Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Putting the Garden to Bed

In the process of cleaning out my memory cards I found a few more things I wanted to share that didn't make it up to the blog in a timely fashion. So, if you are ready and willing, hop into the time machine with me this week! First stop: end of the gardening season.

I managed to save a small number of fully mature sunflowers from the birds and squirrels.  After a stint in the front porch to dry out, we harvested the seeds.  My plan is to use them to grow sunflower sprouts inside during the middle of the winter when I desperate for dirt to put my hands in and fresh green sprouts to eat.

Our 4 brussels sprout plants yielded a pretty good crop this year.  There is something really great about a plant that I put in the ground in the spring and then basically ignore until the very last day of the gardening season when I am ripping everything up.  Easy going, those brussels are.

This year I started purple tomatillo seeds indoors and then transplanted a bunch of them outside.  I had grown them in the front yard in the past and they didn't grow that robust.  This year, I grew them in a sunny spot and I learned that you should bury them deep like a tomato plant.  Those choices means my plants were really thick, tall and chock full of tomatillos.  So. Many. Tomatillos. I saved some seeds and hope to repeat my success next year but scale it back a bit so the plants don't take over the garden quite to intensely.

You know what you don't need to replant after you've planted it once?  Dill! It heartily reseeds itself.  I have it growing up in the cracks of my front sidewalk.  I caught some of the flowers at the right stage for seed collection this year.  I am thinking I might bake something with dill seeds in it to help use some of the bounty.  Any suggestions?

Either I am terrible at it or my conditions are terrible.  I am not sure if it is one or both of those things, but I have had very little success with root crops.  Beets and carrots go nowhere in my garden.  I planted a bunch of carrot seeds and ended up with a handful of tiny, stunted carrots to show for it.

I may not be able to grow carrots, but I can grow raspberries!  The patch really appreciated my pruning and the dose of turkey manure fertilizer I spread on it this year.  Nice, big, flavorful berries were my reward.

I don't harvest my Autumn Sedum for anything so it doesn't really belong in this post, but isn't it pretty?

The new raised bed beside the chicken run was home to mint and purple shiso.  I sadly didn't do much with the shiso this year, but I did harvest the mint and dry it for mint tea.

We also harvested hardy greens, other herbs and green tomatoes during our end of the season cleanup. I haven't been great about documenting my garden these past few years, but I have been using and appreciating the bounty that comes from it and learning a lot in the process.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to have a yard with a garden to call my own. The community garden where I have my plot was turned over before I could get to my last harvest. I missed tons of celery, green tomatoes, arugula, poblano peppers and the last few zinnias. This may sound crazy, but more than missing the produce, I missed saying good bye and thank you for another good year to my plot. It's always nice to get a little closure at the end of the season.


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