Thursday, November 3, 2016

Garden Update - November 3, 2016

It's early November and the garden is a mix of lingering summer veggies, dying summer veggies, and fall and overwintering veggies. 

The long view makes it look like the garden is still overflowing. Can you see the hint of green in the brown grass on the hillside, we've had a nice amount of rain, more than usual for October. The best thing about the rain is that it has come at a nice pace, not too much and not too little. I hope that's how the rest of the rainy season goes.

Bed #4 is where the bulk of the overwintering veggies are growing. That's a few parsnips in the foreground above, with some carrots beyond, and Tronchuda Beira and kale further back.

Aphids just seem to love the Romanesco broccoli.

They are the reason why I've already cut down one plant and am planning on getting rid of the other. That will make room in the protected "tunnel" (what to call the screened in area?) for more winter greens like arugula, cress, and lettuces.

The Brussels sprouts plants are getting to be huge. It seems like the more room I give the plants the bigger they get. I'm planning on pulling out one or two of the plants, one of them definitely because it's only producing big loose sprouts, and fortunately that plant is at the very end of the row.

The chard plants have a tunnel (cage?) all to themselves. They are growing like crazy. I've seen a bit of damage from leaf miners but not too bad. There's 3 varieties in there, a few Syrian Medieval Chard plants and one clump each of Golden and Peppermint Stick.

Another view of the Russian Hunger Gap kale and the Tronchuda Beira cabbage. I've finally started harvesting the Tronchuda Beira and had to trim the kale to get rid of older leaves that were yellowing and hosting aphids.

The Dazzling Blue kale that has been sitting in the garden all summer is growing tall and is in pretty good shape. There's just a few aphids in there and one plant is still hosting a powdery mildew infection on its older leaves.

Tromba d'Albenga

Tromba d'Albenga squash is the last curcurbit producing in Bed #1.

Tromba d'Albenga

Honey Nut Butternut
I've harvested all of the winter squash now except for the Honey Nut Butternut. I'm waiting for the plants to completely die back and the squash to color up.

Crane Melon
Both of the Alvaro Charentais melons seem to have ripened, one of the Tuscan melons also seems to have ripened, all three of those are waiting in the fridge for the taste test. There's one Tuscan melon left on the vines and one Crane melon. We've got a run of warm and dry weather on tap for the next few days so maybe the Crane melon will ripen too. I'll be clearing out this bed in the next few weeks and will probably get a cover crop sown earlier than usual.

The tomatoes are a mix of scantily leafed plants and plants that are nice and healthy looking. There's still tomatoes in there, especially cherry tomatoes!

Pulling out the bulk of the pepper plants early meant that I could sow a row of favas early. These are all Robin Hood, a lower growing variety that shouldn't need staking.

I also sowed some Kodiak mustard, two rows flanking the favas. These are intended as a soil building cover crop that I'll cut down before they compete with the favas too much. The favas will be allowed to mature so that I can harvest the beans.

Baby Aji Amarillo
The baccatum peppers seemed to be quite resistant to the powdery mildew that defoliated most of the other peppers. I was talking to some other gardeners last week and found out that powdery mildew on peppers was a problem in the Silicon Valley area this year also, they ended up with defoliated plants like mine.
Baby Aji Amarillo
I'll be harvesting Baby Aji Amarillo peppers soon and it looks like there will be enough to make at least one batch of pepper jam. Dave will be happy, he loves the Aji Amarillo jam.

Aji Amarillo Grande
But I'm not sure I'll be harvesting any ripe Aji Amarillo Grande peppers. The plant has a lot of peppers but they are staying stubbornly green. I hope they are tasty as green peppers. I'm not sure if I'm going to dig the plants up and move them to a protected spot or if I will try to protect them in the garden through the winter. I may be able to cover the plants with frost cloth. It depends on what the weather turns out to be. I have an extra plant growing in a pot which I'm definitely going to be putting in a protected spot for the winter. I hope I can get that plant into the garden next spring and at least give that plant a head start.

Aji Amarillo Grande

Mareko Fana
My one Markeo Fana plant also resisted the destructive effects of powdery mildew. There's still a few ripening peppers left on the plants. I should get just enough peppers this year to renew my stash of pepper flakes.

IPK P 852 (Italy)
The late planted IPK P 852 (Italy) pepper plant has a few peppers growing. I may move the pot to a warmer spot near the house and perhaps I'll get to try a ripe peppers.

The sweet potato plants are still alive but I don't think there's anything going on so far as sweet potatoes go.

Hopi Chinmark Corn
The husks on the Hopi Chinmark corn in Bed #3 were drying and the rain had me concerned that the ears would get moldy so I pulled them all and cut the plants down. Come back next Monday to see what I got. The rats definitely did not get everything.

I've got more cleaning out to do in Bed #3, the tepary bean plants are all just about dead. But the pea plants that got smooshed inside their protective fabric are making something of a comeback now that I've loosened the fabric.

Climbing Phoenix Nasturtiums
The Greek Gigande beans are done and the vines are dead, but I had sown some Climbing Phoenix nasturtiums amongst the beans and now they are taking over the trellis. I hope the first frost doesn't come too soon, I'm really enjoying these unique nasturtiums, and so are the Anna's Hummingbirds.

I'itoi Onions
And to finish, the incredible I'itoi onions, just growing like weeds. I love these onions.


  1. Yay for rain! Your garden looks magnificent considering it is November, but it would look good for most of us were it any time of year.

  2. Even with your challenges, there is so much still going on in your garden - I can't get over how healthy your tomato plants look! Mine usually show some signs of yellowing, especially near the bottom, by the time they get that big. Those nasturtiums are definitely unique - so pretty. And hurray for the l'itoi onions! Onions are a lot more exciting to grow than most people give them credit for :)

  3. I can see from the photos that you have one thing that we don't have a lot of over here in Oct / Nov - sunshine! That's why you have good tomatoes still, I'm sure. Re the Favas - I grew Robin Hood this year, but I wasn't very impressed. A lot of the pods never grew beyond an inch or two, so the yield was poor. I don't think I'll grow them again, because lots of other varieties have done better for me.

  4. Oh, so that's what brussels sprouts plants look like when mature! No wonder my sprouts are so small, my plant must be a third the size of yours. Fabulous!

  5. The Baby Aji's are so pretty inside their cages! And the Dazzling Blue kale looks like a tree. I haven't gotten a taste of mine yet to see how it compares to Lacinato, but I hope to put it on the menu soon. The tomato plants make quite a contrast between the green ones and the scantily-leafed ones. Some of mine are getting a second (or third) wind and setting on green tomatoes but I doubt they will ripen. I'm hoping you are shelling a lot of that Hopi corn!


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