2011 Ketchup Soup – OCTOBER

Part 2 of 2011 Ketchup Soup


The Kitchen Garden was still flourishing and producing a lovely harvest. By the end of the month, of course, I had to begin cleaning it up and packing it in before the first frost came.  Meanwhile, I planted several trees in the yard and kept the Container Garden on the deck looking good throughout the change in season.

This is how the Kitchen Garden looked one week into October.

And this is the harvest I got when I returned from my trip.

Planting Trees

Thanks to a going-out-of-business sale at a favorite local garden center (Alas, I’ll miss Sid’s!), I finally bought some evergreens to plant as a screen between my kitchen window and the kitchen window of the neighbor behind us.

Planting Trees - a big step for me

The trees: 2 Emerald Green Arborvitae and 1'Fernspray Gold' Hinoki Cypress

I also planted the pear tree I'd bought at the MidFEx picnic. All the pears I'd grafted at their workshop this spring died, apparently due to bad rootstock.

Organic Strawberry Care

Meanwhile, I tried to deal with the weeds in my strawberry bed by covering the strawberry plants with plastic containers while I sprayed horticultural vinegar on the weeds.

A Note of Failure

Unfortunately, my first attempt at planting fall broccoli–as described in my August post, Off with Their Heads!–was a failure. The plants never grew big, and they were eaten up by cabbage worms I believe.  I did nothing this year to protect against those pests, and fortunately, I had not had a problem with them on my spring crop.  In fact, I was still harvesting sides shoots from those big full grown broccoli plants.  If I try fall broccoli again, I probably should plant them in a separate bed and/or do more to protect them, perhaps with Bacillius thuringiensis (Bt).

My poor attempt at fall broccoli, planted between the already matured spring broccoli

Fall Containers

This year I was more successful than ever before with keeping my Container Garden looking fresh and beautiful through the seasons. I occasionally moved the plants around according to how well they were blooming, and I did some transplanting for the fall.

I bought a couple big yellow fall mums, one for the deck and one to replace New Guinea Impatiens in the front yard container.

I also transplanted the ornamental kale from my Kitchen Garden to my fall containers on the deck.

The kale, a $1 four-cell pack from Woldhuis, was bought and planted in May, and it had decorated the corners of a lettuce bed throughout the summer.

The pirate was not a permanent part of my fall décor.

First Frost Alert

The first frost date for my area is October 15, and this year our first frost did not come until early November. However, I got ready for first frost on October 20 because I go on what I call “Frost Alert” whenever I see a predicted low in the mid-30s.  I had already brought inside the plants I wanted to overwinter, so I just had to harvest all the green tomatoes and remaining green beans and fresh herbs in the Kitchen Garden before pulling up the tomato and marigold plants from the tomato beds.

Tomato Beds BEFORE First Frost Alert

Larger Tomatoes Harvested - 10/20/11

Tomato Beds AFTER First Frost Alert

Seed Collecting

I collected dried seedheads from the marigolds before pulling the plants up.

Garden Talk Preparation

Another highlight of October was my garden club‘s annual Harvest Night, where I gave a short talk this year about becoming a Master Gardener. Trying to set up my laptop to project pictures on a screen was a difficult and maddening experience; I was completely flustered by the time I got it going and had to speak. But I’m glad I did it because it was good preparation for giving garden talks in the future.  And sure enough, I was asked to give a garden talk next spring at my local library. On April 19, 2012, I will present The Kitchen Garden: “Local gardener Debbie Rea will explain how to start and maintain a garden of edibles–vegetables, fruit, and herbs So mark your calendars and plan to register and come!

This was just practice. Come to my first garden talk in April!



About A Well Watered Garden

Rea is my last name, and Chez Rea is what we call our home and family. That’s French for the Rea House, and it rhymes. Say “shay ray” and you’re pronouncing it right.
This entry was posted in Containers, Fruit, Ornamentals, Seed Starting and Plant Propagation, Tips and Tools, Vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2011 Ketchup Soup – OCTOBER

  1. Pingback: 2011 Ketchup Soup – DECEMBER | A Well Watered Garden

  2. Pingback: Let’s Talk! | A Well Watered Garden

  3. Pingback: Weather Warnings | A Well Watered Garden

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