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Upper South Fall Garden update

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Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  Squat_Johnson on 11/4/2010, 8:37 pm

This was my first fall garden. I had great luck with broccoli and greens. This pic is from a couple weeks ago. I don't seem to be there during daylight hours lately.

Since I am expecting a freeze, I have been ripping out plants with abandon. It's strange since I have been babying these plants and treating them with such TLC. I picked a lot of green peppers, chili peppers, broccoli, and greens.



I ripped out all the green tomatoes the past couple nights. My super tomato "Hillbilly" (left-center of photo above)had over 40 pounds on one plant alone. What's your favorite green tomato recipe?
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  camprn on 11/4/2010, 9:11 pm

Impressive!!!! There was a thread a few weeks back about what to do with green tomatoes,
LINK
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  pattipan on 11/4/2010, 11:09 pm

Squat_J, I know what you mean about how it seems strange to pull things up after babying the plants for so long. We had our first hard frost a couple of weeks ago, so my SFG looks somewhat bare. Tomatoes have been picked and plants pulled. I canned most of them that ripened in boxes about three days ago. We're eating the remaining ones that ripen on sandwiches and in salads. Just the fact that I still have some ripe tomatoes in November is amazing!!

I do have lots of lettuce and greens, radishes, baby bok choy (a.k.a. pak choi) and broccolini growing still. All are doing fine, despite the cooler weather, except for the broccolini I planted at the end of August -- it still seems too small and is just beginning to branch out. I don't know if I will get any of it after this weekend when the temps dip down into low 20's. I am still going to cover it though, and cross my fingers. Next week is supposed to be in the 50's and 60's, so if I can make it through this weekend, it will have a little longer. I added some bent wire hoops over the plants left to make covering them easier. Next year I need to somehow make covering easier to do, that its...I should have thought to plant my fall crops in one box and then make a nice sturdy little hoop house!

If I get a chance tomorrow between rain showers, I'll take some photos. The Chinese greens are looking so pretty and the Romaine lettuce is just starting to get some nice heads.

pattipan
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Re: Fall garden update

Post  ander217 on 11/5/2010, 6:53 am

Squat, your garden looks great. I cannot believe we are still picking fresh tomatoes in November. My okra is still producing, too.

Tonight's freeze should take care of the tender crops, but I have all my broccoli plants in one box and plan to cover them. (Pattipan, what do you cover your plants with?) My broccoli plants have heads about the size of a nickel - I planted them really late - so I don't know if I'll be able to keep them going long enough to get a harvest, but I'm going to try. Even with the several nights of light frost we've already had, I'm still picking off cabbage worms and yesterday I saw a cabbage moth fly over my collard greens. They are tough critters.

I picked my greens bed yesterday and got enough mustard, Tendergreens, kale, and a few turnip greens to make a mess for supper plus put three quart bags in the freezer. I picked about four gallons of green tomatoes from my Big Boy plant, and we have been getting so many ripe cherry tomatoes that I didn't even bother picking them yesterday. My DH wants me to try throwing a blanket over the cherry tomato plant tonight to see if it can survive the freeze. I don't have much hope of that, but it never hurts to try.

My basil plants were killed (I thought) by the frosts - the plants looked wilted and burned back, - but yesterday I saw that the purple basil had started coming out of it and is putting out new leaves. It is in the SFG box under the cherry tomato. I'll get one more cutting of that, at least.

I also pulled my first turnip of the season yesterday - it was huge! It was growing in a bed with radishes, rutabagas, carrots, and beets. I planted the turnip squares six to a grid. I was unhappy because very few turnips came up. However, it's a good thing because as big as these guys are, they could only grow one or two to a square.
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  pattipan on 11/5/2010, 11:40 am

ander217 wrote:Pattipan, what do you cover your plants with?

I put wire hoops over the plants first. Covered my lettuces with heavy plastic (easier because they are planted in the squares on the long side of a 2 x 8 box). Broccolini, pak choi, Chinese greens with old flannel sheets, since they are all in different boxes. What I'm thinking is to use both plastic and the sheets. I'm going to get the plastic on today and keep it there until after this cold front passes by. I am hoping it will warm the plants up a bit during the day and then I'll cover with the sheets Saturday and Sunday nights when the temps dip down in the low 20's.

But just in case...I am going to pick a lot of the lettuces and greens first!

I forgot to mention one thing still growing in my Fall garden -- Swiss Chard. I have not covered it at all yet and it is still growing! We're actually getting a little tired of it, so if the freeze kills it, I won't be upset. :-)

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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  pattipan on 11/5/2010, 7:26 pm

Well, it was too rainy, windy and cold to take pics outside so I took some indoors. We got everything covered with plastic (makeshift hoop houses weighted down with rebar). I'll leave the plastic on until it warms up a bit next week, but tomorrow I will add the old flannels sheets. I'll let you know if my lettuce and broccolini survive the freeze!

I decided to pull all the baby and dwarf bok choy (pak choi) since it was big enough anyway, plus it was less to cover. I also picked a lot of the oriental greens, just in case they don't make it through the freeze. Herbs that I use the most are in pots and indoors now (rosemary, thyme, cilantro and tarragon). Parsley is still outside in a SFG box by the back door -- covered.

Here's the bok choy and those oriental greens:

Baby Bok Choy (http://www.reneesgarden.com/)


Dwarf Pak Choi (http://rareseeds.com/)


Mizuna & Tatsoi (http://rareseeds.com/)


Good eats this week!
pattipan


Last edited by pattipan on 11/6/2010, 9:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  miinva on 11/5/2010, 7:30 pm

Your greens are beautiful! I get sporadic greens, but I need to make a more concerted effort Smile

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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  Furbalsmom on 11/5/2010, 8:07 pm

Pattipan, those bok choi and pac choi are beautiful. I just picked all of my pac choi a few days ago and used them in a chicken stir fry. Now I wish I had left a few for later to serve as a side, but such is life. Enjoy those greens.
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  pattipan on 11/6/2010, 1:48 pm

Furbalsmom wrote:Pattipan, those bok choi and pac choi are beautiful. I just picked all of my pac choi a few days ago and used them in a chicken stir fry. Now I wish I had left a few for later to serve as a side, but such is life. Enjoy those greens.

Speaking of Bok Choy and Pak Choi...I looked up the reason for the difference in names. In Asia it's a regional thing...one region calls it Bok Choy and another calls it Pac Choi. Both mean "white vegetable." There are over twenty varieties, not including the baby and dwarf varieties. Other spellings: Pak Choy and Bok Choi. If you are searching for it in seed catalogs, you may need to look for any of the above!

Baby and dwarf bok choy varieties make successive plantings easy, since they grow so fast. However, my first plants were bothered by bugs -- especially those Harlequin beetles. The ones I planted later were 98% bug free (one good thing about cool weather!).

pattipan
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  Megan on 11/6/2010, 1:55 pm

SJ and pattipan --- GREAT pics! Thanks for sharing!

I grew baby bok choi this spring. They were easy to grow, despite the flea beetles. The biggest problem I had with them was how fast they grew. I kept expecting them to head up a bit, but they didn't....so I waited a few days, thinking they weren't ready yet. And then, before I knew it, they were bolting on me. I am going to watch them very closely next time I plant them! Smile
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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  pattipan on 11/7/2010, 2:34 pm

My salad lives! Oh ye!

I didn't get to uncover it until about 12:30 this afternoon and I was almost afraid to look. The temperature was 22 this morning.

My salad bowl box (Green Ice, Little Caesar Romaine, Royal Oak Leaf, Dwarf Red Romaine, mesculin Mix, and 3 squares of Spinach):


Oriental greens (Mizuna & Tatsoi):


Broccolini (Apollo) survived too, but I still don't know if I'll get any buds.


If you look close in the upper right corner of the last pic, you can see that the Swiss Chard survived -- didn't even cover it! And that's garlic coming up amongst the broccolini plants.

Temps will be in the 50's/60's this coming week with upper 30's/40's overnight. Looks like I'll keep enjoying salads for a little while longer. hungry

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Yay!

Post  ander217 on 11/7/2010, 3:51 pm

Yay, Pattipan! I'm so glad your lettuces made it.

I covered my cherry tomato with a blanket, but it didn't help. The tomatoes bit the frost. But the good news is, the cover helped the broccoli. It is still growing, and in spite of 30-degree temps I picked several cabbage worms off of them today.
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My update

Post  bettyd_z7_va on 11/7/2010, 4:15 pm

We were in the 20s here last night. Dear sweet Hubby covered my 4x4s as well as my 'greens' garden that will be SFG next year.

He is so smart. We are on a REALLY tight budget right now, so he took bricks we already had and laid tree limbs that we already had across them to hold the plastic up off of everything and covered it all with plastic. It worked perfectly!

There I was worried that I would lose my garden because there wasn't any extra $$s for rebar and conduit to make frames for plastic covers and he had already taken care of it!

I think I'll keep him! lol

All of my greens are looking good. I was weeks later than the seed packs said planting my carrots, beets and turnips, so I'll just have to see if I get any of those to eat. I might have to settle for the greens from them.

I can't wait until spring to get my new SFG beds built, filled and planted. I read your posts about all of the produce you were getting this summer and fall and I get so excited just thinking about shopping for dinner out of my back yard! And eating fresh/frozen/canned from my garden next winter!

Now, if I can just convince the deer to stop eating their dinner from my garden I would REALLY be happy!

Betty

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Re: Upper South Fall Garden update

Post  Furbalsmom on 11/7/2010, 4:29 pm

"We were in the 20s here last night. Dear sweet Hubby covered my 4x4s as well as my 'greens' garden that will be SFG next year.
" He is so smart. We are on a REALLY tight budget right now, so he took bricks we already had and laid tree limbs that we already had across them to hold the plastic up off of everything and covered it all with plastic. It worked perfectly!
There I was worried that I would lose my garden because there wasn't any extra $$s for rebar and conduit to make frames for plastic covers and he had already taken care of it! "


BettyD, what a marvelous idea. Good to know there are other options out there, How great of your Hubby to not only think of a solution, but to implement it for you too. cheers
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re- update

Post  bettyd_z7_va on 11/7/2010, 11:05 pm

Yes, furbalsmom, he has always had this great ability to take nothing and make something. Very creative. All of his growing up years his family was very poor. But, he told me his Dad taught him that he could accomplish the same things that people with more money could accomplish. He just had to learn to be more creative with what he had to work with.

My favorite gifts have been things that he's made himself.

On another note, I've learned so much with this first try at SFG.
1) It is so wonderful to not weed. We started with 2 - 4x4s, but I wanted to have some greens, so DH tilled an area and I quickly laid out 4 spots (for kale, collards, creasy or cress and mustard). I divided the leftover Mel's Mix between the 4 spots and broadcast my seed. They are doing nicely, but so are the weeds. Next year I want more dedicated SFG space so we won't have to deal with the weeds in the greens.
2) If Mel tells you how many seed to put in a square, don't ignore him and sow thickly. I don't think I need to explain that one! lol
3) It is so easy to cover and protect a SFG area from frost. Try to do that with a conventional row garden.
4) I still have a LOT to learn.

Betty

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