The Vegetable Garden In Fall

Alas, we are near the end of tomato-season… Most of the fat, round main-crop varieties are finished, victims of bugs, fading sunlight, and falling temperatures.

The radishes I left in the ground are going to seed. See the teardrop-shaped pod below the flower? If all goes according to plan – meaning there are plenty of seeds for planting – some of those spicy little pods will find their way into a stir-fry…

This fat little cornichon cucumber is the last fruit on the last green vine…within it, are the seeds of next year’s pickles.

I hope.

We pulled the tomatoes out of the asparagus bed this week, and weeded around the crowns. When the ferns turn brown and die back, I’ll cut them down, and give it a good top-dressing with compost…

Um, is this normal? This is my first year with asparagus…I guess I thought they would stop putting up new shoots long before now.

It does my heart good to see it, though…that one’s big enough to eat!

Not all of the tomato plants we took out of the asparagus bed were finished. These San Marzanos were covered with green fruit – most of which the slugs and the chipmunks were feasting on before they ever ripened. Most of them will probably finish here, draped over the drying rack. The ones that don’t…well, I tried.

Don’t be fooled by all this ‘ending’ stuff, though…

The pole beans have been given a new lease on life, and are still giving me at least enough for two meals per week. With any luck, they’ll keep going until the frost…

My much-beloved leeks are still going strong, although I think the short daylight in this location keeps them from ever reaching their full potential…Something to think about in the long, cold planning months.

And don’t forget the carrots! So much sweeter after a kiss of frost, that I seldom harvest before…

Unless, of course, it should happen to be a Soup Day*…

*Stay tuned for more…



19 thoughts on “The Vegetable Garden In Fall

    • They’re ripening off at a pretty good clip…I remember that the old folks used to pull the whole plant up and hang it in the barn to let the fruit ‘finish’. Frost is still a few weeks off, so most of them should ripen.

      We’ll deal with the green ones when it’s time…

  1. No that is not normal apparently you have a super asparagus there! Collect that seed! Mine are all fern now!~I love the idea of pulling the whole plant up, are you talking about tomatoes? I can do that! c

    • Yep, pull the whole tomato plant, and leave some of the dirt on the roots. Hang them somewhere dry and warm, like the barn…Oh, wait – the World’s Nauthiest Cow might decide to eat them… Ok, Someplace SAFE, then…and the ones that are nearly full-size should ripen.

      I just wondered if the asparagus was doing that because it was new…when does yours stop growing new shoots?

      • When it gets really hot and i stop picking they just settle in to fern, but maybe we have a hotter summer than you?. Also it will grow if you pick it, maybe that is a shoot that got knocked off by something the other day and with the unusual warm spell is having another go. And yes the Worlds naughtiest Cow, will take down a fence to get to a tomato too, but I have other buildings and i will try this.. sounds good.. c

  2. Wow – it still all looks impressive. Will your tomatoes ripen if you pick them and just leave them indoors in a warm place (as ours seem to do)? Carrots don´t do well for us – I am envious!

    • As long as they’re close to full-size, they ripen, but I can’t bring them inside. We had a new type of fruit fly show up around here this summer, that can lay eggs in healthy, unblemished fruit. I’ve finally gotten the first invasion under control in the kitchen, but the tomatoes have to finish out on the porch for the rest of the year…

      I could never grow carrots down South, either…I never knew whether the heat was to blame, or the rocky soil…

  3. The pictures are nice, but mostly I’m excited about that little asterisk after “Soup Day”……your soup recipes are the best!

  4. Beautiful pictures, as usual. Granddad used to talk about growing tomatoes. They put hay on the ground instead of staking them. Then when it got close to frost, they covered the vines with hay. They had tomatoes well into cold weather. I agree with Carolyn about the recipes!!!

    • But, you’re my Mom, and you have to say nice things, right? 😉
      I remember about the hay…too cold for that method up here. But it does work for some less-tender things, like peas or strawberries or spinach!

      • It’s all sincere, daughter. Just wanted to be sure you remembered some things granddad said. I look forward to your blog.

  5. Sigh. Any fantasies I had about vegetable growing here croaked as soon as the record heat settled on north TX. I fully expect we’re in for a ‘hot cycle’–some years more of similar weather–so I’m going to have to completely redesign how I go about it if I’m to have ANY hope of such a thing in future seasons. Last week the roses finally started blooming, as it was too hot before and almost killed them. But I’m determined to find a few ways to create a safe garden for just a few favorite veg standards to thrive in. MEANWHILE, it’s ever so nice to come to your blog and watch your progress and that of your vegetal offspring–not to mention all of the good things you’ve been doing with them after harvesting. Thanks! It does cheer me up a great deal.

    • Glad it can soothe, even if only for a little while…
      I grew up not far (by Texas terms) from Denton – just north of the border in Oklahoma – and had my first gardens there. It’s a challenge, that’s for sure…but think in terms of different seasons – July and August are too hot for anything, except melons, and then only if you can spare the water for them. Plant peas and lettuce and early tomatoes by the end of March, and start a second crop from seed inside…put those in the ground the 2nd week of August, for fall production…if you plant spinach and lettuce seeds now, you should have fresh greens in about 6 weeks…
      Good luck, and keep trying!

  6. Even now, mostly spent, I must say that you’ve a great garden! I’m hoping, though probably in vain, that I’ll have some ripened tomatoes waiting for my return. The reality will be that my Evil Nemesis, Mr. Squirrel, will have poached any that have turned pink, taken a bite, and deposited them on my back porch, right in front of my door. I told you he was evil!

    • I agree about the squirrels – I took a photo of one last winter, who was completely inside my ‘squirrel-proof’ bird feeder… Little Monster. He’d eaten every bit of the seed.

      Got my fingers crossed for your tomatoes, and been missing your posts! Hurry back!

  7. It all looks so good, even as it’s finishing for the season. You have reminded me that I really, really, REALLY need to work out in the garden today. My asparagus bed is full of weeds (which seems to be its normal state at this time of the year).

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