Pulling the Plants . . . Wrapping it up for Winter

Since my free moments are less predictable than the weather, I took a few of those minutes yesterday and:

  • Dug the sweet potatoes in the raised bed.

Definitely not a whole lot of potatoes. This was eight square feet plus two plants in various spots in the yard. Next year they will go in plastic bins only and I’ll add a fertilizer for root crops.

I would have loved a harvest like Reeldoc at Garden Web who grew a 6 pound 7 ounce sweet potato. 24 slips produced a wheelbarrow full of potatoes. I hope he’s willing to share his secrets.

  • Transplanted some of the lettuce that was planted on 9-21 into middle bed.

I was expecting the lettuce to be larger by now, but I’m going to cheat with a dose of Miracle Grow to give them a jump start.

  • Transplanted the carrots into raised bed.

10-13-08 (4) 10-13-08 (7)

I started these carrots in pots just to see how they’d do. Some of the carrots are a couple inches long already. I’ve never transplanted carrots before. We’ll see how it works.

  • Picked the rest of the tomatoes off the vines and pulled up the vines.

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The tomato bed was the bed I was going to cover with the plastic row cover, but I like the way the trellis looks and I think I’ll just keep it up. I’ll cover the back half of the middle bed that I just transplanted the carrots and lettuce into.

  • Pulled the cucumber vines and dismantled the trellis.

There were only two little cucumbers (in the upper left corner with the tomatoes).

  • Cut back the parsley plants. Will air dry this batch.

There are still plenty of chores to get done before it gets really cold outside. I’m seeing leaves on the ground now. Mother Nature is telling me to hurry up and get ‘er done.

Happy Gardening!!!!

Saving Seeds from Successes

I finally figured out which tomatoes were the volunteers that kept popping up all over the garden.

There are three different tomatoes growing in the tomato bed: The beefsteaks that I grew from seed, the volunteers that grew from the compost that I started my seeds in, and the ones I bought when it looked like my tomato plants that I grew from seeds were stunted and were just really strange looking. They got to about 10 inches and a lot of them had curled leaves, but once the weather warmed up they were okay. They are all doing fine and still flowering.

The beefsteaks are obvious… 09-05-08 (9)

And then we have these…08-12-08 (2)

And then we there are these…08-30-08 (7) 08-30-08 (5) which are my favorite by the way. Not only because they look so pretty, but they taste the best. I like the single-serving size.

I was going through my old pictures from last year and ran across this one… Grape Tomato_Summer 2007

This is the only tomato variety I planted last year. Notice how this one has only one stem with tomatoes growing and the ones from this year have branched to give you so many more tomatoes? Maybe going through the compost super charged the seed and made it super productive.

I’ve saved the seeds from the largest beefsteak and from some of the cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, not sure which variety they are.

I bought a really large water melon from the store and saved some of its seeds.

And I’m not above buying the really big green peppers from the grocery store to save the seeds either which I intend to do this year because although I am getting lots of bell peppers from my plants, they just aren’t that big.08-02-08 (2)

I’ve been collecting seeds from my canna plants too. 08-27-08 (16) 09-05-08 (10)

I’ve read they will bloom the first year from seed. The first summer here really late in the year a canna just appeared near the evergreen trees. I’m pretty sure it was a seed left in the ground because if it was from a piece of root, which I doubt it would have survived our winter, it would have started growing earlier in the year. With me watering as much as I did (that and the water that came into my yard from my neighbor’s sprinkler) the shell must have finally got soft enough to let the seed start growing.

From my own yard I’ll have seeds from …

  • Tomatoes (beefsteak and cherry/grape)
  • Canna
  • Hibiscus (if it forms seed pods)

From the neighborhood grocery store …

  • Watermelon
  • Muskmelon (they get bigger than cantaloupe)
  • Bell Pepper

It’s said that when you save seeds from your own plants that did well, you’re ahead of the game a little because you already know how that plant will do in your climate. So, save your seeds, save some money, and get a double bonus of satisfaction by planting seeds you helped create.

Happy Gardening!!!

The Titillating Tomato

08-23-08 (2)

Tomato, tomato, on the vine,
ummm, ummm, ummm, you sure look fine.
You’re sitting there with your unblemished flesh,
I’m sitting here thinking how to enjoy you best.

Should I pluck you from right there where you sit,
And partake of your flesh, bit by bit?
Savoring your flavor with every bite,
Thinking about the deliciousness of you
all day and night?

Just once to enjoy you is not enough,
I mean that’s some really good stuff.
My mind is filled with visions of you,
Should I dry you or freeze you or use you in stew?

You’re so beautiful and delicious I want to save your seed,
so we can populate the world with a wonderful breed.
Tomato, tomato, on the vine,
I’m so glad that you are mine.

I really enjoy tomatoes. Over the years I’ve developed a deep appreciation for their taste. I like them fresh, I like fried green tomatoes, I like them oven dried. Eating tomatoes is also good for your health.

Tomatoes are my vegetable of choice in the garden. It’s going to be hard to be without them with the season coming to an end.

Feel free to pass on this poem.  Please just acknowledge that you found it here at https://cherylsgardengoodies.wordpress.com/

Happy Gardening!!!

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