The sky this afternoon was beautiful. It was not too cold, so I decided to finish up my fall cleanup. I pulled the last chard and flower stalks, dug up the dahlia tubers and weeded the remaining patch in the back. All that’s left is to cut back the asparagus in a week or two. The only thing still growing is a few kale plants, two rows of fall greens and the walking onions. The garlic is covered nicely in hay. Looks like my plot is ready for winter.
I planted about 60 cloves of garlic this afternoon, half and half softnecks and hardnecks. I noticed that some of the hardneck garlic in my pantry was infested with onion flies, I could see the maggots inside the base of the bulbs. So I took all the heads apart to check and tossed the affected ones. Now I have a big wooden bowl with mostly single cloves and some quarter and half-heads. I hope they will not rot prematurely.
I am not sure where the onion flies came from. Probably from the plot. So I picked the farthest spot away from this year’s garlic to plant next year’s crop. I mulched the garlic with salt marsh hay. This will be the only hay I use over the winter into next season as I am still trying to get rid of the pill bug infestation. I had to do much more weeding this year but it did seem to have worked to reduce the pest.
Because we might see our first frost tonight, I harvested my butternut squash this afternoon. Five squash, a total of 8.5 lb., all from one plant. One squash is still on the vine, it is a dark green, zucchini-like color. Very unusual. Of the five I harvested, three look “normal”, one is much more orange, and the smallest is one much paler than the rest. Let’s see if it makes a difference taste-wise. My Delicata squash unfortunately never bore fruit and the Lakota squash given to me by my neighbor Lisa produced one tiny squash that was eaten by someone.
I also harvested Swiss Chard and my last little porch tomato. Still growing besides the one butternut squash are kale, chard, and hardy salad greens. No leeks this year, I sadly did not plant any. I have to get my garlic in the ground soon.
I spent a couple of hours in the garden on this gorgeous fall day weeding, harvesting and removing spent plants. I pulled all the basil (planted in June), tomato and corn plants. I did a lot of (long overdue) weeding around the fall greens and in general. I still only got half the plot done. I harvested my last three tomatoes and my last two corns of the season and pulled all the beets and carrots.
Still growing strong: Swiss Chard, kale, basil (planted in August), green beans, fall greens, butternut squash, flowers. And those walking onions of course.
I am obsessed with these colors. I harvested four more ears and they are the most beautiful jewel-tone colors.
I finally harvested my Thai peppers today. I had one plant in a container on my back porch and it gave me two cups of hot peppers. Most of them were red, some (about a third of them total) still green. I cut off the entire plant and then picked the peppers to make hot sauce. I followed this recipe for Thai hot sauce but I lowered the amount of vinegar because I wanted it thicker. I also do not have a food mill, so it is just hot sauce, seeds and all. It is super spicy and I am looking forward to using it instead of store-bought Sriracha sauce and Chili garlic sauce.
I harvested my first glass gem corn today. I was hesitant as on paper they should be ready for harvest (it has been 120 days since I planted them), but the husks were still not as dry and papery as required. But I was not disappointed. Two of them had yellowish-brown husks and one a maroon/reddish husk. The reddish husk gave the most beautiful jewel-colored corn (see above). I am really happy with this little experiment.
Early October harvest: a couple of tomatoes, some green beans, the first glass gem corn (kind of a test to see whether it was ready to be harvested as the husks are not really dry and brown yet) and flowers: Zinnias, dahlias, Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus
The tomatoes are winding down as are the green beans, of which I did not have many. The chard and kale are finally taking off and it looks as if there will be quite a few butternuts. The glass gem corn is not ready yet but should be in a couple of days. I am still getting so many flowers from my garden. And yes, I need to weed …
I planted basil on August 15, both on the porch and in the plot, and it is doing really well. All herbs are doing great. I also have glass gem corn growing and hot peppers (the jalapenos are now all harvested). Only a couple more tomatoes. The Fairy Tale eggplant sadly fell victim to Hurricane Ida.