Friday, November 11, 2016

Garden Update - November 10, 2016

Well, I'm glad I didn't settle on calling my update posts the Wednesday Weekly Update. I don't always manage to work up a post weekly and more often than not I don't get it done by Wednesday.

The garden is sporting more bare patches as fall winds down towards winter. We had a wetter than usual October and now November is turning out to be warmer than usual. But I know from experience that warmer than usual can turn to frosty almost overnight at this time of year.

Looking Through The Garden Gate

Looking down on Beds # 1 and #4

Looking down on Beds #2 and #3

The always productive Romanesco zucchini hit the compost bin recently, that bare corner is where it popped out the zucchinis through the spring and summer. But the Tromba d'Albenga squash vines are now taking over and still producing a squash or a few now and then. The cucumber vines have been stripped off the trellis on the left, just the dying Mouse Melon vines are left now.

Crane Melon
All the melons this fall were miniature sized. The Crane melon almost looks like a regular sized melon, but not for a Crane melon. The vine is almost dead and the squash has a bit of fragrance to it, but will it have any flavor? I think my experiments with late planted melons have ended, it's not worth the space to produce a few puny melons with less than best flavor.

Honey Nut Butternut Squash
Better to dedicate the space to squash, which is more productive and keeps far better also. The butternut squashes are curing on the vines. There's a slight chance of rain next week so if it looks like it will actually rain I'll bring them in to finish curing on the living room floor where they can bask in the sun during the afternoon.

Baby Aji Amarillo
I still haven't harvested the ripening Baby Aji Amarillos yet since I haven't had time to devote to turning them into pepper jam. I think they will keep better on the plants than in the kitchen. This weekend will be busy but I hope to get to them next Monday.

Aji Amarillo Grande
Look, the first Aji Amarillo Grande is ripening! I suppose that the 80º+F (27ºC) highs and lows that are staying above 50ºF (10ºC) that we've been enjoying the last few days have helped a lot.

The Robin Hood favas are growing much faster than they would had I sowed them in December as I normally do.

The tomatoes at this end of the bed have just about finished producing so I'll be removing the sorry looking plants as soon as I have the time and I'll be sowing more favas along the trellis (Extra Precoce Violetto for this space).

The rest of the tomato plants are still looking pretty good.

There's still quite a few ripening cherry tomatoes. And the rodents are still munching as you can see.

Will the warm weather stay around long enough to help these tomatoes ripen?

Perhaps this Orange Jazz will get close to ripe on the vine.

The Puhwem corn plants are still green and I can't really tell if the ears are going to produce much of anything. It's a race now until the first frost which often comes at the end of November.

You can see above where I cleared out the Hopi White Tepary bean vines that were next to the corn and next to that are the stumps of the Hopi Chinmark corn plants. The pea plants are still languishing under their tulle fabric covering.

It looks like there might be something in a few of those ears.

Yay for I'itoi onions, still growing and growing... And the nasturtiums are happier than ever, at least until the first frost hits.

The pole bean plants are definitely not going to produce a second crop of beans, but they are sporting a nice coat of powdery mildew. They are next up for getting cleaned out of the garden.

I just can't bring myself to pull out this very happy patch of Climbing Phoenix Nasturtiums that are sprawling all around and up the trellis that was home to the Greek Gigande beans. I have some snow peas that are bred for overwintering that I had in mind for this spot, but how can I cut down those beautiful nasturtiums?

Fake Snake didn't deter the rodents from making a very cozy looking nest in the nasturtiums. When is this plague going to end...

Another look at the bare patches where the tepary beans and Hopi Chinmark corn came out. I'm going to sow some Kodiak mustard in the space in the foreground and it will fill the spot until I am ready to plant onion seedlings there in January. I've got some seeds for spinach and broccoli sown to put in the empty spots on the other side of the bed and perhaps some winter type radishes as well, if I can bring myself to pull out the nasturtiums.

Over in Bed #4 the Dazzling Blue kale is showing off the Lacinato Kale part of it's heritage. The Calabrese broccoli is looking a bit tatty. The Brussels Sprouts plants are getting to be huge. I started harvesting the first sprouts this week so my goal of having homegrown Brussels Sprouts for Thanksgiving will be met. Although this year we probably won't be home for Thanksgiving dinner. Oh well.

On the other side of the bed I decided to get rid of the aphid infested Romanesco broccoli and cauliflower plants. I figured it wasn't worth the battle to get a few measly heads and that the space would be better used for growing winter salad goodies. There were also a few Jericho romaine lettuces that were all bolting that I harvested. That left space to sow seeds of Apollo and Speedy arugulas, Greek and Persian cresses, Buck's Horn plantain, Ruby Streaks mizuna, and a few types of radishes. I'm starting more lettuces in pots that I'll plant out where the last couple of heads of lettuce and a couple of patches of cilantro are growing. Beyond the fabric covered area is the measly patch of parsnips. Poor germination this year means just a few plants in there. Hopefully the extra space between plants will translate to extra big roots. 

The Russian Hunger Gap kale and Tronchuda Beira cabbage are definitely worth keeping around.

And it looks like I'll have plenty of chard to harvest through the winter.

Even the last couple of Pink Plume celery plants are resisting bolting and producing some good stalks so they get to stay for a while.

That's it for now. Come on by on Monday to check out the Brussels Sprouts harvest.


  1. This is definitely the time of year for ripping things out and composting them. I notice that the amount of "hardware" in your garden is creeping ever upwards (or is it just more visible with many of the plants having gone?)

    1. I think it's more apt to say that the amount of hardware is leaping ever upwards. And there's more to come!

  2. Lots of things being ripped out but I see a lot of not so distant harvests in there too. I quite enjoy removing out old, tatty plants and getting the bed back to pristine, bare soil...a fresh start.

    I really like those cages & they seem to be easier to deal with than that what you find? I'm thinking of building a couple of netted cages next year to replace some of the tubing/rebar, just to try it out.

    1. The cages are easier to deal with and more sturdy. The fabric tunnels were effective but the fabric didn't last much more than one season and I couldn't make the tunnels as high as I wanted. The panels on the cages are easier to get into and if I have to I think I can add tubing over the top to cover with fabric if I have to cover taller plants. The biggest downside is that they are bulky which would make them hard to store, but I anticipate that they will be fairly permanent fixtures in the garden so storage isn't' really an issue. Another good thing about the cages is that I've noticed that some of the good bugs, like hover flies, lady bugs, and parasitic wasps can get through which was an issue with the fabric.

  3. Regardless of the day it's always nice to get a tour of your garden! Too bad the snake didn't scare the rodents though. Your cages really do look quite impressive too. I've worked with hardware cloth and I think it can be a pain to cut, not to mention bend. I have to wear gloves or it tears my hands up. The Crane melons must get quite large, because even the small one looks fairly big to me.

  4. I definitely agree the peppers are better off on the plant then in the kitchen - it is amazing how fast they can dry out once harvested.

    I absolutely love all of your garden hardware - I wish I could get myself organized enough to set up fences, and poles, etc. ... sigh, one of these days.

  5. You still have sn incredible amount of life in your garden


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