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.
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.
Organic Strawberry Care
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!