The fall vegetable garden had its beginnings way back in July when seeds were planted for tomatoes, greenbeans, and eggplant. Those little seeds germinated and began to grow, sheltered by the screening of the back porch. Morning sun provided just enough light and warmth.
|Bush 'Blue Lake' Green Beans Setting Flowers|
The tender plants were moved to 4" pots and then, on Labor Day, placed into their final 5-7 gallon containers.
|'Cherokee Purple' Tomato w/ Sweet Basil Seedlings|
Several varieties of tomatoes were planted. The 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes are my favorite. I love their sweet flavor and brick red color on my sandwiches. Sometimes they are the sandwich filling all by themselves. They are open pollinated which means the seeds can be saved for future planting and the plants remain true to the original. The fruit doesn't keep well so must be eaten quickly after ripening. No problem here.
|Yellow Cherry Tomato 'Galinas' w/ Sweet Basil Seedlings|
Another full-size tomato in the veggie bed is the Beefmaster VFN. These are hybrid tomatoes and the seed cannot be saved and used next season. They are very disease resistant and a good slicing tomato. This has been a good reliable producer for me in the past.
Fresh cherry tomatoes are used in many ways in the kitchen here at My Garden Path. Tossed in salads, tossed with pasta and snacked on straight from the garden are a few of the favorite ways to eat these delicious treats. 'Galinas' yellow cherries are so sweet they often don't make it into the house. They are an heirloom tomato that seeds are saved from each year. This year's seedlings seem especially vigorous. I like all the colors of the cherries and so planted a black cherry heirloom. I saved the seeds from a purchase at the supermarket. Hopefully, they will not disappoint. 'Husky Cherry Red' is a short patio type plant that has delicious red fruit. All mixed together the different colors add interest to any dish.
|Mesclun Salad Mix|
Never having grown lettuce before, I am very excited to have the other necessary ingredient for a salad growing in my very own veggie bed. I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to growing lettuce. I will be learning as it grows.
Carrots were were first attempted last fall and were quite successful in containers. They will be sown again in October. Then, in November, sugar snap peas will be planted. Both the carrots and the peas were amazing in their ability to take this past winter's cold weather and keep producing.
Herbs are so nice to have in a vegetable garden. They provide flavorful accompaniment to meals and they are quite the attraction for pollinators if left to bloom. The scents of rosemary, African Blue basil and chives greets me every morning as I brush past them in performing my watering chores. The Sweet basil is grown as a mulch around the tomatoes in their containers and then harvested for pesto. The pesto is frozen in ice-cube trays and then popped into baggies to be used with pasta, fish, chicken, even as a spread for sandwiches.
|African Blue Basil|
The little fig tree purchased last September from a big box store is producing quite a few fruits! I have no idea what kind of fig it is. The label helpfully called it "edible fig." In the spring the tree produced one fig which was promptly eaten by a squirrel before it ripened. This time I have the tree wrapped in bird netting to hopefully preserve my harvest. I don't know when fig season is, but now seems to be the time for this little tree.
The bell peppers ,'Fat n' Sassy', were planted from seeds in January and planted into their containers around Valentine's Day. They have produced lots of peppers only taking a break in the middle of summer. More peppers are on the way so they are being kept for the fall garden. A little refreshing of the potting mix and some chicken manure, bone meal, blood meal and dolomite lime added seems to be keeping them happy.
The pepper plants also have some garden pest defenders helping them stay healthy.
This small space garden has a good start on the season. I'm looking forward to enjoying some fresh food hand picked from my garden.