Garden Update: Fall Brings Changes to the Garden
Thanks to beautiful September weather, the garden is still hanging on for a few more weeks!
This year Utah has had one of those gorgeous Septembers, hot weather with just a slight crisp feel to the air. I love this time of year, especially when it stays mild enough that the garden keeps producing vegetables and herbs. A few of my garden plants are gone and some are only producing at half-speed, but I’m always happy for whatever fall produce I can get.
This is the time of year when I start evaluating what I grew and thinking about what I’ll change for next year’s garden, so here are a few of the things I noticed when I went out and wandered around last night.
As you can see in the top photo, I’m still getting summer squash, but out of six robust clumps of squash plants, several of them are completely gone. For whatever reason, the 8-ball zucchini didn’t do well this year, and next year I think I’ll move the summer squash to a different garden bed.
This photo shows what a difference sun makes for tomatoes. The tomatoes on the far left are shaded now for much of the day, and they’re barely hanging on. Compare that with the ones on the right which are still getting sun from mid-morning until about 6:00 at night.
The nights aren’t really too cold here yet, but they’re a little colder than the tomatoes would like and fewer new tomatoes are appearing. I’m happy for any that do show up though, like these Green Zebras.
And my Celebrity plants are still producing tomatoes too.
This year’s Brandywine tomato got tomato blight and never did really recover. I want to check into whether there’s some kind of soil treatment I could use during the winter to help prevent this next year, because I do want to keep growing the tomatoes along my deck. (Please chime in with a comment if you know about this.)
I finally got some dill growing by my new shed late in the season, so I’ve decided to just let it go to seed and hope for a big patch of dill there next summer!
I’m thrilled to have this much basil hanging on and over the weekend I’m going to trim it again and hope for one more picking after that!
It’s also time to trim the rosemary and put some in the freezer for winter. (Check this link if you want to see all the posts I’ve written about Freezing Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs, because it’s definitely that time of year!)
I’m not sure why I haven’t used much tarragon this year, but I’m also going to freeze some of it.
The sage has really done well in the herb bed and I’m loving the looks of it so much I might move some of it into a flower bed next year.
This small bed along the east fence is bursting with parsley, mint, and flat parsley. I let the parsley go to seed on purpose so it will come back next year, but I do need to trim the mint! (And obviously, if you live nearby and need herbs, come on over!)
I’ve decided thumbs down on devoting an entire bed to winter squash for next year. I only got two acorn squash from the Honey Bear Squash plant. The Buttercup squash produced about 8 squashes, but they aren’t any better than the ones you buy at the store. I’ll plant something else here next year.
Eggplant is really a warm-weather plant, so I’m excited that I’m still getting some. Next year I’ll grow Japanese Eggplant again and increase it from 2 plants to four so I have more ripe ones at the same time.
I pulled out the Red Russian Kale but the regular dark green kale and the Swiss chard are still going strong! These sometimes last into November if we don’t get snow.
The cucumbers are pretty much done. And note to self: don’t plant cucumbers so close to the eggplant next year. I’m also giving up on bell peppers, after years of not really getting any usable ones, but hot peppers are on my list for next year.
And a sure sign of fall is empty beds like this. The green beans are long gone, and last week I pulled out all the onions. I’m not sure I’d grow onions again. Although they were fun, most of the onions were rather puny (maybe I shouldn’t have pulled them out, but they didn’t seem to be growing.)
And the question I wonder about every fall, should I plant some fall greens here and hope to get them before snow comes? I’ll have to look at seeds and see what I find.
You can see other garden updates from earlier this year or other years by clicking on GARDEN UPDATES . If you have a garden at your house, let us know in the comments how it’s surviving the arrival of fall weather.