I've been putting my garden to bed slowly this fall. Some things like Bed 2 still have crops to harvest. Bed 2E has my storage carrots and 2W has my parsnips and purple top turnips. It also has a few beets. Bed 3W just has a few things left - parsley, a couple of celeriac, and two celery plants.
Bed 4 has my kale that is getting overwintered.
Around the corner in the Circle Garden, the spinach has picked up. I might even get a harvest from it this fall, but mostly it will just be overwintered for the spring. There are very few things that will survive our winters, but I've found spinach, mache, and certain varieties of kale (but not all) do pretty well here and provide me early greens in the spring, usually starting in late April.
- Finished sifting compost and leaf mold
- Cleaned up beds that are done and covered with compost for the winter
- Harvested, cureed, and stored squash
- Harvested and dried the mustard seed, fennel seed, dill seed
- Collected seed from the zinnias
- Deadheaded the garlic chives
- Went through the row covers and stored the ones that are still good
- October 31st: Planted garlic
I harvested 124.5 pounds of produce in October. Most of that were the butternut squashes. The rest was just enough to keep me well stocked in vegetables for my fridge. Though what I'm harvesting is going down in variety, I still harvested quite a bit - bunching onions, broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, choy sum, European cabbage, chard, kale, herbs, radishes, turnips, zucchini, and as I mentioned before, lots of winter squash. So except for the squash, I'm basically eating fresh greens and root vegetables.
I didn't do a lot of preserving in October. I should have. I could use some more herbs like sage, but I didn't get to it. I hope I don't run out over the winter. I did freeze eight servings of chard and five of kale. And I finished curing the squash and sweet potatoes which are now in the basement for winter storage.
Tally of what is in storage from the garden:
- Broccoli: 19 servings
- Celery: 5 cups (Oh how I wish I had more)
- Chard: 19 serving
- Chinese cabbage: 10 servings, 4 soup packets
- Corn: 16 cups
- Cucumber juice: 2 quarts
- Kale: 41 servings
- Spinach: 24 servings
- Zucchini: 11 cups
- Burritos: 13 servings
- Mizuna Soup: 4 servings
- Basil: frozen leaves
- Cilantro: frozen leaves
- Rhubarb syrup: 4 half pint jars
- Gooseberry jam: 2 half pint jars
- Peach cobber filling: 4 half pints
- Peach preserves: 4 half pints
- Peach rum sauce: 6.5 half pints
- Dill Relish: 10 half pint jars
- Onions: 7 braids (we ate 4 of the 11 braids that were stored)
- Garlic: 4 pounds
- Waltham Butternut: 27 (avg. 3lbs each)
- Sweet Potatoes: About 50 pounds
November To Do
- Plan next year's garden
- Go through my seeds and see what I need for next year
- Clean up beds as they are harvested and cover with compost for the winter
- Winnow the mustard, fennel, dill, cilantro
- Store 8' bamboo in tarp
- Harvest and store the carrots
- Harvest and store the parsnips
- Collect leaves for next year's compost
I also wanted to note one problem I had this year. Both cabbages, Michihili and Early Jersey, had trouble this year. I think it was because they were planted too early. With all the record keeping I've been doing this year you would think I would have the info on when I seeded them. But I do not. So I made two mistakes this year. I do know when the transplants were put in the ground at least. They were planted on July 13th. I would have done this when they were about three weeks old. So they were probably seeded around June 22nd. I need to hold off a week next year. I probably ought to plant them at the start of July. Though the broccoli needed that extra week, so I'll have to do that a week early. I'm hemming and hawing about the kohlrabi that I grow in that bed too. It was early and sized up fine. The last two bolted when I was on vacation last week, but if I had picked them when the rest had been picked it would have been good. They made a nice early brassica for me to eat while waiting on the cabbages. So I might do the kohlrabi and broccoli early and the rest of the brassicas later.
I'm always trying to fine tune when things go in. But we all know that Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Nor does my schedule. I might be on vacation one week. Or I might be sick and not up to planting things. Or worse I might be lackadaisical and just not get it in because I'm don't want to do it then. But it is good to know what time is best to plant on average. Last year I planted everything much later. The Early Jersey's didn't head up in time. This year they bolted because they saw too much heat. I'm sure there is a sweet spot in there somewhere if I can just find it.