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Transition Time

Oct 19, 2010

As the leaves begin to turn and the nights get cool and crisp, the garden begins to wind down.  The last few straggling tomatoes are still trying to ripen, along with the peppers and eggplant.  The asparagus fronds wave in the evening breezes, and we compete with the birds for the last crop of raspberries.  The pole beans are still going crazy, giving up nearly a pound of beans a day, half of which we are freezing for winter nourishment, but the bush beans are nearly worn out.  It seems like the garden is winding down after a long, hot summer, but it's really just transition time.

The new seedlings that we have been setting out over the past month are finally coming into their kind of weather - with the cool nights and warm days, they are reaching up to maximize the weakening sunlight.  Spinach and kale, beets and bok choi, carrots, kohlrabi and brussels sprouts are all growing like weeds.  Speaking of weeds, since we let a few of our mache plants go to seed last spring, those are coming up too.  This weekend, we re-assembled the cold frame sides on the top of the raised bed, in preparation for that first frost.  We put conduit hoops over the other raised bed with the broccoli and brussels sprouts that won't fit under the cold frame.  When the frost comes, we will be ready, and our cold-weather veggies will continue to thrive, into the depths of winter.  For tomatoes and beans, though, we will have to rely on the jars on the shelf and our packages in the freezer. 

Until next summer.

Comments

Is that lace leaf gaint plant in you garden jungle a carrot. I have got less then 5 carrots in all the years I have gardened, never anything like that. But I will try again this year-Fall & spring. I had a pound of carrot seeds laying out to ship & my son saw them & thought I was going to plant all of them, myself.
There are probably 50 carrots in that picture - mostly in the raised bed, but we also planted a row in the background along the row of tomato plants. Our first year planting carrots was a total failure, but last year, we ate them all winter. We learned this trick from Eliot Coleman's books, but as long as you can get them out of the ground, you can eat carrots all winter long. The cold frame keeps the ground from freezing, but the extra row, unprotected, were just as good to eat once the ground thawed enough to get them out. Amazing!
What a neat and productive veggie bed you have there! Is that square foot gardening? You must have your asparagus elsewhere? as I understand it has to be in a separate perrenial bed with lots of room.
It's not always so neat, but fall is kind of like the Spring in that way - order gets restored when you plant new seedlings ;) We don't have all that much room, so the square foot method seems to work well for us by breaking everything up to squares. The asparagus bed, along with the raspberries, are off to the side, along the fence. We actually plant the cherry tomatoes in front of the asparagus (to the northwest) - the asparagus seems to be thriving, though it's only two years from seed, as the cherry tomatoes aren't blocking it from getting sun.

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