Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Never too many ...


Cleaning up the "tomato patch" the other day yielded a couple batches worth of tomato sauce. I am determined next year to be more ruthless with my tomato plants. I let them run amuck this season. While we enjoyed plenty of juicy, snappy 'matoes, I sadly found so many more that had gone to waste because I never saw them through the thicket!

And now I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for several bowls to ripen. I prefer sauce to fried green tomatoes as I haven't had much success with recipes involving the latter. There's also some hanging outside, catching the fading warmth of a fall sun. I've had much luck ripening by keeping them in a bowl near the stove, where they absorb heat from several meals cooked each day.

When I wasn't picking through my tomato pile I managed to sneak away to the Fall Bulb and Plant sale at the Washington Park Arboretum. It was held over the weekend and through Monday. It was slim pickin's by the time I arrived yesterday morning, but I still walked away with about a dozen bags of bulbs: tulips, iris, dichelostemma, calochortus and triphyllum or 'Jack in the Pulpit.' I'll detail the varieties when I actually get them in the ground. I think with this latest purchase I have more than 100 bulbs to plant between now and November. Then there are some set for April and May ....

A little weed growing around the garden and that is keeping me quite busy. This was his first day of school. I think he tied in quite well with the garden!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Playing catch up


I find myself stopping in the garden, looking at all the leaves as they turn the familiar shades of reds, yellows and golds. Can it really be fall already? But there's so much I haven't accomplished in the garden yet. So much work to catch up on! All was not wasted, though. We had several firsts in our little garden.

A volunteer pumpkin from last year's jack-o-lantern tossed haphazardly aside until another day. No work went into this guy, and although he's our lone pumpkin, we think he's beautiful ... and can't wait to carve him up!

Eggplant 'Little Fingers' have been a tasty addition to the veggie patch. These little guys were bought on a whim as starts and I couldn't be more pleased.

Oh glorious watermelon! Again, we only got one but it was sweet and delicious. My Little Sprouts class enjoyed cutting into this summer treat.

'Rainbow' carrots were plentiful, albeit small. However, these pint-sized roots were perfect for the little guy to grab as a quick snack. And so colorful, too!
There was plenty to keep a gardener busy this summer, for sure. And as we welcome fall, new tasks are already mounting. Just today I started more lettuce, arugula and spinach, as well as got several cloves of 'Crystal White' garlic in a pot to overwinter.

I finally cleared most of my crazy 'tomato patch' and am basking in the sweet smell of homemade sauce this very minute. Meanwhile, greenish tomatoes are hanging around or taking up space in bowls in an attempt to keep the ripening process going. Now filling in the tomato bed as a cover crop is a mix of field peas, crimson and dutch clover, cereal rye and common vetch. Cover crops are another new gardening task for me.