The Garden: One Last Post

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
After a couple hard frosts in mid-September, I assumed our gardening days were behind us. And looking at the current state of the raised bed, I think it was a fair assumption. Not that our veggie gardens this year ever looked particularly manicured, but they've definitely looked better than this: way better.

But although the raised bed may look like a wild beast trampled through it multiple times (always a possibility, although I think its bedraggled look is completely compliments of frost damage), I was surprised to find plenty of things still growing. The mammoth sunflowers are still hail and hardy, although they're too top heavy to show their pretty faces.

A couple days back, I picked over a pound of green beans and just yesterday, I discovered this growing among the trampled squash vines:

Yes, my friends, it's the zucchini plant that refuses to say die. I picked two more zucchinis off the plant last week and it looks like we'll have at least two more. After that, it's so long zucchinis because I'm pulling these suckers up either today or tomorrow. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

We've had Swiss Chard growing in the shady, windy, lakeside terrace gardens all season. They've never gotten bigger than seedling size. After three years of trying to coax things to grow in these gardens, I think it's time to throw the towel in. Nothing will ever thrive in this rocky soil. So this fall, we're giving the terrace gardens a perennial makeover and we're moving the soil from the roadside raised bed (which has also never thrived) over to a sunnier part of the yard and building a couple new raised beds for next year. While I may have given up on the terrace gardens, I have not given up on the Swiss Chard. I moved it to an inside pot a couple weeks back and the plants have already doubled in size. Who knows how it'll do as a houseplant, but with any luck, we'll be eating chard around (American) Thanksgiving time.   

Although our tomato plants are now dead, brown skeletons of themselves, we still have plenty of backyard tomatoes to enjoy. All the green ones we saved before the frost have been steadily ripening on the kitchen table. Andy and I made up a big batch of "end of the season" chili last week, using our own tomatoes, tomatillos, and jalapenos. While I feel like we had a motherload of tomatoes this year, now that we're transitioning into winter menus (aka, chilis, lasagnas, etc.), I'm reminded of just how many canned tomatoes we go through each winter. I'm tempted to plant twice as many tomatoes next year. So much for giving up on gardening, eh. ;)

I'm hoping we'll spend a good portion of these next couple days off pulling up dead plants, creating a second compost pile and maybe building those new raised beds. A gardener's work is never done.


  1. Oh, Ada, I love Swiss chard. Have to ckeck for my fav recipes. Maybe you like it. I love that you plan to double your gardening! And the picture of a year of producing is so rewarding isnt it. Have a wonderful week!

  2. that bowl of tomatoes looks divine!!! YUM! I need to get outside and clean up the flower beds before it gets to cold here as well.

    Have a lovely week!

  3. This post is making me nostalgic for cleaning up a garden! I haven't gotten to have one in years, but hoping to move by next growing season and have some outside space!

  4. Oh, I miss my garden, stupid condo in the city!!

    Found your blog at the Monster Hop, following you now! Hope you have a moment to drop by Happy Hour Projects and say hello!


  5. I have a couple of those kind of squash plants that do not want to die. They look as dead as dead can be, yet they keep sprouting new squash. Hey, I have had enough and have been pulling mine up also! Time to get these beds put to sleep.

  6. This is a gorgeous garden! At least you were able to spend a couple more days with it. :)
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  7. You can grate and freeze the zucchini for zucchini bread in winter! I need to get Jake to build me some raised beds while I'm at work for next year.

  8. I wish I still had tomatoes. My plants dies a few weeks ago!

  9. How lucky that its still going! I have been happy to have the continuing warm weather even though I don't have a garden!

  10. It was a lovely end to the garden... Sad, but so lucky you are.

  11. I so wish I had the time to play in my garden and just pull weeds but instead I walk by them every day. Take advantage of your garden play time while you still can :)

  12. Dropping by to catch up on your posts, the garden photos are lovely. Those tomatoes are just a work of art! My tomatoes never turn out well. Your zucchini story is amusing, those things just seem to go on forever! Apple season is in full swing here in southern MN and I just made my first apple pie of the season. Fall is so bittersweet!


Related Posts with Thumbnails