Sunday, December 28, 2014

Daydreaming about the Kitchen Garden in October

October seems so long ago as I look at the kitchen garden today. A few herbs and veggies were still hanging on in October, and I had planted some cold-hardy plants in September that were doing well in October. Here’s what was going on. I took these photos on a very bright and very windy day, so they aren’t the best pictures, but you get the idea.

I had planted some veggie plants from Haines Farm and Garden in September. Here you can see some Spinach.  

I had also planted Escarole, Joi Choi Pak Choi, Leeks, Kale Redbor, Superdukat Dill (a tall variety), and Graffiti Cauliflower (a purple variety).

The greens, the Joi Choi Pak Choi and Kale Redbor did well until the first killing frost. I had hoped to get out and cover them to prolong the growing season, but never managed to do that. Very sad about that.

The Cherokee tomatoes were still trying to hang on in October, but were struggling to ripen.

The Bright Lights Swiss Chard was still lighting up the garden with its striking red stems. It looked marvelous with the sunlight showing through the leaves – made it look like it was on fire!

The Alaska Nasturtium was the chard’s happy companion all season long, until mid-November when the frost finally got everything.

The curly-leafed parsley was the last to die from frost. It sure is a trooper compared to the flat-leafed variety. More Alaska Nasturtium here, as well as Sorrel and Sweet Basil still trying to survive the plummeting temps.

The Solanum quintoense was bearing fruit even as the weather turned cooler. I brought this baby into the greenhouse for the winter and am still picking ripe fruit from it even now. Some of the leaves got a bit damaged from the cold before I brought it in, so I hope it survives.

The Beautyberry shrub was putting on the usual fall show with fabulous, brightly-colored berries.

The two Shenandoah Switch Grasses (Panicum Virgatum ‘Shenandoah’) look their best in the fall when the leaves turn bronze/reddish and the tan-colored plumes appear. The wind was whipping it around here and it was making that tall-grass-rustling-sound that I love. The succulent wreath is now in the greenhouse for the winter.

Wild applause for the Cut And Come Again Zinnias. They really gave the kitchen garden that “cottage garden” look this summer and were still producing new blooms into the beginning of November. I loved cutting them throughout the summer for the vase that I keep in my kitchen window.

The Zinnias were various shades of pink, red and orange.

They were about three feet tall, with some leaning here and there, and others shooting tall and straight as an arrow.

 Here are some more Zinnias with some more curly-leafed parsley.

So that was the extent of the kitchen garden in October. Things were definitely winding down, however, I’d take the garden in October verses what it looks like now. Time to start dreaming about what to do with the kitchen garden next year....

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