An Update on Our Backyard Garden
The first frost is a-comin', and our garden seems ready for it.
Our okra has lost the will to live, our tomatoes are sagging, and our prolific basil has finally given out. Only the peas are hanging on, trying desperately to produce pods before the first frost hits.
As the gardening season comes to an end, we thought we'd share our plans for the garden this winter.
First, though, let's look at how the remaining plants are doing.
Our tomatoes remain very strong. The plants are sagging a bit, and we've ceased to be as diligent in tying them up, figuring they need a break. But just this morning, we counted up the fruit -- there are easily more than 50 tomatoes still on the vines, ripening. The top photo in this post is of tomatoes we've harvested over the last week. In mid-October, we think that's pretty good.
Our okra plants were magnificently tall. And then, after a bout of storms, they suddenly went limp. We stood them back up, but they kept falling down on the tomato vines. Their production had slowed down, so we decided to pull the plug.
In truth, our okra was never that great this season. We got some beautiful pods, but harvested maybe only a dozen pods the entire summer. This was definitely a case of not enough sun.
Our basil was wonderfully out of control all summer. Numerous times we chopped it down and made pesto, only to see it spring back to life all over again. In the last few weeks, though, it's gone spotty, so we think it's done for the season.
The peppers continue to produce. We've harvested some early when they're green, on their way to purple. Others, we've left to redden on the vine, to see how it affects the taste. So far, we can't tell much of a difference.
We have a tangle of peas that are just now beginning to flower. We hope to harvest a big crop of pea pods just before the first frost arrives.
So what's next?
We've decided to not plant a winter garden. Rather, we're just going to close up shop and then restart next spring. Though gardening this summer has been fun, it has also been a lot of work, and frankly we're glad to have a bit of a rest.
Our plan is to compost our plants after the first frost, and then cover the soil with mulch. In doing this, we hope the mulch will protect our soil and also help to fertilize it over the winter. Before we mulch, we may turnover our soil with a shovel to mix it up. If we don't do this now, we will next spring.
That's assuming that we garden again. We've enjoyed growing plants, but our harvests have been small, and we've spent a fair amount of money doing it this summer. At the same time, we've loved watching the plants mature and eating some vegetables out of our own garden.
Time will tell.
How about you? Are you gardening or giving up? Growing a winter garden or just letting it wither?