Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall Calls for Cold & Wet Days

The last few days have been unseasonably cold with many nights dropping to around 3c (37f). Most of the outside activity has been spent doing everything but vegetable gardening. I prepared the warmth loving patio plants to come inside, I have made the mistake of not de-bugging them previously and its not pretty. They are all inside now and best of all are buggless. I have taken out the perennial bed that is in the center of the lawn out front. It had been kind of weedy looking since it was put in and always grew over the driveway restricting the walk way. I moved some of the plants to other beds and composted the plants I detested. That's right, if a plant crosses me it goes in the compost, hahaha. I then leveled the area and seeded for grass. Now we will have a larger grassy area which actually makes our postage stamp frontage look a little bigger. I also straightened up the shed which has been a wreck all summer. Now it is all organized and ready for the snowblower season ahead, oh how I love snowblowing! I even watch people snowblowing on YouTube.

The veggies have been holding up pretty well to the cold weather, not sure what will be left if we get a frost but they all seem to be doing okay so far. The peppers have finally start to turn which is nice. I don't know what I am going to do with then all, it seems like they are all going to turn at once. Maybe I will roast them and then freeze them. I think next year I am going to grow the peppers under plastic in the spring and early summer to get them growing faster.

I have yet to reseed the lettuce that was eaten by the slugs. I think it is probably way to late unless I put up a hoop cover over one of the beds. I'm am still contemplating whether to do a hoop cover or not.

The brussels sprouts are starting to produce lots of sprouts. They have grown so large they started to fall over so I had to stake them again. I used 2"x2" lumber which replaced the bamboo that I originally used. I think next year I will stake them with rebar sunk really deep in the ground to keep them up, I would have never imagined they would grow so big. By November I should be able to start picking them.

I forgot to weigh and give a total for my potato production on my last post so here we go. The fingerlings produced 2lbs 7oz which makes a total potato production of 19lbs 11oz . I haven't cooked any of the fingerlings yet, Parsec suggested I try gratin dauphinois with the fingerlings so I think I will give that a try, it sounds really good.

Lastly I will comment about the broccoli that I planted in late summer. The one row has really grown well and is about 1.5 feet tall and the other row is about the same height but they are really spindly. I think the bigger row will produce heads but I am not expecting much from the spindly ones, they wouldn't even hold up a flower head. If we have any frost warnings coming I will cover these with row cover in hopes it will extend the season.


  1. How did you de-bug plants when you brought them in? I made the same mistake last year and lost my herbs I brought in to mites.


  2. Those brussels sprout look really good!

  3. emily - I used a combination of things to de-bug:

    1. I soaked the soil with soapy water for a week, watering every few days. I used about a tablespoon of soap per watering can. I used dish soap but the pro's would recommend insecticidal soap.

    2. I sprayed the plants with soapy water every few days for the week, with a spray bottle.

    3. Then before I brought them in I spray the soil, bottom of the pot and the plant with pyrethrin which is an organic insecticide made from the chrysanthemum plant. It is pretty potent stuff that will kill almost on contact. I found this insecticide at Walmart in the houseplant section.

    The soap will kill most things including eggs and the pyrethrin is added security. I will then keep an eye on them and will spot spray with the pyrethrin if anything pops up.

    hope this helps

  4. tina - I can hardly wait for sprouts right off the plant. Just cooked though with butter, salt & pepper. Yum

  5. I can't get excited about brussel sprouts. *shudder*

    But those peppers look like they'll be very nice. Do you eat some green as well as red or do you just eat them after they change?

    I'm hoping mine start to change soon... we're not too far from the first frost around here.

  6. hydroponica - I used to hate brussel sprouts but I had only ever tried the ones from the freezer section. When they are fresh and have been harvested after a frost they are pretty mild tasting.

    I have eaten a few of the peppers green, I find they are better cooked when they are green. I made fajita's with them a couple times. Bell peppers seem to be a bit of a pain in most gardens it seems.

    I am surprised my area has not had frost yet. We have been lucky that the few nights it was near freezing it was cloudy which takes away most risk of frost.

  7. Wow, I've never seen a snow blower before, looks like fun!

    Your garden and produce looks great. I don't know sprouts but they look great!

    Take care!

  8. Considering how cold is has been up there, I think you still have a good looking crop to harvest... Down here in our drought stricken Georgia, we had 3 inches of rainfall yesterday! Happy times for the yard today.

  9. sin - snowblowers are so fun, especially when compared to shoveling the stuff.

    skeeter - we have been really lucky to have all the rain we did this year, we are usually really dry all summer. It has done wonders for water levels and the trees.

  10. WOW, I have heard that Brussels are really hard to grow, what is your experience?

  11. organic gardener - the brussels sprouts have been pretty care free. They did seem to be very susceptible to the cabbage butterfly larva, I combated them with pyrethrin, as stated above it is an organic insecticide. I think I only sprayed twice over the whole season.

    As sides from that they do seem to have a really long growing season. I planted these around May 1st and they are just starting to produce a bumper crop of sprouts.

    All in all they seemed pretty easy to grow in my opinion.

  12. Dan,

    Thanks for the heads up on de-bugging. It's a little late, but I better start now if I want to bring in the rosemary and savory.