Frost! and general garden blog

We've had frost here in the southern Appalachians for the last few nights. The summer garden is gone, the okra, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes look so sad. The sweet potatoes looked scorched over a week ago. This summers crop was one of my best ever. 23 sweet potato plants survived and produced just over 3 bushels, the largest being 7 pounds 1 ounce. Squash, tomatoes, peppers were bountiful. Green beans and edamame were only fair. Weeds were especially abundant due to the 2 truckloads of horse manure I think. The fall garden is now in its' glory. The Florida broadleaf mustard is just amazing, the leaves on some are 2 feet long and over a foot wide. The stems are as big as my thumb and still tender. The turnips are the size of tennis balls and very sweet. Carrots, collards and spinach will soon be ready. I was gifted about 25 pounds of chestnuts, my hives gave me about 40 pounds of honey. My fledgling blueberry enterprise produced almost 30 gallons. The cider making crew will be here on Saturday. Life is good!
Sorry, don't mean to brag, I'm just feeling good about my endeavors this year.
I hope your year was at least as good as mine,
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Peek wrote:

Seems fair to me.

Yes but with seasons reversed, I am pulling the last cabbages etc to make room to plant tomato seedlings.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    And my first winter cabbages are just emerging, the turnips and mustard greens and "English" peas are a few inches tall. Overnight lows in high 40s to mid-50s (7-12?) portend the end to the tomatoes, cukes, basil to be replaced by more peas! Bulbing onions and garlic go in this month, too. Root knot so debilitated this year's eggplants (aubergine) and bell peppers that I uprooted them early this year. Definitely gonna try some of those cannibalistic nematodes!     I'm in west-central Florida, USA. Although we're having a taste of autumn, plenty of hot weather remains in store.
OT Aside: Did you settle on a "most droolworthy" melon for this season?
--
Derald

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I can't grow melons in my present location. I have cucumber beetles by the millions and all the disease they carry. Years ago Yellow Doll watermelon and Ambrosia cantaloupe were favorites.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    Same here. Insect damage is significant to squashes, pumpkins and melons. Best defense, at least in my climate, is to get them in as early as possible. Have little tiny things that tunnel into and down the length of stems and little tiny things that hatch in and tunnel out of the pepos.
--
Derald
FL USDA zone 9a
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

Not OT one little bit. I am going to try Ha Ogen melons
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    Not braggadocio simply just deserts!
--
Derald

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Peek wrote:

nice to have most things work out and get a decent harvest in before the critters get it all. congratulations! :)

it's been a great year. we're still eating the last of the tomatoes, if i'd covered them and the green peppers a few weeks ago when we had the first frosts we'd have had about a bushel more of each. we still managed to get enough of the protected green peppers to make another batch of stuffed green peppers for three families. the frozen green tomatoes i buried along with the plants. fertilizer for next year.
today was such an odd day, i went out to keep on with the drain tube project of the moment (70 feet of trench through solid clay) and i was able to get the trench bottom filled with a little sand and then it started to rain, so i came in and winnowed the soy beans from their husks. the sun came out, so i thought about going back outside to put the pea gravel down, but when i looked SW there was a wall of white coming my way so i didn't. it was hail and sleet for a few moments and then a bit of rain.
so i kept working on the soybeans. i finished them up and weighed them. about 4lbs, from about 50 plants that were planted in the center of the strawberry patch (as ground cover and i had the seeds so i thought i'd give 'em a try and to add some nitrogen to the soil).
the below diagram is what i planted with the idea that the strawberries (5 plants -- one in each corner then the extra half way on the east side) would grow along the edges (for the first season of the strawberry patch - getting it established) and the beans next to them (wax, green and soy on the south side) would shade them and encourage them to stay along the edge (which they did really well, i only had a few runners go inwards). and the soybeans in the center were for ground cover so we wouldn't have to walk in there to weed. that also turned out very well. only a few weeds that i had to get the first month and then the beans were all tall enough that not many got going after.
so from the patch i took 5 strawberries (first year, i left one berry per plant to make sure they were good enough to keep growing -- they were good :^) so the rest were allowed to stay for next year) 37 potted strawberry runners (some transplanted in any bare spots that the runners didn't get to, that would be about 7 i moved, 12 i gave to a friend, and the rest went out back where they can be an extra patch that isn't inside a fence so they might get eaten by more critters than the inside patch, we'll see what they do for next year. we also harvested wax and green beans pretty much the entire summer until i got sick of making three bean salad and none of the neighbors would take them. so i left the month of August to dry and will harvest them as they dry (the green beans are still drying, the wax beans are done, the soybeans are harvested).
it was a very productive garden. if you add the four lbs of soybeans that's a lot of food. and next year when the strawberries have their first season of bearing after this year, we'll i'm hoping to see plenty of berries. :) the added nitrogen and organic matter from the beans will improve that soil (mostly clay with some sand added years ago, so it's still pretty heavy -- the strawberries don't seem to mind it at all) there are about a hundred strawberry plants now too all along the edges. oh, and i have half a brown paper grocery bag full of bean husks for the worms to eat in their bins during the winter.
so this is my brag about how this one garden worked out, mostly to plan. next year i will start some of the runners inwards to get the garden filled in another layer and probably still have the wax and green beans around the edge of where i want them to stay out of. not as much room in the center for beans, but i'll probably put some in there of some kind (dry harvest kind so i won't have to walk there all summer again other than a little weeding and runner steering). for the third year of berry bearing i'll lose the center and then the fourth year i'll remove the outer strawberry plants and replant with beans again and let the runners start it over again, so i'll have rotating patches so i can renew the strawberry plants and keep tucking beans in where ever they'll fit. it will be interesting to see how the pest and disease management goes, but if it turns out to be problematic i can relocate this patch quite easily now that i have plants to work with.
i'm really looking forwards to next summer and making some jam and pies. all the strawberries are june bearing (i'm going to add 4 everbearing plants next year and intermix them so i can have some later berries -- we'll see what happens :) ).
S - Strawberries, w - wax beans s - soy beans g - green beans
East
+--------------------------------------------------------------+ |S S S| | w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w | | | | w | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w s s s s s s s s s | | | | w | | | | g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g | |S S| +--------------------------------------------------------------+
the spiral garden, grapes, tulips rhubarb and other plants (and the worms too! :) :) :) ) well i'll leave those stories for another time...
peace all, :)
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I am in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. It has not frosted yet but I am keeping my eyes on the nighttime temps.
My garden was not very successful this year. Blight got most of the tomato plants but we had enough to eat and I made some pizza sauce and pasta sauce. The peppers and eggplant went in late and are just now really producing.
The muscadines and scuppernongs did well this year. So far I have juiced over 60 pounds of the grapes from our vines plus another 20 from a neighbor's.
Hoping for a better year next year.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've already mentioned, but it's worth another mention.
Courgettes were my biggest crop this year. Far TOO MANY of them to be honest. Next year I plan to have only 1 or 2 plants, rather than 10-15...
--
Mathink


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.