Tonight we are expecting the first hard frost to hit our area. I guess that means my gardening fun has come to an end for this year. This past weekend we spent some time outside cleaning up the garden and making mental notes of things that need done before the snow flies. We picked the last of what was still growing. Several of the tomatoes and a cross-breed of pumpkin/gourds were growing inside the compost fence.
This is possibly the latest I have ever had fresh tomatoes. A couple of weeks ago I picked a bunch of green tomatoes and wrapped them in newspaper to see if they would ripen. I was so thrilled when the entire box ripened beautifully. However, I ended up giving them all away because we were leaving town and I didn’t have time to use them. I’ll wrap these green ones up too and see if we can make them last a bit longer.
Here’s our last picking(the cantaloupe was also growing in the compost and it was small but SO sweet!):
I do have several green peppers on the plants that were too small to pick and my fall planting of lettuce, kale and snap peas were all doing well. We’ll see what happens after tonight because I forgot to cover them. Otherwise, the garden has been blanketed with a new layer of straw and is all tucked in for the winter.
We have already had two fires in the fireplace this past weekend so I am feeling the rush to get everything winterized as soon as possible. The rain barrels have been emptied but we still need to split more wood, take down the trampoline, insulate the bee hive, cut back raspberry bushes, and cover the fruit trees’ trunks to protect them from guys likes this:
For a long time this summer 2 fawns were visiting us nearly every morning as they ate their way through the neighborhood. Now for the past week we have been admiring this beautiful buck, right out in the front yard by the kids’ play set eating acorns without a care in the world. Unfortunately, he is likely also the one who has been rubbing his antlers on one of my pear trees.
Overall though, in regards to the garden, it was a great year. I am thrilled with the raised beds that we made and I can’t imagine ever going back to a “normal” garden. This was the most stress-free, work-free garden I have ever grown. Weeding was a non-issue and even though not everything did as well as hoped(melons), so much did do really well. We ate fresh lettuce and tomatoes most of the summer and have a great supply of beans, raspberries, strawberries, zucchini, salsa, tomatoes, jellies, peppers, basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, and so much more to last us until next season or longer. The square-foot gardens provided enough of what we needed for our family without an overwhelming amount of anything. Well, I was on the verge of overwhelmed with zucchini so I started giving them away! I will make a few planting adjustments next year but I am already looking forward to next season.