The Potager

The Potager

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I fail at weather watching

I do not watch or read the right weather forecasts. I heard we might get snow Saturday night, but I never heard that it would rain all day Saturday. I had planned on getting all the veggies out of the garden Saturday morning. But it poured all morning. Hubby couldn't believe I didn't know it was supposed to rain all day. I never gleaned that bit of information from the forecast.
Around noon I heard something hitting the glass. I ran out front and saw sleet.
Sleet gathering on the ground! I ran back to my garden and began picking like a mad woman. The rain/sleet mix was numbing my hands, but I gathered everything that was fit for eating.
Peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and one turnip.
Flat leaf and curly leaf parsley and rosemary. I could have gathered more herbs but by then my hands were so cold and painful from the ice, that I couldn't move them.
That night it began to snow.
October 29 and we are having our first snowfall. That's unusual. We haven't even had our first ground frost!
The next morning the sun was shining and melting the snow away.  We have our first frost warnings for this evening. At least "all is safely gathered in" now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Still eating from the Potager

We have not had our first frost yet. A friend who lives in the same town as me, but in a more rural area, has had two light frosts already. I am watching the weather closely and I think Saturday night's temperatures may be too close to frost to be comfortable. So I have plans to harvest everything I haven't yet harvested on Saturday morning and put the garden to bed. Just to have this weekend free of any other plans is amazing to me! This has been such a busy gardening year!
But for now, I still am enjoying what is left in the garden - fresh herbs, peppers ( hot and sweet), one Ambassador Zucchini plant is still going, lettuce, scallions and an occasional Juliet tomato. The turnips were attacked by bugs, so I'm not sure how they are doing. The snow peas didn't do as well as they had in the spring - I really only got a handful from them. I harvested a small basket of small sweet potatoes and about a pound of white potatoes that look funny but are quite tasty. We've eaten the last of the  stored onions and have about three garlic cloves left. This wasn't a stellar gardening year for me, to be sure, but I enjoyed it. I am still enjoying it daily!
Sweet potatoes roasted with rosemary and parsley, sauteed zucchini and a side of pork. Yum!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The battle of the Sunflowers

They were beautiful. Towering over the 6 foot fence, 10 to 12 feet tall. Cheery yellow faces following the sun.
At the end of summer the weight of their seeds made them droop over, looking like giant shower heads in the garden. We didn't harvest the seeds - we were enjoying the birds and squirrels gathering them. The thing I didn't know about sunflowers is that eventually the heads come crashing down, scattering seeds everywhere.  Smashed sunflower head on the swing - another on the pathway. They need to come down.
The trunks on these sunflowers were almost 3 inches across. I tugged and I pulled. Hubby came and knocked them down. But they still needed to be lifted out of the ground, have the soil knocked off their roots and taken out of the Potager.  Yes, those are my long handled clippers hanging off the sunflower stalk I was trying to cut. They are stuck there. This was no easy task!  I did about three sunflowers and gave up. Exhausted. It was late in the day.
The sunflowers may have won this battle, but they are worse for the wear. I will win the war.
Earlier in the day. When I have more energy. And a chainsaw.
And in case you were worried about the birds and the squirrels  - there are sunflower heads all over the yard tied to or wedged into trees, as little feeding stations. I hope they realize how hard I worked so they can eat this winter!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Harvest

Three White Scallop Squash, 1 zucchini, a whole basket of jalapeno peppers and a basket of green peppers. It seems like the garden is giving one last hurrah before the frost! Sadly, there were only about five snow peas. They didn't do well in the fall.
We dug up some of the potatoes. They were a bit oddly shaped. But fried up with some of those peppers and the last of my homegrown onions, they were very tasty!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Perennial/Herb Garden in October

What a beautiful warm weekend we had - I did  a lot outside and in, but there is still so much that needs to be done! I spent most of one whole morning straightening up the Perennial/Herb garden.
While it looks nice in the photograph, the truth was the plants were all growing across the path and most of the flowering plants were spent or half dead.
I weeded and weeded and weeded some more. Fortunately they were mostly shallow rooted weeds. Then I cut back the sage in the herb garden and tied them into an aromatic bundle to dry inside. I then weeded all the strawberry plants that had spilled out of their beds and were taking over one corner of the garden. Who knew strawberries were so invasive!!! I thought the squash plants were dead, so I began pulling them up and cutting them back and I found two white scallop squashes hiding in the seemingly dead foliage. I planted the white scallop squash in the Potager. It went everywhere!
I pulled out mostly dead zinnias and cosmos, cutting the nicest flowers off and sticking them in an old can. I wished I read Gina's tips for saving flower seeds before I did all that ( click here to read : Home Joys) but I think I may still have some that can be harvested next weekend.
I pulled up the sweet potato vine that had spilled into my herb bed and was rewarded with a bunch of tiny sweet potatoes! These were later wrapped in foil and grilled with our steak for dinner and they were delicious! I'm looking forward to harvesting the ones in the actual bed - they should be much bigger!
In the space freed up by the missing flowers, I transplanted a peony that had never done well in the side yard. I'm hoping it will find the Perennial Bed in the garden more to it's liking.
I'm keeping the cage on it to remind myself that it's there in the spring. I also put in a bunch of daffodil bulbs to brighten the pathway next spring.
Earlier in the summer, I had taken some seeds out of the hollyhocks in the side yard and scattered them in the perennial bed and I was happy to see baby hollyhocks.
I hope they come back next year and bloom for me! I think hollyhocks are just beautiful.
By the end of the morning, the Perennial/Herb garden was looking much better.
I'm linking this to Tuesday Garden Party at