End of Summer Garden Update


Summer is officially over and we are heading into fall. Most vegetables in the garden have wound down to a crawl.

Some are still going strong - like the fall raspberries.
The ground cherries are still producing and falling. Beets, parsnips, leeks and swiss chard are still growing. The corn is almost finished ripening. The tomatoes are wrapping up.

I have stripped the bottom leaves, tipped the tops, and pulled out any flowers and non-producing branches. It seems harsh but they will all be dead in a matter of days/weeks as the frost rolls in and the plants might as well focus on finishing the final tomatoes.

Here they are before and after stripping.
I've saved a bunch of tomato seeds. But none of the varieties I grew this year were "faves" so I mixed them all together as a random bag of emergency tomato seeds.
 Here are a few of the random assortment from this fall:
We wound up with 3 Golden Midget watermelons. They were all attacked by pickleworms or some awful boring insect.

Here's our biggest:
I ate them and saved the seeds. They were super bland and a lot of trouble to grow. I won't grow them again except in an emergency or if I get into plant breeding and want to select for their "earlyness."

Speaking of plant breeding... I have been saving seeds like crazy.
In additional to the usual garden seeds, I have also been saving some wild seeds including wild meadow garlic and wood nettles.

I even wound up FINDING sunberry plants in the forest and being able to save seeds for next year!  Just so you know, sunberry tastes like death and is possibly poisonous. I grow it as an ornamental only but had run out of seeds this year. Lucky for me -  I found these berries tossed out in the forest and was able to gather up a ton of seeds.
One of the oddest things to happen this fall was our new potato plant. What?? We grew potatoes from our grocery store stash this spring and it was a wild experience. Well...those potatoes just kept giving and giving.
Compost boxes
We ate the potatoes and put the peels into the compost. I compost in the "potato boxes" and one of them came back to life. You can see the 3 boxes here - all of them are loaded with various kitchen and garden scraps. The worms clean these boxes of all the scraps in a few weeks. But the 3rd box started to grow. I just let it grow and it's now quite the plant!
The blueberry cuttings finally died. They never formed roots, but did live for almost 2 months in just water. Crazy.
2 months in water
3 weeks in water
The currants have basically lost all their leaves and one of the honeyberries is looking pretty sad. Let's hope they all make it though the winter! I also killed the Valiant grape during transplanting... Maybe it will rise like a phoenix next spring but I have plans to take cuttings from a neighbor just in case (this winter.)
Currant "sticks" with no leaves

We gathered acorns and walnuts for eating this fall.
To see how we gathered and ate them - click here for acorns and here for walnuts.

We gathered wild plums and made: jam, fruit leather, prunes, sauce, and a coffee cake.


We made syrup from wild riverbank grapes, pink lemonade from sumac,  and jelly from aronia berries.

We had an adventurous fall in foraging for wild foods!

More articles from this year's garden:

19 Tomatoes and counting
Growing Heirloom Tomatoes without electricity
2015 Garden Part 1
2015 Garden Part 2
2015 Garden Part 3
2015 Garden Part 4
2015 Garden Part 5
2015 Garden Part 6
2015 Garden Part 7
2015 Garden Part 8
2015 Garden Part 9
2015 Garden Part 10
2015 Garden Part 11
2015 Garden Part 12
2015 Garden Part 13
Keeping Slugs off Your Strawberries Forever!
Growing Flaxseed in the Home Garden
Growing Potatoes from the Grocery store 
Growing Potatoes from Grocery potatoes - the results
Growing Espalier Grapes on a Fence
Can Tomatoes Survive temperatures below 28 Fahrenheit?

A full list of the edibles in our garden as of July 2015:
Aronia chokeberries
Asparagus
Walking onions
Rhubarb (victoria)
5 Varieties of Blueberry (bluecrop, northblue, northland, chippewa, northsky)
3 Varieties of Red Raspberry (2 summer (latham & boyne), 1 fall - heritage)
Red, White, and  Pink Currants (JVT, champagne, jewel/blanca)
2 Varieties of Gooseberries (wild, picsweet)
Black Raspberry (wild)
Dill, Sage, lemon balm, thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil
Garlic chives
Onion chives
6 Varieties of Tomato (coyote, brandywine, mr. stripey, moneymaker, rutgers, siberian)
2 Varieties of Potato (russet, yukon)
2 Varieties of Grapes (1 red - valient, 1 white - niagra)
2 Varieties of Strawberry (1 june quinalt, 1 alpine)
Fava beans
Bush beans
Snap peas (2 types)
Butternut squash
Cucumbers (2 types)
Bell Peppers
Parsnips
Leeks
Onions
Garlic
Sweet Corn
Popcorn
Amaranth
Buckwheat
Pineapple Ground cherries
Watermelon
Radishes
Cantaloupe
Crookneck squash
Swiss Chard
Beets
Bok choy
Purslane (2 varieties)
Golden Flax
Sunflowers
Scarlet Runner Beans
Honeyberries (2 varieties)
Sunberries
NorthStar Cherry
Sunchokes



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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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