the container, the roots would probably freeze, so I think this is a better way to try to keep them growing. There's more protection for the roots.

I had to fertilize all the plants and didn't want the fertilizer to get on the leaves and possibly burn them since I was waiting for the next day's rain to water it in, so I created this dispenser. Pretty simple, but it eliminated all that bending over and the flying fertilizer dust. I just contacted the pipe with the ground, put a tablespoon of fertilizer into the yellow funnel, it piled up inside the base, and when I lifted up the entire device the fertilizer was in a pile on the ground with none on the leaves. It was pretty handy to me.

As you can see, the okra is still growing towards the sky. When I put it in the shop for the winter I'll have to lean the plants over to get them through the doorway.

The horseradish is very happy growing in the half-barrel. I won't be harvesting it until next year.

My jalapeno pepper plants are trying to produce a few peppers. This is my first year growing them so I'm not sure what I should have expected, but they only produced two little peppers earlier this summer. Maybe next year they will do better.

The sorrel is also growing well in the half-barrel it is planted in. I can pick these next week for some nice soup.

This is my "East Plot", which has two rows of buttercrunch lettuce, three rows of Vates collards, six rows of premium crop broccoli, and one row of Park's Whopper tomatoes. Each row is twenty feet long.

In my "West Plot", I have six rows of Vates collards, one row of giant marconi green peppers, two rows of premium crop broccoli and one el roma tomato plant with three tomatoes still trying to ripen. Each row is twenty-eight feet long.

Even if these crops don't produce during the winter, in the spring they will be very productive because they will already have established root systems. I have been overwintering these cool weather crops for a few years now and they haven't let me down yet.

That completes the status report for this week. I hope you found it interesting as well as informative.

Thanks to each of you for visiting my blog.  I enjoy when you share your comments with me and I look forward to them.

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK


  1. Yes, I do find this informative and interesting! It's nice to see the methods other people use.

  2. Everything looks great! I am especially envious of those peppers!

  3. I love the photos, this gives me some great ideas for next year. What a great harvest, especially as it's getting later.

  4. Staring out the window at snow. I am wondering what state you're in? Or maybe not in the U.S., I forget, alas :-)

  5. How nice to see that you still have so much in progress there -- and that the grandkids are so involved :))

  6. Mark Willis, Thanks! I agree that it's interesting to see how others are gardening. We can learn so much from each other!

    becky3086, I can't believe those peppers are still producing! I have more to pick already, but I'm going to wait until later in the week to see if my helpers can do it., I have gotten some good ideas from other people's photos too. Sometimes a visual image really gets a person thinking about how THEY can try what they've seen, or a version thereof.

    Karen Anne, We're in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Don't send the snow here! It's gotten cold early this year. It goes down into the 40's every night this week so far.

    JGH, I try to keep my garden going through the winter, even if it is only harvesting some collards. Fresh is still best. I try to keep my grandkids as involved as I can. Hopefully, someday they will want their own garden because Poppa had one.

    Thanks to each of you for visiting and sharing your thoughts with me.

    Have a great vegetable gardening day!
    Veggie PAK

  7. everything looks beautiful!!
    I am happy to say I got my garden planted last week!! Yeah!!!
    Your collards are just lovely--I could make some wonderful raw wraps with those!!
    peace and Raw Health,

  8. I'm so jealous of the state of your garden! We have had 3 or 4 hard freezes already and have snow on the way this week end. So all my warm season plants are long gone. All we have to depend on until spring is what we can grow in the cold frames, mostly lettuce, carrots and other greens.

  9. Great to see the younger generation out there in the garden with smiles on their faces! Your tomatoes and figs have me smiling too!

  10. Elizabeth, Thanks, and congrats on getting your garden planted!

    Stoney Acres, We had a slight frost on October 31st. We weren't supposed to get one until the end of November. I hope this isn't a sign of an early winter!

    .09 Acres, Yeah, it is good to see them out there! I'm still getting a few tomatoes, and I don't think the figs will ripen any further. The tree is dropping it's leaves and they're about half gone already with the figs still in place and as green as can be. I'll continue to watch them just in case they get ready to be picked!

    Thanks to all for stopping in for a visit!

    Happy gardening.
    Veggie PAK