Monday, October 5, 2009

Garden Observations

fall peas 2
The shell peas are now going strong. Having developed their first set of pods last week, they are now producing another set of flowers. This year's fall peas have not exactly been a success story. Growth was painfully slow in August and through much of September. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that they really started to pick up speed. I will be content with even a small harvest.

fall lettuces
A few weeks ago, I sowed (from left to right) some swiss chard, Tango (green oak leaf) lettuce and some Rouge D'Hiver (red romaine) lettuce. Growth through much of the garden has slowed way down with the onset of fall. A coldframe will be placed on top of these crops in the coming weeks to extend their growing season. At this rate, I plan on harvesting the chard at the baby leaf stage.

wild arugula
The wild arugula on the other hand seems to be enjoying the cooler weather. The leaves, for lack of a better word, have a "wild" appearance to them, are somewhat smaller in size than their domesticated counterparts but feel less delicate. I am looking forward to tasting it.

winter carrots
winter carrots 2 winter carrots 3
Two varieties of carrots - Nantes (left) and Napoli

In August, I sowed two varieties of carrots - Nantes, which I purchased from the discount rack at the grocery store and sowed a week before the Napoli, which came pelleted from Johnny's Selected Seed and is supposed to be very winter hardy. Both germinated well. However, the clear winner in both growth and consistency so far is the Nantes. I will admit, this is probably more my doing than it is about the quality of the seed. One side of the Napoli bed is proving to be much less fertile than the other and has a soil consistency of mostly silt. I did not do a very good job of ensuring that the compost and other soil amendments added to this bed were evenly distributed. Today, I added a thin layer of compost to the slower growing side and will feed with a seaweed emulsion in the coming days. Hopefully, the stunted plants will appreciated the extra bit of help. Coldframes will eventually be placed on top of these beds to protect against the coming frost.


  1. This post is reminiscent of Spring ! All that green lush growth. Lovely ! The peas especially.

  2. I planted some carrots at the beginning of August too. I don't think they will be ready before the ground freezes. I don't have cold frames, only row covers, so I'm guessing mine may not size up in time. I'd love to see if you can overwinter your carrots. Have you done it in the past?

  3. Miss M - I guess this post is a bit reminiscent. Thanks! This is my first time at a winter garden and I'm trying to think of fall as my reverse-spring.

    Daphne - I think some carrot varieties overwinter better than others. Also, from what I've read, once the weather warms up again, being a biannual, the plant will instinctively want to go to seed. How this affects the quality of the root, I don't know. Have you thought about purchasing some 6 mil plastic from Homedepot to put over your row covers? That might extend your season just long enough to get a crop.

  4. So lovely! I grew Nantes carrots this year and they are wonderful!

  5. Thomas - your fall garden is looking really good, especially the carrots. A coldframe will really come in handy later.

  6. A great looking veggie bed just getting started. I love the seedlings when they're so small.

  7. Hi Thomas..Oh, I grew Nantes out here in California this summer...was one of my best crops...

    Now, I am in baking mode.....

    More later,

  8. The peas look great! I noticed that my peas absolutely did not grow at all if the temp was over 80, but they grew a ton in the cooler weather! Maybe that's what happened with yours also.