September Garden Update

For whatever reason it seems that whenever Labor Day finishes the weather starts to take a dive. Just as anticipated, the temperature has now dropped and is consistently staying in the mid 60 degrees. It already feels like fall.

Around this time I begin to slow the garden down. At least the summer crops start getting the axe while the fall crops kick in. Recently my tomatoes were the victims. This year we were able to get quite a lot of tomatoes from the four plants that were planted. Nearly 80lbs have now been canned and frozen to be used throughout the winter. And they probably could have kept going if it wasn’t for a bad case of blight. When I returned from vacation over labor day, a majority of my tomatoes had a really bad blight outbreak. It seemed to come out of nowhere and spread really fast. It was because of this that I thought it time to remove them.

With a no dig approach, I simply cut the stems of the tomatoes really close to the ground so that the roots would rot over winter and the soil would remain undisturbed. Next I will be layering some compost over the top and leaves on top of that near the end of the fall. This will break down come spring and have resupplied the soil with nutrients for next year.

Not everything is done however. I still have tomatillos in full swing. These did not get the blight that the tomatoes were spreading and are continuing to produce good size fruits. We’ve been freezing them until they are all finished and will produce a large batch of salsa verde.  

The fall crops are loving the cold weather. Kale, radicchio, beets, carrots and cabbage are benefiting from the cold nights and sunny days. Nine of the green cabbage plants are growing along nicely.

Same goes for some newly planted lettuce. Save for a few struggling leaves.

Here are a couple other images from around the September garden (sunflowers, concord grapes, chamomile and lavender).

This time of the year I also start preparing for next year by saving seeds. Recently I removed the bean plants which have had a good amount of time to produce some large beans for storage. These are now laying out to dry and I will then shell the beans for use in next years planting.

Good news, the rabbit has decided not to stay in the garden anymore (knock on wood). Either he did not like the smell of the dog who has been making frequent visits, or he got to big. It’s been nice not having to chase him out.

Two new pests have moved in to the garden and near the outskirts of the fence and one is a bit more dangerous… Ground bees. The other has been here every year since I moved in. Box elder bugs! And not only are they mating and laying eggs on my plants, but they are putting tiny little holes into everything.

Next time I will show you how each bed is prepped for the winter and the following season. It is by far one of the most important things that I do in the garden.

Until next time!

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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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