Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garden therapy - A backyard garden update (December)

I have some sad news... after the freeze we had on Friday night, my tomato plants totally bit the dust, kicked the can, shriveled up and died with mushy green tomatoes still on the vine. Well, poo. You can see the carnage next to the trellis in the photo. In fact, you can even see some of the greenish-brown tomatoes near the ground to the right. At least I managed to pick a dozen green tomatoes to ripen in the kitchen, before the freeze. Still, I'm morning their loss as I was SO looking forward to tomato-pesto sandwiches...

In better news, the rest of the garden seems to have survived. Sure, the red potato plants look bad - you can see what was once the plants at the front of the bed in the second photo - yeah, I know. It looks bad, but I have it on good authority that the potatoes below should be just find until we're ready to harvest them next year.

Ok, so what's going on in the rest of the garden?

Harvesting

We're currently harvesting broccoli, lettuce, snow peas, sage, radishes, and green onions.

Planting

We've added more radishes, 3 variety of lettuce, kohlrabi, and cabbage in the sections where we pulled up summer/fall crops (green peppers, green beans, and basil) in late November.

Somewhere in between

About half of the garden lies somewhere in between planting and harvesting - the kohlrabi, carrots, bulb onions, leaf lettuce, and 8 more broccoli plants are still maturing.

Plans for the Future

Actually, the only plans I have for the near future is to get more snow peas planted next to the trellis where I pulled out the dead tomato plants. And, of course, to replant any seeds that don't come up from the last planting effort.

Garden therapy continues to work its charm on me. I love witnessing the beautiful process from seed to harvest, having learned a lot in the last 14 months (was it really just 14 months ago that I planted my first bed?). The best part is that the learning process never ends as I work with the earth to provide fresh, healthy produce to share with friends and family. And who doesn't like good food?

8 comments:

Tammy said...

I covered my tomatoes and peppers but the freeze may have won...I have to assess the damage in a couple of days. Worst case scenario is a complete loss, best case is a partial loss with cutting back and covering the plants to see if they make it through the trauma.
Yeah, my house is cold, too. One of the highlights of the freeze was the first fire in the fireplace for the season. We use blankets and space heaters because the central heat went out after we replaced the attic a/c unit and they don't sell the heating part as a separate unit anymore but the cost of a combined unit was over $1000 more, so we quickly decided that space heaters made more sense especially since we don't live in the entire house...just a few rooms, really. I mean, if I think about it, we live in the bedrooms and the kitchen mainly and just use the other rooms as needed so we heat about three rooms as opposed to seven (not including bathrooms and hallways)...it seems more sensible.
Back to gardening...what are you doing to protect your plants and trees when it freezes? Every gardener has a personal plan...certain things they let die, certain things they take indoors, or greenhouse, or cover.
I used to clear plastic the patio to save tender plants from freezes. What did/do you do?

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - We've been using plastic. Everything outside right now is there permanently. Technically, we could move some of the fruit trees in those big pots, but the pots have already cracked and I don't want to move them often. My opinion is, if it can't make it here year round, it just isn't going to make it. I'm letting fate (or Mother Nature) take over. Most everything though is winter crops so they should do fine.

Tammy said...

Those clay pots break and then become a part of the ground pretty quickly. It is one of the reasons I like the half barrels(wood and metal and recycled from aging whiskey or wine, I believe). They fall apart too, but it takes several years and the components are so natural and reuseable. Plastic pots crack and fall apart too but plastic isn't something I really want decomposing in my soil...
When I have to move large broken or fragile pots, I usually resort to a dolly...fortunately we have several because of the businesses. Ultimately, I agree wholeheartedly that anything that survives in Texas deserves to live:-)

Flowers said...

Your backyard garden looks good. Flower will bloom soon. Every time I come home after a garden tour I start getting new ideas for my own garden.

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - I think ours are fiberglass or something similar. We thought about a dolly, but we'll see how it goes with them being outside.

Flower - actually, through all this cold weather, the snow peas have flowered beautifully. I suppose what's meant to live through the winter will thrive. What do you have planted?

two vegan boys said...

Our tomatoes kicked the bucket as well. I was growing Beefsteak tomatoes. Fortunately I was able to harvest at least 80 ranging from golf ball size to grapefruit size. They are green but I found a way to ripen them so it wasn't a total loss.

I love your garden.

Heather @ SGF said...

two vegan boys - lucky you! When one of the farmers at the market said they weren't going to do fall tomatoes again because there's just not enough time between the extreme heat and the freeze to be worth it, I knew we were in trouble :)

Glad to hear you made out all right.

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