Several weeks ago I posted about my first fall garden and all of the research that I had done prior. We just had our first frost over the weekend, so I thought I would update you.
The pumpkins are done for. We had several green pumpkins on the vine but the frost killed the vines. We will be buying pumpkins this week so the kids still have something for Halloween. Next year,
we I am talking about putting out a patch over on our twenty acres of just pumpkins and spaghetti squash since they take a lot of space and time to mature. Moving the spaghetti squash will give me more room in the summer garden and making space for pumpkins will give us more time for them to mature since we won't be waiting to rip out the summer vegetables from the garden.
Green worms, which I found out are cabbage worms, destroyed my cauliflower in a matter of a few days. They also did a number on my Brussels sprouts and kale. I tried for a few days just going out and plucking off the worms that I could find and killing them, but that didn't seem to do much good. I harvested all of the Kale that was ready and then used Sevin on everything that was attacked by the worms. I don't usually like to use chemicals, but I had gotten desperate. I plan to research some more natural and preventative methods for next year.
Until the worms got a hold of the kale, it was doing really well. We've made a few dishes with it and I've made two batches of banana and kale baby food for J and smoothies for me. The kale also seems to be coming back from the worms since I used the Sevin. I just have to wait fourteen days at a minimum after the application before we harvest and eat any of it.
The arugula is doing well, and seemed to even survive the frost for the most part. We made a prosciutto and arugula pizza (I used A LOT more cheese than the recipe called for) and a pasta dish that we really liked. The oakleaf lettuce didn't come up at all and the tango lettuce only came up sporadically. I had about two salads for lunches with it. The spinach also only came up in spots, so I don't have any saved for smoothies this winter like I had hoped.
The carrots came up spotty. The greens of the carrots are still up after the frost, but I don't know how things are going down below. There are definitely no orange tops peeking out of the dirt yet, so we will see. They should need about three more weeks to hit their maturation timeline.
Like I said earlier, the worms got my Brussels sprouts' leaves, but the plants are still standing and seem to be recovering. I don't see any sprout heads, but I've only had them transplanted for six weeks. They require 80-115 days after transplant to mature, so I don't know if we'll have enough time for them to mature. Fingers crossed!
My husband tore out the tomato plants this weekend. It was hard to see them go. I used our tomatoes all the time this summer. I had to clear out my basil as well, another hard thing to see go.
BUT, since it has frosted now we need to get the garlic in the ground. I hope that next summer, we will have our own garlic to use in my pizza sauce recipe!
This is definitely a learning year for us as far as fall gardening goes. I'm excited to see if we actually get carrots and Brussels sprouts in a few weeks and I've already started laying out plans for next spring's garden. I'm hoping to add a few new tomato varieties, more basil and eggplant!
Do you garden in the fall? How is it doing, if you do?