Saturday, October 19, 2013

fall cleanup

It has been cool and wet lately making it challenging to get what I want to get done in the gardens.  Today I worked on removing the frost damaged tomato plants.  The heirlooms were the hardest hit so I am pulling out the plants and sowing a cover crop in the rows.  I am not sure if it is too cold and wet for the oats to germinate but I am thinking if they don't come this fall perhaps they will grow in the early spring.  The ten day forecast looks like 40's or near 40's most days for highs but some nights dropping into the high 20s.

I have been happy with the paste tomatoes and the Brandywines.  The plants are huge and the root systems are great.  There were enough red and reddish tomatoes still on the plants to fill a good sized laundry basket half full.  I guess I am not done canning yet.  Just about put away all the big pots and canning equipment.

The cherry tomatoes are still in pretty good shape and we are trying to rescue as many as possible while they are still producing.  They are another variety that I have been pleased with this year.  I am planning to save seed from these varieties and see if I can grow some in the spring again for next summer's garden.  What I will do differently is a better job of staking or caging them and to not plant them in adjacent rows.  I am planning to do a lot of research and planning this fall to incorporate changes and see if we can find a way to make it a little easier to harvest the tomatoes.

The big beef tomatoes were great.  The fruit was great tasting, did not have a lot of trouble with bugs and was nice sized except for the last of the season which were smaller.  They were tied to a fence and did really well.  The fence seemed to be tall enough and plants on both sides worked out pretty well.    I would do that again.  The indeterminate tomatoes tipped over the cages so I think that i will look at doing a taller fence for them.  Even the larger diameter cages did not support enough of the plant. 

Once the tomatoes are done I still have the potatoes and sweet potatoes to dig and then those rows need to raised.  Hopefully the weather will hang on long enough to get that done.  Other projects include digging up the sweet corn stalks and stacking them and pulling up the rest of the vines and the fallen fruit.  And then there is the potager...

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