Tip of the Week

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Gardening

By the time Autumn comes around, most gardens have been harvested and plants removed to make room for winter crops.  For me, I do not stick to a strict gardening calendar since the weather can be unpredictable.  At this moment I still have tomatoes, peppers, a few cucumbers and my cantaloupe growing in my garden.  The weather cooled down and a brief storm passed over Northern California a few weeks ago, then the temperatures rose back into the 80's and now we had a very cold storm pass over that brought snow to the Sierra's.  The 80 degree weather was plenty warm for my tomatoes and peppers to ripen, though a bit slower.  Once the nighttime temperatures stay in the low 50's and do not get above 75 degrees during the daytime, then I will pick whatever is left on my plants before digging them up.  So when I heard the weather predictions of this storm I picked the last of my pepper and tomato crop, even the green tomatoes.

Here's a tip on ripening your own green tomatoes, if you are tired of fried green tomatoes, just put them in a paper bag and allow to ripen.  I will tell you that ripened green tomatoes in a bag are not quite as good as freshly picked vine-ripened tomatoes, but they are still better than conventional tomatoes.  You can make a tomato soup with your leftover crop, check out what I did last year HERE.

Unfortunately I do not have a greenhouse of my own to grow some vegetables year round, so I have to pay attention to weather patterns.  My herbs, for the most part will continue to grow through the winter, except my basil, which I will harvest before the first frost.  I replanted my Swiss chard so that it can grow during the winter and I also added some blueberry plants to my garden.

Swiss Chard


Blueberry Plant

One more Cantaloupe on the vine

The last of my summer vegetable crop

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